Kate went to Long Beach in Los Angeles to board the Queen Mary
, the grand old dame who set the standard back in the 1930s.
The Queen Mary had her maiden voyage in 1936 and sailed mostly in the North Atlantic. It was the preferred mode of travel for the elite and wealthy. It oozed elegance and style but was also a troopship ferrying allied soldiers for the duration of WWII.
Following the war, she was refitted, and along with Queen Elizabeth, dominated trans-Atlantic transportation until the jet age in the late 1950s.
After completing 1001 Atlantic crossings, the retired ocean liner sailed into Long Beach in 1967 and offers a unique alternative to your stay in LA. There are 314 original firsts-class staterooms including nine full suites on three decks. Each cabin is appointed with rich wood panelling, art deco built-ins, original artworks and outside cabins have portholes. Exquisite ballrooms sweep you back to the romance and elegance of this beautiful vessel.
There are seven restaurants and lounges, shops, fitness centre and plenty of attractions and entertainment and a beautifully restored observation lounge. 'Passengers' are welcome to take self-guided or guided tours of the ship. Whether you are interested in art deco, history, the ships WWII service or paranormal investigations, there is plenty to satisfy.
Paranormal may sound a little out there, but for years, the Queen Mary has been rumoured to be home to poltergeists, ghostly apparitions and hundreds of souls who lost their lives at sea! The spirits of sailors and passengers draw ghost hunters on board for paranormal encounters from casual to intense.
It is ranked the sixth most haunted location in the United States with a reported 49 deaths and you can find out all about it on a Haunted Encounters tour.
Each Saturday, following dinner at Sir Winston's Restaurant, guests are led on a ghost exploration to Paranormal Hot Spots. Expect the unexpected! Visitors have often reported forms of unnatural activity, including sounds, smells, temperature changes and occasionally, visual activity.
The most haunted area is said to be the first class pool, and it's said the spirit of a seven-year-old girl can make her presence felt there. Some have said to have seen apparitions in their room, lights flicking on and off and housekeepers have reported freshly made beds being dishevelled.
Serious enthusiasts can join resident psychic Erika Frost on an evening tour of haunted areas. They start at 8pm and move at a slow pace.
In keeping with things ghostly, the ship is transformed into a giant haunted house during the October Halloween season. There are seven mazes on and off the ship, dance parties and live bands.
Long Beach, California.
general admission passport is around $24. Haunted Encounters Tours are $27. Accommodation starts at around $140 a night.
V Australia and Virgin Domestic have economy return fares to Los Angeles. Adelaide and Perth flights connect with Virgin Australia. Rates start from:
- Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane $1425
- Adelaide $1607
- Perth $1898
Sales and validity dates and other conditions apply.
Prices correct at September 10,.2011.
For further information
Ph: 13 6789
The Queen Mary
1126 Queen's Highway
Long Beach CA 90802
Ph: 0011 1 800 437 2934
Visa: Most Australians do not need a visa, providing they have a machine readable passport with at least six months validity after the departure day, have a round-trip non-refundable ticket and do not intend to stay longer than 90 days. From January 2009 Australians need to complete a pre-travel authorisation at www.cbp.gov/esta.
Electricity: Electric current is 110V to 115v, 60Hz AC. Outlets take two-parallel, flat prongs. Australian visitors will need a US adapter and converter.
Time zone: The United States has nine standard time zones. Atlantic, Eastern, Central, Mountain, Pacific, Alaskan, Hawaii-Aleutian, Samoa and Chamorro. New York is GMT-5 hours.
Currency: The American dollar.
Telephone code: International dialling code is 0011 1.
It is recommended travellers see their doctor at least six weeks before departure as there may be specific vaccinations recommended for areas you will be visiting. Other health precautions and preventions may also be recommended. For further information log on to www.smartraveller.gov.au and www.welltogo.com.au.