RMS Queen Mary – The Final Voyage

Rated 5.00 out of 5 based on 1 customer rating
(13 customer reviews)


In stock


This is the story of the Queen Mary’s final voyage from Southampton to Long Beach, California.

After 31 years in operation on the North Atlantic routes for Cunard, the famous liner was sold

in 1967. The Clydeside-built ship has now been a floating hotel in America longer than she was

in active service. Following her sale she embarked on an epic final voyage from the UK via Cape

Horn to Long Beach which is described by Captain Treasure Jones, his crew and passengers, as

the Queen Mary journeyed into new waters that she had never sailed in as a commercial liner.

This book also includes a brief history of the vessel, including her part in the Second World

War, and features over 200 photographs and interesting archive material and memorabilia, much

of it not previously published. Edited by Richard Tennant, Michael Gallagher and Miles Cowsill.

To view the acknowledgement pages of the book click on Acknowledgements

This book has now been reprinted in softback  – Hardback no longer available.


Additional information

Edited by

Michael Gallagher, Miles Cowsill, Richard Tennant


Softback, 21cm x 14.8cm





Publication Date

Late January 2018


Ferry Publications

13 reviews for RMS Queen Mary – The Final Voyage

  1. Ken Vard

    It is literally the best book about the ship I’ve ever seen & beautifully presented.
    It is superb & a great tribute to her & to John.
    So many good memories have come flooding back.
    My painting looks perfect too.

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    sponraswonks (verified owner)

    A really splendid book; 9.5/10.

    Good points:- excellent variety of views; terrific pictures; good technical detail; fascinating appendices; convenient size to hold.

    Not so good (losing half a mark):- my copy has two, half pages which are illegible; more spelling mistakes than might be expected.

    Well done to all concerned.

    • Ferry Publications

      I have contact you privately about the illegible pages and sending a replacement.

  3. Review by John Rix, the editor of the magazine ‘Full Ahead’ of the Merchant Navy Association.

    “This is a very comprehensive and interesting account of all aspects of her final voyage through unfamiliar waters, viewed from Captain, Officers, passengers and crew with a huge amount of photographs, many of which have never been seen before. I found this book to be a delight to read and thoroughly recommend it to all our members, particularly if you have fond memories of this icon of British shipbuilding, operated, maintained and for most of her life ‘The’ flagship of our British Merchant Navy. So sadly missed.

  4. Extract from a review by Kenneth Wilson for Sea Breezes October 2017 book review. Book of the Month

    .. a very readable yet detailed account of the famous liner’s last voyage to Long Beach in California. It’s a credit to the editors to bring together so much detailed material from so long ago, including fascinating accounts of various crew members and passengers.
    The book is well illustrated with fine resolution colour and b&w photographs …
    The latter pages of the book provide interesting data and information …

  5. Extract from a review by Andrew Linington for the Telegraph of Nautilus International, November 2017.

    Nicely done nostalgia for a Cunard ship’s heyday.
    Having set the scene in a forward and introduction, the editors tell the story of the voyage through extracts from sources including contemporary newspapers, passenger accounts and the memoire of the vessel’s last master, Captain John Treasure Jones.
    The anthology format works well, presenting the reader with a variety of experiences and perspectives, and the volume is packed with vibrant colour pictures.
    Overall a nice piece of work which should please Queen Mary’s many fans.

  6. Extract from a review by Nigel Lawrence for Shipping Today and Yesterday, December 2017.

    This is an outstanding book commemorating the final voyage of a wonderful vessel in minute detail which makes fascinating reading and I would very highly recommend it to our readers.

  7. Extracts from a review by William A. Fox for the magazine ‘Power Ships’ of the Steam Ships Historical Society of America, Winter 2018

    “Everything you wanted to know about the final voyage of the Queen Mary but were afraid to ask” pretty much sums up the content of this monumental anthology. If it has to do with the fabled Cunarder’s unprecedented Southampton to Long Beach valedictory trek, then you’ll find it in this volume’s 287 pages punctuated with innumerable photos. Use it as an encyclopaedia for the final trip to research some obscure fact or just sit with it for a fascinating read. This book serves either purpose equally well.
    Before we look at the vast substance of this beautiful compendium … on page 17 is a photo of the main lounge of the Queen Elizabeth … Deal with it and move on. The rest of this book is phenomenal…
    RMS Queen Mary – The Final Voyage contains selected extracts from seven astute eyewitness sources… That amounts to half of the pages. Next we come to the appendices which are as priceless as the narratives… This book just goes on and on – “epic” is an apt description.
    To make the book even more valuable are the many illustrations found throughout its pages… the highlights are the wonderful shots taken by the Long Beach City photographer Tom Witherspoon, who was on board the ship throughout this famous last passage. These images totally capture the allure of the vagabond journey, its wonder and excitement.
    True, the trip was not all fun and games. It was well known at the time that the sailing wouldn’t be a luxury cruise so much as a delivery voyage… These aspects are recorded in this book, and they played their parts in making the trip unforgettable in many aspects.
    This new chronicle is a magnificent and much-needed addition to the history of “the Stateliest Ship now in being.” Those words of King George V, spoken at the launch of the Queen Mary are as true today as they were pronounced at the shipyard on that occasion in 1934. This book is a worthy adjunct to that title.

