45 Unknown Facts About The Queen Mary That Should Be Known

Aryan Khanna
Jan 24, 2024 By Aryan Khanna
Originally Published on Dec 23, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Amanpreet Kaur
considered the finest luxury travel ship
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.5 Min

The RMS Queen Mary is an icon of the time when luxury ocean liners were the focal point of attention, the ship was once considered the finest luxury travel ship to transverse the Atlantic Ocean.

This luxury liner was operated by Cunard White Star Line, these were in fact two separate companies before their merger in 1934. This elegant and beautiful ship was launched on September 26, 1934, but began its maiden voyage on May 27, 1936, from Southampton to New York.

RMS Queen Mary sailed from 1936 to 1967 mainly in the North Atlantic Ocean, serving as a commercial cruise liner as well as a soldier carrier during the Second World War. On December 9, 1967, the ship went out of service and currently, you can find Queen Mary docked in a harbor in Long Beach, California. The iconic ship is now a famous tourist attraction and is not only a hotel ship, restaurant but also a maritime museum. The famous ocean liner has also been listed on the National Register of Historic Places owing to its contribution in the 20th century. RMS Queen Mary had a length of 1018 ft (310.3 m) and weighed around 81,000 tons (72574.8 m tons) and was second in the aspect of dimensions only to Normandie, the then-largest ship. An interesting fact about Queen Mary is that when it was being built, there was an economic depression in the world and the construction of the ship came to a halt. Ultimately, the British government gave a loan for the construction of the Queen Mary, later on when the ship was christened in 1934, the ceremony was conducted by the then queen, Queen Mary of Teck.

Facts About The Queen Mary Ship

The ship Queen Mary had performed some great feats during its running time and a lot of credit for this must go to the firm which built this ship. Queen Mary was built by a British shipbuilding company known as John Brown & Company. The work began in 1930 and before the ship was named Queen Mary, it was recognized as Hull Number 534. Its construction began in Scotland at the John Brown Shipyard.

The ocean liner which traveled from Europe to the United States was one of a kind cruise ship with all possible luxury amenities. Such was the size of this ship, it could comfortably seat 800 first-class passengers in one instance. A lot of celebrities and high profile guests often traveled on Queen Mary owing to its first-class accommodation facilities which included a couple of swimming pools, a huge ballroom, some beauty salons and five massive dining areas! In the main dining room of the ship, there was an art deco mural that used the ship's crystal model to track the progress of the ship during its voyage from New York to England. Some of the eminent personalities of the time who enjoyed the first-class dining room services of Queen Mary include the likes of Winston Churchill, Bob Hope, Queen Elizabeth II, Laurel and Hardy, and Clark Gable. But Queen Mary couldn't only accommodate first-class passengers, but it had provisions for the second class or the 'tourist class' and also the third class. Until now, we have only learned about the luxury and the abundance of amenities on the Queen Mary but did you know that this ship played a key role in the Second World War and was renamed the 'Grey Ghost'? During the Second World War, there was an alliance of the United Kingdom, the United States and the Soviet Union which eventually proved to be the victory of the US. During this time, two ships of British origin, the Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Mary, were stationed at New York for carrying soldiers to the battlefront. During this time, the ship's hull and its funnels were painted in gray color so that it was less visible and combine this with the speed of the vessel, it was named the 'Grey Ghost'. The capacity of Queen Mary was so massive that it could carry 15,000 soldiers at one time. Over the years there have also been rumors and news about Queen Mary being a haunted place ever since its accident during the Second World War. It was also included in the Top 10 Haunted Places in 2008 by the Times Magazine. Moreover, the ship's interiors have been used as props in a number of films including the likes of 'Assault On A Queen' and 'Titanic.'

Facts About The Queen Mary Ship

Destinations Covered By The Queen Mary

We currently see the Queen Mary docked at Long Beach, California and is used as a restaurant, hotel, maritime museum but it was an integral part of the history of the 20th century. Throughout its travel time, the Queen Mary made 1001 transatlantic crossings, speaking leaps and bounds about the travel history of the ship.

The Queen Mary traveled from 1936 to 1967, and during this period, it served multiple purposes. Initially, the Queen Mary was a luxury ocean liner that traveled from England to New York at an approximate speed of 28.5 knots (52.8 kph). But the luxury travel came to a halt when the Second World War began in 1939, from 1939 to the end of the world war, the Queen Mary was docked in New York and was used as a soldier carrier from the allied nations to the battlefront. In order to carry soldiers, the men carrying capacity of the ship was rapidly increased and during this time in one of the voyages, the ship carried 16,683 people, setting a record for carrying the most number of people at a time on a floating vessel. By the end of World War II, it was noted that the ship had traveled around 600,000 mi (965,606.4 km) carrying a total of 800,000 troops. Even when the war had ended, the service of the Queen Mary hadn't ended, it transported around 22,000 brides and children of the soldiers to the countries of Canada and the United States. The ship made a total of 13 such voyages and these were named 'Bride and Baby Voyages'. By the mid of 1947, the Queen Mary had returned as a luxury cruise ship and continued its weekly travel service from Southampton to New York. After working for around 12-13 more years, the ship became out fashioned due to the amount of travel time and the introduction of air travel. But from 1963 to 1967, Queen Mary went on some occasional luxury trips places including the Canary Islands and Bahamas but the ship lacked new facilities and was thus retired in 1967.

The Queen Mary Accident

Although the Queen Mary has been of great importance ever since its maiden voyage in 1936, it was once involved in a tragic accident during its travel in the Second World War. Such was the huge shape and massive weight of Queen Mary, it tore its escort ship into two parts. It was a tragic incident as it led to the death of a number of people.

It was HMS Curacoa who suffered from the collision with Queen Mary, the former was serving as an escort ship to Queen Mary during World War II. But at one point of time during the voyage, both the ships headed right for each other and it wasn't possible for the crews of either ship to take any decision which could avoid the clash. One hundred sailors could be rescued from HMS Curacoa but 337 people lost their lives in the accident as the ship was sent to the ocean floor. Other than this accident, there have been several incidents on the ship which have led to deaths on board. Data dictates that there have been a total of 49 deaths to date on the ship. The ship has also gone through the terrors of war and on multiple occasions, people have reported paranormal activities on the deck as well as in certain selected rooms, swimming pools. Fortunately, during the 31-year-long travel life of the Queen Mary, this was its only accident and it had never ever sunk during any of its 1001 transatlantic voyages.

The Queen Mary Cruise Review

Various famous personalities have been onboard the Queen Mary and they have thoroughly enjoyed the travel, describing it to be one of a kind. In the recent past, the British transatlantic ocean liner, 'Queen Mary Two' was introduced as a replacement to Queen Elizabeth II, becoming the only existing ocean liner in the world.

The ship provides regular cruise service between Southampton and New York and also goes on an annual world cruise. The Queen May 2 can accommodate a total of 2,691 guests along with 1,250 crew members. The cruise is laden with entertainment facilities including the likes of live music, planetarium, children's activities, varied evening performances, wine experiences, a library, several sporting activities. People who have had a chance to travel on the Queen Mary Two have been enthralled by its state of art facilities and amenities.

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Written by Aryan Khanna

Bachelor of Business Administration specializing in Marketing

Aryan Khanna picture

Aryan KhannaBachelor of Business Administration specializing in Marketing

A dedicated and hardworking content writer currently pursuing his Bachelor's in Management Studies from St. Xavier's University, Kolkata. Aryan aims to gain corporate exposure and enhance his skills while creating well-researched and engaging content that is SEO-friendly. Aryan is a talented individual who puts in the effort to overcome any obstacle in his way.

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