The historic Queen Mary reopened for tours on Saturday, April 1, and visitors eager to see it snapped up all available tickets for three different tours offered both weekend days.
The nearly-nonagenarian ocean liner was closed to the public early in the pandemic and has remained so until now, aside from a limited number of tours late last year. The ship has undergone millions of dollars of repairs and maintenance to keep it afloat and fit for guests.
“It’s been going great. We’ve been anticipating this opening today for a while and we are sold out this weekend” and some of next week, Queen Mary General Manager Steve Caloca said Saturday. “People have been waiting for a long time for us to reopen.”
The three tours currently available focus on the bowels of the ship where its steam power was once generated, Queen Mary ghost stories and legends, and the story of the ship’s construction, wartime service and heyday as a luxury mode of travel.
The next phase of reopening the Queen Mary will be the hotel and restaurants, Caloca said.
Reservations for overnight stays have already resumed; hotel rooms will welcome guests starting May 12, and brunch could be back by July.
The short-term outlook for the city-owned floating artifact seems positive, but its long-term future remains uncertain.
The ship’s previous operator went bankrupt in 2021, tangled in a legal quagmire and leaving some maintenance and upgrades unaddressed. And keeping the Queen Mary viable for years to come could require several hundred million dollars, according to a 2016 review.
Information on how to visit the ship is at www.queenmary.com.