Cunard Steamship Company’s QUEEN MARY began her maiden transatlantic voyage on May 27, 1936 from Southampton, England to New York City. As the now-preserved liner approaches the 75th anniversary of her maiden voyage, further preparations for a celebration are being announced.
QUEEN MARY festivities begin Friday, May 27 in Long Beach at 5 p.m. on the Verandah Deck. A general manager’s reception and commemorative celebration will include members of historic societies, special guests and hosted champagne and appetizers.
(Attendance to the ceremony and reception is free and open to the public; however, advance registration is required.)
From 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., revelers can partake in a buffet-style captain’s dinner inspired by original menu courses from the ship’s inaugural cruise in 1936. Historians will be on hand to share stories from that special time in the QUEEN MARY’s sailing history and live music will be provided by Jim Ziegler and the Swingsations.
(Tickets to the Captain’s Dinner are $39.95 per person plus tax and gratuity.)
Friday evening will conclude with a fireworks display beginning at 10 p.m.
On both Friday and Saturday, live jazz, swing music and dancing will take place in the Observation Bar while the Starboard Lounge will be transformed into a themed piano bar and lectures will be presented by the Steamship Historical Society of America’s Southern California Chapter.
The SSHSA of SoCal will be presenting a several talks, including: Chris Butler’s “Pride, Power, and Prestige: QUEEN MARY and the Race for the Blue Riband”; “NORMANDIE…Le Paquebot Jazz Hot — A Brief Architectural Visit Aboard the Major Competition on the High Seas” by William Keene; “Trans-Atlantic Fashion in the Maiden Voyage Era” by Colleen and Shawn Crosby; and “Art Deco and the Ocean Liners” by chapter chairman Bruce Vancil.
Quoting a resent press release: “Guests wishing to stay overnight are encouraged to book the Maiden Voyage Package, which includes: a one-night stay in an historic stateroom, one commemorative gift per room, admission to the commemorative ceremony, Champagne reception and Captain’s Dinner buffet, as well as admission to the Ghosts & Legends Tour, a choice of the ship’s Art Deco or World War II Tour, and historic-themed lectures.
MARTIN COX - Founder and publisher of MaritimeMatters, inspired by maritime culture and technology growing up in the port of Southampton. He works as a photographer in Los Angeles, and his works has been exhibited in LA, San Francisco, New York, London and Iceland. Martin is the co-writer of the book “Hollywood to Honolulu; the story of the Los Angeles Steamship Company” published by the Steam Ship Historical Society of America. The Los Angeles Maritime Museum has commissioned artworks and collected his photographs.