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Author Topic: The end of Cunard's transatlantic service (before QE2)  (Read 1831 times)

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Hamburg

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Hello All,

I was wondering in which year Cunard gave up scheduled transatlantic crossings.
Obviously the old Queens offered regular crossings to the end, and QE2 took over in 1969.

But what about the secondary services?
When QE2 was introduced, only Franconia and Carmania remained as her fleet mates, by then (to my knowledge) only doing cruises.
Can anyone track down which year was Cunard's last transatlantic season?

Online Graham Taylor

Re: The end of Cunard's transatlantic service (before QE2)
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2014, 01:28 PM »
Strictly speaking Cunard is still operating scheduled transatlantic crossings albeit outside of the winter months. The definitive answer comes down to the date Cunard ceased it's services to Canada from the ports of Liverpool and Southampton.

Four ships of the Saxonia Class served this route:

Saxonia  renamed Carmania - from 1963 until 1967 she fulfilled a dual purpose rôle cruising in the winter and sailing Rotterdam - Southampton - Montreal in the summer, although fewer crossings were made in her final years.

Ivernia   renamed Franconia - from 1963 until  November 1967 she fulfilled a similar rôle to that of her sister Carmania.

Carinthia - withdrawn October 1967 from the Liverpool - Montreal route.

Sylvania - from 1961 until October 1966 serving the Liverpool - Cobh - Halifax - New York route then transferring for her final year back on the Canadian run.

The rise of passenger air traffic during this period made the route unprofitable, but the sea men's strike of 1966 was the final nail in the coffin.

I would then put the date of November 1967 as the final year of Cunard's association on the Canadian transatlantic run ( until QM2's recent rescheduling to include stops at Halifax)
« Last Edit: May 22, 2014, 01:34 PM by Graham Taylor »
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Offline CAP

Re: The end of Cunard's transatlantic service (before QE2)
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2014, 02:35 PM »
Hello All,

I was wondering in which year Cunard gave up scheduled transatlantic crossings.
Obviously the old Queens offered regular crossings to the end, and QE2 took over in 1969.

But what about the secondary services?
When QE2 was introduced, only Franconia and Carmania remained as her fleet mates, by then (to my knowledge) only doing cruises.
Can anyone track down which year was Cunard's last transatlantic season?

Simple question(s) but not neccessarily as easy to answer. 

It is probably worthwhile mentioning that Cunard did not just perform passenger operations across the Atlantic, through other subsidiary companies such as ACL for container traffic, Cunard Line and Cunard-Brocklebank for cargo operations.

As I see it there are a number of transatlantic services which the company operated at the time;
  • United States Express Service: primarily the domain of the Queens, operating on the Southampton/Cherbourg/New York and return run and a passenger service only.
  • United States Service: This can be further sub-divided between passenger and cargo operations.  Routes varied but in principle revolve around Southampton/Le Havre/Cobh/New York and return, Liverpool/Cobh/New York and return.
  • Dominion (Canadian) Service: Again split between cargo and passenger traffic.  This was a summer only service calling at Quebec and Montreal; during winter (defined as when the St. Lawrence was frozen normally November to March) the ships would call at New York with the only Canadian stop being Halifax. During the winter the frequency of crossings dropped and the ships either went into refit or diverted to the ever growing cruise market.
Cargo operations on both the United States and Canadian routes continued well after the demise of the original Queens and the disappearance of remainder of the liner fleet.  It wasn’t until the late 1980’s the THI/Cunard divested itself of cargo operations.
As Graham mentions in his thread Carinthia and Sylvania were all that remained of the original quartet of “secondary service” liners, both coming out of service in 1967 and in so doing curtailing the Canadian service.

Queen Elizabeth continued the United States service until 1968 but her schedule included calls at Cobh and the occasional cruise, it wouldn’t therefore be prudent to refer to the period after Queen Mary’s departure as an express service.

In summary passenger operations on the Canadian Service ended in 1967, United States Service paused between the withdrawal of Queen Elizabeth and the introduction of Queen Elizabeth 2 (around 6 months), cargo operations were not interrupted and therefore to conclude, the company never did actually stop scheduled transatlantic services.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2014, 02:54 PM by CAP »

Offline Adam Hodson

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Re: The end of Cunard's transatlantic service (before QE2)
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2014, 03:47 PM »
Thanks for all of this information. It is really good to know. :)
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Hamburg

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Re: The end of Cunard's transatlantic service (before QE2)
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2014, 08:33 AM »
Dear CAP and Graham,

Many thanks. This has well and fully answered my question.

Best,
Nils

Offline Hank Hargrove

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The end of Cunard's transatlantic service (before QE2)
« Reply #5 on: Jun 21, 2014, 05:01 AM »
Hello All,

I was wondering in which year Cunard gave up scheduled transatlantic crossings.
Obviously the old Queens offered regular crossings to the end, and QE2 took over in 1969.

But what about the secondary services?
When QE2 was introduced, only Franconia and Carmania remained as her fleet mates, by then (to my knowledge) only doing cruises.
Can anyone track down which year was Cunard's last transatlantic season?

Technically, still happening as of 2014, unless you mean year round...1966 to 1968??


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