The R.M.S. Queen Mary and Catalina Island
Travel back to the grandeur of the 1930s onboard the Queen Mary and learn about the ship’s design, construction and many uses. Then experience the village of Avalon and Catalina Island.
Rating (5)
Program No. 1180RJ
6 days
Starts at
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6 days
5 nights
11 meals
5 B 2 L 4 D
Getting There
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Arrival, Check-In, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Long Beach, CA
The Queen Mary Hotel

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 4:00 p.m. Our program involves daily walking of distances up to 1-1/2 miles on expert-led walks and to/from the scheduled activities; climbing stairs; carrying luggage to/from the Queen Mary/bus/Catalina Express boat; and walking to meals outside the hotel properties.

Afternoon: Program Registration: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, and other important information. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in.

Dinner: In one of the Queen Mary’s dining rooms featuring a plated meal plus water, coffee, and tea while enjoying sweeping views of the city of Long Beach and the harbor.

Evening: Orientation: We will review the program theme, the up-to-date Daily Schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities, and answer any questions you may have. Indicated times are approximate. Program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. We have set aside some free time in the schedule for your personal independent exploration. The Group Leader will often be available during free time to accompany informal excursions, activities, or meals that have been excluded from the program cost. You are welcome to join if you like, with any associated costs on your own. Enjoy the remainder of the evening getting to know your fellow participants and discovering what you share beyond a love of lifelong learning.

Art Deco Class, Historic Expert-Led Walk
Long Beach, CA
The Queen Mary Hotel

Activity note: The Queen Mary has an overall length of 1,019.5 feet and over six decks to explore. Our expert-led walk is 90 minutes.

Breakfast: On the Queen Mary, enjoy a buffet featuring a variety of hot and cold items plus water, coffee, tea, and assorted juices.

Morning: The Art Deco Talk by the ship's officers spans the history of the ship as one of the greatest luxury liners ever built. She has one of the largest collections of original Art Deco artwork and architecture in the world. Learn what the basic style of Art Deco is and see original objects d'art created for the ship during the 1930's, which was the original Art Deco Period. Afterwards, we’ll be joined by one of the ships lively on-board experts for a walk of the ship, learn about her fascinating history while visiting areas not accessible to the general public.

Lunch: On the Queen Mary, enjoy a hearty meal in one of her many dining rooms plus water, coffee, and tea.

Afternoon: A representative from the Historical Society of Long Beach will join our group. The presentation will cover the effects of the Pearl Harbor attacks on the Port of Long Beach, a fascinating and fast-changing international seaport. After class, you may use this time to explore the R.M.S. Queen Mary on your own. If interested, visit the "Diana: Legacy of a Princess" exhibit.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, enjoy a buffet plus water, coffee, and tea; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Not every voyage goes well - history has given us many exciting sea stories and inspired hundreds of books, songs and movies. On the Queen Mary, we’ll hear the fates of both famous disasters from a member of the Steamship Historical Society of America, as well as the more obscure events that brought personal heartbreak without the headlines. See ships as they were and, some, as they are today thanks to the methods of marine archeology.

Presentation by Ship's Officer, Aquarium of the Pacific
Long Beach, CA
The Queen Mary Hotel

Activity note: Walking from the Queen Mary to the Aquarium of the Pacific is approximately 3/4 mile; The amount of walking at the Aquarium is determined by your interest level.

Breakfast: On the Queen Mary.

Morning: Learn about the film and music on the Queen Mary from a knowledgeable expert followed by a short break. Our learning session continues with the facts and figures of The Grey Ghost during the Second World War. Having transported over 800,000 troops, serving as a hospital ship as well as the Bride and Baby Shuttle, her performance during the war has truly earned the Queen Mary the reputation of being "an International Historic Treasure".

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like on the Queen Mary, at the Aquarium of the Pacific or one of the many local restaurants in close proximity. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

Afternoon: We’ll take a field trip via Long Beach’s free public transportation system or by walking to the Aquarium of the Pacific, in Long Beach, allowing you to explore at your own pace. The aquarium showcases more than 10,000 animals from 500 species inhabiting the Pacific coast of North and South America from the Magellanic penguin to giant Pacific octopuses to olive ridley sea turtles. The aquarium is an advocate for the protection of many species that live along the western coast as well as advocating awareness for the drought Southern California is facing. There are numerous exhibits including the Shark Lagoon, the Tropical Pacific Gallery, and the Lorikeet Forest.

