The first picture showing one of this line's beautiful ships is of the 'CARINTHIA'/GVDQ. provided
by Albert Corelli of the World Ship Society. A vessel that the author sailed on as Radio Officer in the early sixties.
She is seen here at the Liverpool landing stage in 1957 embarking passengers for yet another 'ferry' trip across the
Atlantic to Montreal via Quebec. From the cloud cover it looks like a rough trip ahead through the Irish Sea and out
into the Atlantic !
|Cunard White Star's "TITANIC" - SM APRIL/98
The legendary White Star liner is depicted in this fine
print approaching Queenstown on the first leg of her fateful Atlantic crossing. Print available from TRADEWIND FINE
ART, P.O. Box 12, St. Agnes, TR5 0YL, England.
|Courtesy Claude Meldrum Collection
On February 23rd, the QUEEN MARY 2 sailed into Long Beach for it's first ever meeting with
it's predecessor and namesake, the QUEEN MARY. The historic event was marked by quite the celebration, including a whistle
salutation between the ships that could be heard from 10 miles away. (QUEEN MARY 2, interestingly, carries one of her
namesakes original whistles.)
|Courtesy David Tinsley - MARITIME REPORTER DEC/03
As we seafarers well know, ships, like people, have
their own personalities. Cunard's newest transatlantic liner embarked on it's maiden voyage on January 10th on a 14
day voyage from Southampton to Fort Lauderdale, Florida and is no exception. Built at a cost of more than
1 billion dollars, the QM2 has been described as a luxury liner on steroids. It is the longest, tallest,
widest and most expensive passenger ship ever built and inherits the elegant mantle of distinction worn for the past 35 years
by her aging sister ship, the QUEEN ELIZABETH 2. Like the QE2, the QM2 isn't named directly for a
monarch; the digit it is the second vessel to carry the name. Ocean travellers can expect new standards of luxury.
The ship houses 300 works of art (said to be worth 5 million dollars) , a planetarium, 5 swimming pools,
a great ceremonial atrium and main staircases and the largest library afloat.
Propulsion is provided through four variable speed, reversable
pods. The selection of four 21.5-MW Mermaid pods, comprising two fixed units and two azimuthing, steerable
units, is one of the most compelling aspects of the technical project. QM2 is the world's first vessel propelled
by four pods, translating a miximum of 86-MW into propulsive effect. Each unit has a four bladed, 5.9 metre
diameter propeller running at a maximum 150 rpm. Specified maximum speed is 29.35 knots. Furthermore,
the vital need for enhanced maneuverability to ensure efficient and safe turnarounds, without the need for tugs,
led to the nomination of a potent array of bow thrusters. Three transverse thrusters of 3,200 kW apiece, each
incorporating a fixed pitch, stainless steel propeller, are fitted in tunnels of 3 m. diameter with chamfered
ends. For noise and vibration attenuation, the type selected is of reinforced tunnel design.
|Courtesy Maritime Reporter
For anyone familiar with ship propulsion systems the Rolls-Royce Mermaid propulsion system
fitted to the QM2 comes as quite a surprise. Instead of the usual large diesel engine driving a shaft and propeller,
four pods are suspended below the ship's hull : two are fixed and two can rotate 360 degrees.
Each pod contains an electric motor with a small shaft that projects from the pod to provide
the propeller mounting. Four diesels engines and two gas turbines drive the gernerators that provide 118 MW of electrical
power - enough to power a city of 300,000. The propulsion system takes more than two thirds of this power with each
pod drawing 21.5 MW during full power, to produce a top speed of 30 knots. The diesels operate at a constant speed,
with the speed of the pod motors controlled through transformers and frequency converters.
This means that the QM2 never emits huge clouds of sooty black smoke whenever it has to accelerate
during a cruise. Un-burnt fuel and smoke associated with the acceleration of large diesels is eliminated. Another
surprising feature is that the QM2 has no rudders or stern thrusters. Steering and maneuvering of the ship is achieved
by swiveling the two rotating pods. This significantly improves the ship's turning ability and gives unparalleled maneuvering
potential in tight channels or ports.
|Courtesy Maritime Reporter
|Courtesy David Tinsley - MARITIME REPORTER DEC/03
Extending some 45m from wing to wing, the Cunarder's bridge is
a showcase for technological innovation and radical new thinking in terms of equipment layout, housing an integrated
system distinguished by multifunction workstations using flat screen displays. One of the step changes in layout denoted
by the QM2 installation is the separation of the center console from the displays. This has enabled more equipment to
be incorporated on the main console, while allowing bridge personnel free access to all displays. The arrangments
draw on the revolutionary Manta design concept unveiled four years ago by turnkey supplier Kelvin Hughes, whereby individual
flat panel screens could be used to view and control any of a range of functions associated with the navigation and operation
of the ship.
QUEEN MARY/GBTT, BUILT 1936, 81,237 GROSS
TONS, LENGTH 1020 FEET, 28.5 KNOTS, STEAM TURBINE, 4 SCREWS.
