The Queen Mary ship, the iconic landmark in Long Beach, CA, is set to reopen to visitors by the end of 2022.
This could mean she would be able to host a New Year’s Eve party as she did in the past.
The one-time luxury ship that carried celebrities – Winston Churchill, Bob Hope, Clark Gable, King George V, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, as well as U.S. troops going to Europe to fight the Germans – has been closed since May of 2020. That was due to the pandemic but a survey discovered the ship was sinking and the city of Long Beach has current sunk $5 million in repairs to keep her afloat and safe for visitors.
She is permanently moored across the bay from downtown Long Beach, often sitting next to today’s much more massive cruise ships (the Queen Mary is longer than Titanic, by the way). Her primary role has been to serve as a hotel and tourist attraction and she hosted several annual events such as a NYE party.
The future of the Queen Mary is in doubt as far as what company or government agency will operate her; the city is considering turning her over to the Port of Long Beach.
For visitors, all that really matters is that she is open and what might be on board for them. It’s no longer enough to walk bow to stern along her wooden decks – reminiscent of some scenes in the movie Titanic – and look at historical photos of famous people who stood on that very spot.
Or to stay in one of her small rooms (tho the portholes for windows are cool).
This has been the big dilemma of the ship since she sailed – with hundreds of escort boats by her side and international media covering her every move – into Long Beach in 1967 after she was retired by Cunard.
Various companies have held events from Scottish Games to the Beach Boys on the lawn in front of the Queen as well as themed Roarin’ 20s and Halloween parties on board. A small English-style village was even built around her but nothing has really caught on and she became an afterthought in everything-to-do Los Angeles.
But first things first and that was to get repaired and reopened again as a hotel and tourist attraction.