Queen Mary Visitors Guide

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    Queen Mary Overview and History

    The Queen Mary in Long Beach
    ••• The Queen Mary in Long Beach. David McNew / Getty Images


    The Queen Mary is the most famous landmark in Long Beach, just half an hour from LAX or Downtown LA. The ship is now a hotel and attraction with a variety of restaurants, nightlife, tours and special events on board and in the adjacent Events Park. The Queen Mary is purported to be ​haunted, and there are many activities on board centered around ghostly activities, including the Ghosts and Legends special effects show and the annual Queen Mary Dark Harbor haunted ship attraction.​​

    In May 2016, the Queen Mary inaugurated the new Churchill Gallery, featuring paintings by Winston Churchill. 

    The Queen Mary is located at the south end of the 710 Freeway, on the water in Long Beach. The property includes the outdoor Queen Mary Events Park and the Queen Mary Dome, which once housed Howard Hughes' albatross of an airplane, the Spruce Goose, and now houses the Long Beach Cruise Terminal.
    Address: 1126 Queen's Hwy, Long Beach, Ca. 90802
    Phone: (562) 435-3511
    Website: www.queenmary.com

    History...MORE

    The former luxury ocean liner and WWII military transport clocked a thousand and one trips across the Atlantic before settling in its current home. The elegant lady's maiden voyage departed from South Hampton, England in 1936. From 1940 to 1944, the ship was deployed as a military transport. It returned to luxury cruise service after the war. The Queen Mary was retired in 1967 and opened as a hotel and attraction in Long Beach in 1971

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    Permanent Exhibits Aboard the Queen Mary

    The Engine Room at the Queen Mary
    ••• The Engine Room at the Queen Mary. Kayte Deioma


    The main Queen Mary exhibits, scattered around the ship and accessible on the Self-Guided Tour, re-create her history as both an elegant ocean liner and a military transport.

    Key exhibits include the wheelhouse, captain's quarters and the radio room on the upper decks of the bow and the engine room exhibits below aft (back of the ship). 

    Cruise liner exhibits include staterooms, dining rooms, gym equipment, nursery, and additional exhibits of furnishings and art. 

    Most of the military exhibits are gone, but there is still a recreation of sleeping quarters and a few artifacts at the end of the Engine Room exhibit.

    Other exhibits and attractions include the Model Ship Exhibit and The Shipyard Exhibit, which is a model of the Queen Mary made of LEGOs. 

    Next to the Queen Mary is the Russian Foxtrot Submarine "Scorpion." The sub was built in 1972 in Leningrad and used to search for and track enemy forces during the Cold War, especially in the Pacific Ocean. It was decommissioned by...MORE the Russian Navy in 1994 and found a new home next to the Queen Mary attraction in 1998 after a brief tour in Australia. You can admire the outside of it, but it is no longer available to tour due to structural issues.

     

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  • 03 of 12

    Queen Mary Temporary and Separate Ticket Exhibits

    The Princess Diana Exhibit at the Queen Mary
    ••• The Princess Diana Exhibit at the Queen Mary. Kayte Deioma

    Separate Ticketed Exhibits and Attractions

    The Queen Mary also hosts touring exhibits in various other spaces aboard the ship.​

    The Churchill Exhibit:  The first-ever exhibit of paintings by Sir Winston Churchill.

    Currently the long-running Diana: Legacy of a Princess showcases a collection of evening gowns, dresses, personal accessories, photographs, heirlooms and other memorabilia associated with Princess Diana and the Royal Family. This exhibit is open until 5 pm daily.

    The 4D Theatre, which has a couple of different short films on rotation.

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    Daytime Tours of the Queen Mary

    The Glory Days Tour on the Queen Mary
    ••• The Glory Days Tour on the Queen Mary. Kayte Deioma


    General admission to the Queen Mary includes a self-guided tour of the main exhibits and the Ghosts and Legends of the Queen Mary special effects show. If you don't have a lot of time, you'll see more exhibits on the Self-Guided Tour than on the guided tours, because the guided tours skip most of the public exhibit areas.

    The Ghosts and Legends special effects show is pretty tame, but can be scary for young children.

    If you have time for more, the Queen Mary also offers several guided tours that take you into areas off-limits to the general public and focus on different aspects of the ship and its history.

