One of the most iconic images of Long Beach California is the luxury liner, The Queen Mary, which has called Long Beach home since 1967. The historic ship has a long and fascinating history, and you can tour her decks and learn more about her when you visit. It makes a fun and convenient beach day-trip from Anaheim, and you can book tickets that include admission to the Aquarium of the Pacific along with the Queen Mary Tour.
The story of the Queen Mary goes back to Scotland in 1930 when construction began on what was to be a ship in a class all her own. Despite delays due to the Great Depression, she was finally launched by King George V in 1936. The ship’s builders intended to continue with their tradition of naming their ships with names ending in ‘ia.’ They went to King George for his blessing on their choice to name the ship Queen Victoria, after the King’s Grandmother, stating, “We’ve decided to name our ship after England’s greatest Queen.” It is said that the King replied, “My wife (Queen Mary) will be delighted you are naming your ship after her.”
For three years The Queen Mary was the grandest ocean liner in the world, carrying celebrities and royalty. But she was destined to serve in WWII. Stripped of her luxuries, Queen Mary became the largest and fastest of troopships. Upon the end of the war, she was restored to her former glory.
Today, the Queen Mary is a floating hotel, attraction and museum. Her decks are home to restaurants, bars, shopping and historic exhibits. Take time to tour this amazing piece of history while you are in Anaheim, and get admission to the The Aquarium of the Pacific, where you’ll see a collection of over 11,000 animals representing over 500 different species. You’ll get to see several galleries and exhibits tailored to specific regions including the Southern California and Baja Gallery, Northern Pacific Gallery, Tropical Fish Gallery, Shark Lagoon, Lorikeet Forest, and more.