Seaport Museum’s Queen Mary Model


There will be a big party in Long Beach, Calif. on Feb. 5, and the South Street Seaport Museum’s 21-foot-long model of the Queen Mary will be a guest of honor. This year, Cunard, builder of the Queen Mary ocean liner, is marking 175 years since Samuel Cunard staged the first transatlantic crossing from England to the United States, inaugurating scheduled mail service to the United States and changing ocean travel forever. The Queen Mary, which crossed the Atlantic over 2,000 times while in service and is now a permanent hotel and museum in Long Beach harbor, is commemorating 80 years afloat.

On Feb. 5, Cunard’s newest ship, Queen Elizabeth, will call on Long Beach for the first time. Queen Elizabeth will sail into Long Beach harbor (around 40 miles south of Los Angeles) at approximately 7 a.m, and leave the port at approximately 6 p.m., preceded by a whistle exchange salute with the Queen Mary, and fireworks display.

Enhancing the Queen Elizabeth’s visit, and in recognition of the Queen Mary’s 80 years of public life, a new Ship Model Gallery will be dedicated on the Queen Mary in a private ceremony at 11 a.m. Located on the Promenade Deck, the model gallery will open to the public at 12:30 p.m., and will house many important ship models. It is the first phase of the Queen Mary’s announced plans to create a world-class maritime museum and learning center aboard the ship.

The South Street Seaport Museum’s model of the Queen Mary will be the centerpiece of the model gallery, which also includes large models of some of the world’s greatest ships – Titanic, Lusitania, Normandie – along with contemporary Cunard liners, Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and QE2. Some 15 ship models will debut, with others on the way.

During Cunard’s star-studded history, the iconic Queen Mary epitomized the golden age of ocean travel. She also served as a British Royal Mail Ship (RMS) and as a troopship during World War II. Winston Churchill credited the Queen Mary and the original Queen Elizabeth with ending World War II one year early as they carried over 1.5 million troops between them.

Many of the grand ocean liners of the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s have been destroyed or stripped of their finery. On the Queen Mary, much of this remains. Guests who overnight in one of the ship’s 346 staterooms are surrounded with the original paneling and Art Deco details that made the ship the epitome of luxury in its time.

– Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Photo caption/credit: The South Street Seaport Museum’s model of the Queen Mary as it looked on Jan. 21, just before it was moved into a crate for transportation to Long Beach, Calif., where it has been installed as the centerpiece of a model gallery on Cunard’s iconic ocean liner. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)


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