The Great Luxury Liners, 1927-1954-A Photographic Record

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By , Lloyd had three four-funnelled liners and another being built. Lloyd were the owners of the so-called " Kaiser-class " ships which, with their four funnels were a paradigm of strength, safety and luxury. Shortly after the advent of Cunard 's luxurious ocean greyhounds, Mauretania and Lusitania , the French Line's directors decided it was time to enter the race for supremacy.

The company did not become a major participant of the trans-Atlantic Ocean liner trade until after World War I. In line with its strategy, the company did not have ships of either great speed or size, but instead became renowned during the early 20th century for its luxuriously appointed liners.


Under the direction of Jules Charles Roux , president of the CGT since , the company ordered a new liner which was to be named Picardie. The ship was designed to have four funnels , a feature associated by the public with speed, safety and above all luxury. At the time of the commission of Picardie , the CGT's flagship was Rochambeau , a liner which was a mere 12, tonnes. The remainder of the fleet included the smaller sister ships , La Savoie and La Lorraine. Laid down in February , the new liner was to be a marvel of French engineering.


Not only would she be over twice the size of any ship in the French merchant fleet, she would be that nation's first quadruple-screw liner, as well as their first and only four-funneled liner and their first ship powered by Parsons steam turbines. France was called the most lavish of the Transatlantic liners and its interiors were one of the most consistent of all liners.


The revival of the Baroque architecture and interior design occurred in the late 19th century and prevailed into the early decades of the twentieth. Her first class accommodations were graced with various portraits of Louis XIV as well as his relations.

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France was also credited for bringing the grand staircase to the ocean liner, a fashion which prevails in modern cruise ships. Her First Class entrance hall and dining room demonstrated this. The ship also had a gymnasium, an elevator, and a hair salon, all great novelties at the time.

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  8. According to a booklet publicising the liner, her second class accommodation was credited as "match[ing] the richness and comfort of first class on the old liners. In the following months, her machinery was installed and her luxurious interiors were fitted. Finally completed in , her maiden voyage began at her homeport of Le Havre on 20 April , just five days after the sinking of Titanic. She did much to improve the image of the CGT which, to date, had not had much influence in the North Atlantic. Cuisine onboard was said to have been amongst the finest at sea. Sailing at a service speed of Despite this, she attained a speed of At 23, tons, France was half the size of the newest British liners, such as Olympic but what she lacked in size, she made up for in opulence.

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    Proud of their great achievement, the new France was not without problems; she suffered from disturbing vibrations, and had a marked tendency to roll, even when the seas were flat calm. She was withdrawn from service after just a handful of crossings to have these two serious issues addressed.

    Eden sank with the loss of 43 officers and men, including her commander, with France rescuing the remaining 33 survivors. Later that year, she was painted white and used as a hospital ship in the Dardanelles , operating in tandem with White Star's new flagship, Britannic and Cunard's new Aquitania.

    During her time as a hospital ship she was converted to accommodate 2, injured troops. When Britannic was sunk in late , the need for high-capacity hospital ships was even more dire, and she continued in this role until the United States entered the war in , when she was deployed back to the Atlantic to ferry American troops to the continent with space for some 5, Monarchs of the Sea is well documented and full of interesting facts, figures, and personal accounts.

    Wonderful photographs, plans, and cutaways have been included.

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    This is a book that anyone with an interest in maritime history should have. Ballard, Rick Archbold As Woods Hole oceanographer Robert Ballard demonstrates in his absorbing, profusely illustrated book about his years-long hunt for the wreck of the Titanic , science isn't all that different from Hollywood.

    Just as a Hollywood type--say, the director whose quest to make the world's most expensive film is chronicled in Paula Parisi's Titanic and the Making of James Cameron --must use the cachet of his studio connections to raise cash, a Woods Hole scientist must use that eminent institution's reputation to win financing for his or her projects. Like the movie that sprang from the finding of the wreck, Ballard's scientific exploration is a tale of triumph against long odds.

    go site He's also got some good historical data on the drama of the sinking.