Saxonia was the class-leader in the 'Saxonia Class'; the last large liners Cunard built for the transatlantic service to Canada.
Saxonia was launched in 1954, and was placed into service along with three near-sisters.
With the decline of transatlantic shipping following the introduction of regular jet services, Saxonia was withdrawn from the transatlantic run and refitted for cruising. A new lido deck was built with a swimming pool and outdoor eatery.
The ship was renamed Carmania and used on the Rotterdam - Southampton - Canada route, until the QE2 was introduced in 1969. Following this, Carmania was used for cruising until finally retired in 1971.
The ship was bought in 1973 by the Black Sea Shipping Co. and renamed Leonid Sobinov.