    The Glory Days Tour gives a historical overview of the ship's origins and peace and wartime activity and introduces you to the original art and craftsmanship of the ship. The tour varies depending on which spaces are in use for other things and which guide you have. It may include a look into various ballrooms, the Veranda Grill or the first class swimming pool. While they...MORE all hit certain key points, each guide tells different stories and chooses their own route, so you could take multiple tours and hear different stories. Most of the Glory Days guides don't talk about the haunted areas of the ship.

    The Haunted Encounters Tour takes you to spots throughout the ship where ghosts have allegedly been sighted, including the Observation Bar, engine room, a couple of staterooms and the first class swimming pool. Ghost sightings on the actual tour are rare, so don't expect that.

    The dedicated WWII Tour has been discontinued as a regular tour, but can be arranged for groups who are interested.

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    Night Tours of the Queen Mary

    The Queen Mary
    ••• One of the reputedly haunted spots on the Queen Mary. Kayte Deioma

    The nightly Paranormal Shipwalk Tour is a two-hour tour of the ship's haunted hot spots led by a paranormal investigator. It's longer than the daytime Haunted Encounters tour and goes to twice as many locations. Offered nightly.

    The Paranormal Investigation Tour lets participants use some of the "tools of the trade" to investigate paranormal activity at a few specific locations. Since you spend more time investigating, you visit fewer locations than on the Shipwalk Tour. Offered Friday through Sunday nights.

    Dining with the Spirits and Tour combines dinner at Sir Winston's with a Paranormal Investigation Tour. Fridays and Saturdays, dinner at 7 followed by 2-hour tour at 9.

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  • 06 of 12

    Queen Mary Hours, Admission and Parking

    The Tour Office on the Queen Mary
    ••• The Tour Office on the Queen Mary. Kayte Deioma

    Daytime attraction hours are Monday through Thursday 10 am to 6:00 pm. Online ticket purchases do not always include the full array of tour options and times available if you get tickets on the ship. 

    Queen Mary Passport: Adults $27.95, Children (4-11) $20.95

    • Access to Self-Guided Exhibits
    • 4D Theater show
    • Choice between Haunted Encounters, Glory Days Tour or Featured Exhibit

    First Class Passport: Adults $34, Children (4-11) $24.50

    • Access to Self-Guided Exhibits
    • 4D Theater show
    • Haunted Encounters Tour
    • Glory Days Tour

    Grand Passport: Adults $39.95, Children (4-11) $32.95

    • Access to Self-Guided Exhibits
    • Glory Days Tour
    • Haunted Encounters Tour
    • 4D Theater show
    • Entry to the Princess Diana Exhibit (open until 7 pm)

    Queen Mary Passport and Aquarium Combo: Adults $44.95, *Children (4-11) $28.50

    *Note: Children under 5 are free on the Queen Mary. Children under 3 are free at the Aquarium, so 3-year-olds will need an Aquarium-only ticket if the...MORE rest of the family has combo tickets.

    Queen Mary Passport and USS Iowa Combo: Adults $36, *Children (4-11) $20

    • Queen Mary Passport benefits plus
    • USS Iowa Admission

    Check for discount tickets for the Queen Mary on Goldstar.com.

    Parking:

    Day parking is $18 on regular days and more for special events. Overnight parking for hotel guests is $22 per night. With restaurant validation, self-parking for up to 3 hours is $8, and valet is $15. Special event parking rates vary.

    This information was accurate at the time of publication. Offerings and prices are subject to change without notice.

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  • 07 of 12

    Dining & Nightlife on the Queen Mary

    The Observation Bar on the Queen Mary
    ••• The Observation Bar on the Queen Mary. Kayte Deioma


    There are a variety of restaurants and snack bars on the Queen Mary ranging from a Starbucks to the award winning fine dining restaurant Sir Winston's. 

    Sir Winston's

    Sir Winston's is the most exclusive of the restaurants on the Queen Mary, serving continental, British and California cuisine with a view of the Long Beach coast from window tables. The decor is elegant hardwoods and rich dark gold velvet drapes and chairs with intimate lighting and large picture windows. In addition to their famous Chateaubriand and Beef Wellington, they've added some unique vegetarian option like a mushroom-based vegetable Wellington.
    Where: Sir Winston's has its own level, accessed up a stairway from the aft starboard (back, water side) of the Sundeck. It is NOT wheelchair accessible. You must be able to navigate the stairs to enter the restaurant.
    Hours: Fri-Sat 5 to 10 pm, Tue-Thu & Sun 5 to 9 pm, closed Mondays
    Dress Code: smart-casual attire required
    Reservations: Highly...MORE recommended
    Price Range: Entrees $$$-$$$$
    Parking: $8 for 3 hours or $15 for valet, if a special event is going on, event parking rates apply.
    Info & Reservations: (562) 499-1657

    The Lounge at Sir Winston's features candle-lit booths and tables. Food service is available. The bar is open during restaurant hours. Live piano music Fridays and Saturdays 6 to 10 pm.

