QUEEN MARY CHRISTMAS - Where Holidays Set Sail!

One of the most proud projects of Carter Creative has been when we were reached out to by the world famous Queen Mary. The 86 year old iconic vessel in Long Beach, California was looking to bringing a whole new themed Christmas event to the steamship. We felt it was important to embrace a vintage Christmas of the past that transports guests to the ship’s most beautiful holiday heyday. 

Decor that matched the art deco style was tediously searched for and decorated throughout the ship. Our process started with a story and a specific period mindset, and every part of the event was tied to that. This included the marketing and branding visuals we created. Visitors to the ship were now our “passengers”, all going on a voyage to the North Pole. 

We identified what would make meeting Santa on the ship different and more special than at other Southern California tourism venue. The ships Commodore was nice enough to hand over the ship to Father Christmas himself and allow guests to visit with him in Santa’s Captain’s Quarters. The end result was a memorable trip to a joyous Christmas past.

Carter Creative provided a clear vision that evolved to stunning concept art that our amazing partners on the ship were able to pitch to the executives for final approvals.

We discussed all the creative talking points and understandings to be able to have the full dialog to ensure crystal clear expectations. This is artwork is also important to our technical and set dressing partners so the creative vision is carried onto the final product.

Our contagious enthusiasm on a project like this is vital to the pitch process, it helps build the excitement for everybody involved to help create a world-class experience that families and friends will leave raving about, and hopefully return year after year making it a new tradition.

Our team decorated over 40 Christmas trees throughout the entire ship. Each carefully decorated and themed to the room they were in.

You may know the ship is considered one of the country’s most haunted places. We are confident that the ghosts of Christmas past approved of our throwback approach to our trees and attention to detail..


In year two of our event, we expanded on our story of visiting the North Pole, to actually “arriving” at the North Pole in our Winter Wharf and Santa’s North Pole Village, complete with the return of the massive ice rink and 25’ Christmas tree. While the ship itself still had the theme of Christmas in the 30’s and 40’s, the new areas gave a variety of themes from the 50’s and 60’s. This allowed us to offer more variety and areas to explore, including the exciting “Santa’s Insta-Wrap Room.” 

As you can see, the artwork and planning visuals is essential to creating an event of this or any size. It’s one of the skill sets and attention to detail that elevates Carter Creative.