Friday, January 13, 2012

Queen Mary in Long Beach

The RMS Queen Mary is a piece of maritime history, launched as a trans-Atlantic luxury liner in 1936; it's also a ship hotel (Historic Hotels of America), permanently docked in Long Beach since 1967. The beautifully carved Art-Deco interior is a feast for the eyes and fun to explore, and the nightly room rates are a bargain. Three on-board restaurants are pricey, but offer a novel culinary experience. A shopping arcade has an English feel, offering British made goods and assorted Queen Mary souvenirs. An elegant Sunday champagne brunch, complete with ice sculpture and harpist, is served in the ship's Grand Salon, and it’s a treat to have a cocktail in the Art Deco Observation Bar.

If you’re too young to have traveled on one of the great old luxury liners, this is the perfect opportunity to experience the romance of an Atlantic crossing without seasickness or cabin fever. The ship is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Queen Mary is open to visitors (who are not staying onboard) from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm: Adults $24.95; Seniors 55+/Military $21.95; Child (5-11) $12.95. Maps for a self-guided walking tour are included. About a 25-minute drive south of the Los Angeles Airport.

The Grand Salon (former first-class dining room) is the setting for Sunday Brunch and special occasions, such as Thanksgiving.

Original Art Deco architectural details are everywhere.
On the web:

Queen Mary
1126 Queen's Hwy.,
Long Beach

A 1,000 foot long beauty at 80,774 tons, she carried 776 passengers in first class, 784 in tourist class, and 579 third class. The Queen Mary's final trans-Atlantic voyage left on October 31, 1967, and called at Lisbon, Las Palmas, Rio de Janiero, Valparaiso, Callao, Balboa, Acapulco and finally at Long Beach, arriving in early December.

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