Aquitania - Ships Nostalgia
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Aquitania

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  #1  
Old 6th April 2004, 15:35
Ian Ian is offline  
 
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Aquitania

Known as "The Ship Beautiful" the AQUITANIA, Below, was built in 1914 for the Liverpool/New York service of the Cunard S/S Co. After only three round voyages she was requisitioned by the government for use as an armed merchant cruiser but it was decided that the employment of costly liners in this capacity was not practical. She was then converted for use as a troopship then as a hospital ship and again in 1916 as a troopship. Reconditioned and converted from coal to oil firing she resumed trans-Atlantic service in 1920 quickly becoming one of the most popular ships on the Atlantic. In 1939 she was again requisitioned as a troopship, a role she played until being released from government service in 1948. She was sold for demolition in 1950 arriving at Faslane in February and promptly broken up by Bisco Ltd.
AQUITANIA was the last of the four funnelled liners and the only major liner to service in both world wars.
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File Type: jpg AQUITANIA.JPG (31.6 KB, 220 views)

Last edited by Steve; 8th April 2004 at 14:05..
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  #2  
Old 19th February 2006, 01:59
BeyondCruises BeyondCruises is offline  
 
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Aquitania

Very nice photo.

Daniel
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  #3  
Old 19th February 2006, 03:14
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Aquitania

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Originally Posted by BeyondCruises
Very nice photo.

Daniel
Yes, a time when ships looked like ships...not floating piers. Vix
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  #4  
Old 19th February 2006, 13:46
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Aquitania was a rare bird for the Transatlantic service. She was built without a Government subsidy, although she did have a share of the Mail income. To make her an economic proposition she needed to have 50% greater carrying capacity than her running mates, Lusitania and Mauritania. She was also significantly slower, with a design speed of 23 knots. She was a great ship for her time, but thankfully those times are long past.
She was 45,647 gross tons, which was almost as big as Titanic. As most members will know, gross registered tonnage (grt) is a measurement of the volume of watertight space within the ship, with 100 cubic feet being equal to 1 grt. I think net tonnage is a more meaningful measurement. This is grt minus all of the space taken up by machinery, bunkers, crew accommodation and stores. In other words the space available for passengers and cargo (the old liners carried mail and express cargo). Aquitania's net tonnage was 21,998.
The early 20th Century Cunarders really packed them in. Aquitania carried 597 First, 614 Second and 2,052 Third Class passengers plus 972 crew. A total of 3,263 passengers. That is 6.74 tons per passenger and 3.36 passengers per crew member. It should be remembered that a considerable number of the crew would be stokers - she burned 680 tons of hand fired coal per day.
Queen Mary 2, is probably the first unsubsidised Premier Division, Transatlantic liner to have been built since Aquitania. For comparison QM2 is 148,258 grt, 98,720 net, 26.5 knots burning 216 tons of oil per day and with a crew of 1,238. Her lower berth capacity is 2,620 passengers and her maximum capacity is 3,090 passengers. Taking the maximum capacity figure, that is 31.95 tons per passenger and 2.5 passengers per crew member.
In my view, most passengers travelled in Aquitania because the competing ships were just as bad and it was "the only way to cross". The majority would never step on board a ship again.
People travel in modern passenger ships for pleasure and return again and again. Of course the ships look different from those that packed in passengers and crew like sardines. If the passenger shipping industry had not moved on, it would not be thriving today.

