For fans of cultural preservation and maritime history, the news is royally good.
The world-famous Queen Mary, which has been closed for years, is lowering the gangway for visitors once again.
The boundary-breaking ship was first launched in 1936, served tourists and soldiers alike with speed and valor, and was towed for good to Long Beach, California, when its service ended in 1969. There, it has served as a permanently docked tourist attraction, movie set (catch it in 1972's rip-roaring The Poseidon Adventure), and one of the biggest museum exhibits of engineering prowess in the world.
But a series of dire setbacks, ranging from the bankruptcy of its managing company to an extended pandemic closure, threatened to metaphorically scuttle the vessel—and long-unaddressed decay and damage threatened to sink the ship for real.
The Queen Mary's dark days are not consigned to the past. There are still hundreds of millions of dollars of urgent fixes to be funded and carried out, and she lost 19 of her lifeboats in an emergency measure. But with the city of Long Beach in charge of the ship for the first time in more than 40 years, at least the liner is now at a place where it's ready to welcome visitors again.
CBS Los Angeles reports that tours of the iconic ocean liner resume on April 1, and starting May 12, you'll be able to stay overnight in its old cabins once again. (If you dare; its hotel is said to be one of the most-haunted in America, a condition that three years of near-abandonment have probably not changed.)
We'll have more to say about this incredible artifact of travel once we're allowed back on deck.
You can book your own return to the Queen Mary at QueenMary.com. Tour tickets cost $10, and hotel rooms are priced from $149 to $219 on most nights. The ship is docked in Long Beach, which is about 25 miles south of Los Angeles.