Cunard is the most historic passenger line in the world.
The Cunard Line’s heritage dates back to 1839 when Sir Samuel Cunard won the first British Government contract to supply a regular mail service across the North Atlantic Ocean. Since that date, Cunard has had hundreds of Ocean Liners.
Cunard’s heritage is built on safety, speed and luxury. During the early days of the 20th Century their greyhounds, Lusitania and Mauretania, were the fastest ocean liners in the world. Their sleek hulls, turbine technology and cutter-like prows, allowed them to achieve over 24 knots – an impressive feat of engineering.
Cunard’s Golden Age occurred after World War II when their Ocean Liners, Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth were the epitome of luxury ocean travel. With speeds of over 30 knots, these two sisters were the largest Ocean Liners in the world. In fact, Queen Elizabeth, at 83,673 tons, held this record until eclipsed in 1996 by the Carnival Destiny.
In the late 1950’s, Cunard faced its most fierce competitor – the Jet aircraft. With the introduction of the Boeing 707 on the trans-Atlantic route, Cunard’s fleet of Ocean Liners quickly became obsolete. This saw the great decline of the Cunard fleet, with names such as Caronia, Media, Britannic and even the famous Queen Mary, disappearing from the North Atlantic.
But in the midst of the Jet-revolution, Cunard gambled their future on a new ship. This revolutionary liner, built at the same yard as her predecessors (John Brown & Co of Clydebank), became the QE2 and helped restore not only Cunard, but the pride of a nation.These pages are dedicated to these legendary ships.
Image courtesy: Henderson & Cremer Collection.