Author Topic: Cunard cargo ships  (Read 8868 times)

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Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Cunard cargo ships
« on: Jun 17, 2011, 01:56 PM »
Michael, you wrote :

Of the 221 ships Cunard has owned since it was founded in 1839, 125 were built in Scotland - the vast majority of them on the Clyde. I'll bring you the complete list in July Lynda.

I suppose this includes cargo ships?

I know very little indeed about them, but have often heard crew members talk about moving between the passenger ships and the cargo ships. Are there still any Cunard cargo ships? If not, are there cargo ships in the Carnival Group?

Online Louis De Sousa

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Re: Cunard cargo ships
« Reply #1 on: Jun 17, 2011, 02:39 PM »
Here is a link to some of those ships

http://rmhh.co.uk/ships.html

Online Louis De Sousa

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Re: Cunard cargo ships
« Reply #2 on: Jun 17, 2011, 02:40 PM »
Cunard cargo ship Brescia, Preston 1931

https://www.flickr.com/photos/rpsmithbarney/4097092128/

Offline Michael Gallagher

Re: Cunard cargo ships
« Reply #3 on: Jun 17, 2011, 03:12 PM »
The 221 figure is misleading to be honest - that's how many we know for sure we have had but we don't know exactly how many we have had!

The 221 includes the cargo ships that were ordered by Cunard itself but does not include the cargo fleets Cunard acquired over the years such as Ellerman, Brocklebank, the ACT Consortium and others. I have never really been interested in cargo ships so never really paid much attention. P&O took Ellerman I think. There are no cargo ships in the Carnival Empire (unless you count the Costa Marina and Costa Allegra which were built in the 1960s as cargo ships and massively rebuilt by Costa into cruise ships).

So it would be 221 ships plus many many more if you take into account the acquired cargo companies!

And then you have to add to the 221 the huge (and little remembered) fleet Cunard had in the Med (1850s - 1900). Always known for its Atlantic operations but Cunard had just as many ships in the Med. We have never really established exactly what and exactly how many. We were once about to contract a dedicated author to establish this for us but I'm afraid he died before we were able to.

The truth is Cunard does not really know how many ships its had.

Offline CAP

Re: Cunard cargo ships
« Reply #4 on: Jun 17, 2011, 04:40 PM »
I thought I'd share this with the forum.  

Over the course of the last 12 months I have tried to create a full listing of the Cunard fleet.  Rather than have a simple text listing of the vessel names I decided that I would try and put the ships in some form of chronological order.  Each column on the report represents a year, starting in 1840 through to 2010 (although in the latest version the start is 1812!)  Across the top of the report are the various guises of the company, from British & North American through to Carnival.  With the expansion of the date range this now includes ships from Abraham Cunard & Son (1812-1824), Samuel Cunard & Co. (1824-1836) and the Halifax Whaling Company (1837-1839).

Each of the coloured blocks represents a ship, the blocks are coded to identify Passenger,Cargo (Differing Types) or Tender, and whether they were chartered vessels.  The various conflicts throughout the time frame are shown together with which vessels participated in the campaigns.  Some ships evolved with different names, Vistafjord to Caronia, Tyyrhenia to Lancastria are a couple that come to mind.  The listing includes the ships from Cunard's initial involvement in ACL through to the eventual withdrawal.  There does however, remain some ships that need to be added (those from Moss Tankers for one!)

A sample page of the report is now attached (the original is 9 pages of A4 :o)
« Last Edit: Jun 17, 2011, 04:49 PM by CAP »

Offline Michael Gallagher

Re: Cunard cargo ships
« Reply #5 on: Jun 17, 2011, 04:54 PM »
It was also Cunard tradition to have officers spend time on the cargo ships. They would start on the passenger side, move over to experience the cargo side and then bring them back to the passenger ships. Mark Twain once wrote that 'Cunard would not take Noah himself as Captain until they'd worked him through the ranks'. Praise indeed!
« Last Edit: Feb 15, 2018, 09:51 AM by Lynda Bradford »

Offline Jeff Taylor

Re: Cunard cargo ships
« Reply #6 on: Jun 17, 2011, 06:27 PM »
...and now all they need is some time with Princess.  Those with Cunard experience only need not apply!