  8. Missoula woodworker

    A treasure trove of information and stories about RMS Queen Mary and her last great cruise.
    This is perhaps the most complete compilation of history regarding this magnificent vessel beginning with her early days through the final voyage from Southampton England around Cape Horn to her final berth in Long Beach, California. Excerpts from passengers recount the joys and sorrows of that trip, including illness, heat, rough seas, but also the joys of being aboard such a luxurious and stately ship for a forty-one day adventure. Even the Captain’s log appears along with facts and figures regarding the stores necessary to provide meals and amenities for those aboard. Illustrations abound in color and black and white, some provided by those passengers who had lovingly treasured them for fifty years. Designed to be a commemorative book celebrating those years, this book is a triumph for its editors, but will be enjoyed by anyone who loves the sea and the great ships that sailed upon them.

  9. Extracts from a review by Paul Ridgeway for the magazine ‘Flash’, the Trinity House journal, Spring 2018.

    Profusely illustrated this tells of RMS Queen Mary’s final voyage to Long Beach via Cape Horn.
    Her delivery voyage was commanded by Captain John Treasure Jones whose reminiscences of that voyage are extracted here in making the termination of an illustrious career.
    In addition to the introduction and Capt Treasure Jones’s contribution, seven chapters tell the history of the vessel and features over 200 photographs with valuable archive material. The Finale, Epilogue and the final 100 pages bring together valuable appendices of subsidiary information.

  10. Extracts from a review by David Bowen for the magazine ‘Mariner’s Mirror’ of the Society for Nautical Research, May 2018

    The core of the book is derived from the insightful and engaging reminiscences of its captain and four passengers, two press articles and a miscellany of additional facts in appendix form. Unsurprisingly the tone is affectionate, sentimental and regretful. Derived as it is from multiple sources it has variation in style, punctuation and format. It is illustrated by an assortment of unattributed and sometimes very small photographs and facsimile documents… It is a simple compilation of previously published or other available material… The production quality is first class, though it is a small format book of A5 size.
    There are short biographical notes of some of the contributors and the reader is assisted by some chapter notes and an excellent, concise and clear introduction. Over a third of the book is made up of appendices… Some of these are fascinating and useful.
    Perhaps the way to approach and enjoy this book is as one would a family holiday scrapbook or album or diary, forgiving its lack of any academic pretensions and tolerating its quirks, informality and randomness. While this is a curious book in many ways it is engaging and will appeal particularly to those interested in passenger ships.

  11. Extracts from a review by David Scott-Beddows for the magazine ‘Atlantic Daily Bulletin’ Journal of the Society for The British Titanic Society, March 2018

    Having set the scene in a Forward and Introduction, the editors tell the story of the voyage through extracts from sources including contemporary newspapers, passenger accounts and the memoire of the vessel’s last master, Captain John Treasure Jones.
    The anthology format works well, presenting the reader with a variety of experiences and perspectives and the volume is packed with vibrant colour pictures. Overall a nice piece of work which should please Queen Mary’s many fans.

  12. Extracts from a review by Nicholas Leach, editor of the magazine ‘Ships Monthly’ – Book of the month. July 2018

    This very detailed and well-illustrated book also includes a history of the vessel, with photographs of her under construction, details of her role in World War II, and her conversion back to a passenger liner after the war. It contains over 200 photographs and much interesting archive material and memorabilia, much of it not previously published.
    The bulk of the text is based upon extracts and recollections from a wide range of writers, which have been put together to provide a detailed first-hand account of the final voyage of the famous liner.

  13. Extracts from a review by David Hutchings for the magazine ‘Sea Lines’ of the Ocean Liner Society, Autumn 2018

    Of the many books that cover her fabulous career not much has been written about her last voyage – from Southampton to Long Beach – in 1967, the “Last Great Cruise” of nearly 15,000 miles that took thirty-nine days and included a much-anticipated rounding of the dreaded Cape Horn.
    The book’s contributing editor, Richard Tennant, is the son-in-law of Captain John Treasure Jones, the personable skipper who took the Queen Mary on her delivery voyage to California, and he has done a marvellous job in collating the work of various contributors including articles by the Captain himself as well as personal accounts of passengers and a collection of day-by-day articles written for the “Independent Press Telegram” of Long Beach by Staff Writer Bill Duncan and others, the latter reports including some excellent interviews with loyal crew members.
    Together these various accounts create an evocative impression of that last voyage and counter many of the contemporary rumours of rat infestations and rebelling passengers. True, there were hiccups: the ship was not built for the tropics and, lacking air conditioning, her passengers suffered from the heat as did her crew who faithfully worked long hours non-stop for 39-days to provide that legendary Cunard service while facing redundancy when they returned home; no wonder they went on strike before the ship sailed unless they were paid a bonus! Upset tummies blighted many but all was forgotten as passengers queued to board one of the two red London buses that were stowed on deck for the honour of saying that they had been on a bus rounding Cape Horn! As one crewman recalled “Never thought I’d see a passenger on a luxury cruise standin’ in the rain to get on a bus.”
    The old ship – “…a royal seagoing dowager” – was the largest liner to have been seen in many of her ports of call and was greeted with great enthusiasm – even though a lot of moveable items disappeared as souvenirs!. She sailed at 22-knots on two of her four propellers to conserve fuel between ports and supplies of fresh water became a concern at times. Although Cunard had initially advised the buyers against taking passengers the voyage was, overall, considered to have been a great success,
    The Captain downwards thought that the sale of the liner to Long Beach – “…the finest thing that could have happened to this glorious ship” – was better by far than selling her to foreign operators or to the scrapyard.
    The book concludes with a series of absorbing Appendices – including how the Captain came to be called “Treasure” – and is profusely well-illustrated throughout, although the size of some of the photographs are a bit too small to do them justice.
    A fascinating read which fills a too long empty space on my bookshelf.

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