Cunard Line

The Last Ocean Liners


 

Cunard Line In the final decades of the ocean liner era, the 1950s and 1960s, the Cunard Steamship Company of Great Britain was by far the best known shipping line in the world. Cunard Line ships carried a third of all the North Atlantic passengers, and more than their share of the rich and famous. The company was most noted for its two legendary superliners, Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, the largest passenger ships in the world. They were the ultimate expression of the art deco style at sea.

Cunard Line The ships were completed prior to World War II, but due to the pressing need for them as troop transports, they were not able to begin their tandem service until 1947. Then for two decades the Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth were extremely successful as the two most glamorous running mates on the high seas, earning great profits and worldwide acclaim for the Cunard Line.

Cunard Line British and other European royalty were frequent passengers in First class, along with Hollywood stars and millionaires. Businessmen, politicians, religious leaders and tourists mainly filled Cabin class, while budget tourists and students booked the Tourist class berths.

Generally, First class accommodations on the Queens spanned prime midship space on the higher decks, Cabin class was aft and Tourist class was forward. Cunard Line Aboard Queen Mary, the First class Verandah Grill occupied Sun Deck aft. Promenade Deck had the First class observation lounge, library, drawing room, shops, double-height main lounge, galleries and the aft Cabin class smoking room. Cunard Line On Main Deck were the forward Tourist class Garden lounge and the aft Cabin class main lounge, bar, library and writing room. A-Deck included the Tourist class smoking room forward, while all three restaurants were on R-Deck and separate swimming baths for First and Cabin classes on E and F-Decks. Queen Elizabeth shared a similar layout.

Cunard Line Their precise schedule of five day crossings from New York to Cherbourg and Southampton was timed so that either the Queen Mary or Queen Elizabeth departed New York every Wednesday, arriving in England on the following Monday. The ocean liners normally sailed westbound every Thursday, to arrive in New York on Tuesday in time for turnaround the next day.

Cunard Line "It's all part of Cunard's First Class mood as you cross the Atlantic to Europe. It's a holiday mood. A mood that lasts for five wonderful days, dispels cares, creates enchantment - the extra value which comes with every Cunard ticket. Getting there is half the fun ... go Cunard."

In the mid 1950s, Cunard Line ordered four new mid-sized ocean liners for their U.K. to Canada services, offering weekly sailings from each side of the Atlantic. Cunard Line In 1963, the first pair Saxonia and Ivernia, were renamed Carmania and Franconia. They were upgraded and made suitable for a dual role of crossing and cruising. Repainted in shades of green, they were given expansive Lido Decks, private facilities in every cabin and a North Atlantic liner style which recreated the past and promoted gracious living.

Cunard Line While not given the same makeovers, the second pair, Carinthia and Sylvania had attractive traditional interiors. Each class was afforded its own main lounge on the Promenade Deck and dining room below on the Restaurant Deck. Additionally there was a smoking room with bar for each class, plus a drawing room, library and additional lounge for First class and soda fountain for Tourist.

Cunard Line The company made the decision in 1964 that there was still sufficient demand for Atlantic crossings by sea, such that a new Cunard Line superliner was ordered, to be equally suited to both crossing and cruising. Thus, the legendary Queen Elizabeth 2 admirably fulfilled both roles for 35 years, extending Cunard Line's legacy into the 21st century. Then in 2004, the QE2 was replaced on the transatlantic run by the biggest and most stunning ocean liner of them all, the Queen Mary 2. Cunard Line now occupies a niche in the contemporary cruise industry as the only company to operate regular line voyages.


Sample minimum one-way fares from New York to Southampton: First class $465; Tourist class $255; All fares are per person in U.S. dollars.


Continue to the ships below ...



Go to Cunard Line sailing schedules or select schedules by ship below:


Queen Mary - 1936 - Cunard Line
Queen Mary Cunard Line
Built: 1936 by John Brown & Co, Clydebank, Scotland Gross tons: 81237 Length: 1019ft (311m) Width: 119ft (36m) Draft: 39ft (12m) Speed: 28.5kn Power: 200000 shp Propulsion: Steam turbines quadruple screw Passengers: 711 First 707 Cabin 577 Tourist End of service: Sold 1967
 

Queen Elizabeth - 1940 - Cunard Line
Queen Elizabeth Cunard Line
Built: 1940 by John Brown & Co, Clydebank, Scotland Gross tons: 83673 Length: 1031ft (314m) Width: 119ft (36m) Draft: 39ft (12m) Speed: 28.5kn Power: 200000 shp Propulsion: Steam turbines quadruple screw Passengers: 823 First 622 Cabin 798 Tourist End of service: Sold 1968
 

Carmania - 1954 - Cunard Line
Carmania Cunard Line
Built: 1954 by John Brown & Co, Clydebank, Scotland Gross tons: 22592 Length: 608ft (185m) Width: 80ft (24m) Draft: 28ft (9m) Speed: 20kn Power: 24500 shp Propulsion: Steam turbines twin screw Passengers: 117 First 764 Tourist End of service: Cruising only from 1967; laid up 1971; sold 1973
 

Franconia - 1955 - Cunard Line
Franconia Cunard Line
Built: 1955 by John Brown & Co, Clydebank, Scotland Gross tons: 22637 Length: 608ft (185m) Width: 80ft (24m) Draft: 28ft (9m) Speed: 20kn Power: 24500 shp Propulsion: Steam turbines twin screw Passengers: 119 First 728 Tourist End of service: Cruising only from 1970; laid up 1971; sold 1973
 

Carinthia - 1956 - Cunard Line
Carinthia Cunard Line
Built: 1956 by John Brown & Co, Clydebank, Scotland Gross tons: 21947 Length: 608ft (185m) Width: 80ft (24m) Draft: 28ft (9m) Speed: 20kn Power: 24500 shp Propulsion: Steam turbines twin screw Passengers: 154 First 714 Tourist End of service: Sold 1968
 

Sylvania - 1957 - Cunard Line
Sylvania Cunard Line
Built: 1957 by John Brown & Co, Clydebank, Scotland Gross tons: 21989 Length: 608ft (185m) Width: 80ft (24m) Draft: 28ft (9m) Speed: 20kn Power: 24500 shp Propulsion: Steam turbines twin screw Passengers: 154 First 724 Tourist End of service: Sold 1968