The QUEEN MARY made her maiden voyage to New York in May, 1936.
She was the first British ship over 1000 feet long and gained the Blue Riband twice, making the New York to Southampton
trip in 1938 taking 3 days 20 hours and 42 minutes. She regained the Blue Riband very decisively from the NORMANDIE
in August of the year and held it until the UNITED STATES took it from her in 1952.
She is seen here arriving at Southampton on August 31st. of that year.
Her average speed was over 30 knots.
The above picture obviously taken with the 'Queen' at her permanent berth near Los Angeles. Notice
the ham radio triband antenna above the middle funnel!
|Courtesy Maritime Magazine
|Courtesy Claude Meldrum Collection
QUEEN ELIZABETH/GBSS, BUILT 1940, 83,673
GROSS TONS, LENGTH 1031 FEET, 28.5 KNOTS, STEAM TURBINES, 4 SCREWS.
Cunard's motto of "GETTING THERE IS HALF THE FUN"
rang hollow to those prone to seasickness, particularly during the winter months on the North Atlantic. The
author had been at sea for 2 years before joining CARINTHIA and had thought that the malady was beaten until his first trip
'across the pond'. With 3 radio officers on a 24 hour watch vessel there was no provision for a 'sick' man.
Life 'on the ocean wave' was not good, at least for that first trip, when the incredible First Class dining menu
with it's gourmet delights including lobster and caviar went virtually untouched! Taking press on watch in the
radio office in order for the print shop to issue the OCEAN TIMES overnight with a bucket between one's legs is no fun at
all. Needless to say some of the stocks and share prices were sometimes less than accurate. Cunard,
of course, disavowed any responsability when worried First Class passengers appeared at the W/T office the next morning
to 'buy and sell'!
The emergence of the long distance jet airliner in the 'fifties effectively
sounded the 'death knell' for the transAtlantic passenger liner. Few had more to lose than the Cunard company,
operating not only it's pair of 'Queens' but also a substantial fleet of second division ships which included the MAURETANIA
and the beautiful CARONIA. Whether the ships in the latter category were ever large profit makers seems questionable
but there is no doubt of the brilliant success of the two 'giants' both during and following the war years.
By 1962 Cunard must have tacitly accepted the 'writing on the wall'
in abandoning any thought of building their conventional "Q3" design and yet for a further five years they persevered
grimly with the operation of the two ageing 'ladies' and six so-called 'intermediates' to the decimation of both cash flow
The original 4 funnelled MAURETANIA held the coveted
Blue Riband longer that any other liner on the Atlantic. She is seens here on her official trials in 1907.
MAURETANIA was launched in 1907, she was 790
feet long by 88 feet wide and had a displacement of 40,000 tons. She held the Blue Riband for 20 years and was broken
up in 1935.
The more fortunate U.S. troops return home from
WW1 aboard MAURETANIA, still in her wartime camouflage.
|Courtesy Liverpool University Archives - SM JUNE/90
Completed in near record time the 'new' MAURETANIA' left Cammall Lairds
on the 14th of May, 1939. Classed as an intermediate North Atlantic liner she had been designated as a compromise
between 'super' liners of her time and smaller ships. She combined big liner luxury with slower speed and
increased cargo handling capacity. MAURETANIA was larger, fuller and shorter than her predecessor.
She is seen here being warped to her berth at Southampton following
another Atlantic crossing.
|Courtesy Cammell Laird - SM JUNE/83
The second MAURETANIA was built as a kind of active reserve ship to
augment the London sailings of the BRITTANIC and GEORGIC and to relieve the two 'Queens' when they were withdrawn for
their annual overhauls. She was laid down on May 24, 1937, barely three years after the demise of her famous predecessor,
the MAURETANIA of 1907. Cammel Laird launched the 'new' liner on July 28th, 1938. A year later she
began her maiden voyage from Liverpool to New York. After returning to England, she sailed from Southampton
to London where she became the largest liner ever to have berthed in the King George V Dock. Until the launching
of the WINDSOR CASTLE in 1959 the MAURETANIA was the biggest liner built on the Mersey.
Cunard Steamship Company had long ago established roots in Canada and
at the end of WW2 they had some ageing ships which would not meet the competititive pressures of the future. In
1951 it was decided to build 4 new medium tonnage liners for the emigrant run between the U.K. and both Canada (Montreal/Quebec/Halifax)
and New York. The time was fast approaching when air travel would be the preferred mode for many, especially
business travellers and those on tight schedules, also for others with seasickness issues. The new ships
would be built at John Brown's yard which had a long standing reputation for quality vessels within Cunard. Tonnage
of each would be a little over 20,000 and in November of 1953 the first two vessels were announced to be the SAXONIA and IVERNIA
to be followed closely by CARINTHIA and SYLVANIA.
|Courtesy Charles Dragonette - SM AUG/89
A final homecoming for RMS MAURETANIA as she arrives
at Southampton at the end of her last voyage on November 10th. 1965. On her bridge was Captain Jones who was to
command the QUEEN MARY (left) on her final voyage two years later.
