(Image Courtesy of New York Times)
With shrill blasts from its three Tyfon whistles and a 39-foot-long red paying-off pennant streaming from the mast — a foot for each year at sea — that traditionally marks the end of a ship’s commission, the Queen Elizabeth 2 (only the actual monarchs warrant Roman numerals, not the ships named for royalty) split the predawn darkness to begin a day of festivities and souvenir photos by the Statue of Liberty and berthed at Pier 90 at West 50th Street on the Hudson River, tying up around 6 a.m.
As she entered the harbor, she was trailed by the grander Queen Mary 2. The two queens paraded to the Statue of Liberty before the Queen Mary 2 split off to return to its dockage at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal.
The Q.E. 2, which was sold last year for eventual use as a floating hotel in Dubai, will be retired from active service later this year following her final voyage from her home in Southhampton, England to Dubai. The Queen Elizabeth 2, along with its two sister ships Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria, is operated by the British shipping company Cunard Lines, one of the oldest transatlantic shipping companies in the world.