I have a strong fascination with cruise ships but not just the modern day breed. My attention really is captured when I hear stories of ships from days gone by like RMS Olympic, RMS Titanic, RMS Mauretania and RMS Queen Mary.
Looking back at old footage and library images these ships look so big and bold yet in comparison to today’s super liner’s they are merely a dot on a map. Take for example RMS Mauretania ( HMS Tuberose – 1918-1919) she weighed in at 31,938GT and was 790ft in length. Compare her against a modern day ship like MS Queen Victoria. She weighs in at an astonishing 90,000GT and is 964ft in length. It just amazes me how these vessel’s are getting ever bigger and yet they still float! (yes I know science, build and material allow them to float but it still is amazing).
So I mentioned MS Queen Victoria but to go not one step further but to actually take a triple jump we would then land on MS Oasis and MS Allure of the Seas, joint world’s largest cruise ship. Weighing in at a jaw dropping 225,282GT and being 1,181ft in length these monster sister’s of the seas really are the splendour of modern day ship building.
Going back to my original topic, what I truly love most about ships from days long ago is that they oozed glamour and sophistication. People didn’t necessarily board a pleasure cruise for the features of the ship like they do in some cases today, they simply wanted to enjoy time at sea, relaxing and indulging in a little shuffleboard and five star cuisine.
When I look back at images from the older ships one that always stands out in my mind is the indoor swimming pool on the Queen Mary, the one that is also said to be haunted. Something about this space really just grabs my attention. Even archive footage of people using the pool when it was still in use and at sea is a treat to watch. Maybe it is because it is unlike any other swimming pool now seen on a modern cruise ship it catches my attention. Who knows, but there’s something eerie yet fascinating about this space.
Some DVD’S worth watching if you like myself have a passion for vitage liners include 100 Years of Great British Ships, The Liners 4 DVD box set and Great Liners. Most are easily found on Amazon.