Offline Twynkle

Re: Cunard cargo ships
« Reply #7 on: Jun 17, 2011, 08:32 PM »
I thought I'd share this with the forum. 

Over the course of the last 12 months I have tried to create a full listing of the Cunard fleet.  Rather than have a simple text listing of the vessel names I decided that I would try and put the ships in some form of chronological order.  Each column on the report represents a year, starting in 1840 through to 2010 (although in the latest version the start is 1812!)  Across the top of the report are the various guises of the company, from British & North American through to Carnival.  With the expansion of the date range this now includes ships from Abraham Cunard & Son (1812-1824), Samuel Cunard & Co. (1824-1836) and the Halifax Whaling Company (1837-1839).

Each of the coloured blocks represents a ship, the blocks are coded to identify Passenger,Cargo (Differing Types) or Tender, and whether they were chartered vessels.  The various conflicts throughout the time frame are shown together with which vessels participated in the campaigns.  Some ships evolved with different names, Vistafjord to Caronia, Tyyrhenia to Lancastria are a couple that come to mind.  The listing includes the ships from Cunard's initial involvement in ACL through to the eventual withdrawal.  There does however, remain some ships that need to be added (those from Moss Tankers for one!)

A sample page of the report is now attached (the original is 9 pages of A4 :o)

Hello CAP

Your List is very impressive!

While expecting that the Cunard Line (etc) section of The Ships List is a familiar one to you - others may not have seen it yet!
http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/lines/cunard.html

You might also know of the research by a member of the LinersList website. He is cataloging very many, if not all, the White Star Line shipping movements from their beginnings in Liverpool in 1845 
Rosie


PS - edited to add the following link to the Merchant Navy - Cunard
http://www.merchant-navy.net/forum/f33/ships-i-have-sailed-cunard-1716/
« Last Edit: Jun 17, 2011, 10:15 PM by Twynkle »
QE2 had been waiting alongside in Dubai for nearly 12 years.  Please restore her Lifeboats and Tenders to where they truly belong - she looks naked without them - please spare her this ignominy.

Offline CAP

Re: Cunard cargo ships
« Reply #8 on: Jun 18, 2011, 07:16 AM »
hi Rosie,

Thanks for the feedback. and the sources you identify are very good. 

Offline CAP

Re: Cunard cargo ships
« Reply #9 on: Jun 18, 2011, 07:25 AM »

And then you have to add to the 221 the huge (and little remembered) fleet Cunard had in the Med (1850s - 1900). Always known for its Atlantic operations but Cunard had just as many ships in the Med.

Cunard also ran a Great Lakes Service using ships such as Alpha & Nantes

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Cunard cargo ships
« Reply #10 on: Jun 18, 2011, 07:56 AM »
All this is fascinating information, a lot of which was quite new to me.

I wonder whether there are still Cunard cargo ships, even now? If so, what do they carry, and from where to where?

If not, when and why did they cease operations?

Offline CAP

Re: Cunard cargo ships
« Reply #11 on: Jun 18, 2011, 09:38 AM »
All this is fascinating information, a lot of which was quite new to me.

I wonder whether there are still Cunard cargo ships, even now? If so, what do they carry, and from where to where?

If not, when and why did they cease operations?

Whilst some of the ships that were formerly part of the wider Cunard fleet still ply their trade they now belong to new owners.  Cunard had one last fling at the cargo business when it introduced a series of bulk carriers (Cunard Champion, Cunard Caravel etc).  These came out of Cunard service in the late seventies.  

As a founding member of Atlantic Container Liner (ACL) Cunard did try to gain a foothold in, what was at the time the future of cargo operations.  However, this did not last long and Cunard withdrew their interest in the consortium.