    Dining With the Spirits - Friday and Saturday nights, you can dine with a paranormal host and explore the ship's haunted spots after dinner. $134 per person includes dinner, tour, tax, and gratuities. Call (562) 499-1657 for reservations.

    Chelsea Chowder House & Bar

    Chelsea Chowder House & Bar specializes in fresh seafood with harbor views. The restaurant was completely remodeled in 2010-2011, restoring the more casual wooden floors and opening up a wall. The menu was also completely revamped with a diverse selection of chowders, seafood kettles and a raw bar. However, casual does not mean inexpensive. A $14 Mac and Cheese is the bargain meal on the menu.
    Where: Mid-ship on the Promenade Deck, access port (land) side
    Hours: 6:30 am to 10 pm.
    Dress Code: casual
    Reservations: No
    Price Range: $$-$$$
    Parking: $8 for 3 hours or $15 for valet, if a special event is going on, event parking rates apply. Free parking after 6 pm with validation.
    Info & Reservations: (562) 499-1685

    Promenade Café

    CLOSED for renovation
    The Promenade Café is a casual dining restaurant that is the only full-service restaurant open for breakfast and lunch for Hotel Queen Mary and Queen Mary General Admission guests. they are also open for dinner Thursday through Sunday. The menu is loaded with comfort foods with plenty of cheesy, fried options, but little in the the way of healthy choices.
    Where: Promenade Deck, access starboard (water side) through the main hall
    Hours: Thurs-Sun 6:30 am - 11 pm, Mon-Wed 6:30 am - 5 pm
    Dress Code: casual
    Reservations: Not required
    Price Range: Lunch and Dinner $$, breakfast, $-$$
    Parking: $8 for 3 hours or $15 for valet, if a special event is going on, event parking rates apply.
    Info & Reservations: (562) 499-1595

    Observation Bar

    The Art Deco Observation Bar, which used to be the First Class Lounge, has a wide selection of spirits and bar food, including flatbread pizzas and sliders. It is one of the best places in town to watch the sun set. They sometimes have live music and comedy shows.
    Where: At the bow (front) of the ship on Promenade Deck, access from both sides of the ship
    Hours: Sun-Thu 11:30 am to 12 am, Fri-Sat 11:30 am - 2 am
    Dress Code: casual
    Reservations: Not required
    Price Range: Beer $6 - 11.75, wine $10-$13/glass, cocktails $13, food $-$$
    Parking: $8 for 3 hours or $15 for valet, if a special event is going on, event parking rates apply. (2 drink or drink and food minimum for validation)
    Info: (562) 499-1740

    Midship Marketplace

    The Midship Marketplace is a snack bar on the port side of the Promenade Deck serving Starbucks coffee, homemade pastries, bagels, breakfast sandwiches, and more.
    Where: Mid-ship on the port side of the Promenade Deck
    Hours: 6 am - 6 pm daily
    Dress Code: casual
    Reservations: (562) 499-1714
    Price Range: $
    Parking: No validation. $18/day or $22 for valet, if a special event is going on, event parking rates apply.

    This information was accurate at the time of publication. Tour content, dates, times and prices are subject to change without notice.

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  • 08 of 12

    Shopping on the Queen Mary

    Souvenir Shop on the Queen Mary
    ••• Souvenir Shop on the Queen Mary. Photo © 2016 Kayte Deioma, licensed

    There used to be a selection of quirky shops on the Queen Mary that were independently operated. In 2016, they were all replaced with more uniform souvenir shops operated under one umbrella, so you won't find any more Chinese knick knacks or Art Deco apparel.

    The remaining shops are all in the Main Hall on the Promenade Deck. The shop on the starboard side is geared more toward men's apparel. The one on the port side has women's apparel and gifts, and the one in the middle has British and ship-themed merchandise and food items. There's also a Malibu Winery shop. 

