The RMS Queen Mary plied the Atlantic Ocean in high style from 1936 until she began shuttling Allied troops during World War II. The British liner returned to cruising in 1947, but by then airlines were luring passengers away. In 1967, after 1,001 transatlantic voyages, the Queen retired to Long Beach, Calif., and a berth as a 314-room floating hotel. Her Grand Salon is now a setting for Sunday brunch, a dozen shops cater to visitors, and tours of the ship include ghost stories.
Photography courtesy the Queen Mary
This article was first published in January 2010. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.
The Queen Mary is located at 1126 Queen's Highway in Long Beach, Calif. (800) 437-2934, queenmary.com .
Carrying a crew of 1,174 to serve 1,957 passengers, the Queen featured an art deco interior, an indoor swimming pool, a racquetball court, a nursery, and a dog kennel.
The three smokestacks atop the ship equal the heights of six- and seven-story buildings.
high seas haste
Between 1938 and 1952, the 81,237-ton vessel held transatlantic speed records of 30.95 knots (35.6 mph) westbound and 31.39 knots (36.1 mph) eastbound.
Standing room only
In 1943, the Queen set an all-time record by carrying 16,683 passengers—15,740 troops, 943 crew—from New York to Great Britain.
Movies filmed aboard the Queen Mary include The Poseidon Adventure, Being John Malkovich, and The Aviator.