TRAVELLING aboard the world-famous Queen Elizabeth 2 as a guest lecturer nine years ago was a dream come true for Chris Frame.
Mr Frame’s interest in ocean liners piqued when he read a book about the Titanic as a child but he says it was his first trip aboard the QE2 that set him on his current path.
“QE2 was a floating museum; a living tribute to the great ocean liners that transformed the way people lived, travelled and communicated,” he said.
“As I walked QE2’s decks and explored the onboard heritage trail, I became hooked.
“During my first cruise on QE2 , I knew that I wanted to learn everything there was to know about these great liners and I wanted to share that knowledge with others.
“I decided then and there I was going to become a maritime historian and write a book about that great ship.
“In 2008, after years of thinking about it, Rachelle Cross and I published our first book: QE2: A Photographic Journey.
“It was released just in time for QE2’s farewell season, allowing us to travel aboard the ship where I gave three lectures in the ship’s packed out theatre.”
Since then, the pair has published another 10 books, with their 11th officially launching on September 20 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the QE2, which was launched on that date in 1967.
“QE2 was a remarkable ship,” Mr Frame said.
“Over an unprecedented 39.5-year career, she carried 2.5 million passengers some 5.6 million nautical miles, which makes her the furthest travelled ship in history as well as the passenger ship that carried the most passengers.
“During the ship’s career, she sailed on 26 world cruises, carried celebrities and heads of state and attracted crowds in every port she visited.
“When she visited Sydney in 2007 with the new Queen Mary 2 an estimated 1 million people came to see the ship bringing the city to a standstill.
“The ship was retired in 2008 and sold to Dubai for US$100 million.”
He said the vessel had the “unique honour of being the only passenger ship to have been personally named by the Queen, with Her Majesty naming the ship after herself”.
“QE2 entered service at a time when jet aircraft had already dominated global travel,” he said.
“Ships were out of vogue and yet her groundbreaking design as a floating resort made her an instant success.
“She sailed alone for decades, bridging the gap between the old era of ocean liners and modern day cruising.
“We have QE2 to thank for much of today’s cruising boom as she was virtually alone in keeping ocean liner travel trendy in the 1970s and early 1980s.”
Mr Frame will launch QE2: A 50th Anniversary Celebration aboard the newest Cunard ship Queen Elizabeth as part of a special anniversary cruise where he will be a guest speaker.