Located on the Promenade Deck under the watchful gaze of Queen Mary’s portrait-in-relief adorning the ship’s main staircase is the wonderfully restored Queen Mary shopping gallery, a glittering art deco inspired boutique mall that is today as beautiful as it was eighty years ago. The revitalized collection of boutiques will formally open April 23. To celebrate, admission to the ship will be free on that day from 10am8pm.


As with any historic site the project resulted in both challenges and rewarding discoveries as fixtures and design elements unseen for decades came to light. “We are willingly obliged to ensure that any repairs or improvements to the ship are in keeping with original designs and historic preservation standards. These demands resulted in both challenges and construction delays; but the end-result is certainly worth the effort and I am certain our guests will agree,” said Queen Mary General Manager, John Jenkins.


Some eight decades have passed since the Queen Mary’s debut. These same shops first opened their doors to royalty and world’s social elite; one can only wonder how many famous feet crossed the thresholds. Over time beautiful woods and veneers and splendid interior fittings gave way to function and often became hidden from view. Oftentimes, the grandeur of an elegant past was overshadowed for reasons no longer relevant.


Over 2,000 square feet of retail and lobby spaces were affected by the rehabilitation and restoration campaign. Where needed, wood surfaces and veneers were replaced or matched to original treatments. Linoleum, a floor treatment rarely seen today, was custom designed to match the Main Hall’s linoleum floor design and is used in the Center and Starboard shops.


Total ceiling restoration demanded the removal of acoustical tiles and other materials, revealing the original ceiling’s character-defining features. The Starboard Shop’s Napoleon Marble fireplace hearth is once again in full display and nearby hangs Kenneth Shoesmith’s venerable “Marketplace” painting. In the Portside shop, rectangular tufted leather panels at each end of the space have been reconstructed to emulate the ship’s post war re-fit. Every effort was made to remove and replace non-original light fixtures.


“These and other painstaking upgrades were made for one reason alone; there is no other ship anywhere like our Queen Mary. This includes the shopping gallery that once-again serves to anchor the Promenade Deck. While this impressive reconstruction challenge has been met, potential restoration opportunities in each of the retail spaces remain open for future consideration,” Jenkins added.


There are five affected areas. Each shop carries with it decades of history and adds to the ship’s comprehensive lore. The Portside Marketplace will feature women’s gifts, accessories, jewelry, apparel, books and ship souvenirs; it originally served as the First Class Library. The Centerline Boutique will offer gourmet table top foods, chocolates, packaged teas, candy and more; this area once catered to traveling gentlemen as the Austin Reed of Regent Street haberdashery. The ship’s former First Class Drawing Room now hosts the Starboard Shop offering men’s accessories, furnishings, apparel, books and other mementos of the ship.


Two smaller shops are already in operation, each equally re-furbished. The original Tobacco Shop is now a wine emporium and tasting room, exclusively featuring Malibu Family Winery vintages. Just across the lobby, in what was once a small sundries and stationery store, is the Wyndham Vacations Visitor’s Center.


“When Cunard designed the ship’s interior spaces there was a master plan. World-class artisans worked in concert with the shipbuilder and fitters; the result was harmonious interior design. Warm, luxurious interiors welcomed shoppers with a nautical elegance that was all Queen Mary. To resurrect this experience and to rekindle that spirit throughout the ship…including our retail outlets…continues to be my priority,” Jenkins continued.


The decision to close and re-furbish all on-board retail spaces and to retain a single operator, EVENT NETWORK, for merchandising and retail services adds to the re-opening announcement. Event Network is a globally respected retail consultant and facilities operator. Headquartered in San Diego, CA the company has been working with the Queen Mary team for many months. The result is a beautifully restored shopping area and enhanced inventories – from soft goods to books, apparel to souvenirs. To learn more about Event Network, visit


The revitalized Queen Mary shopping gallery sweeps the visitor into a design past that cannot be duplicated, anywhere. “We are proud of what our craftsmen and the Event Network design team have accomplished and welcome everyone to celebrate this achievement. Admission to the ship on April 23 will be complimentary and we hope the public will join in the celebration.” Jenkins concluded.

Find the Queen Mary here:





 Credit: The Queen Mary.


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