Cunard-White Star Line

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Cunard White Star Line Limited
Industry Transportation
Predecessor White Star Line
Cunard Line
Successor Cunard Line
Founded 1934 (1934)
Defunct 1949 (1949)
Headquarters Liverpool, United Kingdom
Area served
Key people
Percy Bates (Chairman)
Owner Cunard Line (62%) and White Star Line (38%)

Cunard-White Star Line, Ltd. was a British shipping line which existed briefly between 1934 and 1949,[1] due to the merger between the Cunard Line and the White Star Line after both companies experienced financial difficulties. Cunard-White Star controlled a total of twenty-five ships (with Cunard contributing fifteen ships and White Star ten). Both Cunard and White Star were in dire financial trouble, and were looking to complete enormous liners: White Star had RMS Oceanic III and Cunard had Hull 534, which would later become RMS Queen Mary. Because of Hull 534, Cunard shareholders owned 62% of Cunard-White Star, while White Star shareholders owned the remaining 38%.

Previously being in a better state then their White Star counterparts, Cunard Line shareholders began absorbing all White Star assets; as a result, most White Star Liners began disappearing from the company to the breakers' yard. White Star's Australia and New Zealand service ships were donated to the Shaw, Savill & Ablion Line in 1934. A year after this, the RMS Olympic, one of White Star's most beloved liners and the last of her class, was sold for scrap.

Cunard White Star "Queen Mary" baggage tag

In 1947, Cunard shareholders acquired the 38% of Cunard-White Star they didn't already own and in 1949 bought out the entire company, operating individually as the Cunard Line. However, both the Cunard and White Star house flags were flown on the company's liners at the time of the merger and thereafter. However, the Cunard flag was flown above the White Star flag, even on the last two original White Star Liners, RMS Georgic and RMS Britannic. Georgic was scrapped in 1956. Britannic made the final Liverpool-New York crossing of any White Star Liner from New York on November 25, 1960, and returned to Liverpool for the final time under her own power to the ship breakers. She was the last White Star Liner in existence, and was then proceeded by the passenger tender SS Nomadic (which was also owned by the company) as the last White Star Line ship.

Despite this, all Cunard Line ships flew both the Cunard and White Star Line house flags on their masts until 1968. This was most likely because Nomadic remained in service with Cunard until this year, and was sent to the breakers' yard, only to be bought for use as a floating restaurant. After this, all remnants of the company were dissolved.

Cunard Line from that point on operated as a separate entity until 2005, when it was absorbed as a subsidiary into Carnival Corporation. The company has three ships: two cruise ships (MS Queen Elizabeth and MS Queen Victoria) and one ocean liner (RMS Queen Mary 2). These vessels use the term White Star Service to describe the care passengers can expect from staff on board as a lasting reminder of the White Star Line. The Cunard Line staff also attend the White Star Academy prior to working on these ships, in order to provide such exemplary service. Nomadic also survives, and is undergoing restoration work in her city of birth, Belfast, Northern Ireland. She and the Queen Mary are the only surviving Cunard-White Star Line ships. Queen Mary is permanently berthed in Long Beach, California as a hotel and tourist attraction.


Ship Built In service for Cunard White Star Line Tonnage
RMS Olympic 1911 1934–35 45,324 GRT
RMS Mauretania 1906 1934–35 31,950 GRT
RMS Adriatic 1907 Never entered service 24,541 GRT
Ceramic 1913 1934 18,400 GRT
RMS Berengaria 1913 1934–38 51,950 GRT
RMS Homeric 1913 1934–35 35,000 GRT
RMS Aquitania 1914 1934–49 45,650 GRT
RMS Majestic 1914 1934-36 56,551 GRT
RMS Scythia 1921 1934–49 19,700 GRT
RMS Samaria 1922 1934–49 19,700 GRT
RMS Laconia 1922 1934–42 19,700 GRT
RMS Antonia 1922 1934–42 13,900 GRT
Austonia 1922 1934–42 13,900 GRT
RMS Lancastria 1922 1934–40 16,250 GRT
Doric 1923 1934–35 16,484 GRT
Franconia 1923 1934–49 20,200 GRT
RMS Aurania 1924 1934–42 14,000 GRT
RMS Carinthia 1925 1934–40 20,200 GRT
Ascania 1925 1934–49 14,000 GRT
Alaunia 1925 1934–42 14,000 GRT
Calgaric 1927 Never entered service 16,063 GRT
Laurentic 1927 1934-36 18,724 GRT
RMS Britannic 1929 1934–49 26,943 GRT
RMS Georgic 1932 1934–49 27,759 GRT
RMS Queen Mary 1936 1936–49 80,750 GRT
RMS Queen Elizabeth 1940 1940–49 83,650 GRT
RMS Media 1947 1947–49 13,350 GRT
RMS Parthia 1947 1947–49 13,350 GRT
RMS Caronia 1949 1949 34,200 GRT


  1. ^ McKenna, Robert (2003). The Dictionary of Nautical Literacy. McGraw-Hill Professional. ISBN 978-0-07-141950-5.