What is the definition of a Liner?

fred henderson
2nd September 2005, 20:06
We all have an understanding of the difference between a liner and a cruise ship. I am asking if there is any justification for our classifications.
The Oxford Dictionery defines a "liner" as a ship belonging to a line of passenger ships. It defines "line" in this sense as a regular succession of buses, ships, aircraft, etc., plying between certain places; a company conducting a business providing this. The origin is from USA, 19th century. Cruise is defined as a sail for pleasure making for no particular place, or calling at a series of places. The word dates from the early 18th century.
There are still many cruise ships operating on a series of open ended voyage segments that take them all over the world. Swan Hellenic's Minerva for example. On the other hand many of the giant cruise ships operate on a fixed schedule from a single base port throughout the year. The Carnival and RCCL giants for example, that operate from East Coast Florida in pairs, on a 6 day Western Caribbean followed by an 8 day Eastern Caribbean voyage. Their schedules are as regular as the old Union Castle, with one of each pair sailing from the same port on the same day, at the same time each week, throughout the year. So why do we not call them liners?
Perhaps it is because we go on a cruise for pleasure, whereas we travelled on the old line voyages out of necessity. If the absence of pleasure is a criteria we should possibly call the Easycruise orange vessel a liner!

Fred

david smith
2nd September 2005, 23:26
I do not think of easycruise as a liner company, but as a floting hostel. I agree with fixed ports as a line, but should consider the type of customer. A line customs for those wishing to travel between two ports and beyond, like a ferry company. A Cruise ship caters for the package of ports within a "holiday", although I appreciate vague areas between the two.

mclean
3rd September 2005, 02:27
A liner is a vessel owned by a shipping company on a regular established route against a published schedule. All cargo carried on board such a vessel is covered under a liner Bill of Lading issued by or on behalf of the shipping company. Do not think that Cruise Ships fall under this category. Regards Colin
ol

Doug Rogers
3rd September 2005, 04:15
We all have an understanding of the difference between a liner and a cruise ship. I am asking if there is any justification for our classifications.
The Oxford Dictionery defines a "liner" as a ship belonging to a line of passenger ships. It defines "line" in this sense as a regular succession of buses, ships, aircraft, etc., plying between certain places; a company conducting a business providing this. The origin is from USA, 19th century. Cruise is defined as a sail for pleasure making for no particular place, or calling at a series of places. The word dates from the early 18th century.
There are still many cruise ships operating on a series of open ended voyage segments that take them all over the world. Swan Hellenic's Minerva for example. On the other hand many of the giant cruise ships operate on a fixed schedule from a single base port throughout the year. The Carnival and RCCL giants for example, that operate from East Coast Florida in pairs, on a 6 day Western Caribbean followed by an 8 day Eastern Caribbean voyage. Their schedules are as regular as the old Union Castle, with one of each pair sailing from the same port on the same day, at the same time each week, throughout the year. So why do we not call them liners?
Perhaps it is because we go on a cruise for pleasure, whereas we travelled on the old line voyages out of necessity. If the absence of pleasure is a criteria we should possibly call the Easycruise orange vessel a liner!

Fred

The Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea quotes Liner : "A ship belonging to a shipping company which carries passengers on scheduled routes".

A Cargo Liner : "A cargo carrying vessel with accommodation for a few passengers".

Come on Pompeyfan..lets hear your comments on this one!!, its a good one!!

John Rogers
3rd September 2005, 19:47
Somehow Doug I have a feeling Pompeyfan is preparing his rebuttal as we type, and he is on his way with both barrels.
John

Doug Rogers
3rd September 2005, 23:23
Its the size of those barrels that worry me...but this really is his field and it would be interesting to hear his comments on this.

