Majesty at Sea: The Four Stackers


Front Cover and Spine, Majesty at Sea: The Four-Stackers by John J. Shaum, Jr. and William H. Flayhart III, 1981.

Front Cover and Spine, Majesty at Sea: The Four-Stackers by John J. Shaum, Jr. and William H. Flayhart III, 1981. Foreword by Walter Lord. Cover Design by Bob Swan. GGA Image ID # 2051268ddf


On the Front Cover

Artistic license being what it is, the Aquitania towers over everything else in sight except the lower Manhattan skyline. She was big, no doubt, but such devices were often utilized to make the ships appear even more considerable in advertising.


From the Dust Jacket Flap

The opulent and luxurious four-funnel passenger liners, of which only fourteen have ever been built, are unsurpassed in maritime history. Built between 1897 and 1921, these great vessels vied with each other in their standards of comfort, spaciousness, and speed, and great was the rivalry between their owners.

Norddeutscher Lloyd started the trend and built the greatest number—Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse, Kronprinz Wilhelm, Kaiser Wilhelm II and Kronprinzessin Cecilie. HAPAG, their major German competitor, built only one—Deutschland—as did the Compagnie Général Transatlantique with their France.

The Cunard and White Star lines each constructed three, and these are probably the most famous liners of all time: Lusitania, Mauretania, Aquitania, Olympic, Titanic, and Britannic. Finally, Union Castle built the Arundel Castle and Windsor Castle to introduce the same standards to the Cape run as on the Atlantic routes.

Each ship had a unique identity, their interiors lavishly decorated in historical and international styles to resemble floating palaces. Several also served in less glamorous wartime roles as commerce raiders, troopships, and hospital ships.

This sumptuous book portrays their careers in words and an unparalleled selection of photographs and prints. Written by two eminent maritime historians, it is bound to be treasured by all who share their love affair with the sea and ships.



  • Foreword by Walter Lord
  • Introduction

1. Norddeutscher Lloyd

  • Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse, Kronprinz Wilhelm, Kaiser Wilhelm II, Kronprinzessin Cecilie

2. Hamburg America

  • Deutschland

3. Cunard

  • Lusitania, Mauretania, Aquitania

4. White Star

  • Olympic, Titanic, Britannic

5. Compagnie Générale Transatlantique

  • France

6. Union-Castle

  • Arundel Castle, Windsor Castle


  • Acknowledgements
  • Index


Back Cover, Majesty at Sea: The Four-Stackers by John J. Shaum, Jr. and William H. Flayhart III, 1981.

Back Cover, Majesty at Sea: The Four-Stackers by John J. Shaum, Jr. and William H. Flayhart III, 1981. GGA Image ID # 2051d3698e


On the Back Cover

The portrait of Kaiser Wilhelm I graces the first-class music room-drawing room of the Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse, constructed around one of the funnel casings. The architectural style can only be described as 'High Victorian' or, in the German manner, 'Wilhelmine' (Library of Congress).


From the Back Cover

Unmatched for sheer opulent luxury, the fourteen superb four-funnel liners are unique in maritime history. Norddeutscher Lloyd's Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse, Kronprinz Wilhelm, Kaiser Wilhelm II and Kronprinzessin Cecilie; HAPAG's Deutschland; Cunard's Lusitania, Mauretania and Aquitania; White Star's Olympic, Titanic and Britannic; the Compagnie Général Transatlantique's France and the Union Castle's Arundel Castle and Windsor Castle: what magic their very names convey. This sumptuous book portrays their histories in vivid words and pictures. All maritime historians and enthusiasts will treasure it.


About the Authors

John H. Shaum, Jr is a radio broadcaster in Baltimore, Maryland, where he was born in 1948. He entered journalism after serving with the United States Marine Corps and, like his co-author, has had a lifelong enthusiasm for ships and the sea. He is Regional Vice President of the Steamship Historical Society of America, Regional Editor of Steamboat Bill, and a member of the World Ship Society. In addition to ships, his interests include railways and organ music. He lives with his wife Martha and their two children in Baltimore.

William H. Flayhart III is a History and Political Science Professor at Delaware State College. Born in Philadelphia in 1944, he has had a lifelong fascination with the sea and majored in British maritime history. He has always had close links with this country, completing his doctoral research at the University of London following a year as an undergraduate at Edinburgh. Since then, he has returned many times, usually on maritime affairs. A member of the Society for Nautical Research, the United States Naval Institute, and the North American Society of Oceanic Historians, he has held the American Chair on the International Committee of the World Ship Society. He has been awarded the Steamship Historical Society's gold medal for maritime and naval history contributions. He lives with his wife, Deborah, and their two children in Dover, Delaware.


Author Inscription and Signature.

