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 between 1934 and 1949,[1] It was created as an operating company to control the joint shipping assets of the Cunard Line and the White Star Line after both companies experienced financial difficulties during the Great Depression. Cunard White Star controlled a total of twenty-five large ocean liners (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 Hull 844 – RMS Oceanic III – and Cunard had Hull 534, which would later become RMS Queen Mary.

Cunard owned 62% of the new company, Cunard White Star, while White Star owned the remaining 38%.

Being in a better financial and operating state than White Star, Cunard Line began absorbing all White Star assets and as a result, most of the White Star Liners were quickly disposed of or sent to the shipbreakers. White Star's Australia and New Zealand service ships were transferred to the Shaw, Savill & Ablion Line in 1934 with the Olympic being retired and for scrapping the following year along with Cunard's Mauretania. White Star's flagship Majestic, that had been the largest ship in the world until 1935, was sold in 1936.

Cunard White Star "Queen Mary" baggage tag

In 1947, Cunard acquired the 38% of Cunard White Star it 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 with the White Star flag, on the last two 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 and was the last White Star Liner in existence, this left the passenger tender SS Nomadic, which was also owned by the company until 1934 as the last White Star Line ship still afloat. (The HMHS Britannic was actually converted during to a Hospital Ship during construction for WW1 and was sunk by a mine in the Aegean Sea during November 1916 - The 'Britannic' that was scrapped was the 'MV Britannic, built in 1929. - The HMHS Britannic was never given the RMS designation.)

Despite this, all Cunard Line ships flew both the Cunard and White Star Line house flags on their masts until 4 November 1968, After this, all remnants of the company were dissolved and the White Star name was removed from Cunard.

The Cunard Line from that point on operated as a separate entity until 2005, when it was absorbed as a subsidiary into Carnival Corporation.


Ship Built In service for Cunard White Star Line Tonnage
RMS Olympic 1911 1934–35 46,439 GRT
RMS Mauretania I 1906 1934–35 31,950 GRT
RMS Adriatic 1907 1934 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 (owned 1934) 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 Mauretania II 1938 1938–49 35,738 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.