All of the carog operations had disappeared by the mid/late eighties.  Most of what remained of the cargo vessels I believe were sold to Andrew Weir & Co (Port Line) and subsequently sold on.  The container business went to P&O


I believe the cargo operations were closed in order to concentrate solely on leisure operations. Trafalgar House would have been been the new owners at the time and from what I've read the focus was on QE2 and developing the Cunard Hotels business, providing a total holiday experience.
« Last Edit: Jun 18, 2011, 03:52 PM by CAP »

Offline CAP

Re: Cunard cargo ships
« Reply #12 on: Jul 24, 2011, 09:23 PM »
The 221 includes the cargo ships that were ordered by Cunard itself but does not include the cargo fleets Cunard acquired over the years such as Ellerman, Brocklebank, the ACT Consortium and others. I have never really been interested in cargo ships so never really paid much attention. P&O took Ellerman I think. There are no cargo ships in the Carnival Empire (unless you count the Costa Marina and Costa Allegra which were built in the 1960s as cargo ships and massively rebuilt by Costa into cruise ships).
The truth is Cunard does not really know how many ships its had.

I've recently added ships from Anchor Line and Port Line to my database.  All that remains is to add ithe handful of ships for Ellerman/Moss Tankers.  At present the total build count is 520.  The reason I have gone with build count is that this relates to a single vessel, numerous ships,both passenger and cargo were either transferred around the group or were given new names within the fleet.  Also include in this count are ships that were chartered either for a single or multiple voyages.

Offline CAP

Re: Cunard cargo ships
« Reply #13 on: Aug 04, 2011, 06:24 PM »
Attached is a reasonably accurate representation of the size of the "Cunard Fleet" viewed at the turn of each decade.  Probably worthwhile adding a little more for clarification purposes.  

The fleet represents all of those vessels in service for the "Cunard Enterprise", i.e. including subsiidiary companies and those vessels that may have been chartered.  As the measurements are taken at a single point in time there is no representation of ships that may have joined the fleet and disappeared within the course of the intervening years.

I can of course be much more granular with the information, for example drilling down to actual numbers for; each year or by vessel type or subsidiary or any permutation but as this is a first cut I wanted it a good and simple representation of the likely numbers.  .
« Last Edit: Aug 04, 2011, 07:28 PM by CAP »

Offline Rod

Re: Cunard cargo ships
« Reply #14 on: Aug 05, 2011, 12:32 AM »
I cannot open the earlier charts.
But at one time Cunard had Moss Tankers, a North Sea supply line and a ferry company I believe.

Offline CAP

Re: Cunard cargo ships
« Reply #15 on: Aug 05, 2011, 06:42 AM »
I cannot open the earlier charts.

Rod , the earlier charts were just photos of the spreadsheet and as such low resolution images.

In my data I have Moss Tankers, I think the North Sea Supply was actually Offshore Marine Services.  But I'm not so sure I have anything regarding a ferry company.  If you have anything more on this then please post, I'm interested tofind out more.

Offline CAP

Re: Cunard cargo ships
« Reply #16 on: Aug 15, 2011, 09:58 AM »
I thought this attachement might be useful in giving some dimension to the Cunard Fleet/Operations.  Although undated I believe thiis extract from a corporate borchure ito be from around 1980, this was of course when the company formed part of the broader Trafalgar House group (hence the added information below the actual chart).

At the time of publication the ships within "Cunard Line", were QE2, Cunard Princess and Cunard Countess.  What is suprising from this is within the cargo operations Cunard once again ventured into aviation.
« Last Edit: Aug 15, 2011, 02:26 PM by CAP »

Offline Rod

Cunard's cargo ships
« Reply #17 on: Apr 22, 2014, 03:41 PM »
I never realized that RES manned the "Oily Boily"

Offline CAP

Re: Cunard's cargo ships
« Reply #18 on: Apr 22, 2014, 09:47 PM »
RES supplied R/O's to the Passenger and cargo ships run by Cunard plus one or 2 other ships under contract such as m.v.England and for some reason a Nigerian Oil Tanker called m.v. Oliobiri.

The "Oily Biro" was as far as I can ascertain, Cunard's only Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC).  She was however owned by the Nigerian Government but managed by Cunard Shipping Services.  CSS was a subsidiary company like RES and I think the tanker was their first vessel.

