The Grand Dames of the Atlantic

<>RMS Caronia                      RMS Carmania <>

RETURN TO THE HOMEPAGE                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   THE CUNARDERS


Welcome to our website celebrating the careers of the RMS Caronia and RMS Carmania of 1905.  


The unique pair were used to test and compare the standard quadruple expansion propulsion system (fitted on the RMS Caronia) with the new steam turbine system invented by Sir Charles Parsons (fitted on the RMS Carmania). The result of the testing in these two ships later led to the steam turbine being chosen as the propulsion system for Cunard Line's mighty Lusitania and Mauretania in 1907. The Caronia and Carmania entered service in 1905 on Cunard Line's flagship Liverpool to New York transatlantic service and were affectionately known as "the Grand Dames of the Atlantic".

Sadly their career on the transatlantic service was interrupted in 1914 by the outbreak of the First World War. Both ships were requisitioned to serve as Armed Merchant Cruisers. The Caronia had a relatively uneventful wartime career. However the Carmania had a much more eventful wartime experience. In September 1914 she fought a fierce battle with the Cap Trafalgar  (a German ship of Hamburg Amerika Line which was also converted for use as an Armed Merchant Cruiser) off Trinidad. The Carmania managed to sink the German ship but suffered extensive damage with her bridge being blown away in the battle. However she managed to reach port for repairs. This confrontation proved the unsuitability of passenger liners for war service as Armed Merchant Cruisers.

Both ships survived their wartime service during the First World War and returned to service for Cunard Line in 1920 after refurbishment. Soon they became very popular on their new route - the Cabin Channel Service - from London, Le Havre and Plymouth to New York.

In the late 1920s they were further refitted to enable their use on winter cruises from New York to Havana and the Caribbean. They proved popular on this service. But by 1932 with increasing competition from newer ships they were withdrawn from service and sold for scrap. 

This website celebrates the history of these famous sister ships and honours their unique place in maritime history in the history of Cunard Line and ocean travel in the early 20th century.


CUNARD LINE


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  THE GRAND DAMES OF THE ATLANTIC

(1905)



RMS Caronia (1905)

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RMS Carmania (1905)

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Her Regular Service Route: Great Britain to the United States of America (USA)

Liverpool to New York transatlantic service

"THE TRANSATLANTIC CROSSING"

CUNARD LINE, LIVERPOOL










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