Tag: Liners

Ocean Liners

Queen Elizabeth 2

History of the RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2)
The RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) was built by the John Brown & Company shipyard in Clydebank, Scotland, where many previous liners were constructed including the Queen Mary, and Queen Elizabeth.

Her keel was laid on the 5th July, 1965 and she was launched and named on the 20th September, 1967 by Queen Elizabeth II.
She was designed to be more competitive against air travel than previous liners by operating cruises half of the year and having only two classes and more facilities such as outdoor pools, cinemas, discos and shops.
Queen Elizabeth 2′s sea trails were problematic, and Cunard refused delivery of the ship twice.
On the 2nd May, 1969 RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 left on her maiden voyage between Southampton and New York City.
In 1971 Queen Elizabeth 2 participated in the rescue of 500 passengers from the burning French Line ship Antilles, and had a bomb threat, resulting in the arrest of the hoaxer.
Only a year later terrorists threatened to blow up the ship on a charter cruise between New York and Israel for the nation’s 25th anniversary.
The next few years were also difficult, with boiler problems resulting in her being stranded and her passengers taken off, coral reef damage requiring urgent repairs and even an engine-room fire on July 23rd, 1976 forcing her to return to Southampton.
In May 1982 Queen Elizabeth 2 transported troops fighting in the Falklands war.
After mechanical issues, between 1986/7 she was converted from steam power to diesel, and had her passenger accommodations modernized. She was to be refurbished again when acquired by the Carnival Corporation in 1998.
She was sold to Istithmar (Dubai investment company) on the 18th June, 2007 and subsequently retired. The intended use was to become a ‘luxury floating hotel, retail, museum and entertainment destination’ at Dubai World, but due to financial reasons Queen Elizabeth 2 remains berthed at Port Mina Rashid in Dubai, in seaworthy condition.
Did you know, RMS Stands for Royal Mail Ship
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Ocean Liners

Olympic (RMS Olympic)

RMS Olympic was the first of three large ocean liners constructed for the White Star Line to compete against the successful Cunard liners (Lusitania and Mauretania). (more…)

Ocean Liners

Oceanic

History of the SS Oceanic
The Oceanic was built by Cantieri Riuniti dell’Adriatico in 1965.
She was launched on the 15th January, 1963.
From 23rd April, 2009 the Oceanic entered service with Peace Boat.

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Ocean Liners

Normandie

Normandie was considered by many to be the world’s ultimate ocean liner, she was the largest and fastest passenger ship afloat when she entered service in 1935, and a pinnacle of French design.
Construction started in January 1931 at St Nazaire, western France, where all previous French ocean liners had also been constructed. The liner was completed in May 1935.
The shipyard Chantiers et Ateliers de St Nazaire (Penhoët) built the liner for the shipping company Compagnie Générale Transatlantique (CGT), which was known as the French Line.
Normandie’s design was created by Russian émigré Vladimir Yourkevitch, and incorporated beautiful lines, a rounded stem and bulbous bow beneath the waterline. The liner’s dimensions were revolutionary, with a length of 1,029 feet and width of 184 feet. The hull design also enabled the ship to achieve a maximum recorded speed of 32.2 knots.
Despite having three funnels, the last one was actually a dummy, used to house kennels.
The interior spaces were lavishly decorated by a number of designers in a modern art deco style.
During sea trials it was revealed that Normandie had vibration issues, this was later corrected at the end of her first season.
Normandie was also fitted with a radar detection device for detecting objects, the first passenger liner to have such a device.
On 29th May, 1935, on her first voyage, the Normandie broke the speed record for crossing the Atlantic and became the Blue Riband holder, and Hales Trophy winner.
For a number of years the SS Normandie provided passengers with luxury ocean travel.
However with the outbreak of war, the Normandie ultimately was seized in New York by the United States, who intended to convert it into a naval transport vessel, and rename it USS Lafayette.
In February 1942 during the conversion from passenger liner to navy ship a fire broke out. The fire department pumped water onto the ship in an effort to put out the fire, however the water ultimately caused the ship to capsize.
Although the liner was refloated, it was impractical to restore her to her original condition, and she was scrapped in October 1946.
Bronze medallions from doors on the Normandie are part of the front doors of Our Lady of Lebanon Roman Catholic Church in Brooklyn Heights, NY, where the Captain’s table is also in use.

