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Entries in travel (13)

Sunday
Dec192010

* sightseeing sundays: all aboard the queen mary!

Introducing a new weekly post - Sightseeing Sundays!

The Sightseeing Sunday Series will highlight my visits to historical or genealogical landmarks sitting on my never ending to do list. A list of places to see (historical, genealogical, personal, out of the ordinary) is in the works and each week I will share the latest sightseeing experience.

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit the Queen Mary permanently docked in Long Beach, CA. My cousin Bernice, a long time resident of Long Beach, had never been and suggested we make a visit. GREAT idea!!

A little history: The Queen Mary was originally designed for Cunard White Star luxury cruises from Europe to the United States in the 1930's; after the maiden voyage in 1936 she became the first class standard for ocean liner travel. During WW2 the country called on the Queen Mary and she was converted into a military transportation vessel for US troops. Currently The Queen Mary is a floating museum with daily themed tours, self guided tours, monthly special events, hotel with 314 original First Class Staterooms, and numerous restaurants and lounges. With the difficult economy and constant financial struggles for many preservation projects, The Queen Mary could definitely use some admirers! 

May 27, 1936- THE QUEEN MARY departs Southampton, England on her maiden voyage to New York City.

June 1, 1936- Arrival at Pier 90 in New York City Crossing time: 5 days, 5 hours and 13 minutes.

August 1936- On her sixth round-trip voyage, THE QUEEN MARY wins the Blue Riband for the fastest North Atlantic crossings from the French Line's Normandie. The Normandie won the honor back in 1937.

March- May 1940- Painted gray and fitted as a troop ship.

May 1942-  First time more than 10,000 persons had traveled on any ship (9,880 troops, 875 crew)

My visit:

 I really loved this attraction!! A unique and interesting way to explore history. With our General Admissions Passport (Adult: $24.95, Senior (55+) & Military: $21.95, Child (5-11): $12.95) we were able to check out the Ghost and Legends Tour and a self guided tour of the ship.

You have to do the Ghost and Legends tour! The guide gives a cheeky comedic performance as the group is led through the most haunted spots on the ship. One stop was the first class pool located well below the main decks and Queen Mary haunted First Class Poolit wasn't long before the fog machine and sound effects were on full speed. At times it was a little cheesy but overall the tour was informative and definitely creepy!

If you are in the area I would definitely recommend visiting The Queen Mary!

Next Sunday I'll share a hometown gem from Saratoga, NY.

 

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