The Great Edwardian Cunarders

R.M.S. LUSITANIA                R.M.S. MAURETANIA                R.M.S. AQUITANIA


  
 
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This world famous trio of Cunarders have gone down in history as some of the most legendary ocean liners ever built, with their Edwardian four funnels they cut a most imposing and stately profile. These three famous ocean liners were intended to operate the prestigious transatlantic service for Cunard Line from Liverpool to New York in the early to mid 20th century until the arrival of the legendary Cunard Queens. The Lusitania and Mauretania when introduced in 1907 were the first express transatlantic liners fitted with steam turbines and were the ultimate in Edwardian elegance afloat. From their introduction till the First World War in 1914/15 these two ocean greyhounds ruled supreme on the North Atlantic and quickly became holders of the coveted Blue Riband.

Unfortunately events conspired to prevent this as during the First World War the RMS Lusitania was torpedoed by the enemy in 1915 and sunk off the Irish coast. As a result the former German ocean liner, Imperator, was acquired and renamed the RMS Berengaria to replace her and operate a three ship transatlantic service with the Mauretania and Aquitania.

The Aquitania was launched in 1913 in the midst of the First World War and was immediately pressed into war duties as a troopship. She was similar in design to the Lusitania and Mauretania but much larger. Eventually she became Cunard's longest serving express ocean liner and gave sterling service during two world wars. In fact her service record was only surpassed by the legendary QE2 very recently in 2004.

By the late 1920s the Mauretania and Aquitania were facing competition from the new breed of ships then being built such as Germany's Bremen and Europa. Eventually in the 1930s it was decided by Cunard Line that they would build two new ocean liners for the transatlantic service which would be of a size to rival the other great superliners then in service and offer a unique and prestigious two ship service. In 1936 the RMS Queen Mary entered service and shortly before in 1935 the RMS Mauretania was retired from service. It was intended that the Aquitania would be retired when the new RMS Queen Elizabeth entered service in 1940 but again war intervened and the Aquitania was paired with the Queen Mary and later dutifully served her country as a troopship once more. Finally in 1949 the Aquitania last of these graceful Edwardian Cunarders was retired from service and was scrapped in 1950.

In this website we honour these fine express Cunarders from the Edwardian era and pay tribute to their wonderful history of loyal and dedicated service both in war and peace. In their heyday they were the ultimate in Edwardian elegance and luxury and ruled supreme on the North Atlantic until surpassed in the 1930s by the new superliners and the introduction of the coveted two ship transatlantic service after the Second World War with the legendary Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth.


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RMS Lusitania (1907)


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RMS Mauretania (1907)


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RMS Aquitania (1914)







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