Visit The Queen Mary Cruise Ship

The Queen Mary Cruise Ship docked in Long Beach California

A Brief History of the Queen Mary Cruise Ship

The Queen Mary cruise ship began construction in 1930 in Clydebank, Scotland. Due to the Great Depression, construction was stalled for several years and her maiden voyage did not take place until 1936.

The ship was originally planned to be named Queen Victoria. When Cunard announced to King George that they would be naming their ship after “England’s greatest Queen”, the King responded with “my wife (Queen Mary) will be delighted you are naming the ship after her”.

The Queen Mary to New York

Sailing from Southampton with her sister ship Queen Elizabeth, the two ships dominated the transatlantic market until the jet age in the late 1950’s. This new era of transatlantic travel led to the loss in profitability for the Queen Mary, so on 31st October 1967, she left Southampton for the last time and sailed to Long Beach, California.

The Grey Ghost

The Grey Ghost Queen Mary Cruise Ship in New York in the Second World War
Image Credit:

With a record breaking cruising speed of 28.5 knots and a top speed of 32 knots, she could outrun any warship, so in 1939 she was painted camouflage grey and sailed as a troop ship until 1946. She earned the nickname “The Grey Ghost” due to her colour and the way she travelled secretly from place to place.

Queen Mary v’s Titanic

The Queen Mary is 137 feet longer than the Titanic with 114,000 extra horsepower. She was 9.5 knots faster and had 3 more passenger decks. Although Titanic had one more funnel, it was in fact a dummy funnel. The Queen Mary was 26 feet wider they used 7 million more rivets in her construction.

Where Can You See The Queen Mary Cruise Ship?

The Queen Mary has been used as a hotel in Long Beach for many years. Although she currently remains closed, the best way to see the ship is from Shoreline Village. If you want a closer look, there is a great boat trip that will take you right past the ship.

If you are arriving into Long Beach on a Carnival Cruise, you will be moored up right next to the Queen Mary.

A Carnival cruise ship moored alongside the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA
A Carnival Cruise ship moored alongside the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA

How Do I Get To Queen Mary?

Shoreline Village is the best vantage point for seeing the Queen Mary cruise ship.

If you are staying at one of the hotels on Ocean Blvd in Long Beach, it is a leisurely 20 – 25 minute walk to Shoreline Village. The route is wheelchair friendly.

Shoreline Village Marine as the sun starts to set behind the palm trees.
Shoreline Village Marina

Nearest Airport

  • Los Angeles International (LAX)

Closest Ports

  • Long Beach Cruise Port
  • Los Angeles World Cruise Centre.

To get to Shoreline Village from any of the ports or the airport, your best bet is to hire a car or get an Uber or Lyft. I don’t recommend public transport unless you are travelling in groups. It can also be very time consuming and not ideal for those with accessibility needs.

Shoreline Village Anchor
Shoreline Village pays tribute to it’s maritime history.


The address for parking is: 401-435 Shoreline Village Drive, Long Beach, CA 90802, United States

You can get a discounted rate when you make a minimum purchase of $10 at a Shoreline Village shop. Make sure to get a validation stamp when you do so.

Parking Rates:

Discounted with Shoreline Village Validation Stamp- Minimum Purchase $10

With Validation:
Per Space
$2.00 For First 2 Hours
$2.00 Every 20 minutes or Fraction
$10.00 Up to 6 hours
*Max Daily $16.00

Without Validation:
Per Space
$2.00 Every 20 Minutes
$24.00 For Lost Tickets | No Checks Accepted | Credit Card Minimum $5

Is The Queen Mary Cruise Ship Open?

The Queen Mary is not currently open but you can find out more information and subscribe to the newsletter for updates hereĀ  Queen Mary Website

Where Can I Stay?

There are plenty of hotels within walking distance with great facilities such as Hyatt, Westin, Hilton and Renaissance. Search Find A Hotel for deals and availability.

Nearby Restaurants

Shoreline Village offers coffee shops, ice cream, a chocolate factory, cookies and cakes, sweet shops and more. Plus a range of casual and fine dining restaurants including;

Bubba Gump Restaurant Long Beach California
Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. at Shoreline Village, Long Beach, CA

Boat Trips to the Queen Mary

There is a great Whale and Dolphin Watching trip organised by Harbour Breeze Cruises which takes you right past the Queen Mary. As you sail out of the marina you will also see the famous Californian sea lions bathing in the sun.

Californian sea lions bask in the sun on a buoy off the coast of Long Beach
Californian sea lions bask in the sun on a buoy off the coast of Long Beach
The Lion Lighthouse at Shoreline Village Marina Long Beach, CA
The Lion Lighthouse at Shoreline Village Marina

When Is The Best Time To See The Queen Mary Cruise Ship?

For photo opportunities, you need to consider that the sun will set behind the Queen Mary as you are looking from Shoreline Village, so getting there earlier in the day will give you a better light. Weather wise, California offers year round sunshine, with warmer summers and cooler winters.

The Queen Mary Cruise ship docked in Long Beach at sunset

Recommended Reading:

Best Pub in Southampton for Titanic Fans