Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Two Cunard Queens meet, take a bow in Long Beach


Cunard's majestic Queen Elizabeth sailed into Long Beach Harbor and spent the day, next to the venerable Queen Mary.


The Queen Mary has been retired from the seas since 1967
but still draws a million and one-half visitors annually.


IT WAS A GLORIOUS meeting!  Two queens -- one elderly, the other a fairly new kid on the royal block -- were side by side for a day in the harbor at Long Beach, California. It was a Cunard family reunion with a cast of thousands -- dignitaries and local ship lovers.
The 80-year old Queen Mary -- stationed in Long Beach, Calif., greeted her much younger niece with fireworks, live music, speeches, champagne and tours of both queens.
THE JOYFUL occasion marked the opening of an extraordinary ship's model museum aboard Queen Mary, and the launch of an ambitious museum project to be housed in Queen Mary's former engine rooms and adjacent spaces.
Dignitaries at the ribbon cutting of Queen Mary's Ship
Model Gallery included Richard Meadows, left, CTC and
Cunard president, and Bernadette Grenne, Britain's deputy
consul general to Los Angeles. Commodore Everette Hoard
of the Queen Mary, is far right. A major museum is planned.
QUEEN MARY, built in 1935 and considered the grandest ocean liner ever designed at her 1936 launch, has a noble history and is still much loved. She's been anchored in Long Beach since 1967 when she retired from the seas and Long Beach bought her. Every decade or so, another Cunard vessel does a "sail by," giving a "floating salute" while passing, but not actually pulling into shore. This time -- a first in history -- a modern Cunard liner docked next to the Queen Mary and spent the day.
QUEEN ELIZABETH, launched in 2010paid her respects while on a world tour, allowing her passengers to disembark and tour Queen Mary.  In turn, a few lucky writers and photographers staying in Queen Mary's hotel -- were invited to tour Queen Elizabeth.
Queen Elizabeth sailed out of Long Beach Harbor with a glorious fireworks
display, bagpipe serenade, a jazz band, cocktails and speeches. Queen Mary
Commodore Hoard toasted her and his vessel with "Long Live the Queens."
The royal visit honored the Queen Mary's remarkable service as a World War II troopship, a makeover which endeared her to the western world and helped the Allies win the war. Many of England's best known personalities -- from Sir Winston Churchill to Noel Coward --  traveled on Queen Mary, along with American luminaries -- Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, Loretta Young and many other celebrities.
IN MODERN times, Cunard's Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth sail the seas under the Cunard banner continuing the "grand voyage" tradition, exploring islands, exotic countries and world capitals, reminding travelers old and young of the grand days of ocean liner luxury and crossings that offered the best of everything.
Commodore Everette Hoard greeted Cookie, Keller and
 thousands of others to celebrate Cunard's 175th year and
Queen Mary's impressive Model Gallery with a spectacular
Queen Mary model crafted from a single mahogany log.
When two "queens" meet on the water, it's always a grand occasion, especially when they'll both be docked. Long Beach rolled out the red carpet and the Queen Mary offered free admission, an offer thousands of locals took advantage of.

Click the link below to

SO WE AROSE  at 4:30 a.m. -- in complete dark and thick fog -- to bundle up, grab coffees and head for the deck to listen for Queen Elizabeth's horn.
Queen Mary's gregarious commodore, Everette Hoard, was up at 2 a.m. to join the pilot boat in welcoming the Queen Elizabeth into the harbor.  He was the true star of the day-long show, greeting Queen Elizabeth brass and welcoming her world-cruise guests aboard "his" Queen Mary.  In turn, the Queen Elizabeth's captain came aboard to admire the model gallery and welcomed a few to tour the visiting vessel. Hoard officiated at an elaborate sail-out salute to Queen Elizabeth, from a vantage point on his beloved Queen Mary.

A grand stairway on the Queen Elizabeth features an elaborate wood marquetry panel.
UP NEXT: Come aboard with us for an afternoon on the renowned Queen Elizabeth.  The Cunard ship offers beautiful woodwork, elegant tapestries, traditional English tea, an inviting pool, and an array of stylish salons, dining rooms and a grand theater space.  All the detail makes this Cunard liner world famous. Look for travel, cruising, hotel and adventure stories as we explore the world Wednesdays at www.whereiscookie. For theater, movies and literature features, www.lilianslastdance 
updates you on the arts as well as tours and readings for our
new novel, "Lilian's Last Dance," soon out on paperback. Remember to explore, learn and live!
Carpe diem! That's the word.


  1. We were there! Magnificent spectacle. Great photos and entertaining story. Look forward to the inside scoop on the Queen Elizabeth.

  2. Long Beach loyalistsFebruary 19, 2015 at 2:34 PM

    We've lived in Long Beach for decades and are regulars on board the Queen Mary, of which we're all proud. So happy to have people from all over the world see what's planned -- great story.

  3. Came across this story while booking a cruise to China and Vietnam. Spent two hours reading the cruise stories, which are well researched, fun and beautifully illustrated. I'll be back to whereiscookie.