Combining precision and craftsmanship in an exacting work of art, ship models evoke the fascination that we have for the sea and sea travel.
In this gallery some of the finest ship models in the world tell the story of the evolution of trans-Atlantic passenger ship travel from 1840 to the present.
These models not only tell the story of nearly two centuries of ocean travel, but also represent the beauty of the shipbuilder’s art and craft. They are a compelling combination of infinite precision and craftsmanship.
RMS Queen Mary (Builder's Model)
Queen Mary was the most revered and popular ocean liner of the 20th century. In the Cunard Line’s service, she ferried 3 million people across the North Atlantic Ocean in war and peace, in fair weather and foul. After 31 years plying across the Atlantic and completing 1001 crossings, this icon of the past is docked in Long Beach but history lives on aboard this historic vessel.
RMS Queen Mary 2
As Cunard’s flagship and most significant ocean liner in the world, the 151,400-ton Queen Mary 2, went into service in 2004. Christened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and known affectionately as QM2 this majestic vessel is in a class by herself. Conjuring the traditional charm of the golden age, this luxury liner is built to cross the seas of the 21st century.
Queen Elizabeth 2
Taking the place of both Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, Queen Elizabeth 2 would carry the Cunard Line for the next 40 years on the North Atlantic, as well as, around-the-world cruises. She retired in 2008 after steaming more than 5 million nautical miles- more than any ship in history.
With its distinctive clipper-ship bow, the Normandie was the first major liner to cross the Atlantic in less than four days. After the American entrance into World War II the Normandie was seized by the U.S. Navy for the Allied war effort and renamed the USS Lafayette. In a fateful accident just days before it was completed for troop transport, it burned to near ruins.
MS Queen Victoria
Queen Victoria has the modern amenities of a sleek ocean liner with the elegance that embodies Cunard Cruise Line’s traditional English style. Unlike the other Cunard Queens, Queen Victoria does not carry the mail so she does not carry the Royal Mail Ship (RMS) status.
Famous for her fateful maiden voyage, Titanic’s tragedy at sea was one of the deadliest peacetime maritime disasters. Operated by the White Star Line, Titanic and her sister ship Olympic were designed to compete with the famous Cunard liners Lusitania and Mauretania.
In a time of fierce competition for continental travel Lusitania was added to the Cunard Line and designed for speed, capacity and luxury. As the fastest ship of the time, Lusitania’s speed was thought to help evade threat of submarine attack. However, it was a torpedo from a German U-boat that caused the sinking of the ship and the loss of many lives of those aboard.
Britannia launched the beginning of the Cunard Line of steamships. A wooden hulled, 207-foot long ship driven by paddle wheels became one of the first steamships to deliver mail and transport passengers across the Atlantic.
Oregon was a record breaking British passenger liner of its time. Acquired by Cunard in 1884 she continued improving her time across the Atlantic before being chartered to the Royal Navy as an auxiliary cruiser. Upon return to Cunard service she collided with a schooner while approaching New York, to the relief of passengers and crew all were saved. Today you can view the model or visit the actual wreck, which rests on the ocean floor off the Long Island coast, SCUBA diving gear required.
The gallery will also include an entire collection of over 37 passenger ships, that span 130 years of shipbuilding. The collection includes Tri-ang Minic model souvenirs ships that were sold aboard the ship in the 40s 50s 60s, the CM Model collectible ships that were popular during the era and the Mercator 1:1250 scale ship models which set a standard by which all other models tend to be judged. The miniature ocean liner collection is mostly die-cast in lead and is all hand-painted and remarkable in detail. These tiny liners are very collectible and show our fascination with model ships as a visual reminder of the actual vessel.
Hours: 10AM - 8PM
Location: Promeande Deck, Starboard Forward - near Promenade Cafe
Pricing: Available as part of any of our tour packages - The Queen Mary Passport, The Royal Passport, The Haunted First-Class Passport and the Historic First-Class Passport, access to any hotel or special event guest.
Parking: $18/day, $22/overnight, $27/valet parking (Subject to change based on Special Event schedule here.)
Map: The Queen Mary can get confusing. Download our map and bring it with you!