Author Inscription and Signature. With many thanks for your photographic talents and assistance. Best Wishes. Bill Flayhart. 12/5/1981. GGA Image ID # 205216c1ba


List of Passenger Ships Referenced in Majesty at Sea

  1. Adriatic
  2. Aller
  3. America (ex-Amerika)
  4. Amroth Castle
  5. Anne de Bretagne
  6. Aquitania
  7. Arlanza
  8. Arucas
  9. Arundel Castle
  10. Athlone Castle
  11. Baltic
  12. Berengaria (ex-Imperator)
  13. Bethania
  14. Birma
  15. Bismarck
  16. Borussia
  17. Bremen (1897)
  18. Bremen ( 1929)
  19. Britannic
  20. Britannic (1910)
  21. Calamares
  22. Californian
  23. Campania
  24. Canadian
  25. Cap Trafalgar
  26. Carmania
  27. Carnarvon Castle
  28. Caronia
  29. Carpathia
  30. Cedric
  31. Celtic
  32. Ceramic
  33. Champlain
  34. Charles Roux
  35. Chasehill
  36. City of Exeter
  37. Coleby
  38. Columbus
  39. Conte de Savoia
  40. De Grasse
  41. Deutschland
  42. Duala
  43. Duca Degli Abruzzi
  44. Duilio
  45. Dwinsk
  46. Ebernburg
  47. Empress of Britain
  48. Empress of Canada
  49. Empress of Ireland
  50. Estonian
  51. Europa
  52. France (1865)
  53. France (1912)
  54. France (1962)
  55. Frankfort
  56. Friedrich der Grosse
  57. Galician
  58. George Washington
  59. Georgic
  60. Giulio Cesare
  61. Great Eastern
  62. Grosser Kurfürst
  63. Guadeloupe
  64. Hemisphere
  65. Holger
  66. Homeric (ex-Columbus)
  67. Ile de France
  68. Imperator
  69. Incemore
  70. Indian Prince
  71. Instructor
  72. Kaipara
  73. Kaiser Friedrich
  74. Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse
  75. Kaiser Wilhelm II
  76. Kaiserin Auguste Victoria
  77. Kronprinz Wilhelm
  78. Kronprinzessin Cecilie
  79. Kroonland
  80. La Correntina
  81. La Lorraine
  82. La Picardie
  83. La Provence
  84. La Savoie
  85. Lafayette
  86. Lapland
  87. Laurentic
  88. Leviathan (ex- Vaterland)
  89. Lucania
  90. Lurline
  91. Lusitania
  92. Macedonia
  93. Magdeburg
  94. Main
  95. Majestic (1887)
  96. Majestic (ex-Bismarck)
  97. Mauretania
  98. Megantic
  99. Meteor (yacht)
  100. Mesaba
  101. Mont Agel
  102. Mont Blanc
  103. Mount Temple
  104. Narragansett
  105. New York
  106. Nieuw Amsterdam
  107. Normandie
  108. Nyanga
  109. Oceanic
  110. Oceanic (1928)
  111. Olans Olssen
  112. Olympic
  113. Orinoco
  114. Orizaba
  115. Paris
  116. Pendennis Castle
  117. Pontos
  118. Potaro
  119. President Grant
  120. Prinz Eitel Friedrich
  121. Prussia
  122. Queen Elizabeth
  123. Queen Mary
  124. Rex
  125. Saale
  126. Samson
  127. Semantha
  128. Sequaranca
  129. Sierra Cordoba
  130. Stirling Castle
  131. Tamar
  132. Teutonic
  133. Titanic
  134. Union
  135. Vaterland
  136. Virginian
  137. Walhalla
  138. Washington
  139. Winchester Castle
  140. Windsor Castle


List of Steamship Lines Referenced in Majesty at Sea

  1. British & North American Royal Mail Steam Packet Co.
  2. Compagnie Générale Maritime (CGM)
  3. Compagnie Générale Transatlantique (CGT) French Line
  4. Cunard Line
  5. Cunard Steam-Ship Co.
  6. Elder Dempster Line
  7. Hamburg America Line (HAPAG)
  8. Inman & International Line
  9. International Mercantile Marine
  10. Nelson Line
  11. New Zealand Shipping Co.
  12. Norddeutscher Lloyd (NDL)
  13. Oceanic Steam Navigation Co.
  14. Roland Line
  15. Royal Mail Steam Packet Co.
  16. Union-Castle Mail Steamship Co.
  17. United American Lines
  18. Ward Line
  19. White Star Line


Library of Congress Catalog Listing

  • Personal name: Shaum, John H., 1944-
  • Main title: Majesty at sea: the four-stackers / by John H. Shaum Jr. & William H. Flayhart III.
  • Published/Created: Cambridge [Cambridgeshire]: P. Stephens, 1981.
  • Description: 168 p.: ill. (some col.) ; 32 cm.
  • ISBN: 0850594618
  • LC Classification: VM381 .S48 1981
  • Related names: Flayhart, William H., 1944-
  • LC Subjects: Ocean liners--History.
  • Notes: Includes index.
  • LCCN: 82208085
  • Dewey class no.: 387.2/432/09
  • Type of material: Book


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