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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
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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BeyondCruises said:
Very nice photo.

Daniel
Yes, a time when ships looked like ships...not floating piers. Vix (Night)
 

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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 (Thumb)
 

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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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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 cir***stances 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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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...

(Night)
 

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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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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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The public wants bigger ships

dom said:
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 (Thumb)
 

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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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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.
 

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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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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.
 

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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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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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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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