Bridging the gap: 'Queen Elizabeth 2' to open up captain's bridge to the public for the first time

The 'QE2', which is permanently moored in Dubai, will offer tours of the command room from this week

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It may not be setting sail on the open waters again any time soon, but guests will now have the chance to step inside the captain's command room on the Queen Elizabeth II.

The famous ocean liner, which is permanently docked at Dubai's Port Rashid, will begin tours of the vessel's captain's bridge from Thursday, February 20 in a historic first.

The former Cunard Line flagship, which now operates as a floating hotel, restaurant and museum, will offer the heritage experience daily, showcasing the space frequented by the captain and crew during the ship's days of service. The bridge has not been opened to the public since it was first christened by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II in 1967.

The tour will take visitors through the ship's key attractions before entering the main bridge, which offers prime views of Dubai's skyline.

The bridge, once only reserved for entry by senior crew and VIP passengers, is the main command centre of the QE2, and houses all the main navigational equipment used on the ship's 25 tours around the world.

The ocean liner made more 800 transatlantic voyages between 1969 and 2008, when she was retired. In her lifetime, the vessel carried almost 2.5 million passengers, and charted six million nautical miles.

During the new bridge tour, guests will visit the main control suite and be guided through the maritime machinery on display, as well as the captain's day room, the chart Room and the flag room.

In total, 25 captains helmed the QE2 during her years of service, and the control centre has changed little since the ocean liner was retired.

"Guests will find out what happened when a 40-foot wave engulfed the bow of the ship and they will discover where the crew would charter the waters before the modern technology of today's maritime navigation overtook traditional map reading," a release from QE2 detailed.

Tours will be held daily at 10am, 12pm and 4pm, and cost Dh135 per person; bookings are mandatory. For those staying on the QE2 as hotel guests, the captain's bridge experience will cost Dh60, while Dh200 will get visitors the tour as well as Dh100 to spend on food and drinks at the ship's restaurants and cafes.

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