Name of the liners


Since the beginnings of steam navigation, the maritime companies has sighted to be distinguished, in particular with the names of the ships. This policy of naming of the ships does not owe anything randomly: it makes it possible to directly associate the company (and its reputation) with the ship. 
This tradition remained with the cruising ships.

Thus, White Star gives to her steamers names in IC like TITANIC with the tragic destiny; her sister OLYMPIC restructured in 1912-3 steams until fusion with the concurrent company Cunard in 1935. ATHENIC 1901 is smaller with a capacity of 688 passengers, brought back later to 400, in service towards New Zealand via the Cape.

Its competitor, Cunard, prefer the terminations in of IA: LUSITANIA, MAURETANIA, AQUITANIA, BERENGARIA, CALEDONIA.


 BERENGARIA is a Germanic first name which evokes a glorious warrior (berh, glory, and gari, the lance, symbol of the combat). Several queens carried this first name: Berengaria of Castille, oldest daughter of Alphonse VIII, King of Castille, and of Eleonore of England; Berengaria of Navarre, wife of Richard the Lionheart.



The Orient Line baptizes steamers with names in O.The company transfers its French stopover from Marseilles in Toulon in 1912.

Ormonde Gibraltar steamer

The construction of ORMONDE (1917) at John Brown yards on Clyde, is delayed because of the need for forms for the navy. She is initially arranged for 278 First, 195 Second and 1,000 Third class. On November 15th, 1919, it leaves London for Sydney and Brisbane via Gibraltar, Toulon, Port Saïd, Colombo, Fremantle, Adélaïde, Melbourne. 1923: Passage to fuel combustion. In 1933 ORMONDE is refitted as a single economy class liner of 777 passengers. She will be demolished only in 1953.

Two ships will be called successively after the longest Syrian river: the first ORONTES is launched on May 10th, 1902, length 156.5 m, she makes her maiden journey on October 24th, 1902 from London to Australia via Suez Canal. Requisitioned during the war, she comes back in 1917 until her last voyage in 1921.ORONSAY in 1950 takes again the name of an island of the coast of Argyllshire, west of Scotland, between Colonsay and Islay
After having started on connections towards Spain and Portugal, Peninsular & Oriental (P&O) opens the line Calcutta/Suez in 1843; it chooses the geography of its countries of stopover to name its ships. 
Chusan 3 ships will be called after CHUSAN (city-prefecture made up exclusively of islands and located in bay of Hangzhou, in the North-East of the province of Zhejiang, in China), whose last is completed in 1950 for the service between the United Kingdom and Far East and Japan, then Australia.  HINDOSTAN takes again the name of the Moghol empire of India of the north, adopted for the Indian sub-continent.


STRATHAIRD is a peninsula of the Scottish island of Skye: delivered on January 10th, 1932, she is built for the service between the United Kingdom and Australia. After military service, she continues to steam until 1961.
Launched in 1954, IBERIA returns at the origins of the company; she sails until 1973.
The Iman steamers, designed and built on the Harland & Wolf North-Irish sites, exceed all the others on the North Atlantic under the name of “City of”: CITY OF New York, CITY OF PARIS (Paraguay) CITY OF BERLIN.

First 2 propellers transatlantics, City of New York and City of Paris enter in service in 1888 and 1889. CITY of NEW YORK Tonnage 10,499 grt, 5,573 Net, dim. 170.7 X 19.25 X 12.75m., Length between perpendiculars 160.78. Passengers: 540 in First, 200 in second and 1000 in Third class. In July 1888, aduring tests, her maximum speed is of 20.1 knots. She will go under American flag on February 22nd, 1893. She will sail until demolition in Genoa, in 1923.  The inaugural voyage of CITY OF PARIS starts on April 3rd, 1889 between Liverpool and New York. She gets the Blue Ribbon in May 1889, in the East-West direction with 19.95 knots, then in August 1839 with 20.01 knots.  CITY OF BERLIN 1875 - Launched in Greenock. on October 27th, 1874, 5491Gt., 149 meters Length 488.6 ' between perpendiculars She carried at 15 knots 1700 passengers.

