Relive the Glamorous Maiden Voyage of the Queen Mary Through These 12 Photos

The art deco ocean liner celebrates her 80th anniversary next week and you’re invited to the party
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Eighty years ago the ultimate in luxurious intercontinental transport was the Queen Mary. The art deco ocean liner made her maiden voyage on May 27, 1936 and the big boat is celebrating the big 80th anniversary all next week with parties, dinners, a documentary film, and an evening with the great-grandson of the ship’s most revered passenger, Sir Winston Churchill. There’s even a 15 foot-tall replica of the vessel made from cake.

During World War II the ship was converted to a British troop transport and Hitler offered a $250,000 reward to any submarine that could sink her. No other ship of this era remains in public service and more than a million visitors tour the ship every year. After her final voyage (the ship was replaced by the Queen Elizabeth II) the ship was moored in Long Beach in 1967.

On May 27, the ship offers free admission. The evening before, in the restored first class dining room, you can join a grand dinner in tribute to the inaugural menu, which included rarities you don’t even see at Musso & Frank: Polar de Braisée Belle Mère and Tranche de Turbotin. There will be music, scotch, and cigars on the Verandah Grill, a new BBC documentary on the ship airs in the 4-D theater (is there a splash zone?), and original paintings by Churchill will hang in the gallery. Send your vintage formalwear to be pressed, then enjoy this gallery of rarely seen images from the inaugural voyage of the Queen Mary.

The SS 'Queen Mary' docking in New York, USA.
The SS ‘Queen Mary’ docking in New York, USA.

Photograph by Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Passengers on the new Cunard White Star liner Queen Mary eating dinner in the luxurious cabin class restaurant during her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York, May 1936. The radiating light on the map by Macdonald Gill at the far end of the room constantly pinpoints the vessel's location.
Passengers on the new Cunard White Star liner Queen Mary eating dinner in the luxurious cabin class restaurant during her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York, May 1936. The radiating light on the map by Macdonald Gill at the far end of the room constantly pinpoints the vessel’s location.

Photograph by Hudson/Topical Press Agency/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

27th March 1936: The Queen Mary in George V dock, Southampton.
27th March 1936: The Queen Mary in George V dock, Southampton.

Photograph by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

A steward 'gonging-off' visitors before the 'Queen Mary' left Southampton on her maiden voyage to New York.
A steward ‘gonging-off’ visitors before the ‘Queen Mary’ left Southampton on her maiden voyage to New York.

Photograph by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

A limousine is hoisted onto the deck of the new Cunard White Star liner Queen Mary hours before her departure on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York.
A limousine is hoisted onto the deck of the new Cunard White Star liner Queen Mary hours before her departure on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York.

Photograph by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

Passengers boarding the Cunard White Star Liner Queen Mary at Southampton before her maiden voyage to New York.
Passengers boarding the Cunard White Star Liner Queen Mary at Southampton before her maiden voyage to New York.

Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

Crowds gather to watch the new Cunard White Star liner Queen Mary leaving her fitting-out berth in the John Brown & Co shipyard at Clydebank. Handkerchiefs are waved as the massive liner makes her way down the river Clyde to the sea, en route to Greenock and Southampton.
Crowds gather to watch the new Cunard White Star liner Queen Mary leaving her fitting-out berth in the John Brown & Co shipyard at Clydebank. Handkerchiefs are waved as the massive liner makes her way down the river Clyde to the sea, en route to Greenock and Southampton.

Photograph by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

The crew of the Queen Mary line up on deck for a safety drill prior to the ship's departure on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York.
The crew of the Queen Mary line up on deck for a safety drill prior to the ship’s departure on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York.

Photograph by E Phillips/Getty Images

The Cunard White Star liner Queen Mary leaving the dock at Southampton on her maiden voyage, 27th May 1936.
The Cunard White Star liner Queen Mary leaving the dock at Southampton on her maiden voyage, 27th May 1936.

Photograph by Topical Press Agency/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

28th May 1936: A hairdresser at work on board the Queen Mary liner as it leaves Southampton on its maiden voyage to New York.
28th May 1936: A hairdresser at work on board the Queen Mary liner as it leaves Southampton on its maiden voyage to New York.

Photograph by Fox Photos/Getty Images

5th March 1936: The First Class swimming pool on board the SS Queen Mary, which is nearing completion at the shipyard on Clydebank, Scotland.
5th March 1936: The First Class swimming pool on board the SS Queen Mary, which is nearing completion at the shipyard on Clydebank, Scotland.

Photograph by Fox Photos/Getty Images

5th March 1936: The telephone control room on board the SS Queen Mary, which is nearing completion at the shipyard on Clydebank, Scotland.
5th March 1936: The telephone control room on board the SS Queen Mary, which is nearing completion at the shipyard on Clydebank, Scotland.

Photograph by Fox Photos/Getty Images

The new Cunard White Star liner Queen Mary pulls away from Southampton at the start of her maiden voyage across the Atlantic to New York.
The new Cunard White Star liner Queen Mary pulls away from Southampton at the start of her maiden voyage across the Atlantic to New York.

Photograph by Hudson/Getty Images

A workman putting the finishing touches to a plaque of the British Queen consort, Mary of Teck on the first class deck of the ocean liner RMS Queen Mary, during construction at the shipyard of John Brown & Company in Clydebank, Scotland, 3rd March 1936. The ship is almost ready for her maiden voyage on 27th May 1936.
A workman putting the finishing touches to a plaque of the British Queen consort, Mary of Teck on the first class deck of the ocean liner RMS Queen Mary, during construction at the shipyard of John Brown & Company in Clydebank, Scotland, 3rd March 1936. The ship is almost ready for her maiden voyage on 27th May 1936.

Photograph by Davies/Topical Press Agency/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

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