A Tour of RMS Queen Mary 1

The Queen Mary arrived in Long Beach, California in December 1967. She was put into dry dock for four years whilst being converted in to a hotel. But, for now, let me tell you a bit of her history. Cunard launched The Queen Mary in 1936, her maiden voyage was from Southampton to New York on the 27th May; approximately 250,000 people turned out to see her leave, lining the docks and banks of Southampton Water. In total she made 1001 crossings of the Atlantic Ocean.

RMS Queen Mary-6

RMS Queen Mary-9

During World War 11 The Queen Mary was requisitioned. She was berthed in New York for six months whilst being painted in battleship grey in readiness for war service. On the 2nd of March 1940  she left New York having been ‘called up’, destination Sydney, Australia. After initial conversion work was carried out in Sydney, The Queen Mary then started transporting troops to and from war zones, this went on for the next six years. One fact that remains to this day, is that 16,683 troops were carried on a single journey.

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RMS Queen Mary-11

RMS Queen Mary-7

By April 1945 she was back in New York but it wasn’t until September 1946 that she was finally ‘demobilised’ and returned to Southampton. In July 1947 The Queen Mary was back on her regular North Atlantic crossing alongside RMS Queen Elizabeth.

RMS Queen Mary-5

RMS Queen Mary-8

Eventually air travel became fashionable and on the 24th of July 1967 The Queen Mary was put up for sale. The City of Long Beach was the successful bidder paying $3,450,000. Her final voyage from Southampton was on the 31st of October 1967. ‘The Last Great Cruise’ took passengers to Lisbon, Las Palmas, onto to Rio de Janeiro, around Cape Horn, finally arriving in California on the 9th of December.

RMS Queen Mary

RMS Queen Mary-4

RMS Queen Mary-2

I have only given you a very brief synopsis of this beautiful vessels history. To learn all there is to know you really need to do the tour. It is fascinating, so much so that I ran out of time. I could have easily spent many more hours wandering around gleaning an insight into this incredible ship.

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One Comment

  1. Patricia Norton says:

    I sailed on the Queen Mary from New York into Cherbourg, France, then on to Southampton, leaving New York on July 01, 1959. I remember we had the best 4th of July celebration anyone could ask for. It was thrilling to say the least, and half way over around 2:00 one morning we passed the Queen Elizabeth in the distance, it was beautiful. I joined a tour when I arrived, and sailed home from Paris, France in late August right before the Labour Day weekend on the Queen Elizabeth, and to this day I still get chills thinking about those times. I was twenty-one years old. Cruises are nice, but nothing can compare to the Queen Mary and what those years had to offer. It was more than amazing.

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