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  • 09 of 12

    Queen Mary Hotel

    Queen Mary Hotel
    ••• Queen Mary Hotel. Kayte Deioma

    Just as on any cruise ship, the Queen Mary Hotel has a variety of inner, outer, upper, lower, standard and deluxe staterooms and suites available for hotel guests.

    Inner and outer tourist staterooms are pretty cramped, as you would expect on a ship. First-Class staterooms have more space. Mini-suites add a living room and Royalty Suites include a kitchenette.

    Unlike most cruise ships, hotel guests do not have access to a swimming pool (the pool does not meet California regulations, so it can't be filled.), but there is a business center, high-speed internet, satellite TV and the availability of fitness rooms.

    For the paranormally inclined, you can also request a haunted room, although ghost sightings are not guaranteed.

    Room rates range from $135 to $660 per night and vary by season and special event. Special event packages are available.

    Guests of the hotel have free access to the self-guided exhibits of the ship.

    Expert Tip: During holiday events like Halloween Shipwrecked and the July...MORE 4th Celebration, I would only book a room on the Queen Mary if you're planning to spend all your time on the ship, otherwise you'll be frustrated by the time it takes to get in and out of the parking lot. You can use the free Passport bus into downtown Long Beach to avoid the worst, but even that gets stuck in traffic.

    This information was accurate at the time of publication. Offerings and prices are subject to change without notice.

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    Queen Mary Spa

    Queen Mary Spa
    ••• Queen Mary Spa. Photo © 2016 Kayte Deioma, licensed


    One of the Queen's best-kept secrets is the Queen Mary Spa. It's tucked away just off the elevator on the Main Deck.

    The reception area and some treatment rooms are paneled in the same dark woods as the rest of the ship, with Art Deco built-ins and details, and portholes looking dockside.

    You'll find brides being coiffed and made up before their onboard weddings and hotel guests fitting in a massage, but anyone can schedule a treatment at the spa. You might be ready for a pedicure and foot massage after exploring three decks on your own and taking a tour. (Four times around the deck is a mile.)

    For current treatments and prices, visit queenmaryspa.com.

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  • 11 of 12

    Queen Mary Tips and Tricks

    The Observation Bar on the Queen Mary
    ••• The Observation Bar on the Queen Mary. Kayte Deioma

     

    The Passport Bus

    The Long Beach Transit red Passport Bus C will take you from Pine Avenue and 1st Street in Downtown Long Beach to the Queen Mary for free. During big events, you can avoid the parking delays by taking the bus, but it does get crowded. The Passport Bus is one block from the end of the Metro Blue Line. Passport Bus Schedule

    Separate Entrance for Hotel and Restaurant Guests

    If you're going to one of the restaurants, bars or nightlife activities on the ship, get in the hotel lane of parking, drive around past the valet parking to the self-park area closest to the ship, and enter through the hotel entrance, rather than through the main Seawalk attraction entrance.

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    Super Tip: Most of the attraction areas that are open to the public for the price of admission are also available to explore if you happen to be on board for dinner, drinks, or other nightlife options. The Observation Bar opens at noon when all the self-guided tour...MORE areas are free to explore. For the price of a couple of drinks, $12-$20, you can get your parking validated (so it's $8 instead of $18) and explore the ship. When there's a special event, there's a $15 cover charge to get onto the ship that can be applied to bar or restaurant purchases.

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    Annual Events at the Queen Mary

    Art Deco Festival on the Queen Mary
    ••• Art Deco Festival on the Queen Mary. Photo © 2014 Kayte Deioma, licensed

    The Queen Mary in Long Beach has a number of annual events that you can plan your trip around, either because you want to participate, or because you want to avoid the crowds. This is just a few of the many special events and festivals that take place on the ship or in the adjacent events park, which hosts music and food festivals all summer long. Check the full calendar for more.

    The Queen Mary Scotsfest - celebrates all things Scottish in honor of the ship's origins every February.

    Memorial Day - Free admission for active and retired service members

    Rock the Queen rock music festival in June

    Shipkicker country music festival - annually in June or July

    July 4th Fireworks Festival

    The Art Deco Festival on Labor Day Weekend in September

    Queen Mary Dark Harbor Halloween attraction for the whole month of October

    CHILL from late November through the first weekend in January.

    Thanksgiving on the Queen Mary in November

    New Year's Eve December 31st on the Queen Mary

    This information was accurate...MORE at the time of publication. Check the Queen Mary website for additional details and updates.