Queen Mary Smithsonian Special: Still Fascinating At 80

R.M.S. Queen Mary defined transatlantic travel, transporting movie stars, politicians, and royalty luxuriously across the North Atlantic for over three decades. After nearly 4 million miles sailed in 31 years at sea,  the iconic ocean liner retired to Long Beach, where she’s drawn over 50 million visitors since 1970.  Now, the Smithsonian Channel will revisit the life and times of the as both a luxury passenger liner and a wartime troopship in a new Queen Mary Smithsonian special, a one-hour event timed to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the ocean liner’s maiden voyage.

Bigger and more powerful than the Titanic, and faster than any other ship in her class, the Queen Mary is the last survivor of the golden age of ocean liners. Built by master craftsmen in Scotland shipyards, she helped drag a nation from the depths of The Great Depression and set sail as a symbol of new hope and a better future. She played a critical role during World War II, ferrying troops and Winston Churchill across the Atlantic. Then,


Queen Mary Smithsonian Special: Still Fascinating At 80

Queen Mary Smithsonian Special

Photo: Smithsonian Channel

The one-hour special gives unique insight into life on the ship, featuring interviews with historians and experts, including a tour by Queen Mary’s Honorary Captain Everette Horde. It also includes firsthand accounts by passengers who walked her decks, such as Heather Beagley, who was lucky enough to sail on the iconic maiden passage, and singer Johnny Mathis, who performed on the rough seas of the Atlantic.

Viewers will also hear from U.S. Army troops who crossed the Atlantic to fight, revealing what the liner was like during wartime, and two “G.I. Brides” who boarded the Queen Mary post-war to join their American husbands in the States.

MIGHTY SHIP AT WAR: THE QUEEN MARY, will premiere Sunday, August 21 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Smithsonian Channel.