The Queen Mary is back in business.
Beginning Thursday, fans of the aging Long Beach tourist attraction will be able to tour parts of the ship for the first time since March 2020, the city of Long Beach announced this week. To celebrate, the city is offering free tours for a limited time.
The hour-long tours include biographical lessons, including some haunted tales, about the Queen Mary and access to select areas of her Promenade Deck, all led by a docent. tours were full until Tuesday morningaccording to the city’s website.
According to the city, the hotel, restaurants, bar and other facilities will remain closed until plumbing and other repairs are completed in early 2023.
The occasion comes after the pandemic closed the converted British ocean liner to the public and a series of refurbishments, including critical structural repair work, delayed its reopening. Several studies have estimated that the ship will need hundreds of millions of dollars in upgrades to continue operations. A 2021 report called for $23 million in immediate repairs to keep the ship from capsizing.
The city has previously said about 75% of the process — mostly plumbing, mechanical and other metalwork — should be completed by the end of the year. All internal repairs should be completed by early 2023, allowing the city to work on aesthetic projects like paint and flooring.
“The Queen Mary has been an icon of our Long Beach shore for 55 years,” said Councilor Mary Zendejas. “We remain committed to our efforts to preserve the ship’s history and structural safety. I look forward to welcoming the community back on board!”
Over the past 50 years, Long Beach has brought in several companies — including Walt Disney Co. — to try to convert the former ocean liner-turned-floating hotel into a profitable tourist attraction, with mixed results. Disney planned to incorporate the ship into a $3 billion ocean-themed amusement park in 1990, but scrapped the idea a few years later.
Long Beach had considered sinking the 86-year-old ship afterwards take control of the ship last year by former leaseholder Eagle Hospitality Trust, which filed for bankruptcy and defaulted on leases. But also sinking or scrapping fetched an estimated price of $190 millionthe officials learned.
Keeping the Queen Mary afloat has cost one estimated $6 million since the restoration project underway earlier this year. But officials say the price will be offset because the ship generates revenue through special events and filming opportunities, including a popular one Halloween celebration.
https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-12-13/queen-mary-reopens-long-beach-california Queen Mary will reopen in Long Beach after 2020 closure