Bob
4th September 2005, 08:42
Is it not a fact that some of the Cruise ships do line voyages, such as "Oriana" these trips are advertised as such "Line Voyages" so in this instance maybe they are referring to the fact that this was what they as a company used to do,so what are the trans Atlantic crossings called are they not a line voyage, just a thought. Bob

Doug Rogers
4th September 2005, 08:59
Is it not a fact that some of the Cruise ships do line voyages, such as "Oriana" these trips are advertised as such "Line Voyages" so in this instance maybe they are referring to the fact that this was what they as a company used to do,so what are the trans Atlantic crossings called are they not a line voyage, just a thought. Bob


Yes you are quite right Oriana is one and Aurora is another...plus the QE2 and QM2....but I am not sure who actually "owns" the vessels....I think that P&O still have a financial interest in the former two...but the later ???..no idea of the financial ties....Fred can probably give some info on that perhaps...

fred henderson
4th September 2005, 12:52
At the end of the 1990s investors were highly critical of the lacklustre financial performance of P&O. To avoid being removed from office, the management began a major restructuring of P&O and the first move was to seperate their cruise business from the Group.
An entirely new company, P&O Princess Cruises plc was launched on the London Stock Exchange on 23 October 2000. The first shareholders of the new company were exactly the same as the shareholders of P&O, but of course these changed as time went on. P&O as a company had no further interest in P&O Princess.
After a long takeover battle between Royal Caribbean and Carnival starting in 2001, Carnival emerged as the winner through the creation of a unique corporate structure in April 2003. P&O Princess was renamed Carnival plc and remains quoted on the London Market. Carnival Corporation is quoted on the New York Exchange. The two companies function as a single economic entity through mutual contractual agreements.
The short answer therefore, is that Oriana and Aurora are owned by P&O Cruises, which is a company completely owned by Carnival.
By comparison the Cunard situation is simple. Carnival bought all of Cunard in 1998, from a near bankrupt Kvaerner. QE2 and QM2 belong entirely to Cunard.
Unlike many shipping companies, Carnival is financially very strong. It does not need to enter into fancy leasing deals.

Fred

oldbosun
4th September 2005, 14:44
I remember the term "Cargo Liner" when I was at sea. It was a common term too. Using it one would be referring to ships such as those that carried about 16 passengers, and always ran a regular schedule. I did understand that when cargo liners carried the number of passengers strictly 16, it was because any number above that and the ship would have to carry a doctor. I never did see that written, but that's what I understood.

Cruise ships are a destination in themselves. They could do what American passenger ships did during prohibition and that was to head out to sea with no port destination. Just get out of the 3 mile limit and open up the bars. One could have a weekend on the booze very cheaply in those days. US govt. could right now send a few of them up the Mississippi to New Orleans and load them up with homeless survivors until things were put straight. Much better than housing them in a blinkin' football stadium.

Myself, I don't class these modern day cruise ships as ships. To me they are floating hotels, I fail to see anything nautical in them at all. They are getting uglier and uglier. Having said that, I know that there are cruise ship enthusiasts that make a hobby out of them and good luck to them and I hope they enjoy it, but it's a pity that they didn't know the ships that we did so that they could add them to their interest..

John Rogers
4th September 2005, 16:03
Oldbosun.three cruise ships have been leased to support the survivors of the storm according to the TV last night.
John

mclean
4th September 2005, 16:30
Oldbosun.three cruise ships have been leased to support the survivors of the storm according to the TV last night.
John
Surely you mean chartered and not leased. Regards Colin

mclean
4th September 2005, 16:32
I remember the term "Cargo Liner" when I was at sea. It was a common term too. Using it one would be referring to ships such as those that carried about 16 passengers, and always ran a regular schedule. I did understand that when cargo liners carried the number of passengers strictly 16, it was because any number above that and the ship would have to carry a doctor. I never did see that written, but that's what I understood.

Cruise ships are a destination in themselves. They could do what American passenger ships did during prohibition and that was to head out to sea with no port destination. Just get out of the 3 mile limit and open up the bars. One could have a weekend on the booze very cheaply in those days. US govt. could right now send a few of them up the Mississippi to New Orleans and load them up with homeless survivors until things were put straight. Much better than housing them in a blinkin' football stadium.