Offline Rod

Re: Cunard's cargo ships
« Reply #19 on: Apr 22, 2014, 11:06 PM »
Most people would be amazed to know that at one time Cunard and its companies were the largest combined shipping company in the world. The pax fleet being almost the smallest part.

Offline CAP

Re: Cunard's cargo ships
« Reply #20 on: Apr 23, 2014, 07:19 AM »
Most people would be amazed to know that at one time Cunard and its companies were the largest combined shipping company in the world. The pax fleet being almost the smallest part.

You're absolutely right Rod, from Containers to Oil Supply from Bulk Carriers to Refrigeration and to at one time having the largest aviation cargo fleet in the world!
« Last Edit: Apr 23, 2014, 09:35 AM by CAP »

Offline Willum

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Re: Cunard's cargo ships
« Reply #21 on: Apr 23, 2014, 09:33 AM »
Yes the Oily Boily was my last ship before QE2 in 1977, and possibly the deepest draft ship ever to go through the Dover Straits. 2nd Off was Chris Haughton who later sailed with us on QE2 and is today with Jane Sullivan from the bureau and occasional Capt Sec.  oops, in danger of slipping off-topic!
Willum

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Cunard cargo ships
« Reply #22 on: Feb 14, 2018, 03:19 PM »
I wonder when Cunard ceased to have cargo ships, and which was the very last one?

Was there any kind of ceremony when the final cargo ship departed the Cunard fleet?

Online Andy Holloway

Re: Cunard cargo ships
« Reply #23 on: Feb 14, 2018, 03:34 PM »
...and now all they need is some time with Princess.  Those with Cunard experience only need not apply!

Or a mind of their own!

Online Thomas Hypher

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Re: Cunard cargo ships
« Reply #24 on: Feb 14, 2018, 03:38 PM »
I wonder when Cunard ceased to have cargo ships, and which was the very last one?

Was there any kind of ceremony when the final cargo ship departed the Cunard fleet?

The last under Cunard management could've been Atlantic Causeway (Conveyor's sister and a Falklands veteran herself) as she was scrapped in 1986 (only completed around 1969/70). Both Atlantic Causeway and Conveyor were Cunard's contribution to Atlantic Container Line (ACL) set up and operated by several well known shipping lines in the 1960s and still around today but owned by Grimaldi.

Can anyone confirm?
First sailed on QE2 in August 2003 aged 6 years old. Last stepped foot and sailed on QE2 in July 2008. Last saw the seagoing QE2 in person from the decks of QM2, on QE2's last Transatlantic crossing (Eastbound tandem) in October 2008. Visited QE2, in her new life, in Dubai back in January 2020.

Offline Michael Gallagher

Re: Cunard cargo ships
« Reply #25 on: Feb 14, 2018, 03:38 PM »
Cunard cargo operations are a bit of a mystery to me but in 1991 Cunard - Ellerman (formed in 1987) passed to Andrew Weir Group, who sold it to Hamburg Süd in 2003. In 2004 the name was dropped and Ellerman Lines ceased to exist.


Online Andy Holloway

Re: Cunard cargo ships
« Reply #26 on: Feb 14, 2018, 04:20 PM »
The last under Cunard management could've been Atlantic Causeway (Conveyor's sister and a Falklands veteran herself) as she was scrapped in 1986 (only completed around 1969/70). Both Atlantic Causeway and Conveyor were Cunard's contribution to Atlantic Container Line (ACL) set up and operated by several well known shipping lines in the 1960s and still around today but owned by Grimaldi.

Can anyone confirm?

I have come across several 'old' Cunard cargo Officers in my time, they tended to be mostly Radio Officer who had ceased being 'sparkies' and become Computer Officers.

The husband of a college friend of my wife, was a Cunard Cargo Chief Officer working on Bulk Carriers in the 60s & early 70s. He did both grain and iron ore mainly between Canada and Europe/North Africa.
She told us once about a cargo of grain that they took to Tunisia or Algeria. There was problems with berths alongside - possibly 'back handers' not being paid/received - and they lay at anchor for almost 6 weeks. In the end they just went out into International waters and had to pump the whole cargo approx 70/80k tons of grain over the side! Then it was clean out the holds and head back to Canada for another cargo.

