Q.E. 2 Makes Final Visit to New York – NYTimes.com

In a parting embrace under the lady lighting the harbor, the Queen Elizabeth 2 slipped beneath the Verrazano Narrows Bridge at dawn Thursday to pay a last visit to New York and a grander new sister ship, before sailing into history after nearly 40 years of luxury transatlantic travel as the fastest passenger ship afloat.

For her final visit — her 710th — the venerable liner, which was sold last year for eventual use as a floating hotel in Dubai, was joined by the four-year-old Queen Mary 2, the latest flagship of the Cunard fleet and a throwback to a golden age of ocean travel before jets, when, as the company slogan had it, getting there was half the fun.

My parents sailed on the QE2 in the late 1970s. As part of my mother’s first and only trip outside North America, she agreed to fly over to London if my dad would bring her home on the QE2. My mother had a deathly fear of flying — to get her on the plane over took at least one Valium and a few drinks.

While she loved her visit to England and riding lots of trains (my father went for a train conference/tour), it was the trip home that really made it for her. I’m not certain what she loved most — the excellent food, drink and service or the large pool of willing bridge partners at her disposal (she was a terrific player).

Based on her tales from her crossing, I’ve always wanted to take the journey myself. I guess I’ll have to settle for the Queen Mary 2 of the Queen Victoria. Shucks.

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