Myself, I don't class these modern day cruise ships as ships. To me they are floating hotels, I fail to see anything nautical in them at all. They are getting uglier and uglier. Having said that, I know that there are cruise ship enthusiasts that make a hobby out of them and good luck to them and I hope they enjoy it, but it's a pity that they didn't know the ships that we did so that they could add them to their interest..
I believe the number was 12 not 16 passengers. Regards Colin

trotterdotpom
4th September 2005, 16:43
.

Cruise ships are a destination in themselves. They could do what American passenger ships did during prohibition and that was to head out to sea with no port destination. Just get out of the 3 mile limit and open up the bars. One could have a weekend on the booze very cheaply in those days..

I know of a group of 28 crazy women who are about to do that from Brisbane next month!

John T.

Jeff Egan
4th September 2005, 16:46
I seem to think the origional Ship of the Line was a 75 gun Man 'O' War in the British Royal Navy.

Keith Adams
12th January 2007, 05:03
A Shipping Company carrying cargo and any number of passengers on a regularily posted shedule voyage/route offered what was known as "Liner Service" ... the first 2 or 3 pages of either the "Journal of Commerce" and also "Lloyd`s List" were covered with such block advertisements.

Basically, the big difference is a Cruise ship is not allowed to carry cargo to or from the ports it enters whereas a Liner can, (ie.) Canadian Pacific and
Cunard had Liners running with both cargo and passengers for most of the year but in winter when passenger needs fell off, instead of laying ships up
for a couple of winter months, would send them off on Cruise Voyages.

Canadian Pacific would make New York to West Indies Cruises with the
"Empress of Britain" and Cunard New York to "Medi." with the "Britannic"
... they were not allowed to carry any cargo ... just Passengers.

A further comment... early cargo ships often carried 2 to 6 passengers and
really didn`t advertise such and the maximum was 12, abovewhich the ship
was required to carry a Medical Doctor ... an extra 1 could be carried but had
to sign-on as a "Supernumerary" and actually paid a token sum despite
paying for their passage... a bit longwinded but just want to keep things
historically correct... at least as was in the 1950s, Cheers, Snowy.

john shaw
12th January 2007, 09:37
Snowy-- as you resurrected an old thread--- though I have no real interest in what I deem to be merely floating hotels, it seems that this thread has carefully avoided dealing with the term often used to describe these beasts-- "cruise LINER"---now there's a juxtaposition of terminology for you--- by using "cruise ship" and " cargo liner" in the thread terminology. Maybe the original confident statement by Fred " We all have........." was not so well judged!

Pat McCardle
12th January 2007, 10:00
You see Cunard offering a 'Liner voyage' Southampton - New York a few times per year for QE2 & QM2. I suppose this is a nostalgia voyage prior to the days of air travel?

Lefty
12th January 2007, 19:35
From Oxford Concise " a large passenger ship of a type formerly used on a regular line". How's that for ambiguous??? H

Mad Landsman
12th January 2007, 20:44
On yet another similar thread Pompeyfan wrote many lines on this subject, without actualy giving the full explanation. I note that David has not actually contributed to this thread, Is is a coincidence that it has been resurected just as he heads over the horizon (In a Cruise ship) with limited internet access?
Play fair chaps, wait until he gets back from his latest adventure.

For what it's worth I always thought that the word liner was a ship that sailed on an actual fixed line, to a set schedule, originaly for safety reasons so people would know roughly where it should be at any given time after it too disappeared over the horizon.

Pat McCardle
12th January 2007, 23:49
My first ship was a liner. MV Somerset. UK - Australasia

Bearsie
13th January 2007, 01:06
to me a line actually hauls folks or goods on a schedule fromone place to another, i.e. the "destination" is different from the point of departure, cruise ships may have a schedule but basically travel in a big circle, you get on in Miami and get off in Miami, essentially going no place...

Tony Breach
14th January 2007, 10:41
A liner is definately a common carrier in the context of either freight or pax. It is doubtful that a cruise ship is such when cruising. If a cruise ship should make scheduled liner service such as Cunard's Q2s to New York then she would become a common carrier in liner employment for that voyage. In the case of circumnavigations or other extended voyages where pax may join or leave at ports enroute it would seem that the vessel is probably a liner. A lot would depend on the travel contract document.

