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How to Get Onboard the Queen Mary for Free Next Week

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Admission to board the historic Queen Mary in Long Beach is usually $25, but there's one opportunity next week when you can say ahoy to the vessel for free. In honor of a rare "royal rendezvous" between Mary and the Queen Victoria on the evening of March 3, guests can witness the special passing of two ships in the Cunard Line, as the Queen Vic heads to Florida by way of the Panama Canal.

"The Queen Mary will be open to the public for free to view the event," says the Press-Telegram, but, alas, you'll still have to buck up ($12) for parking, and food and guided tours will cost you cash, too.

As part of the passing, the ships will salute each other with their whistles while fireworks are set off.

This is only the second time a sister "Queen" from the Cunard Line has met up with the Mary in Long Beach; in 2006 she was visited by the Queen Mary 2. "The Queen Mary was the company's first ship named for a queen, making its maiden voyage in May 1936, 75 years ago this year." The ship has been retired since 1967.

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The event, and the free admission, is at 6 p.m.