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Passenger Liners of the World Since 1893

Front Cover, Passenger Liners of the World Since 1893, Revised Edition (1979)

Jacket photograph of liner, France III, from Colour Library International, Ltd.

Passenger Liners Of The World Since 1893
By Nicholas I Cairis
Revised Edition With Over 200 pictures

Present-day demand for air travel has almost outmoded the passenger ship; it has been unable to maintain the tempo of the airlines and has reluctantly moved out of the scene.

The author here takes a nostalgic look back to the heyday of the passenger ship, pro-viding a brief history of 211 ships of over 10,000 tons, together with specification and technical details of each.

For ready reference, the reader will find such diverse facts as:

  • who built the ships
  • where and when they were built
  • tonnage and dimensions
  • type of engine
  • cruising speed
  • passenger accommodations, officers and crew
  • maiden voyages and final dispositions
  • sister ships
  • general histories and much more.

To this revised edition has been added new technical data, and updated information about last voyages and final dispositions of ships.

In all, thirteen of the better known steam-ship companies dating back as far as 1893 are featured in this book. The book is illustrated with an original photograph of each of the 211 ships.


  • Preface 6
  • Cunard Line 8
  • French Line 58
  • Greek Line 84
  • Holland-America Line 90
  • Home Lines 108
  • Italian Line 114
  • North German Lloyd 140
  • Norwegian-America Line 173
  • Polish Ocean Lines 180
  • Portuguese Line 184
  • Spanish Line 190
  • Swedish-American Line 198
  • United States Lines 206
  • General Notes 222
  • Notes for Revised 1979 Edition 223
  • Index of Ships 225

To Jehovah who has endowed me with a love for the sea and ships and to my mother and father.

BONANZA BOOKS A Division of Crown Publishers, Inc. One Park Avenue New York, New York 10016


The port of New York where all the great liners of the world have rendezvoused since the advent of the passenger ship to carry the many travellers to far off lands and resorts.

The term passenger liner is a label appropriate to steamships and motorships alike. The specifica-tions governing a vessel of this type have un-doubtedly fluctuated through the history of the passenger-carrying vessels. The phrase being en-tirely controversial,

I have decided to include vessels only exceeding ten thousand gross tons and thereby keeping this volume within reasonable limits. In all there are enumerated two hundred and ten ships. Chartered ships and others completed to be released as war reparations or those which never sailed as passenger ships for the Lines respectively for numerous reasons . . . have not been included in this book. Concerning these ships there will be found in the fleet lists a brief note relating to their stories.

In the following pages I have gathered all such material pertaining to the most prominent steamship companies on the Atlantic Ferry today and those which have been there for some time. Some of the Lines have diverse services to other oceans, seas and continents of the world. My foremost interest was to include the better-known steamship company of each of the seafaring nations in the Western Hemisphere.

In total there are thirteen of these Lines which fly the national flags of their homeland and the last of the Lines the Panamanian ensign owing to the once numerous interests in the company and also for keen tax purposes. I included this last Line as a type of international firm whose founders were of Greek, Swedish, Italian and American origin.

The lore for the sea and ships has prompted me to choose not only the ships of my choice and liking, but to com-bine the greater number of all these liners in an unbiased factual publication of, hopefully, every-body's favourite ships. Each of the ships is illus-trated with an original photograph to help the reader grasp the full beauty that emanates from all of these inspiring ladies from the great leviathans and express greyhounds to the intermediate and cargo-type passenger ships.

In stating the history of the ship's life, if there is any such to mention, there is listed in order if known :

  • the builder and place of construction with the date;
  • the last known tonnage;
  • overall length and extreme breadth;
  • moulded depth and number of propellers;
  • type of propulsion and normal service speed;
  • attained speed on trial runs or maximum speed;
  • passenger accommodations (the given figures are usually the last in the ships' life and are in most cases smaller in the latter years of a ship than when she first entered into service because of the immigration laws of the early 'twenties and the reclassification of the classes brought about through the years);
  • officers and crew (this in most cases follows the same rule as passenger accommodations because of the advancements of technology);
  • maiden voyage;
  • bulkheads and general number of decks (the labelling of decks is sometimes a controversial matter because of changes in construction and the naming by designers.

Some may consider a certain section of a ship to be labelled a deck for passenger use whereas others may not, depending on the length or location of the section); history and ultimate fate; and last a sister ship or ships if any existed in the Line's services. Roman numerals preceding the name of a ship designate the numbered ship to carry the name.
This fast-moving era of air travel has almost outmoded the passenger ship into oblivion.

Unable to maintain the tempo of the airlines of reducing once several-days' journeys to a mere couple of hours and the competition of rates the passenger ship has slowly, but reluctantly, moved out of the scene. Remorsefully, we are all witnessing the extinction of the passenger liner by the drastic drop in transatlantic sailings since World War II. Some of the larger fleets have depleted rapidly and many have employed their ships in cruising most of the year.

Some have even gone to the point of selling cruise tickets to nowhere in which case the vessel merely sails around in circles just off the coast for a number of days. As time goes by the condition of the steamship companies seems to get dimmer in the possibility of a comeback to take her part in the travel medium which was rightfully hers. Though should the liner fade into the past, she will always live in the hearts of many who knew her in her day.

All facts have been entered in this book to the best of my knowledge. The information gathered stems from various sound resources as Lloyd's Register of Shipping, The American Record, newspaper articles, brochures, original abstract records and to some degree written and oral cor-respondence with the Lines and shipping personnel. Should the reader have any reason to argue its contents, which I believe to be the most accurate in existence, he may take the initiative to write me through the publishers and I would be most happy to try to assist him with the source of origination and degree of authenticity.

My gratitude would be incomplete if I should close without thanking the following people connected for supplying information and photographs for my book. They are enumerated thus: Mr Claros of the Spanish Line, Mr Vreugdenhil of the Holland-America Line, Mr Rickmann of the North German Lloyd, Mr Martin of the Cunard Line, Mr Bet of the Italian Line, Mr Bouvard of the French Line, Mr Martin of the United States Lines, Mr Henriksson of the Swedish-American Line, Mr Amundsen of the Norwegian-America Line, Mr Sigalas of the Greek Line, Mr Coutinho of the Portuguese Line, and Mr Tillet öf the Home Lines.

My thankfulness is also extended to Mr John L. Lochhead of the Mariner's Museum at Newport News, Virginia, Mark Sexton of the Peabody Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, Mrs Alice S. Wilson of the Steamship Historical Society of America on Staten Island, New York, The Upper Clyde Shipbuilders of Glasgow, Scotland, Mr David Pearson of Belmont, Massachusetts, and the Maritime Museum of Barcelona for photographs.

'If the only flags we gave allegiance to were the houseflags of the Lines and the only battles fought were for the Blue Riband.'

Nicholas T. Cairis
London, England

Publication Information

  • Class 623.8243
  • Personal Name Cairis, Nicholas thomas
  • Main Title Passenger liners of the world since 1893, by n.t. cairis
  • Publication New York: Bonanza books, 1979
  • Pages: 226
  • Published: 1988-12-12
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0517288753
  • ISBN-13: 9780517288757
  • Binding: Hardcover (Revised Edition) with Dustjacket
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