There are similarities in all forms of transport: Common carriers are basically Airlines, Bus Lines, Railways, Truck Lines, Container Lines, Ferries. Particular carriers are Charter Airlines, Coach Tour Operators, Railway Excursions, Non-Liner Trucks & Tramp Shipping.

In liner business there is a specific requirement to deliver goods or persons to their destinations.

Pompeyfan
20th March 2007, 00:43
I can't think how I missed this thread because as Mig(Clockman)and other members know, this is an area of deep interest along with nautical terminology which like the meaning of liner, is becoming extinct due to modern cruising.

Although I have mentioned this in other threads, I will repeat some of it again as briefly as I can. I was first taught the meaning of the word liner by the master of Canberra, Captain Vickers. When Canberra returned to Southampton in December 1972, Captain Vickers told us that Canberra had ceased to be a liner, and would become a full time cruise ship. I then sought to find out what he meant.

I knew that the voyages out to Sydney were known as 'line voyages', but had no idea why they were called that. It was then that I found out that 'line voyages' refer to a ship whether passenger or cargo that run on the same line carrying passengers or cargo or both on a scheduled route returning on the same line. Passengers are using the ship as a means of transport from A to B. On the emigrant run, that was usually staying on board until the final destination where all passengers would disembark. The ship also stops at ports en-route disembarking passengers or embarking new ones, just as passengers get on and off a bus or train. Cargo is the same, and of course if memory serves me right, passengers are cargo. The ship then returns on the same line with a new cargo of passengers or cargo or both. And 'line voyages' are voyages that cross oceans which is why ferries are not liners. Hence 'Ocean Liners'.

As I understand it, a single name was needed for ships that ply 'line voyages'. Thus, liner was invented. Liner is a trade name. It has nothing to do with any particular type of ship. The first liners were sailing ships. All were merchant ships, not naval. For some reason it has stuck to passenger ships evolving as it has. But my findings of years ago was that liner refers to any merchant ship that plies a line voyage. In other words, to make a distinction between cargo and passenger you had passenger liners and cargo liners.

Today, apart from QM2, the only liners around today are cargo ships that still ply regular line voyages like container ships and car carriers etc. QM2 is a liner because she plies the trans-Atlantic line voyage. She was the first passenger liner built since QE2 who as far as I know, no longer plies the trans-Atlantic so is no longer a liner just as Canberra was no longer a liner when she ceased line voyages.

Stephen Payne, the designer of QM2 has stated more than once in various publications or on TV or radio that QM2 is a trans-Atlantic liner, not a cruise ship. He stated in one Ships Monthly in answer to a letter that Explorer of the Seas and Millennium, singled out by a reader are cruise ships not trans-Atlantic liners. Cruising is a totally different trade, so the ship cannot possibly be a liner if the true meaning to to be preserved.

Frankly however, we lost this argument years ago. Not many people other than those in the nautical world know the true meaning of liner. Even cruise companies refer to their ships as liners. It is a lost cause. But a few remain. Lloyds List used to have a page dedicated to liners, and not once since the end of the passenger line voyage era were passenger ships mentioned. It was all cargo. I have not bought this paper for a few years now, but I would imagine the liner page is still there and referring only to cargo liners. Hoegh for example have Auto Liners on the side of their cargo ships. And it is no coincidence that aircraft that took over from the liner of the sea are known as AirLiners.

P&O refer to their world cruise sectors as liner voyages giving some argument to call these ships liners. But it is clutching at straws in my book because the majority of passengers were on board for the cruise, not travelling from A to B. David

Pete Axon
12th July 2007, 13:17
Was on the QM 64 to 67 and she was a Liner, Southhampton to New York most of the year except in winter when she did a couple of Carribean cruises and even a Meddy cruise once in that period. Did that make her a Cruise Liner or a Liner that did Cruises ? Pete in Poulton-le-Fylde Lancs.