Fred
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  #5  
Old 19th February 2006, 14:26
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Fred,
But just imadine the ship beautiful was still with us, and modernised in a similar way to QE2, major improvements to engines, better, ensuite cabins etc.
It would be interesting to see what was most popular, as after all, in modern parlance, QE2 is primeval compared to QM2, yet still holds her own (and more) financially.
Interestingly, I thought I'd do a little 'survey' the other day.
We had a lot of friends rounds for a party last week, as well as the normal people coming and going, and I showed them a picture of QM (the real one) and her successor and asked them to pick out which one looked like a ship.
All 28 people who passed through my doors in the past week picked the grand old lady. Seeing the people 'surveyed' ranged in years from 17-62, none of whom coming from a nautical background, I thought that was quite indicative of peoples perceptions, even today.
Other members should try it, you might be surprised!
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  #6  
Old 19th February 2006, 17:04
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James.
I agree that some of the old timers looked great, just as some were real ugly ducklings. My point is that the only way Cunard could build Aquitania with their own money was by building her slower and 50% bigger than her subsidised running mates then stuffing her with people in awful conditions. They could get away with that because the other liners at the time were just as bad and the poor souls were forced to use them to cross the Atlantic.
The British Government financed a large chunk of QM, QE and QE2. If they had not, then the ships would never have been built. The German, French, Italian and US Transatlantic Liners were all built on government money. In these circumstances it may be possible to take a less rigid financial view. Even then there were huge protests about the appearance of QE2 when she was built.
Carnival is brilliant at providing the ships today's passengers want. When Cunard built Aquitania the passengers did not have the alternative of air travel. Show your sample population interior shots of cabins of the same grade from QM and QM2 and ask them to make a choice. Tell them that they can have the same QM2 cabin standard in a refurbished QM at 50% higher fares and ask them to make a choice. Then tell them that QM cannot comply with the latest safety standards.
Aquitania was a good looking ship of her time. I think British Admiral of 1917 was also a classic, but there is no way that anyone would try to operate her today, or to bring her up to today's requirements. Both were ships of their time. The ships of today need to meet today's requirment, which is why they do not look like the classics, or a pop song sounds like Mozart.

Fred
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  #7  
Old 19th February 2006, 17:20
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But Fred, there is absoltely no reason why ships of today cannot have sheer, tumblehomes, raked masts, funnels etc. Its all down to cost.
Just because the externals show some fine old fashioned flair does in no way mean the internals have to be like broom cupboards.
There are a few innovative naval architects out there who like their ships to look good (as far as that is possible) than them being purely practical. Sadly, they aren't always allowed creative choice.
In my opinion, QM2 is nothing more than a bastardised QE2. Merely taller, longer and uglier (complete lack of sheer and tumblehome). They should have gone on in the same vein as the progression from the likes of Aquitania to QM, QM to the likes of Transvaal Castle, TC to QE2 etc. They all retained the classic lines, but moved with the times.
If that had been done, the ship may generate more respect and admiration from the purists, instead of mongrel she is, being a compromise between a bigger QE2 and the overgrown shopping trolley that is the likes of Diamond Princess.
Just my tuppence worth...

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Jim
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  #8  
Old 19th February 2006, 23:03
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Modern Passenger Ships

You know Jim we shipbuilders are a conservative lot. If something seems to work, why think of changing it. So when we moved from wood to iron, then steel, we continued to build our ships in exactly the same way, with sheer, camber, tumblehome and the raked masts used in sailing ships. We even continued to use clipper stems, bowsprits and counter sterns, until it dawned on us that they had no part to play in a steamship once steam engines became sufficiently reliable to dispense with sails. It took us even longer to realise that a steel ship is far more a girder than an arch.
So the question really is, why should a modern ship have sheer, camber and tumblehome, all of which are very expensive to create, but serve no structural purpose? They were retained in passenger ships for aesthetic reasons far longer than in other types of ships. Yet they cause far more difficulties in passenger ships than in almost any other type of vessel. Every piece of fitted furniture needed to be individually made for the precise position it occupied in the ship. It was a production nightmare created for no technical reason whatsoever. This is clearly shown in the construction time of the Queens: -

Queen Mary – 81,253 grt – Build time from contract to delivery 44 months (excluding period construction suspended)
Queen Elizabeth 2 – 65,863 grt – Build time 52 months, 4 months late.
Queen Mary 2 – 148,258 grt – Build time 37 months.