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Morro Castle

Morro Castle was constructed at the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company in January 1929 for the New York and Cuba Mail Steam Ship Company (Ward Line).
She was christened in March 1930 and had her maiden voyage on 23rd August, 1930.
On September 8th, 1934 a fire broke out in a storage locker within the First Class Writing Room on B Deck, quickly engulfing the ship in flames. She was around eight miles off Long Beach Island.
Passengers and crew abandoned ship and the hull drifted ashore coming to a stop in shallow water off Asbury Park, New Jersey.
135 passengers and crew were lost.

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Ocean Liners

Michelangelo

History of the Michelangelo
The Michelangelo was built in 1965 at the Ansaldo shipyards, Genoa, Italy.
She was launched on the 16th September, 1962.
Her last Atlantic crossing was in 1975 and in 1976 she was sold to the Shah of Iran to be used as floating barracks, spending fifteen years in Bandar Abbas.
There was plans in 1978 to use her as a cruise ship however due to her condition this didn’t happen and she was scrapped in Pakistan in June 1991.
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Ocean Liners

Mauretania (1938)

History of the RMS Mauretania
The Mauretania was built at the Cammell Laird shipyard, in Birkenhead, England.
Her keel was laid on the 24th May, 1937 and she was launched on the 28th July, 1938.
The maiden voyage was from Liverpool to New York on the 17th June, 1939.
After a long service, she was retired and scrapped in 1965.

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Lusitania

The Lusitania was designed by Leonard Peskett and built by John Brown & Company of Clydebank, Scotland.
Her keel was laid on the 16th June, 1904 and she was launched on the 7th June, 1906.
At the time of her maiden voyage (7th September, 1907), she was the largest ocean liner in service.
She was sunk by German U-boat U-20 on the 7th May, 1915 eleven miles off the Old Head of Kinsale, Ireland.

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Ocean Liners

Independence

History of the SS Independence
The SS Independence was built for the American Export Lines by the Bethlehem Steel Corporation’s Fore River shipyard, Quincy, Massachusetts.
Her keel was laid in 1950 and she was launched on the 3rd June, 1950 and completed January 1951.
On the 11th of February she operated a cruise to the Mediterranean.
On the 12th April the SS Independence departed from New York to Genoa, however the route was later changed from New York to Naples.

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Ocean Liners

Ile de France

SS Ile de France (Isle of France) was a revolutionary French ocean liner, setting new standards in design and style, and the first large liner to be built after World War I.
She was the second of four passenger mail liners to be constructed in an agreement between the French Line (Compagnie Générale Transatlantique) and the French government, and was built at the Penhoët Shipyard, in St. Nazaire, France. Construction started in 1925.
The ‘Paris Exposition des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes’ was also in 1925, where the term ‘Art Deco’ was born. The SS Ile de France would incorporate this new style. The liner also included an entire Parisian pavement-café, grand first class entrance hall, and passenger cabins in many different styles.
Thousands of people turned out for the launch of the Ile de France into the River Loire, on the 14th March, 1926.
Fourteen months later she was ready for her sea trails (29th May, 1927). During these trails she reached a 23.5 knot top speed.
The maiden voyage departed Le Havre on 22nd June, 1927, stopping in Plymouth a day later, before continuing to New York.
Interestingly the SS Ile de France carried a small mail plane that could take off 200 miles from shore, delivering mail between Europe and America.
During the Second World War, the Ile de France was laid up at Pier 88 in New York alongside the Normandie. In 1941 she became a British troop-transporter, and was returned to the French Line in 1947 after being decommissioned.
The French Line sent the Ile de France back to the Penhoët ship yard for conversion from a troop ship back to a passenger ocean liner. During this conversion several changes were made, including a change from three funnels, to two. She went back into service in 1949.
Aircraft became the preferred method of crossing the Atlantic in the fifties, and the ocean liner business dwindled. In 1958 the Ile de France was retired, and despite ideas such as using her as a museum, hotel and even tourist center, she was sold to a Japanese scrapping company, departing Le Havre for Osaka on 26th February, 1959. She was renamed Furansu (France) Maru for the voyage.
Used in the movie ‘The Last Voyage’
Prior to scrapping the Japanese company chartered the Ile de France as a prop in the American disaster movie The Last Voyage, for $4,000 a day. The French Line went to court resulting in the funnels being partially repainted, and the original name barred from inclusion in the movie. During production the forward funnel was crashed on to the deckhouse, explosions detonated around the liner, and she was even partially flooded.
Eventually the SS Ile de France continued to Osaka, and was scrapped.

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