Offline Trevor Casey

Re: Cunard cargo ships
« Reply #27 on: Feb 14, 2018, 10:45 PM »
I will sound extremely dumb but the only cargo liner that I knew about was their Atlantic Conveyor.
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Offline Michael Gallagher

Re: Cunard cargo ships
« Reply #28 on: Feb 15, 2018, 09:02 AM »
Cunard had huge cargo operations over the decades and were involved with significant cargo companies such as Brocklebank, Port Line, Ellerman and Atlantic Container.

For a while the Brocklebank family were running the whole show - Sir John Brocklebank is the one to thank for cancelling Q3 and placing the order for QE2.

Further to what I said in earlier post: In 1971, when Cunard was purchased by the conglomerate Trafalgar House, Cunard operated cargo and passenger ships, hotels and resorts. Its cargo fleet consisted of 42 ships in service, with 20 on order. Cunard's cargo fleet was sold off between 1989 and 1991, with a single container ship, the second Atlantic Conveyor, remaining under Cunard ownership until 1996.
« Last Edit: Feb 15, 2018, 09:06 AM by Michael Gallagher »

Online Thomas Hypher

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Re: Cunard cargo ships
« Reply #29 on: Feb 15, 2018, 10:56 AM »
with a single container ship, the second Atlantic Conveyor, remaining under Cunard ownership until 1996.

Would it be safe to say she was the last Cunard cargo ship as per Isabelle's question? She was scrapped at Alang quite recently having very much served her purpose. Also had the "North Bar" for the crew in tribute to Captain Ian North of the original Atlantic Conveyor. I think all the new ACL (Grimaldi) cargo ships are named with Atlantic and then a word beginning with "S"? Atlantic Star, first of the new class (if I remember correctly) recently spent a long time docked within the Blohm & Voss shipyard in Hamburg for reasons I don't know. Atlantic Star and her sisters are UK registered - a nice touch I think!
First sailed on QE2 in August 2003 aged 6 years old. Last stepped foot and sailed on QE2 in July 2008. Last saw the seagoing QE2 in person from the decks of QM2, on QE2's last Transatlantic crossing (Eastbound tandem) in October 2008. Visited QE2, in her new life, in Dubai back in January 2020.

Offline Michael Gallagher

Re: Cunard cargo ships
« Reply #30 on: Feb 15, 2018, 11:05 AM »
Thomas - I think we can assume Atlantic Conveyor was the last Cunard cargo ship.
 
I attended the christening of the Atlantic Sea by Princess Anne in Liverpool in October 2016 and the ACL MD spoke at the special Cunard Falklands commemoration I organised in Liverpool on 25 May 2017.

Offline CAP

Re: Cunard cargo ships
« Reply #31 on: Feb 15, 2018, 07:05 PM »
Cunard had huge cargo operations over the decades and were involved with significant cargo companies such as Brocklebank, Port Line, Ellerman and Atlantic Container.

Hi Michael,

I think you may be doing the company a disservice, Brocklebank and Port Line (formerly Commomnwealth and Dominion Line were wholly owned subsidiaries. Cunard allowed both companies to operate effectively as stand-alone entities.  It was only during the late sixties/early seventies that the fleets were merged under the Cunard-Brocklebank banner.  Ellerman and ACL were effectively joint ventures with Cunard contributing vessels to the new companies.  Cunard also expanded its container operations with another venture, Cunard And Middle East Lines (CAMEL) albeit with smaller tonnage than ACL.

Over the past 175 years Cunard has acquired and disposed of other shipping lines including non-passenger traffic.

Offline Rod

Re: Cunard cargo ships
« Reply #32 on: Feb 17, 2018, 06:16 PM »
Don't forget thr north sea supply ships. Were there not about 20-30 of them at one time?

Offline CAP

Re: Cunard cargo ships
« Reply #33 on: Feb 18, 2018, 11:27 AM »
Yep, Cunard did own Offshore Marine.  It acquired the business in the late sixties before selling it in the seventies.  For those that remember North Sea Gas coming on stream well, a “Cunard” ship was present at the inauguration of the supply to the UK, an Offshore vessel!

 

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