The City of Long Beach has begun preparation work for the installation of anticipated new boilers and heat exchangers onboard the RMS Queen Mary. The multi-phase project, which began in late January with the demolition of the existing heat exchangers, piping and electrical pneumatics, is part of the last round of critical repairs required to reopen the Queen Mary’s hotel, restaurants, bars and other onboard amenities this spring.
“The amount of critical work put into our icon, the Queen Mary, over the last year has been incredible to watch,” said Mayor Rex Richardson. “We are almost there for our targeted reopening later this spring. I look forward to welcoming more visitors back onboard this historic landmark soon.”
Demolition work is underway for the ship’s existing, out-of-commission boilers and heat exchangers and is expected to be completed over the next few weeks, at which point installation of the new piping and mechanical equipment that support the new boilers and heat exchangers will take place. The new boilers and heat exchangers can then be installed. Once installation of the new boilers and heat exchangers is complete, which will supply hot water for cooking, cleaning, sanitizing and other hospitality amenities, Evolution Hospitality staff can begin preparations to reopen additional elements of the Queen Mary, such as the hotel, restaurants, bars and shops onboard.
The remainder of the critical repairs approaching completion includes the installation of an emergency generator, which powers critical components of the ship in the event of an emergency, and the completion of the bilge pump system that is also designed to protect the ship in case of an emergency. The installation of the generator and bilge pump system is expected to be completed by early spring.
“We’ve worked so hard to preserve and uphold this community treasure and we are so excited to share our progress with our community soon,” said First District Councilwoman Mary Zendejas.
Other projects that are taking place concurrently and are anticipated to be complete prior to a broader reopening include upgrades to the ship’s main boarding entrance – such as repairs to the Wharf and Promenade Deck gangways; elevator repair and modernization; and painting, lighting and other enhancements to the entire Wharf area – as well as onboard restroom repairs, flooring replacements and ceiling paint and tile repair in the Promenade Deck’s Main Hall; HVAC repair and floor and window repairs in the Observation Bar; parking lot repairs; and kitchen and restaurant improvements, among others.
As reopening plans are determined, updates and member-exclusive opportunities will be shared with members of the Queen Mary Membership Program. Staff are actively working to further enhance the membership program, including implementing additional membership tiers beyond the existing Tourist Class Membership. Details will be announced once finalized. The City first announced the first-of-its-kind membership program in December. More information is available on the Queen Mary Heritage Foundation website at lbheritage.org/queen-mary.
Throughout December and January, the City and Evolution Hospitality staff hosted limited time, free public tours onboard the ship to thank the community for their patience and support during the ship’s closure and to generate excitement for the anticipated broader reopening this spring. The tours have since concluded so that the final critical repairs and other refurbishments can be addressed making way for the broader reopening.
It has been nearly three years since the Queen Mary closed to the public in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and has since remained closed while the critical repairs were identified and conducted. While the ship remained closed to the general public, it continued to be available for filming and special events, which helps generate revenue for the City to support the ship operations.
To keep the public informed, the City created a Queen Mary Updates webpage, which includes the Queen Mary’s economic impacts on the City, a historical overview, the City’s stance on preserving the historic integrity and structural safety of the ship and the City’s short- and long-term goals in the preservation process.