Fireworks over the water are a traditional Queen Mary sight come New Year's Eve. But something newer? A trip around the world (without leaving Long Beach).
TURNING BACK THE CLOCK: New Year's Eve is one of those holidays that gets a lot of stuff put on it: wishes, hopes, dreams, a few regrets, and a handful of I'm-gonna-do-something-differents, too. But all of those have to do with moving toward the future and tomorrow. So what happens when the past comes to call, for a night, in a charming and nostalgic fashion? Well, for one, you're probably standing on the Queen Mary. The historic ocean liner is known as one of Long Beach's main welcome-in-the-new-year spots, but it is trying something a little new this year, by revisiting its past. Or, rather, what its past was about: travel. There was a day, of course, before 1967, when this queen sailed the world, crisscrossing the Atlantic and calling upon cities on several points of the globe over her 31-year career as an elegant passenger ship (and a foray into World War II, too, of course). Now her traveling olden days will be recalled in a new New Year's Eve party on the big boat itself. A "one-night world cruise" is scheduled, with "stops" in Brazil, India, France, and, yes, Scotland, too, where the ship was sparked-and-fired together in the early 1930s.
FOOD, ENTERTAINMENT, DECORATIONS: Each new port of call will summon the place it is paying tribute to through a host of festive means. A carnival will greet guests when they "disembark" in Rio, and in France? The can-can and Kir Royal await. Here's an extra fun bit: The ship's horn'll sound when each new port of call is "reached," meaning that it will be time to move from Times Square to Scotland. Oh yes; ye olden New York City is on the schedule, too.
TICKETS... for the Queen Mary's New Year's Eve "Voyage" start at $99, and, as always, there are stay-over deals, too. Nope, the Queen Mary isn't set to sail away from its longtime Long Beach home, but inside, at least for a night? It will summon its past as a world adventurer. We love it when ocean liners play tourist now and then.