I am sorry, but I think modern passenger ships are splendid shipbuilding achievements and sad that some people dismiss them out of hand because they do not look like Cutty Sark. I would also point out that these are commercial vessels, so of course cost is a major factor, but the owners are very willing to pay for the “wow factor” that is appreciated by their customers. They are not convinced that the enthusiast’s nostalgia is cost effective.

So we beg to differ

Regards
Fred
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  #9  
Old 20th February 2006, 06:27
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dom

bigger,bigger,bigger,but are they better,better,better,soon they'll be that big that wont need to leave the wharfe, and who wants to cruise with 5,000 pass,
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  #10  
Old 20th February 2006, 10:25
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Cool The public wants bigger ships

Quote:
Originally Posted by dom
bigger,bigger,bigger,but are they better,better,better,soon they'll be that big that wont need to leave the wharfe, and who wants to cruise with 5,000 pass,
They will always need to leave the wharfe Dom, so the owners can load the next one with the crowds waiting to board.

Fred
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  #11  
Old 20th February 2006, 15:04
rstimaru rstimaru is offline  
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if you are ever on the isle of wight and can get over to shanklin you will find the smoke room in the park hotel, the reception area is made from its panels plus not only the Aquitania but a whole lot of old shipping photos
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  #12  
Old 21st February 2006, 13:39
rstimaru rstimaru is offline  
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Sorry shipmates i said the park hotel it is in fact the parkbury in sandown maybe pompyfan could verify this
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  #13  
Old 21st February 2006, 14:00
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It was actually on this day in 1950 that she arrived for breaking.
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  #14  
Old 21st February 2006, 19:10
Frank Holleran Frank Holleran is offline  
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In New Zealand..a lot of the Maori returned servicemen, of the Maori Battalion.. named their children after different places and events during the war, overseas.... My father-in-laws elders' named my wife after the troop ship which took them to the war..Her full name is Aquitania Aramina Hinehou..of course everone calls her Tania.
Regards
Frank.

PS: Aramina in Maori (means Alamein) one of her fathers cousins was killed in the battle.

Last edited by Frank Holleran; 22nd February 2006 at 09:04..
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  #15  
Old 23rd February 2006, 19:50
rstimaru rstimaru is offline  
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It was my proud and privilege to have known a stewadess from the aquitania she was on the QM and on the Carmania she was only known as auntie her first name was Margret and she looked after all the new people that came on board not as her job but because she was like that
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  #16  
Old 23rd February 2006, 19:52
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My firsy ship, sailed to Halifax on her in 1948. Still have the card with log extract on back.
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  #17  
Old 27th December 2006, 08:41
Longships Longships is offline  
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I was in a Royal Navy draft that took passage in her in 1945 - Southampton to Sydney. As a troopship they really packed the passengers into her, as they did on all troopships of course.

Last edited by Longships; 27th December 2006 at 08:43..
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  #18  
Old 1st January 2007, 03:05
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The tune Blue Smoke written by Ruru Karitiana relates to his voyage on Aquitania to Egypt in the early days of WW2.Blue smoke was of course from funnels.Kiwi
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  #19  
Old 3rd January 2007, 14:53
cathyb cathyb is offline  
 
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Aquitania

Does anyone know of any other places (other than Sydney and New Zealand) that the Aquitania actually visited during her time in the Southern Hemishere? I'm trying to track down where my husband's Great uncle may have jumped ship!!
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Old 3rd January 2007, 21:31
Lksimcoe Lksimcoe is offline  
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I beleive that after the war she also made a stop in Hong Kong when on one of her war bride voyages. I also remember reading about a stop in Singapore on that same trip, but cannot find the link. Chances are on one of the trips to Australia and New Zealand, she visited other Commonwealth sites as well.

But she made a lot of post war trips to Canada as well delivering war brides, so who knows, maybe your uncle is a Canuk. (My mom came to Canada on the Aquitania in 1944)

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  #21  
Old 4th January 2007, 02:08
Keith Adams Keith Adams is offline  
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The "Aquitania" had a beautiful counter stern with old fashioned scroll work,
gilded and all... better than "Cutty Sark". She really was a good looker when
fully loaded... used to pass right by her on the Wallasey ferry boat. Snowy.
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  #22  
Old 4th January 2007, 06:46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowy View Post
The "Aquitania" had a beautiful counter stern with old fashioned scroll work,
gilded and all... better than "Cutty Sark". She really was a good looker when
fully loaded... used to pass right by her on the Wallasey ferry boat. Snowy.