Dinner: On the Queen Mary.

Evening: In preparation for the next day, we’ll have an introduction to Avalon from our Group Leader. The only city on Santa Catalina Island, it was originally settled by the Tongva People before becoming more developed and turning into a resort community in the 20th century. The city contains many small, traditional buildings left over from the many failed attempts to commercialize the city in the late 19th century.

Transfer to Avalon, Catalina Casino Expert-Led Walk
Avalon, Catalina Island
Hotel St. Lauren

Activity note: Boat ride to Avalon is approximately 1 1/4 hours; Upon arrival in Avalon, the group walks 0.6 mile from the boat dock to the Casino for a 30-45 minute Casino expert led walk; The Hotel St. Lauren is a 1/4 mile walk up a small hill from downtown Avalon; Luggage will be transported from the dock to the hotel for you.

Breakfast: On the Queen Mary.

Morning: Checking out of the Queen Mary, we’ll take a private motorcoach to the Catalina Express Landing. Enjoy the boat ride from the mainland to Avalon on Santa Catalina Island.

Lunch: Enjoy a lovely meal at a local Avalon restaurant plus water, coffee, lemonade and tea.

Afternoon: Under a knowledgeable expert, take a trip down memory lane to the days when bands were big and movies were just beginning to talk. Visit the Avalon Theater with its extraordinary Art Deco murals and classic 1929 theater pipe organ. Continue up to the beautiful, world-famous Casino Ballroom and enjoy the scenic view of Avalon Bay from the outdoor balcony. Experience Avalon's past, present & future through the unique perspective of a native historian while overlooking Avalon and the bay.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like in Avalon. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

Evening: At leisure.

Wrigley Memorial & Gardens, Narrated Bus Ride of Avalon
Avalon, Catalina Island
Hotel St. Lauren

Activity note: Walk from the hotel to The Pancake Cottage is 1/3 mile.

Breakfast: We’ll walk to a local Avalon restaurant where you can order from a select menu of hot breakfast options plus coffee, tea and water.

Morning: After a quick walk back to the hotel, we’ll catch a cab to the Wrigley Memorial & Botanical Garden. We'll walk through the Gardens, which houses some of the most beautiful plants in California. The short walk up to the Memorial is well worth the commanding views of Avalon Bay. The Wrigley Memorial honors the memory of William Wrigley Jr, who lived from 1861 to 1932. It is the centerpiece of the Botanical Garden and was built in 1933-34 with the goal of using as many Catalina materials as possible. From the garden we will be picked up by an open air tram for a “journey” through the city led by a local expert. You will discover the enchantment of Avalon everywhere you turn on this delightful 7-1/2 mile ride along the beachfront, up the hillsides, and through the heart of town. It's the perfect introduction to the town of Avalon. See postcard-perfect views and colorful, local spots as our local expert provides interesting Catalina Island highlights and history.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like in Avalon. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

Afternoon: Enjoy a free afternoon to explore Avalon and Catalina Island on your own or participate in commercial tours at your own expense.

Dinner: Enjoy a meal at a local restaurant featuring a plated meal plus coffee, tea, and water.

Evening: At leisure.

Transfer to Long Beach, Program Concludes
Avalon, Catalina Island

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 11:00 a.m. From hotel to The Pancake Cottage is 1/3 mile walk. The group walks 1/2 mile from the hotel to the boat dock for return trip to Long Beach. Return time to Long Beach is approximately 9:15 a.m.; The Group Leader will announce when luggage should be left in the lobby to be transported from the hotel to the dock for you.

Breakfast: We’ll walk to a local Avalon restaurant where you can order from a select menu of hot breakfast options plus coffee, tea and water.

Morning: After breakfast, we’ll walk to the dock to take the Catalina Express back to Long Beach. Transportation is provided to take the group back to the Queen Mary from the landing. This concludes our program. We hope you enjoy all your Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. We encourage you to join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!

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