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
Transatlantic
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] 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. 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 Hull 844 – RMS Oceanic III – and Cunard had Hull 534, which would later become RMS Queen Mary.

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

Being in a better financial and operating state than their White Star counterparts, Cunard Line shareholders began absorbing all White Star assets and as a result, most of the White Star Liners were quickly disposed of or sent to the breakers' yard. White Star's Australia and New Zealand service ships were donated to the Shaw, Savill & Ablion Line in 1934 with the Olympic being sent to Jarrow for breaking the following year along with Cunard's ageing Mauretania that was broken up at Rosyth. 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 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 25 November 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.

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.

Nomadic which left White Star service in 1934 is undergoing restoration work in her city of birth, Belfast, in 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.

Fleet[edit]

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 Never entered service (owned 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

References[edit]

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