Best Looking Ocean liners


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Trent Pheifer

Guest
Wow Eric,

The building in the background really show how big that anchor is!! All I can say in WOW!

-Trent
 
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Trent Pheifer

Guest
Hey,

I was on a trip to NYC this past week and just by chance I ran into the letters QM in lower Manhattan....They are situated where Pine Street dead ends into Water Street. I just happened to be walking by. They are almost impossible to see now in the plastic box....the top has almost turned white...you have to look through the side to see what they are. I was shocked to just happen upon it....when I get the pictures I will post them, if I can figure that out!

-Trent
 
Sep 22, 2003
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Coatesville, PA
My Favorites:

Pre WW1:
Kaiser Wilhelm Der Grosse
Lusitania
Vaterland

Pre WW2:

Ile De France
Bremen
Rex
Normandie
America
Nieuw Amsterdam

Post WW2:

United States
Andrea Doria
France
Canberra
QE2
 

Nigel Bryant

Member
Aug 1, 2010
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Wellington, New Zealand
Hi,

I really like Olympic and Titanic’s exterior design. Though the two ships were very similar, there exterior appearances differed in some respects with later modifications incorporated in Titanic's design. Britannic would have looked far more nicer if she was in passenger service, but never would have the graceful line as her other two sisters because with reaction of Titanic's sinking with the installation of the "gantry davits".

I always quite admired the Canberra and Q.E2's lines. What do you guys think of the new Q.M2's appearance?

Cheers,

Nigel
 
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Doug McDonnell

Guest
Pre WWI: Olympic Class, Mauretania, Lusitania, Aquitania
Pre WW2: QM, Nieuw Amsterdam, Normandie, Bremen
Post WW2: QE, United States, France/Norway(aside from odd looking stacks) Caronia
 

Jim Wilke

Member
Jul 12, 2004
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Eric, thanks for posting - and mentioning - the former Tung buildings. I had no idea such relics were even here. Now I'm going to have to go on a hunt for buildings that resemble the photo.

I'd rather list beautiful ships than the alternate anyday, starting with my all time favorite, Lusitania.

Persia
Germanic
City of Rome
Teutonic
City of Paris
Campania
Kronprinz Wilhelm
Olympic
Normandie
Nieuw Amsterdam
United States
France

There are a number of runners up, like the St Louis, a number of very fast liners like Arizona or Bremen, and obviously ships with great interiors, like Ile de France or Vaterland, but in terms of overall good looks, the above takes it in my book.

Curiously, speed does not always equal great lines, such as the Collins ships or Etruria, any more than great interiors do, such as the big Hapag ships.

Cheers,
Jim
 

rob scott

Member
May 4, 2004
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I think everybody mentioned most of 'em, popular type topic - I really like the sweeping majestic ones, de Savoia, Andrea, Rex, all those types, Bremem's a fine looking ship, Normandie has nice sweeping lines too, wish I could have sailed all of these... Canberra was a nice choice too... and for the luxury crossing in the 20s I would have liked Aquitania...

... but of course my fave oldster is the Lady Lusitania -
(with more time later I'll say one not yet mentioned) WEll- how bout that tragic one that went down in the bargain book I bought: 1854, Arctic? nice lines, nice looking side wheeler!
happy.gif
 

Jim Wilke

Member
Jul 12, 2004
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Arctic and her three sisters were extremely sound and popular ships, and designed by the same man who created the America, as in America Cup. It showed as all four liners were excellent sailers and displayed great handling motion while at sea. They were internally luxurious, and displayed larger and more comfortable interiors than previously seen on the Atlantic, at a time when Cunard was known for poor service. Their engines reflected the latest and most accepted practice although they also taxed the capacities of the American machine shops which built them, and were further taxed by constantly running at the highest speed rather than in keeping reserve.

Externally they had an imposing presence, like a wooden wall of power, topped by serious black paddle boxes of immense size and a hefty stack topped in red. Verticality was central to their look - they rose up from the water in a way that was a wooden equivalent of a brass band pounding out the Mocking Bird Quickstep.

I obviously love these ships, but I didn't place them in the most beautiful category, mostly because they have an oomph but not an ahh - power and capability but little grace. It may be the early use of a straight stem, or it may be the overall lines, but lithographs of these ships invariably show power rather than elegance.

Three won speed records and dominated the field, Atlantic brought Jenny Lind to New York and great acclaim in 1850, and all were the most popular ships on the transatlantic crossing in the early 1850s.

The loss of Arctic was a tragedy which is often held up as a morality lesson aimed at wooden vs. iron ships or its corpulent management, but the situation was somewhat different - and another story.
 

