Exhibit Features Photos, Artifacts & A White Star Lifeboat
The Queen Mary, the majestic Los Angeles tourist attraction in Long Beach, CA, has an attraction of her own.
Now thru next July, she has an exhibit of Titanic pictures and displays called “Titanic In Photographs,” featuring pictures from before the Titanic’s sailing, a display of a room on board, cabinets and more than 150 genuine artefacts from Titanic and her twin sister Olympic, plus the rescue ship Carpathia.
Among the items are stationery from Titanic’s Reading & Writing Room, sent home as a souvenir by one of the victims of the sinking which was mailed at the ship’s last port of call in Queenstown. There are crystal light fittings, furniture, china, silverware, crystal and even the very chairs used by passengers.
There’s also a photograph of the potential very iceberg that Titanic hit, causing her to sink.
The most moving piece in the exhibit – and something that alone is well worth going to see it – is a White Star lifeboat like the ones that were on Titanic.
When I came across the lifeboat, I stopped and stood still for several minutes, unable to move. It’s wooden, small, narrow and shallow with planks for seats. The word “flimsy” came immediately to mind. It’s not something you would want to be in even in the nearby Shoreline Village harbor, let alone in the middle of the Atlantic.
I tried to imagine sitting in this thing, on a dark and cold night bobbing on a cold and vast sea, watching as the giant ship Titanic sank into the ocean.
And then, after the ship disappeared, being in that lifeboat looking up at a dark sky, floating with nothing but a chilly ocean around myself and the others in the boats, wondering what would happen to us, if anyone would ever find and rescue us.
With all the documentaries, shows and movies I’ve seen about Titanic, nothing made the sinking, well, sink in, with me as much as standing next to that lifeboat.
On the surface, it may seem a bit off for one cruise ship to feature an exhibit of one that sunk, but it works exceptionally well here.
The Titanic exhibit is open daily from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. The $27 price ($17.50 for children ages 4-11) includes access to nearly all areas of the Queen Mary as well as the highly entertaining 4D movie. This is a do-not-miss activity, not so much for the actual movie but for the experience. The seats move and vibrate and there are other sensations that will startle you as well as make you laugh.
The exhibit and movie are in the ship’s stern, so be sure and walk through and see the engine room. In a narrow passageway going back to the propeller shaft is where most of the Queen’s ghost sightings have occurred, so be sure and be alert!
For a PubClub experience, grab a glass of wine from the wine tasting store and walk around the ship, then go to the Observation Bar for Happy Hour (Monday-Thursday, 4-7 wiht $3.75 draft beers, $5.25 for wines and $5 for listed spirits, including a very good Mount Bay Black Barrel Apprentice rum.
The Queen Mary, by the way, is celebrating her 50th birthday in Long Beach. She arrived in Long Beach on Dec, 9, 1967.
For advance tickets for the Titanic exhibition, go to: http://www.queenmary.com/tours-exhibits/titanic-in-photographs/