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Free Queen Mary guided tours offered during the holiday season

by Samantha Davis-Friedman

Long live the Queen – the RMS Queen Mary, that is. For the first time since March 2020, the City of Long Beach is officially welcoming visitors back onboard for free Queen Mary guided tours beginning Dec. 15, 2022.

Queen Mary
Photo courtesy of the Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau

The Long Beach, Calif. landmark closed to the public in March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic but has remained closed while critical repairs were identified and conducted. For most of 2022, the city has worked to secure the structural stability and safety of the ship and preserve its rich history.

“The Queen Mary has been an icon of our Long Beach shoreline for 55 years,” said First District Councilwoman Mary Zendejas. “We remain dedicated in our efforts to preserve the ship’s history and structural safety. I look forward to welcoming the community back on board!”

The most notable repair to date has been the removal of 20 deteriorated lifeboats that were exerting stress on the ship’s side shell. In addition, improvements were made to the bulkheads to ensure internal structural stability, and new automated bilge pump systems were installed to discharge excess water in the event of water intrusion (the system will be completed in early 2023).

Queen Mary Bilge Pump Platform
Queen Mary Bilge Pump Platform
Photo courtesy of the City of Long Beach

Also scheduled for completion in early 2023 is the installation of an emergency generator to power critical components of the ship, and the installation of new boilers and heat exchangers for cooking, cleaning, sanitizing, and other hospitality amenities, which will allow for the reopening of the ship’s hotel, restaurants, and bars.

“We look forward to soon reopening the historic Queen Mary Hotel and welcoming guests back to enjoy an overnight stay or experience scenic shoreline views, refreshments, and dining at one of our world-class restaurants,” said Evolution Hospitality General Manager John Taffin.

During the one-hour free Queen Mary tours guided by historical docents, visitors will see select areas of the Queen Mary’s Promenade Deck, including a walk through the Promenade Shops, Observation Bar, Queen Salon, and Royal Salon. Tour participants will also learn about the ship’s storied history – including its haunted tales – and see a short video chronicling the repair work conducted to the ship throughout 2022 (signage along the tour route points out completed and ongoing restoration and preservation projects).

Queen Mary
Photo courtesy of The City of Long Beach

“I am thrilled to welcome visitors back onboard the Queen Mary and share the beauty and history of this landmark with our community once again,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “I thank our city staff for their dedication throughout the critical repairs process to ensure the ship’s safety and preservation.”

Limited guided tours are available for sign-up on a first-come, first-served basis through an online registration system and will take place on select days beginning Dec. 15, 2022.

Reservations are required to participate in the free Queen Mary tours (a tour confirmation email and photo ID will be required to board the ship). Click here for additional information, including tour dates, times, and sign-up links; click here for information about the ongoing Queen Mary preservation project.

Check out our video of the 2019 Queen Mary Christmas celebration:


Queen Mary Christmas Event in Long Beach, California
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