The RMS Queen Mary is now reopen to the public following three years of mayhem. Credit: Shutterstock

Heritage saved: Long Beach's RMS Queen Mary returns

Author: Calum Brown

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We’ve kept quiet about this to await the full reopening, but RMS Queen Mary – Long Beach’s most famous tourist attraction – is back on the scene as a fully-operational hotel, despite three years of uncertainty

The wait is over! Following three years of COVID-backed mayhem, amid a knife-edge renovation that saved her just at the critical moment, RMS Queen Mary is back on form as a tourist venue and hotel.

This is music to our ears, as the ex-Cunard flagship undoubtedly pulls on our tangy heartstrings. She’s far more than ‘just a ship’, and her loss would have been devastating beyond words.

For some, she’s purely an age-old ship that lurks upon the Long Beach skyline. But to others, the RMS Queen Mary symbolises an Anglo-American relationship that effectively built our contemporary Western world.

Besides helping to win a world war and radiating with enough maritime heritage to warrant a small cult, the ship’s demise would also have struck a blow to California’s modern-day economy. Long Beach earns US$3.3 million per year in tax revenue from RMS Queen Mary alone.

Without regurgitating over previous coverage of desperate work to prevent Queen Mary’s fatal disintegration, it’s been touch-and-go regarding the ship’s salvation following criminal mismanagement from different operating companies.

The world held its breath, and now the grand old Queen (once robbed by Frank Sinatra using a WWII submarine) has cut through the rumour mill and re-opened her doors.

The RMS Queen Mary can look forward to a fresh dawn of activity. Credit: Shutterstock

When is the RMS Queen Mary re-opening?

She’s open right now hurrah!

Limited numbers of tours recommenced in April before opening the calendar for extended activity, with the Queen Mary subsequently thrust into the spotlight for an official revival on June 8, 2023.

Overhasty re-launch dates had previously been declared that felt too good to be true, and inevitably became delayed. Originally slated to re-open late last year before new proposals for Spring 2023 materialised, the (nearly) century-old vessel has finally started offering rooms for the summer.

If you head over to, you can reserve a room aboard RMS Queen Mary as of today. It’s roughly £142 per night, which makes for incredible value – it’s as close to time travel back to the golden Transatlantic era as you can get (so long as you live on that side of the Atlantic, naturally…)

With ongoing hotel stays, the ship’s Observation Bar, Promenade Cafe, and Chelsea’s Chowder House will slowly reawaken depending on demand.

After three long years, Queen Mary is ready to welcome back royal subjects. Credit: Shutterstock

Future plans

Now that the port of Long Beach has pushed the renovation project across the line, the prolonged multimillion-dollar makeover coincides with a mutually beneficial deal regarding the Queen Mary’s surrounding real estate.

The port has purchased 14 acres of land that surrounds the ship’s berth – for a cool US$12 million – with reported city plans to put those millions towards ongoing infrastructure and onsite restoration projects.

“This partnership will provide investment for the Queen Mary while in turn strengthening two Long Beach industry sectors: tourism and hospitality, transportation and logistics,” Mayor Rex Richardson told Californian outlet The Long Beach Post.

Hopes are high on returning the Queen Mary to profitability, although concerns have been raised about the rate of spending. City officials predict the US$12 million advance will likely be spent over three years, but will take many years to pay back.

We’d say that’s a small cost to keep one of history’s most-celebrated ships afloat, rather than becoming the next SS United States; which still remains in limbo, slowly decaying into a sad state – but that’s another story.

Interested in booking yourself a slice of time travel? Head over to the Queen Mary’s official website and preview the elegance and class that awaits you.

Long live the Queen!

The RMS Queen Mary leaves Sydney, Australia, carrying allied troops during WWII (Image courtesy of the State Library of New South Wales)
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About Calum Brown

Calum holds a deep interest in all things heritage and remains one of Britain’s most enthusiastic historians.

As a seasoned journalist, he has spent considerable time abroad and relishes all forms of transport. Shipping is in the blood, with a family connection to Stena Line embedded in his DNA. He also refuses to admit that 21st Century music exists.

Calum has developed a skill for bringing history alive, and always insists on making heritage accessible for everyone.