The Messageries Maritimes celebrate a series of writers: Pierre Loti (1913 then 1953), Theophile Gauthier 1927, Leconte de Lisle 1922

PIERRE LOTI, third of 4 steamers of MD type intended for the Indian Ocean line, ensures all his career on the line of the Indian Ocean (Marseilles, Eastern Coast of Africa, Madagascar, Réunion), passing by Suez except in 1956 and after 1967 when she uses the Cape route. 

THEOPHILE GAUTHIER  nautonaphte mail steamer, first diesel engine steamer of the company, affected to the circular line of the Mediterranean until 1937, is victim of a torpedoing on October 4th, 1941
LECONTE DE LISLE is delivered definitively in June 1926. Intended for the origin the line of the Indian Ocean, she is used starting from 1933 in alternation on the Indian Ocean and Indo-China. Reinflated and repaired after having touched a mine, returned France in December 1950, she ensures the line of the Indian Ocean until 1952. She is finally demolished in February 1956.
JEAN LABORDE serves Madagascar starting from 1953 and is called after the first French Consul of the island. EXPLORER GRANDIDIER is called after another visitor, Alfred Grandidier (1836, 1921), who carries out in particular a vast work in 30 volumes on the island.

The great Italian artists (Raphaël, Leonardo da Vinci, Michel Angel) inspired ITALIAN LINE after Romulus and Augustus 

RAFFAELLO is employed on the line Genoa-Cannes-Naples-Algeciras-New York, with cruisings in the Western Indies (the Caribbean) during the low season. Her funnels are built out of glass fiber and a bulb makes it possible to reach the speed of 26.50 knots. (30.15 knots during the tests) 

LEONARDO DA VINCI has only two classes: the first and the economy class. Launched in 58, she operates essentially for cruises in the Mediterranean.

Holland America Line chooses the names of city of the Netherlands like AMSTERDAM, ROTTERDAM, VEENDAM (in the North-East of the Netherlands, in the province of Groningen).

4 different ships will have been called after NIEUW AMSTERDAM: in 1905, in 1937 (liner from 1938 to 1974) in 1984 (cruises ship until 2000) and in 2010, the 81st ship of the company.
Francotyp type 8 1929

The fjords are the pride of Norwegian America Line: BERGENSFJORD, STAVANGERFJORD, VISTAFJORD, SAGAFJORD

On May 30th, 1956 BERGENSFJORD starts her maiden voyage from Oslo to Copenhagen, Christiansand and New York. She is used the summer on the transatlantic line and the winter in cruisings. Following the loss of ANTILLES in 1971, CGT (French Line) takes it again under the name of DE GRASSE.  
STAVANGERFJORD will have 45 years of longevity between 1918 and 1964. 

VISTAFJORD leaves Oslo on May 22nd, 1973 with 670 passengers and 390 team members. In 1984, the old liner, from now reconverted to cruises, is transferred to K/S Norwegian American Cruises A/S founded by, With its sistership SAGAFJORD it is purchased by Cunard Line in 1999. Named CARONIA then Saga Ruby for Saga Cruises. 
SAGAFJORD is built by Forges et Chantiers de la Méditerranée yards, in La Seyne. She accommodates 462 passengers in single class; she follows  VISTAFJORD while passing under the control of K/S Norwegian America Line Cruises A/S, Cunard and Saga Shipping Co. Ltd., as SAGA ROSE. She is withdrawn from the service in October 2009 and, in June 2010, is demolished in China.
Swedish American Line is formed in 1914 for a service between Gothenburg and New York: its ships will bear the names of GRIPSHOLM (castle of Vasa, in Mariefred at the edge of the lake Mälaren) KUNGSHOLM (in Swedish, the island of the king)

In 1899 STOCKHOLM then in 1923, the first KUNGSHOLM is chartered at Holland America Line. GRIPSHOLM becomes after war the first steamer of the FR of Germany under the name of BERLIN. Installations for 129 passengers in 1st, 482 in second and 1006 in 3rd. Conceived for the massive emigration towards the United States, she is the first transatlantic with Diesel motorization. A new Gripsholm comes out in Genoa in 1957, for 842 passengers in 2 classes.

Built in the Netherlands in 1953, KUNGSHOLM (3) is the first of 3 steamers with 2 funnels built for the transatlantic service and cruising, with the main funnel which is dummy. Sold in 1965 in Norddeutscher Lloyd, it becomes EUROPA, before the delivery of KUNGSHOLM IV. 


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