On October 15, COSCO (Zhoushan) Shipyard, a subsidiary of the COSCO Shipyard Group, and QE2 Holdings Ltd, entered into a contract for the refurbishment of the legendary cruise ship Queen Elizabeth 2 into a luxury five-star floating hotel.
This is the first cruise ship conversion project COSCO Shipyard has undertaken; it is also the first time project of such kind and scale was assigned to a Chinese Shipyard, marking the successful entrance of the Chinese Shipyards into the international cruise ship conversion market.
The Oceanic Group, COSCO Shipyard, Drydocks World and QE2 Holdings executives, as well as guests from the shipping, tourism and hotel operations industry attended the signing ceremony.
The cruise ship, which hosted kings, queens, presidents, prime ministers and celebrities throughout its legendary 40-year history, will depart from Dubai and arrive in COSCO Shipyard’s facility in Zhoushan, Zhejiang Province. Once there, it will receive a thorough revitalization and makeover that is scheduled for completion by 2015. The existing 990 staterooms onboard the cruise ship will be converted into 400 premium all-suites ranging from 60 to 150 square metres. COSCO Shipyard will be responsible for all the technical repairs and coordinate with an appointed interior renovation contractor to revamp the accommodation and ballroom, as well as the refitting of seven restaurants, 10 lounges, a cinema, a maritime museum displaying QE2 memorabilia, and a shopping mall. In the near future, Queen Elizabeth 2 will become one of Asia’s major waterfront tourist attractions, a new symbol of luxury, magnificence and appealing life.
Mr. Khamis Juma Buamim, Chairman of QE2 Holdings and Dubai’s Drydocks World, said, “No other ship can match the QE2’s prestige, or her legacy. She is an absolute icon of maritime history, one of the best and most powerful ships in the world. Therefore, our decision on a partner was critical.”
“We are pleased to be working closely with COSCO Shipyard for the technical repair and refurbishment process, which will be carried out with the utmost respect to the QE 2’s heritage and splendour. China COSCO’s expertise in cruise ship conversion will complement our extensive experience in comprehensive ship repair work and upgrades.”
Mr. Yan Chengxiang, Vice President of COSCO Shipyard, said: “The Zhoushan shipyard is one of COSCO’s largest and newest, and it certainly has the capacity to host a cruise ship of the QE2’s stature. QE2 Holdings decision to carry out this work with us is a reflection of COSCO Shipyard and COSCO Group’s leading position in China’s shipbuilding industry. We will appoint our best management, technology and production team to ensure first-rate service, smooth implementation and quality delivery of the project.”
COSCO, October 22, 2013