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RMS Aquitania

Designed to allow Cunard to compete against the larger and more luxurious RMS Olympic and SS Imperator and Vaterland, the RMS Aquitania was born. When the Aquitania was launched, Cunard had the advantage of both speed with the Lusitania and Mauritania, and the size and grandeur of the Aquitania. Slower than her two counterparts, the ship made up in terms of luxury and amenities.

The only ocean liner ship to have survived both world wars, the RMS Aquitania was the last operating four funneled passenger liner.

During WWI, the ship served as an armed merchant cruiser, then troop transport ship, and finally hospital ship providing much needed help in the Dardanelles campaign. In WWII, the ship transported soldiers to and from Canada.

Regarded as one of the most classic looking liners, the ship was nicknamed "Ship Beautiful" by her passengers throughout the 1920's.


Largest and Most Luxurious of Cunard

At roughly the same size as the RMS Olympic, the Aquitania was by far the largest Cunard steamer through WWI. This allowed Cunard to compete with White Star and Hamburg America in terms of large plush vessels.

After WWI, the Aquitania was joined by the new RMS Berengaria, formerly SS Imperator of Germany. During the 1920's, the ship was immensely popular and almost always sailed as a profitable ship. 

After the Cunard White Star Merger of 1934, the Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth were ordered to replace the aging British fleet. since Aquitania was the newest and in best condition, it was decided that she would remain sailing until the Queen Elizabeth could replace her. With the other four funneled liners retired throughout the 1930's, the Aquitania sailed on, until WWII broke out.  

Aquitania During WWI and WWII

The Aquitania sailed in both World Wars, the only true ocean liner to do so. Launched right before the onset of WWI, the Aquitania like many other ships, did not see much civilian service before being requisitioned for the war efforts. At first, armed to sail as an armed merchant cruiser, it was deemed too expensive to have her sail. The ship was transitioned to a troopship and carried soldiers to the different battle fronts around the world. Soon after, it was decided that hospital ships were needed, the Aquitania joined the Brittanic in healing and returning wounded soldiers home in WWI.


During WWII, the ship had been set to retire, but the British Admiralty again decided to utilize the ship as a troop transport, the Aquitania was back at it, serving as a troop transport. Sailing mostly between Britain and Canada, the ship ended up surviving the war and continued to sail for Cunard, making the ship the longest serving Cunard liner, until 2004 when the RMS Queen Elizabeth II surpassed that record. 

Ship Beautiful

Throughout the entire career of the RMS Aquitania, the ship personified the perfection of pre-WWI naval architecture and design, aptly allowing the ship to transcend multiple generations of maritime tradition.

RMS Aquitania Ship Facts

45,647 GRT
901' - 0"
97' - 0"
36' - 0"
Number of Decks:
Cruising Speed:
23 Knots (26 mph or 43 km/hr)
Max Speed:
24 Knots (28mph or 44km/h)
Port of Registry:
Maiden Voyage:
May 30, 1914
Years in Service:
Current Status:
Scrapped in 1950
RMS Aquitania Ocean Liner Ship Boat Elevation Drawing Schematic Profile.png

RMS Aquitania Frequently Asked Questions

  • When was the RMS Aquitania built? Answer: The RMS Aquitania was built by the Cunard Line and launched in April 1913. It was one of the largest and most luxurious ocean liners of its time.

  • How long was the RMS Aquitania? Answer: The RMS Aquitania was 901 feet (274.6 meters) long and had a beam (width) of 97 feet (29.6 meters).

  • How fast could the RMS Aquitania travel? Answer: The RMS Aquitania had a top speed of 23 knots (26.4 miles per hour or 42.6 kilometers per hour). It was powered by four steam turbines and had a total of 21 boilers.

  • What was the RMS Aquitania used for? Answer: The RMS Aquitania was primarily used for transatlantic crossings between New York and Southampton. It was also used as a troopship during World War I and World War II.

  • When was the RMS Aquitania retired? Answer: The RMS Aquitania was retired from service in 1950 and was scrapped the following year. It had served for nearly 40 years and had carried thousands of passengers across the Atlantic.

  • How many passengers could the RMS Aquitania accommodate? Answer: The RMS Aquitania could accommodate up to 2,198 passengers in three classes - First, Second and Third. It was known for its luxurious accommodations and amenities.

  • How did the RMS Aquitania compare to other ocean liners of its time? Answer: The RMS Aquitania was one of the largest and most luxurious ocean liners of its time, and was often compared to the Titanic and the Lusitania. It was known for its elegant interiors, spacious public areas, and state-of-the-art technology.

  • Who was the RMS Aquitania named after? Answer: The RMS Aquitania was named after the region of Aquitaine in southwestern France, which had strong ties to England throughout history.

  • What was the fate of the RMS Aquitania during World War II? Answer: During World War II, the RMS Aquitania was converted into a troopship and was used to transport soldiers and supplies across the Atlantic. It also served as a hospital ship and was involved in the D-Day landings in 1944.

  • Are there any artifacts or memorabilia from the RMS Aquitania that have been preserved? Answer: Yes, there are several artifacts and pieces of memorabilia from the RMS Aquitania that have been preserved, including photographs, menus, and passenger lists. Some of these items can be seen in museums and archives around the world.

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RMS Aquitania

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