I understand she is quite top heavy now and would capsize if her supports were removed.
That's debatable... There's another thread where its been discussed at length, for what its worth.
I revise my answer. I said Normandie, which I still stand by, but if not the Normandie, then the QE1. BTW, did the QE1 have a small outdoor pool on one of its top decks? People would want that. QM has two swimming pools, the smaller of the two is used. The other is the larger tile-decorated one that is infamous for being one of the ship's haunted areas.
And since we're day-dreaming, I'd have one end of the ship's jetty enclosure area be a pair of large metal doors that could be opened in the even the ship need be removed and dry-docked for occasional repairs. With what I've been reading about the current QM, it sounds like they're going to wish they'd built the holding area with doors like that... :|
Titanic almost isn't a viable answer for this question, since its been brought up before (i.e. several different parties/investment groups wanting to build an exact cosmetic replica of the Titanic to be used as a cruise liner) but you same people have shot the idea down as being absolute folly.
I would have to say the whole set of Olympic class sister ships. Their design is to me very appealing and is ultimately very *clears throat* SEXY. They are very nice ships and are very much beautiful in every single way. Yes slim and narrow but they were to be the "Greyhounds of the sea" However the QE1 is also another very nice ship to look at. It is also very eerie that the ship is also haunted. So I would have to say that the ship should be joined up with the three Olympic class sisters along with the two Mauritania class sisters as well.
It is interesting to note that, in terms of historic buildings, people pay good money to stay in country houses or grand Edwardian hotels. It is, for example, possible to take holidays in several Irish country houses as paying guests, the whole experience being redolent of life among the leisured classes prior to World War One.
As there is clearly a market for "Edwardian experiences" of this kind, there would presumably be a similar market for "Edwardian cruises" on an Olympic class vessel, the ultra-rich travelling first class while the rest of us travel as steerage passengers. The latter point is not as ridiculous as it may seem, as I had a sailing holiday this summer of an 80 ft spritsail barge - the accommodation being similar to that provided for 3rd class travellers on the Titanic.
>BTW, did the QE1 have a small outdoor pool on one of its top decks?
Yes. It was added during what proved to be the final major refit. At the time, a new Lido Deck was built as well.
Whichever liner you choose, remember that location is the single greatest factor regarding success, or non-success- of a business venture. As is the impulse buy, or in the case of a tourist attraction, impulse visit. The Queen Mary, docked either in San Francisco or NYC, would benefit greatly by the latter. As it is, she is in a very bad location. NO ONE stumbles across her while doing the tourist routine. A visit to the QM requires pre-planning, and eats up the better part of a day if you add up the round trip drive plus the visit.
Also, you are going to have to find some way to make the liner generate enough money to maintain herself. That leaves the options of A) extortionate admission price, or B) partial conversion to "something else." If you want the ship left 100% intact, down to the last, smallest, third class cabin, the admission price will have to be....catastrophic.... to cover the maintenance of those 100% interchangeable, redundant, cabins that no one will ever see.
If you opt for plan B and gut the least interesting parts of the ship for conversion to "something else," then that something else has got to be SO interesting that it will draw people to the ship who normally wouldn't care to visit. Or, it has to be so INCREDIBLY interesting that people who have already paid admission to the ship will not mind paying a second admission to see this addition.
>I was wondering, isn't there a liner somewhere in Europe docked as a floating museum?
You are probably thinking of the Rotterdam, which is in the final stages of preparation for her new life as a floating hotel/historic site, in Rotterdam.
Conjecturally, it would be fun to see the Nieuw Amsterdam of 1938 magically reappear. A much more, shall we say, clever ship than the Normandie she offered not only high style but also a foreshadowing of the classless ships of the future. Cabins were fitted out by deck, not by class, so even the third class cabins on the higher decks offered private bathrooms. Subsequently, a third class deluxe cabin could be rented out on one-class cruises as a budget priced first class room, resulting in more money and zero wasted space. She was filled with the innovative small details that the Normandie singularly lacked, and was popular enough to outlive virtually all of her contemporaries. Had it not been for the fuel crisis of 1973, she might have survived long enough to warrant the sort of restoration the Rotterdam is now undergoing.
The funny thing about the Queen Mary's location is that she is easy enough to see when driving along I-405. I saw her all the time when driving between San Diego and Port Hueneme to visit some chums. The catch is that she's just far enough off the beaten track that while you see her and even mean to check her out, you never quite get around to doing it.
For the Queen Mary, the ideal places to see her are on Ocean Avenue, in Long Beach (providing that most of the views are not now gone, because of the overbuilding in that area), or when you come off the Gerald Desmond Bridge, going southeast, heading in to either Long Beach, or about to transition on to the Long Beach Freeway, I-710.
Thus, the key reminder of getting to the ship is when one is traveling south on the Long Beach Freeway, when the signs direct you on how to reach the ship.
BTW, Michael, are you referring to the northbound drive on the 405 when coming out of Orange County?? Or is it a slight look over to Long Beach, when driving south on the 405, after passing over the Harbor Freeway, coming in to Carson?
I admit that as a Los Angeles County resident, I have been used to seeing the Queen Mary, such that the Terminal Island route, including coming over the Vincent Thomas Bridge, is when I can't help but notice the ship.
BTW, if one takes a Los Angeles Harbor cruise, the routes used by the harbor craft and sailing boats are such that one has to peer past the working docks in Long Beach, before seeing the Queen Mary.
Michael, the next time you are in LA, be sure and take the Terminal Island route: exit on to the Vincent Thomas Bridge, then head over to the Gerald Desmond Bridge.
From the top of the Gerald Desmond Bridge, heading in to Long Beach, you will get a great view of the Queen Mary.
Just be careful about speeding down from the Gerald Desmond Bridge, as it is a popular spot for citing drivers; have noted the police cars on the Terminal Island side (fortunately I was not cited, though I made certain to slow down).
I'll keep that all in mind but I don't expect to be going anywhere on the West coast anytime in the foreseeable future. My means to travel are not what they were. I'm not likely to do much speeding in LA in any event even if I get there if only because I had a habit of "finding" all of the traffic jams.
With regards to the Nieuw Amsterdam, I always thought that she was very popular, but when she was drydocked in 1973 they discovered her bottom plates were no longer safe, hence the reason to sell her for scrap. I didn't think the fuel crisis had anything to do with her, as she was extremely popular with the cruise set.
>>I'd suggest taking the 101 to the 405 to the 10 to the 110 to the 405 to the 710 to Queen's Highway and there you are. Easy!<<
More likely, I'd book a hotel room...probably on the Queen Mary herself...and let the taxi driver deal with the headaches. They get some pretty big bucks on the fares so I'm content to let them earn it.
>>I didn't think the fuel crisis had anything to do with her, as she was extremely popular with the cruise set.<<
It didn't help. Oil being tied to everything as it is, when the prices go ballistic on the stuff, well, you can see the consequences of some of that right now. People tighten their belts and everything else takes a hit. Since a lot of museums operate on the razor's edge of solvancy even in the best of times, it's not hard to see how troubled times have a negetive impact.