The Queen Mary Celebrates 75th Anniversary of Her Maiden Voyage
2011-05-11 · By Editor
In celebration of her maiden transatlantic voyage, the Queen Mary will commence Memorial Day weekend with plenty of pomp and ceremony including distinguished guests, an elegant Captain’s Dinner, musical entertainment and a fireworks show on Friday, May 27 in Long Beach.
Friday’s festivities will delight history buffs as well as those less familiar with the ship’s storied past. Beginning at 5 p.m. on the Verandah Deck, a General Manager’s reception and commemorative celebration will include members of historic societies, special guests and hosted Champagne and appetizers. Attendance to the ceremony and reception is free and open to the public; however, advance registration is required.
From 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., revelers can partake in a buffet-style Captain’s Dinner inspired by original menu items from the ship’s inaugural cruise in 1936. Historians will be on hand to share stories from that special time in the Queen Mary’s sailing history and live music will be provided by Jim Ziegler and the Swingsations. Tickets to the Captain’s Dinner are $39.95 per person plus tax and gratuity. Friday evening will conclude with a dazzling fireworks display beginning at 10 p.m.
On both Friday and Saturday, live jazz, swing music and dancing will take place in the ship’s Observation Bar, the ship’s Starboard Lounge will be transformed into a themed piano bar, and lectures will be presented by the Steamship Historical Society of America’s Southern California Chapter. Friday night also marks the debut of the ship’s all-new Paranormal Tour.
Guests wishing to stay overnight are encouraged to book the Maiden Voyage Package which includes: a one-night stay in a historic stateroom, one commemorative gift per room, admission to the commemorative ceremony, Champagne reception and Captain’s Dinner buffet, as well as admission to the Ghosts & Legends Tour, choice of the ship’s Art Deco or World War II Tour, and historic-themed lectures.
Tickets for individual events are also available. For more details and a full schedule of the anniversary festivities, visit http://www.queenmary.com/Anniversary.aspx.
Commissioned by the Cunard Steamship Company and built on the banks of the River Clyde in Scotland, the Queen Mary’s maiden transatlantic voyage took place May 27, 1936 from Southampton, England to New York City. Considered the grandest ship ever built, bigger even than the Titanic, she shuttled the elite of high society across the Atlantic for more than three decades. From celebrities like Fred Astaire to dignitaries such as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and Winston Churchill, she carried some of the world’s most renowned personalities and political leaders.
She was also drafted into service and outfitted as a troopship at the start of the World War II in 1939. Deemed the Grey Ghost due to her new camouflaged grey exterior, she joined the Allied Forces and played a crucial role in their success. She set war records by sailing a total of 569,429 miles and transporting 765,429 military personnel including wounded soldiers, war brides and children. When the war ended, she was restored to her former glory and continued passenger service until retiring to her current home in Long Beach in 1967.
The Queen Mary is located at 1126 Queens Highway in Long Beach. For more information, visit http://QueenMary.com or call (800) 437-2934.
About the Queen Mary
Located in the Port of Long Beach, the Queen Mary features a rich maritime history, authentic Art Deco décor, and stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and Long Beach city skyline. At the time of her maiden voyage in May of 1936, she was considered the grandest ocean liner ever built. In 2011, the Queen Mary will celebrate the 75th Anniversary of that inaugural transatlantic crossing. The Queen Mary’s signature restaurants include the award-winning Sir Winston’s and Chelsea Chowder House & Bar as well as a weekly Champagne Sunday Brunch served in the ship’s Grand Salon. History buffs enjoy the ship’s museum and Behind the Scenes tour while guests of all ages love the Ghosts and Legends tour. The Queen Mary features 80,000 square feet of event space in 17 remarkable Art Deco salons as well as a tri-level, 45,000-square-foot Exhibit Hall. The Queen Mary boasts 314 staterooms spanning three decks including nine full suites which have hosted a variety of colorful characters from World War II leaders to British royalty and the stars of Hollywood’s golden era. For more information or for reservations, see www.queenmary.com or call (800) 437-2934.