Snowy,

Just read your profile.

PSNC cadet to Deck Hand on a clapped out old Liberty ship. What was the cause of your downfall? Women or grog?

I've only had one opportunity to visit the O'Brian.... several years ago. I think I felt more excitement visiting her than I did visiting the Queen Mary in Long Beach!

The Liberty that interests me most is Leicester from Federal Steam N. Co. She went ashore in Bermuda during a hurricane in 1948. The story is told in Farley's Mowat's excellent book 'The Serpent's Coil'.

I wish I'd had a shot at sailing in a Liberty, but by the time I went to sea they were all but finished. I even missed out on the SD14's.

Hope you enjoy a few more trips around the Bay this year.

Stephen
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  #23  
Old 5th January 2007, 04:35
Keith Adams Keith Adams is offline  
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Hi Stephen, Mostly women! Anyway... spent alot of time gaining USCG Certification ... had to start all over, although they did end up giving me credit for served sea-time. The Survival and Firefighting courses were really intense and of great value to me,but the seamanship stuff was a waste of time as is aimed at beginners, taught by ex Navy, examined by Coast Guard and very little to do with what a Deckie really does.There is THE NAVY WAY, THE MERCHANT NAVY WAY and THE COAST GUARD WAY...one has to answer questions the USCG WAY to pass!... enough said. Great being a seaman on a ship with a real steering wheel, steam winches and derricks (booms). Snowy
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  #24  
Old 5th January 2007, 05:44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowy View Post
Hi Stephen, Mostly women! Anyway... spent alot of time gaining USCG Certification ... had to start all over, although they did end up giving me credit for served sea-time. The Survival and Firefighting courses were really intense and of great value to me,but the seamanship stuff was a waste of time as is aimed at beginners, taught by ex Navy, examined by Coast Guard and very little to do with what a Deckie really does.There is THE NAVY WAY, THE MERCHANT NAVY WAY and THE COAST GUARD WAY...one has to answer questions the USCG WAY to pass!... enough said. Great being a seaman on a ship with a real steering wheel, steam winches and derricks (booms). Snowy


A good friend of mine from Baltimore is a very keen supported and sometimes 'crewmember' on the John W. Brown. Ben is Kings Pint trained cadet now USCH Certified Master, sailing as First officer on board Cunard's new Queen Mary 2. First American national to serve as a deck officer with Cunard!

I have two books on the Liberty ships. I'm sure you have see them also... Ian Stewart's LIBERTY SHIPS IN PEACETIME and LE LIBERTY SHIPS by Jean-Yves Brouard. Both are excellent volumes.

It is amazing how simple Liberty ships are... especially the engine rooms.

I am originally from Bermuda. The PSNC ships were a familiar sight of course. I was just six when the whole family went out in grandfather's boat to see the Reina Del Pacifico aground on the reefs. Funny, I don't remember seeing Reina Del Mar at all. What ships did you sail in?

Stephen
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  #25  
Old 6th January 2007, 05:26
Keith Adams Keith Adams is offline  
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Hello again, glad I checked my site again... I posted a "Reina del Pacifico" pic
in the gallery yesterday. As for ships, they were,in order:- mv"Losada"
mv"Salaverry" mv"Santander" ss"Cuzco" mv"Salamanca" mv"Salaverry"
mv"Walsingham" and back on the mv"Salaverry" Left PSNC May 7 1956.
As for the books... I have not read either but will look them up, thanks!
We had a Cadet on the "Santander" from Bermuda... can`t recall his name...
Oh, we take the "J.O.B." out to meet the "QM 2" when she arrives San Francisco afternoon of Feb 4th... big welcome! Snowy
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