The CARINTHIA passes the Cloch Lighthouse on yet
another trip outward bound from Greenock to Montreal.
The CARINTHIA, on which the author sailed
as R/O, eventually became the FAIRSEA and ultimately the FAIR PRINCESS.
During 2001 she was sold by P & O (the
operating company for Cunard) to Allegiance Capital Corporation and converted to a gambling ship, some might say
an ignominious ending to the career of a fine ship, the CHINA SEA DISCOVERY.
On one of her last trips to Montreal the CARMANIA is seen below entering
the Cunard berth at the foot of McGill Street. Cunard liners berthed nose to nose with Donaldson liners.
She is seen here in her new colours with nr. 1 hatch cover open in preparation for cargo work. Port dues were
becoming increasingly expensive hence the fast turn-around times. Cunard's competition, Canadian Pacific
with the equally impressive 'Empress' boats, berthed a little further down the waterfront.
The IVERNIA is seen below in the fitting out basin
at the East Yard of her builders, John Brown and Co. of Clydebank, in 1955.
|Courtesy Laurence Dunn Collection - SM JAN/85
|Courtesy Bill Miller Collection - SM APRIL/87
In the days before the jetliner the rich and famous commuted across
the Atlantic in 6 days rather than todays 6 hours (or a little over 3 hours if you took the Concord). A scene
never to be repeated is depicted above as those magnificent Atlantic liners of a bygone era 'rest up' before returning
to their European homelands. Taken during 1960 in New York's luxury row one can see from top to bottom the INDEPENDANCE
(U.S.A.) and SATURNIA (Italy) at pier 84; AMERICA (U.S.A.) at pier 86, LIBERTE (France)
at pier 88, BRITTANIC and QUEEN MARY at pier 90 and CARONIA (the 'Green Goddess') with the MEDIA at pier
|Courtesy G.F. Allen - SM MAR/77
The Cunard Line cargo vessel SAMARIA arrives at
London's Royal Docks. She was the third Cunard ship to bear the name and was eventually sold to Harrison Line in 1969
and renamed SCHOLAR.
|Courtesy Malcolm Fife - SM APRIL/89
A combination of sun and storm clouds enhance this
view of Cunard's VISTAFJORD. This medium size vessel of 24,492 grt was built in 1973. Picture taken
at Leith docks near Edinburgh.
Below, another classic view showing the ship
illuminated at night suggesting visits ashore in exotic foreign ports.
|Photo Arturo Paniagua - SM OCT/92
Until the more recent launching of the QUEEN MARY 2 Cunard's pride has
been the QUEEN ELIZABETH 2 - GBTT which was built in 1968. At a modest 66,451 grt she is seen below being nudged
into her berth at New York. This beautiful vessel may be ageing with some passengers having been heard to complain about
the 'creaks and groans' but a berth on her is still much sought after. This is, indeed, a ship with
character but not without her share of problems along the way.
|From a colour transparency by Peter C. Kohler SM APRIL/89
|Photo Ian Denton - SM DEC/92
She is seen here undergoing repairs on a floating dock of the Blohm
& Voss shipyard in Hamburg September 29th. 1992.
She had grounded off the coast of New England resulting in a 74 foot
gash in her starboard hull, 300 feet of keel damage and additional holes in the port side hull. Temporary
repairs had been carried out in Boston prior to sailing to Hamburg for completion.
It's hardly the done thing these days for a great lady to be a heavy
smoker, so here's one last look at the QUEEN ELIZABETH 2 as she sometimes used to be! In this instance the
photograph was taken after the liner had completed her post-Falklands refit which included the short-lived painting of her
hull in pebble grey. The scene is unlikely to be repeated as the QE2 was shortly after re-engined with diesel-electric
machinery during a 29 million pound refit at the Lloyd Werft, Bremerhaven shipyard. The refitted Cunarder
returned to Southampton for a liner voyage to New York, sailing on April 29th 1987.
|Courtesy Ajax News - SM JUNE/87
|Photo R. Bruce Grice - SM FEB/85
CARMANIA and FRANCONIA are seen here laid up at
Southampton in 1971, accompanied by Shaw Savill's SOUTHERN CROSS. Both the Cunarders were eventually mothballed
in the River Fal until August 1973 when they were sold to Russian owners
Photographed in the Panama Canal below is Sitmar Cruise's 16,627 grt
FAIRSEA (ex CARINTHIA). This class of vessel played a major role in Cunard's success throughout the fifties
and sixties and is symbolic of the world class quality of Clydeside shipbuilding at that time.
There must be many Clydesiders still alive today who cringe at the thought
of the QE2 being repaired in a German yard AND the latest QUEEN having been built in England's old enemy France!
|Photo Ian Spashett - SM DEC/88
|QUEEN ELIZABETH - Author's File
Above, the QUEEN ELIZABETH went out in flames - whether by accident or arson is not known - as she lay in Hong Kong Harbour
having been converted into a floating university.
|"ASSYRIA" - Courtesy Stuart Jones
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