Furness Bermuda Line – The “Millionaires” ships from New York to Bermuda.

Furness Bermuda Line – The “Millionaires” ships from New York to Bermuda.

In 1919 Furness Bermuda Line was awarded the mail contract for the New York to Bermuda service.

This service reached its zenith in the years just before the Second World War when Furness Bermuda Line ordered two magnificent luxury liners – the Monarch of Bermuda and the Queen of Bermuda.

They were both built by Vickers Armstrong Ltd, Walker on Tyne, England, UK.

With these two ships the Bermuda run from New York enjoyed the ultimate in luxury and they became known as “the millionaires ships”.

The two sister ships sailed on 3 week cruises from New York to Bermuda for Furness-Bermuda Line.

They were beautifully proportioned vessels with 3 funnels, and they were amongst the elite ships of their day and had private facilities in their cabins.

The run between New York and Bermuda took only 40 hours in each direction and that allowed 4 days to be spent on the Island.  The ships were very popular with honeymooners. This was the luxurious heyday of travel between New York and Bermuda.

In 1939 the Second World War broke out and the two luxury liners were requisitioned for war duties. The Monarch of Bermuda served as a troopship while the Queen of Bermuda became an Armed Merchant Cruiser and later a troopship.

Sadly after the war while being refitted for passenger service the Monarch of Bermuda was gutted by fire and she was salvaged by the Ministry of Transport and converted into an emigrant liner. Renamed New Australia she was operated by Shaw Savill. In 1958 she was sold to Greek Line and renamed Arkadia. Eventually she was retired from service in 1966 and sent to be scrapped at Valencia in Spain.

Fortunately the Queen of Bermuda did return to the Bermuda service after the war in 1947. Later in 1961 she was completely modernised and rebuilt with just one funnel. But by this time the heyday of Furness Bermuda Line was over and by 1966 the company decided to withdrawn from the New York to Bermuda run.

As a result the Queen of Bermuda was retired from service and scrapped at Faslane on the River Clyde. It was the end of a glorious era of luxury travel between New York and Bermuda.

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About Michael L. Grace

MICHAEL L. GRACE is part of the award winning team that created the internationally performed award winning musical SNOOPY, based on PEANUTS by Charles M. Schultz. SNOOPY continues to be one of the most produced shows (amateur & stock) in America/Worldwide and has had long running productions in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and in London's West End. There are over 100 individual productions every year. He has written movies for TV, including the award-winning thriller LADY KILLER, various pilots and developed screenplays for Kevin Costner and John Travolta. Besides co-writing and co-producing SNOOPY, he wrote and produced the one-man play KENNEDY. He produced P.S. YOUR CAT IS DEAD by pulitzer prize winning author James Kirkwood. He wrote the stage thriller FINAL CUT which had productions in the UK, South Africa and Australia. His one-man play, KENNEDY - THE MAN BEHIND THE MYTH, was developed for HBO and has starred Andrew Stevens, Gregory Harrison and Joseph Bottoms. He has recently been involved in European productions with CLT-UFA, Europe's leading commercial television and radio broadcaster. He wrote MOWs THE DOLL COLLECTION, THE BOTTOM LINE and LAST WITNESS for German television. While in college and graduate school he worked as a foreign correspondent for COMBAT, the famous leftwing Paris daily, and as a travel writer. He visited more than 50 countries. He struggled as an actor, then joined the enemy and entered the training program at William Morris. He became a publicist and worked for Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis Presley's manager, at Paramount and MGM. He followed with a brief stint as a story executive, working in the frantic horror genre period of the early 80s and wrote THE UNSEEN. He went onto write for episodic television and develop series pilots. He was a continuing writer on such series such as LOVE BOAT, PAPER DOLLS, and KNOTS LANDING. He developed screenplays for such major award winning directors as Nicolas Meyers, Tony Richardson and J. Lee Thompson. He has written for all the major networks and studios. He has been hired numerous times as a script doctor, doing many uncredited rewrites on TV movies and features. He is currently writing A PERSON OF INTEREST, a thriller novel, and, IT'S THE LOVE BOAT... AND HOW IT CHANGED CRUISING BY SHIP a non-fiction book dealing with how the hit TV series as a major cultural phenomenon and altered the style of cruising by ship. He was raised in Los Angeles. He attended St. Paul's, USC and the Pasadena Playhouse. He received a B.A from San Francisco State University where he majored in theatre arts and minored in creative writing. He is listed as a SFSU leading alumni. He also apprenticed at ACT - The American Conservatory Theatre. For a brief period he had intentions of becoming an Episcopal(Anglican) priest and attended seminary at Kelham Theological College in the UK. When "the calling" wasn't there, he left seminary and did graduate work at the American University of Beirut. He has guest lectured at USC, UC San Diego, McGill, Univ. of London and the Univ. of Texas on the business aspects of making a living and surviving as a writer, focusing on development hell, in the Hollywood entertainment industry. Grace is a lifetime member of the Writers Guild of America, the Dramatist Guild and former regional chairman of the Steamship Historical Society of America. He resides in Palm Springs.

One comment

  1. My grandmother took my older sister and I on the “Queen” from NYC to Bermuda in 1963. Being the youngest passenger (9 years old), I was chosen for the exciting jobs such as rolling the dice for the “games of chance” run for the passengers, and other activities which would be considered child abuse today! What wonderful fun cruising was on such classic ships – wood, brass, crystal, linen and every man was a gentleman and every woman behaved (and dressed) like a lady!!! Nothing can compare today – too bad!

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