The Cunarders (2)

In 1947, CUNARD innovates with CARONIA, the world's first purpose-built cruise ship, she was nicknamed "the green goddess" because of her green hull and cream superstructure, used in winter beetween New York and Bahamas.
But the competitors are no more on the seas but in the airs : QUEEN ELIZABETH is sold in 1968, then QUEEN MARY, MAURETANIA II is scrapped in novembre 65. The company turns towards the cruise and several vessels of about 22 000 tons will be built beetween 54 and 57.
SYLVANIA leaves Greenock for Montreal on 5 June 1957. In 1967 she is repainted in white to be used in cruises; in 1968 she is sold to Fairwind Shipping Corp., Liberia and renamed FAIRWIND then SITMAR FAIRWIND in 1988, and DAWN PRINCESS after Sitmar bought by the P&O. Finaly, she goes under the flag of Happy Days Shipping Ltd., Bahamas becoming ALBATROS.
To stay on Atlantic, Cunard prepares the replacement of the two QUEEN by "Q 3", a 75 000 tons 1000 feet less long than FRANCE. Finaly the Queen christens the 65,863 tons of QUEEN ELIZABETH 2 on 20 September 1967. The liner will have several refurbishments among them the replacement of turbines by diesel engines. At her arrival, the fleet of liners is limited to three units.

In 1971 Cunard is bought by Trafalgar House Investments Ltd..

In 1974, from Danish yards comes CUNARD COUNTESS, 17.495 tons, with dimensions 163.56 x 22.80 x 8.30 m, powered by four diesels, two shafts, 21.5 kn. and designed for 950 passengers, with 400 crew. From July 1976, sailed then to San Juan, Puerto Rico, for weekly cruises from that port in the Caribbean.
In 1984, Norwegian American Cruise Lines, rest of Norwegian company is bought with two ships: VISTAFJORD et SAGAFJORD.
SAGAFJORD. 188 metres long, powered by 2 Diesel, equipped of bow thrusters, 618 passengers come on board. She became SAGA ROSE in 1997.
Launched on 15 May 1972, VISTAFJORD has an extensive refurbishment at the Lloyd Werft at Bremerhaven in 1999 and was renamed CARONIA under British register and flag, with accommodation for 665 passengers, 379 crew.
Sold to Saga Shipping Co. in 2004, she is renamed SAGA RUBY

The two vessels of Norske cruises A/S, SEA GODDESS I et II, small yacht-like ships of superior luxury, come in the fleet in 1986.
SEA GODDESS 4.253 gross, 104 m long , 2 high-speed four-stroke V-12 diesels.
Passengers 116 in 58 cabins, crew 89.

On 28 May 1988, Carnival Corporation boughts Cunard Line.

ROYAL VIKING SUN built under yard No 1296 as a cruise vessel by Oy Wärtsila Ab, Turku, Finland for the Royal Viking Line a daughter of the Kloster Cruise A/S is got in 1994 by the Cunard Line Ltd. when she acquired Royal Viking Line (but only two of the ships). Following the Carnival takeover of Cunard, Royal Viking Sun was transferred to Seabourn, becoming the Seabourn Sun.

8 June 1998, the project of a 84.000 tons liner for 2000 passengers is announced.
On 8 November 1999 Cunard announces the signature of a a letter of intent with the French shipyard Chantiers de L'Atlantique in Saint Nazaire.
QM21.jpg (149766 octets)
QUEEN MARY 2 starts her maiden voyage on 16 April 2004 from Southampton to New York ; she is at that moment the tallest, the greatest, the largest.

After the building of QUEEN VICTORIA and before QE2 retired in November 2008, Cunard aligns three beautiful queens.

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