The Queen Mary and Soviet Scorpion Sub Join Forces
2011-04-28 · By Editor
In a maneuver of “wealth and stealth” the Queen Mary and her neighbor, the Soviet-built Foxtrot-class submarine Povodnaya Lodka B-427 or “Scorpion,” have officially joined forces. Earlier this year, the ship’s management company Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts took over management of the submarine allowing closer integration between the two popular Long Beach attractions. Now, together as a hub of maritime history, the Queen Mary and the Scorpion offer visitors a one-of-kind journey into the past.
“With the Queen Mary and the Submarine under the same management, we now have the opportunity to further develop the experience for guests through added value and more entertainment options,” said the Queen Mary’s General Manager Uwe Roggenthien. “We look forward to continuing to offer our visitors an experience unlike any other.”
The Scorpion Submarine
Commissioned in 1973 by the Soviet government during the height of the Cold War, the Scorpion enjoyed a 21-year career before it was decommissioned by the Soviet Navy in 1994. Upon its retirement, a private group in Australia acquired the Scorpion and placed it on display at Sydney’s National Maritime Museum. In May of 1998, the 300-foot vessel was transferred to its current home in Long Beach, to peacefully occupy the same waters inside the Queen Mary moat next to the ship’s bow.
During the Scorpion’s tenure in the Russian Navy, it is believed the vessel navigated the Los Angeles Harbor—and other enemy waters—to conduct espionage. To this day, the Scorpion’s missions remain shrouded in secrecy.
The Grey Ghost
No stranger to cruising under the radar, the Queen Mary earned her own code name during the start of World War II in 1939. Deemed the Grey Ghost due to her camouflaged grey exterior during her draft into service as an Allied Forces troopship, 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. For three decades, prior to and following her war service, she shuttled the elite of high society across the Atlantic.
This year marks the Queen Mary’s 75th anniversary of her Maiden Voyage out of Southhampton, England, which took place May 27, 1936.
Tour the Historical Vessels
Prior to embarking on a self-guided submarine tour, visitors have the chance to witness dramatic video featuring the history, mystery and lore of the submarine as seen through the eyes of Soviet and American submariners. Visitors then board the vessel via its 65-foot forward gangway and begin their descent into its seven compartments.
Explorations take place in the torpedo room, which houses six torpedo tubes and replicas of torpedoes; officers’ accommodations and galley; and the sonar, control, and engine rooms. Additionally, visitors can uncover the chart room, where secret sea bed charts were kept and the “top secret” room, which housed classified documents during the sub’s voyages.
The best way to experience both vessels is with the “First Class Passage” which includes general admission to the Queen Mary, choice of a Behind-the-Scenes or World War II guided tour, a self-guided Shipwalk tour, admission to the popular Ghosts & Legends show, and a tour aboard the Scorpion.
For tickets, visit http://www.queenmary.com/Russian-Submarine.aspx. The Queen Mary is located at 1126 Queens Highway in Long Beach. For more information, visit http://www.queenmary.com or call (800) 437-2934.