Queen Mary Reopens For Tours On Saturday
After a three-year renovation, The Queen Mary in Long Beach will reopen to the public on April 1.
The ship has been closed since 2020, during which time it underwent nearly $5 million in critical repairs, including upgrades to its elevators and plumbing as well as aesthetic updates.
"It doesn't look as old; it's just beautiful as you come in," Steve Caloca, managing director at Evolution Hospitality at the Queen Mary, told our newsroom's AirTalk program. "The wharf area has been painted, cleaned, looking great. A lot of the artwork that we had outside has been refurbished."
Officials got rid of the ship's decrepit lifeboats in 2022, which were corroded and covered in toxic paint.
Details of the ship’s deterioration were made public in 2017 following a report which found that the ship's hull was so severely eroded that it could have led to flooding, which could in turn have led to sinking.
Authors of the report also noted that some pillar supports in an exhibition space were in danger of collapsing.
Despite the recent renovations, another estimated $23 million worth of work is needed to prevent The Queen Mary from sinking.
The ship, which was built in Scotland, set sail on its maiden voyage in 1936, and was permanently docked at Long Beach in 1967.
The City of Long Beach took full control of the vessel in 2021 after the previous operators, Urban Commons, surrendered its leases. Officials were split over the ship’s fate — some wanted to scrap it or hand it off to another operator, because the cost to repair it was so steep — but decided to salvage the nearly century-old ship.
“Long Beach … has consistently reaffirmed that it's committed to preserving The Queen Mary because of its history and the value that it brings to the city," said Kristy Hutchings, a city hall reporter for the Long Beach Press-Telegram, in 2022. "The city is also proactively working to make the ship as profitable and valuable for everyone, for the city, as they can."
A hotel aboard the ship will open in May, when its renovations are complete. The vessel's observation deck, which includes a bar, and onsite restaurant will reopen as well, although dates have not been set.
Tickets for tours of the newly renovated ship went on sale on March 28.
“It is so exciting to finally welcome visitors back onboard this historic landmark,” said Mayor Rex Richardson in a statement. “We have worked tirelessly to protect the ship’s safety, preserve its rich history and bring it back to life.”
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