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The ‘Queen Mary’ Will Get $1 Million More in Repairs Ahead of Her Relaunch This Year

The cruise liner-turned-tourist attraction is expected to reopen in Long Beach at the end of the year.

The majestic Queen Mary passenger liner, now permanently docked and converted into a hotel, is seen in a 1989 Long Beach, California, photograph. The ship has become a major Southern California tourist attraction since the city of Long Beach purchased the ship from Cunard in 1967. (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images) George Rose

California officials are keeping the Queen Mary afloat at all costs.

The Long Beach City Council approved another $1 million this week to pay for further repairs on the aging tourist attraction, as reported by the Los Angeles Times.

Launched from the south coast of England in 1934, the cruise liner made 1,001 successful Atlantic crossings in her prime before she was permanently docked in Long Beach in 1967. The vessel, owned by the city, subsequently served as a museum, hotel, restaurant and event space, but was closed in 2020 due to the pandemic and swiftly fell into disrepair. Inspectors warned the nearly century-old ship would sink without urgent maintenance.

According to inspection reports released last year by marine engineering firm Elliott Bay Design Group, the Queen Mary requires $23 million in immediate repairs to prevent it from capsizing. Some studies have estimated the 1,019-footer may need as much as $289 million in renovations to stay afloat.

British ocean liner RMS Queen Mary docked in Long Beach, Los Angeles, California, 1984. (Photo by Alfred Gescheidt/Getty Images)
The cruise liner has been docked in Long Beach since ’67. Alfred Gescheidt

The work kicked off earlier this year after council officials approved $5 million for crucial repairs. This involved the removal of deteriorating lifeboats that had been affecting the ship’s support system and creating “severe cracks.” The city spent a further $2.8 million on plumbing upgrades, handrail restoration, energy-efficient lightbulbs and WiFi. Work has also begun on the ship’s boilers and heat exchangers.

The $1 million, which was approved in a unanimous vote on Tuesday, will go toward repairing the liner’s linoleum flooring and carpet, refrigerators, elevators and kitchen exhaust hood. The locks on the guest rooms will also be updated.

The city says the millions spent will be offset by the revenue previously generated from special events and shoots on the ship. Prior to the pandemic, the Queen Mary pulled in around $3.3 million annually. It has hosted a number of popular music festivals and has been used as a filming location for Pearl Harbor and The Aviator, for instance.

The Queen Mary’s was expected to partially reopen in October, but the launch is now scheduled for the end of this year. Long may she reign.

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