RMS Queen Mary

From Academic Kids

Missing image
Arriving in New York Harbor, June 20, 1945, with thousands of U.S. troops
Queen Mary
Ordered:1928 or 1929
Laid down:December 1930
Launched:20 September 1934
Christened:20 September 1934
Maiden voyage:27 May 1936
Fate:retired in December 1967, now a hotel/restaurant/museum in Long Beach, California
General Characteristics
Tonnage:80,774, from 1937 : 81.235 gross tons
Length:1,019.4 ft (311 m)
Beam:118.5ft (36.1 m)
Draft:12,00 m
Power:160,000 shaft hp (119 MW) steam turbines; max. 200,000 shaft hp (149 MW) steam turbines
Propulsion:four screws at the stern of the ship
Speed:approximately 30 knots (56 km/h) - 29.5 knots (55 km/h) in service; maximum was 32.6 knots (60 km/h)
Complement:2139 passengers (776 first-(cabin) class, 784 tourist class, 579 third class), 1101 crew

RMS Queen Mary was a Cunard Line (then Cunard White Star Line) ocean liner that sailed the North Atlantic Ocean from 1936 to 1967. She was designed to be Britain's answer to the European super-liners of the late twenties and early thirties. The ship was named for Mary of Teck, the consort of George V of the United Kingdom. Until its naming it was known as Cunard No. 534, as the name was to be a closely guarded secret. Legend has it that Cunard intended to name the ship "Queen Victoria"; however, when company representatives asked King George V's permission to name the ocean liner after Britain's "greatest queen," his wife, the former Princess Mary of Teck, announced that she would be delighted. And so, the legend goes, the delegation had of course no other choice but to report that No. 534 would be called RMS Queen Mary. However, this story was denied by company officials, and is probably untrue, since traditionally the names of sovereigns have only been used for capital ships of the Royal Navy; what may have inspired it is that traditionally the names of Cunard liners had ended in "ia".

She was constructed on the River Clyde by the John Brown & Company Shipbuilding and Engineering shipyard at Clydebank Scotland from 1930 to 1934. Construction was for a time halted due to the depression, but government subsidies ensured her completion. When she made her maiden voyage at May 27 - June 1 1936, the Queen Mary was the second largest ship built at that time (the French liner Normandie being the largest), at 80,774 gross tons and with a length of 1,019.2 feet (311 m). In comparison, RMS Titanic was of 46,000 gross tons and 883 feet (270 m) long.

In August 1936 Queen Mary captured the Blue Riband from Normandie with an average speed of 30.14 knots (55.82 km/h). Normandie reclaimed the honour in 1937, but Queen Mary once again claimed the riband at an average speed of 30.99 knots (57.39 km/h).

There was already a "Clyde steamer" of that name, so Cunard reached agreement with the owners that the steamer would become TS Queen Mary II and in 1934 the new liner was launched by Her Majesty as RMS Queen Mary.

Her running-mate, RMS Queen Elizabeth (the largest passenger steamship ever built at the time of her launch) was launched in 1938. She was not fitted out as a passenger ship due to the outbreak of the Second World War. Instead, both "Queens" were converted to troopships, carrying as many as 15,000 troops on a single run.

After the war, Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth dominated the transatlantic passenger trade. Queen Mary was retired from service in 1967 and Queen Elizabeth in 1968. RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) took over the transatlantic route in 1969. And in turn, QE2 was replaced in 2004 by RMS Queen Mary 2.

Since its retirement in 1967, Queen Mary has been permanently docked at Long Beach, California on the west coast of the United States. Accompanied for many years by Howard Hughes' Spruce Goose, the ship now serves as a hotel, museum, and tourist attraction. There are also several restaurants on the Queen Mary, and it is especially well-known for the Sunday brunch.

The Queen Mary is also said to have ghosts on board. Many areas are said to be haunted. People report hearing little children crying in the nursery room and a mysterious splash noise in the drained first class swimming pool. In 1966, 18 year old fireman John Pedder was crushed by a watertight door in the engine room during a drill, and his ghost is said to haunt this area.

The movie The Poseidon Adventure was partially filmed on the RMS Queen Mary.


  • 80,774 gross tons
  • 1,019.4 ft (311 m) overall length, 118.5 ft (36.1 m) beam.
  • Speed: approximately 30 knots (56 km/h) - 29.5 knots (55 km/h) in service; maximum was 32.6 knots (60 km/h)
  • Power: 160,000 shaft hp (119 MW) steam turbines; max. 200,000 shaft hp (149 MW) steam turbines
  • Engines: Steam turbines geared to four screws
  • 2139 passengers: 776 first-(cabin) class, 784 tourist class, 579 third class, 1101 crew.


  • Cunard Line, Ltd., John Brown and Company archives.

External link

Official Queen Mary website (http://www.queenmary.com/)


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