Le paquebot Queen Elizabeth de 1940 est le dernier superliner classique construit dans la période heureuse des grands paquebots transatlantiques avant la deuxième guerre mondiale qui bouleversera le transport transatlantique.
C'est la réponse britannique au paquebot s/s NORMANDIE.
Le déclenchemlent de la 2° guerre mondiale le surprend en travaux d'achèvement aux chantiers de La Clyde. Il rejoindra en 1940 le port de New York en couleur gris battle dress.
rms QUEEN ELIZABETH arrivant à Fort Lauderdale
QUEEN ELIZABETH 1940
It is the British answer to the liner s/s NORMANDIE.
The beginning of WW2 surprises her in works of completion in the shipyards of The Clyde. She will join in 1940 the port of New York painted in battle dress color.
The photo of the 3 great liners:
- s/s NORMANDIE,
- Rms QUEEN MARY,
- Rms QUEEN ELIZABETH moored side by side constitute the swan song of the classic transatlantic liners.
The silhouette of this liner shows 2 funnels while Queen Mary and Normandie have 3 fireplaces; the design of the ship is balanced enough.
The liner will serve as troop transport till the end of the war and will cross the hostilities without suffering any big problem.
In 1946 she makes her first civil transatlantic crossing and continues to navigate on the line of New York until the middle of the 60s and the development of the aviation of line with the Boeing 707.
The starting of the s/s UNITED STATES constitutes a serious competitor.
She makes some cruises beside her transatlantic crossing.
To open a little more to the sun, its back decks are slightly redrawn and a pool is added. The absence of air conditioning in all the ship makes her little adapted to the cruise (like many other transatlantic ships (s/s LIBERTE - rms QUEEN MARY).
Very often during the sixties the big ocean liner crosses the Atlantic Ocean with very few passengers onboard - particularly in the off season...
The fate of the rms QUEEN MARY is identical.
The beginning of the new liners of the sixties : s/s FRANCE, MICHELANGELO and RAFFAELLO attracts many of her passengers.
CUNARD Line order a new liner more adapted to the evolution of the passenger ships : it will be the most famous rms QUEEN ELIZABETH 2 the size of which is more modest and will allow to cruise by the Panama Canal.
The company schedules the withdrawal of the fleet for both big Queens.
Queen Elizabeth stops during the winter, 1968 and is sold to the city of Fort Lauderdale to convert her in a big resort (as Queen Mary in LongBeach California): the success is not there.
Unfortunately while the works are almost finished a fire declares itself on board on January 9th, 1972.