QE2 MAKES LAST CALL AT PAPEETE

PAPEETE, Tahiti (Tahitipresse, Feb. 3) - The Queen Elizabeth 2, one of the biggest and oldest cruise ships to regularly visit Papeete over the past 35 years, made its last port-of-call here on Jan. 29 with 1,247 passengers aboard.

The QE2, as it is more popularly known, is one of the last vessels of the golden age of deluxe cruising. As usual, the ship spent only a day in Papeete Harbor, arriving in the morning.

The daylong visit was long enough for many of its passengers to visit downtown Papeete and to take a variety of excursions, mostly bus trips around the island. Others headed to the beaches.

Most of the passengers returned to the ship during the late afternoon. A few others boarded a plane for a two-day visit to Bora Bora in the Leeward Islands.

"I’m content to be here," said Bethany, 23, from Seattle. "We want to go to a hotel and then go to the beach." She said she is taking a trip around the world with some friends.

The QE2, whose homeport is Southampton, England, was christened on Sept. 20, 1967 by Queen Elizabeth II. The ship is owned by Cunard Line and measures 293.5 meters (963 feet) long by 32 meters (105 feet) wide. The 70,000-ton vessel’s deep draft of 9.9 meters (32.5 feet) always required that the QE2 be anchored at the Port of Papeete’s freight terminal, across the harbor from downtown Papeete. All other cruise ships anchor in slightly more shallow waters next to downtown.

February 4, 2004

For additional reports from Tahiti Press, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Other News Sources: Agence Tahitienne de Presse.

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