Mar 23, 2017
By Valerie Massie
The magnificent original 1930’s Queen Mary cruise liner is so corroded that it’s at urgent risk of flooding or collapse. The price tag for fixing up the ocean liner could near $300 million dollars, according to a survey done by experts. It would likely take five years to rehab the ship, which is a tourist destination docked permanently in Long Beach Harbor south of Los Angeles.
During its heyday, the Queen Mary carried royalty, such as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, and dignitaries, such as Winston Churchill. Hollywood celebrities, such as Bob Hope and Elizabeth Taylor crossed the Atlantic onboard. But now, naval architects and marine engineers who compiled the survey warn that the vessel is probably “approaching the point of no return.”
The Queen Mary made Long Beach its permanent home in 1967. Now a floating hotel with shops, restaurants and event spaces, the ship attracts some 1.3 million visitors annually. In November, Long Beach approved $23 million to address the ship’s most urgent repairs, but the condition has become so dire that politicians in Scotland, where the Queen Mary was built, have called for an international fundraising campaign to restore the former Cunard liner. Here’s hoping they are successful – the Queen Mary is too gracious to send to the wrecker’s yard.