Liners and cruiseships

The glory era

At the beginning of the 20th century, the European yards realise vessels free of sails ; so architects build beautiful superstructures, dominated by 3 or 4 high funnels.


Berengaria ex-Imperator

The German giant   IMPERATOR - 52117 t, 277m long, is transferred to the Cunard after the 1rst world war and then she steams from 21 to 38 as BERENGARIA


Cie Gale Transatlantique ("French Line") Paris (1921-1939)

Equipped with turbines, PARIS carries more than 2000 passengers at 21 knots from 1921 to 1939.  

Postmark "Le Havre New York" 7-9-26 : departure le Havre 1/9, arrival on 7/9.

The "Busta lettera postale", sold with a discount of 5 c, have been issued according an agreement between the Postal Administration and the federation of help to disabled, crippled and blind.

War and peace on sea

The ships silhouettes suffered a radical modification under the influence of aerodynamic studies: the decks and bridges drawing fill out when the funnels reduced to 2 or 3 give an aspect of low and massive towers.


Daguin postmark

Normandie (Ruban Bleu)

Issue in bright blue to commemorate the blue ribbon win.

With NORMANDIE , launched in 1935, the French Line gets the blue ribbon at her first cross thanks to her bottom designed for high speed, even by the worst weather.


To the decline

During 50's/60's the number of passengers carried by sea remains greater to the aerial traffic . It is the time where liners of any size insure intercontinental links .


MARIPOSA is a cargo carrier from 1953 converted in 56 for Matson company service between San Francisco and Auckland. She follows the first one, (cover above) sold to Home Lines which rename her HOMERIC in 1954.


During 50's and 60's, double function ships - line and cruise- are built, as Leonardo da Vinci, Rotterdam, France, QE2, to redeem the costs of exploitation in front of the more and more pressing competition with the airlines.

The cruise ships

As long as the activity of cruises remains minor, the renovation of former passenger ships of line allows to create vessels of enjoyment with lesser cost.


  Her forward funnel was removed, and aft funnel enlarged. Her tonnage is increased from 18.174 t to 27.670 t.

K UNGSOLM (108 passengers in First class, 642 in Tourist class) built in 1965 for the North Atlantic line service is renamed by Princess Cruises SEA PRINCESS in 1975 ; under P&O flag in 1986, she becomes VICTORIA in 1995 . She is chartered in 1999 by Union Castle Line for a Millennium round Africa voyage.


The silhouette of the passenger ship changes with her function: it is not any more a means of transport to connect two continents. Thence tapering bows and bulging hulls propelled by Diesel engines, provided with controllable pitch propeller and roll stabilisers with folding fins. 
LEGEND of the SEAS , built at St Nazaire in 1995 for Royal Carribean Cruise Line: 1500 passengers may board on. Hapag-Lloyd MV EUROPA  built in 1999, 198 meters long, cruises at 21 knots and carries 408 passengers.
ROYAL VIKING QUEEN is considered as a luxurious super yacht  ROYAL VIKING SUN 851 passengers- exceeds 200 meters, as broad as the Concorde place in Paris.


Page updated on 11 december 2001
Page updated on 16 June 2002

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