The Queen Elizabeth 2 seems all but certain to be berthed temporarily in Cape Town harbour after statements yesterday by South Africa and the ship’s owner, Dubai World.

A spokeswoman for South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism said her agency would not oppose a possible 18-month berthing of the famous vessel at Cape Town.

A statement from an executive of the Dubai World subsidiary that operates the ship welcomed the South African government’s position and said: “It has been our intention for some time to provide a short-term opportunity to enjoy QE2 as a stationary hotel in her current condition before refurbishment begins.”

The National