Jim Kalafus

Member
Dec 3, 2000
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I've been a collector of Collins Line memorabilia for a few years, and to judge by the sheer volume of lithos and etchings published between 1851 and 1856 the line was a favorite among a broad selection of the American public. One of the ironies is, however, that although Collins inages are considerably easier to find than those of Cunard ships, they also tend to be far more expensive.

This view of the Baltic was "from the painting of the steamer Baltic presented by her passengers to the wife of Captain Comstock on New Years Day."
89959.jpg
 

Jim Wilke

Member
Jul 12, 2004
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It seems clear that the Collins liners demonstrate the difference between social popularity and commercial success which has been discussed in regards to other ships on this forum. The price of Collins materials today might reflect their actual history or simply be a case of Americana value. It would be interesting to know if dealers today considered the ships as passengers did in, say, 1853.

The little lithograph of Baltic in a midwinter storm is beautiful, and the colors intriguing, especially given your comments regarding another lithograph of Atlantic. I had always assumed the vessels were black, but now it appears they had colored bands and that the hull was divided into areas of color. I'm fascinated with the use of color on 19th century transportation vehicles, and have extensively studied locomotive liveries, but the Collins ships are entirely new and fresh. I've squinted as best as I could but I'm not sure where the colors are besides a red stripe and a green paddle box. If its possible Jim, could you describe the colors and their locations on these images? I would be very grateful.

Also, its very tempting to associate the 1851 image of "Atlantic's Return" with the famous broken shaft incident of January that year, where the ship was at sea and out of communication for several weeks. Is there any information which links the image with the event?

Thanks
Jim
 

Jim Kalafus

Member
Dec 3, 2000
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Collins Colors. It appears that the masts were natural wood. The funnels were a deep blue with a red top band. The paddle boxes were green at the top, with a band of buff and a band of red at their bottoms. The hulls appear to be a brownish buff on the upper half and dark green on the lower half, separated by a band of red.

The Atlantic's Return may very well be about that incident- I had not made the connection before. The litho seems to have been a 'promo piece' to encourage sales of the sheet music, for it is printed on high quality paper and was obviously meant to be removed and framed. Which mine was. At some point I will pry the backing off of the frame and transcribe the tune.
 
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Guest (R17)

Guest
This topic is prob a bit childish but fun :) Maybe there has already been one like this.
Do you consider the Titanic the most perfect looking ship ? Maybe you prefer the Aquitania or another ship. For me the Olympic nocks socks off them all! A bit better than Titanic in appearance. I've read the Aquitania was called 'ship beautiful' but it's still not up there with the Olympic in my opinion. If the Titanic had just one or two funnel's would it have been as famous? Would we all have been into it as much if at all ? I think looks plays a big part of what the Titanic has become for people. Had it been ugly - just one funnel I don't think it would have made as much impact. In fact I don't think we'd all be here now. That's the difference a number of funnels can make to history :)

Anyway what's the best looking ship from the outside for you ?
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
A matter of highly subjective opinion, but I thought that the so-called Ismay Screen on the Titaic gave the ship a cleaner look, and the fact that the Olympics didn't have a forest of those huge cowl vents like the Mauritania's helped with that as well. As to "Beautiful" I could point to a number of candidates. The Normandie had a sleeker look then a lot of contenders.
 
Jul 11, 2001
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Michael, I was thinking the same thing about the Queen Elizabeth. Her upper decks were much less cluttered then her younger sister Queen Mary. Yet the QM has that extra funnel to give her more balance in my opinion. The Olympic class are sleek and attractive, but I think the Britanics new davits were not flattering at all.
 
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Guest (R17)

Guest
I agree with the Britanics davits not being attractive. I wonder if the design of these davits helped the design of davits on later ships?
 
May 12, 2002
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Hi Miles,

It seems that gantry davits never became popular. As far as I know only H&W used them, and only on two other ships - Arundel Castel and Windsor Castle.

Cheers

Paul
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
>>I wonder if the design of these davits helped the design of davits on later ships?<<

I don't think so. As Paul said, gravity type quick acting davits became king on nearly all ocean liners and with a lot of cargo vessels as well. I believe that the only reason the Britannic could get away with using them was because the Olympic design had much better stability then most all of what was out there. Even so, these beasts must have caused some of the usual problems that come with unwanted topweight. Can you imagine these things on the Imperator?

In any event, the idea doesn't appear to have caught on anywhere. The closest analogue of seen were the huge gantry davits on the Norway for handling the ship to shore ferries and those things were located in the bow.
 

T. Eric Brown

Member
Jun 5, 2005
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Titanic, Ile De France, Cunard's second Mauritania and American Export Lines' Independence (not in that order) head my list of the most gorgeous liners ever constructed.

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"What do you see?"-Sixth Officer James Moody
 

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