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One of the last surviving early 20th century great ocean liners, it's really remarkable that not only can people still visit it, but can even stay in its staterooms! It's more than 70 years old now... The RMS Queen Mary is an amazing ocean liner that sailed the North Atlantic from 1936 to 1967 for the Cunard/White Star Line. It was built by John Brown and Company, Clydebank Scotland and was designed to be the first of Cunard's weekly express service from Southampton to New York. The other was the Queen Elizabeth I. I think that the design is exquisite, and is a great example of the Art Deco style that was popular during the 30s. Its design was supposedly criticized for being too "traditional," as opposed to the clipper-shpaed, streamlined bow of the then-newer liners, but its speed was nontheless impressive. It averaged a speed of 30 knots (around 56 km/hr). The ship features an indoor swimming pool, salon, ship's library, children's nursery, outdoor tennis court and an awesome first-class dining room (grand salon) spanning two stories in height. The Queen Mary was also utilized during WWII as a troop ship and carried as many as 15,000 men in a single voyage, often traveling out of convoy and without escort because of its speed. This enormous liner was so fast that it was almost impossible for U-boats to catch it! The ship became so famous it was christened "The Grey Ghost" for its ability to simply disappear into the mist. U-boat captains were offered great rewards should anyone be able to sink the great liner, but despite a few close calls, the ship emerged unscathed from the war.

Reportedly, in December, 1942, while the ship was carrying more than 16,000 troops from New York to Britain, it was struck broadside by a rogue wave 700 miles off Scotland; the wave may have reached a height of 28 meters (92 feet)! The ship came close to capsizing, but at the last moment righted itself. Reportedly, the incident, recorded in a book written by the son of one of the passengers aboard during the incident, inspired Paul Gallico to write "The Poseidon Adventure," which was later made into the film in which the Queen Mary was featured! Another interesting piece of trivia: reportedly, when Winston Churchill crossed the Atlantic for meetings with Allied forces officials, he was listed on the passenger manifest as "Colonel Warden," and also insisted that the lifeboat he was assigned to carry a .303 machine gun, so he could "resist capture at all costs."

The ship was reinstituted as a passenger ship after the war but was finally retired in 1967. Its last journey was to Long Beach. It's now listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is permanently berthed in Long Beach Harbor, serving as a museum and hotel. It's technically classified as a "building," since most of the propellors and machinery have been removed, so it's no longer a functioning liner. It was first opened to the public in May, 1971, before I was even born! but the hotel was opened later that same year. In the late 80s and early 90s, it struggled financially, as Disney wanted to develop a theme park on the remaining land, but the park was eventually built in Japan instead. I've stayed at the hotel here several times. It celebrated the 70th anniversary of its maiden voyage in 2006! Also in 2006, the RMS Queen Mary II made a port of call in the Los Angeles Harbor while on a cruse to Mexico. Impressive that it's still around, frankly, but it's very popular as a tourist destination and does well as a hotel with the convention center so close, so it will hopefully be around for a long time to come!

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Photo Information
  • Copyright: Terez Anon (terez93) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 92 W: 78 N: 1188] (2102)
  • Genre: Lieux
  • Medium: Couleur
  • Date Taken: 1998-09-00
  • Categories: Transports
  • Versions: version originale
  • Date Submitted: 2009-04-11 15:24
Viewed: 1555
Points: 2
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Additional Photos by Terez Anon (terez93) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 92 W: 78 N: 1188] (2102)
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