THE RMS CARONIA… most famous of all cruise-ships…
A pre-luncheon drink aboard the RMS Caronia...

THE RMS CARONIA… most famous of all cruise-ships…

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  • The Last Word in Luxury Travel
  • With her fabulous art-deco interiors and high crew to passenger ratio, the RMS Caronia very soon began to establish a highly enviable reputation as probably the most luxurious ocean liner afloat at that time.
  • Elizabeth Taylor on Cunard’s RMS Caronia.
The Cunard White Star company's 34,183 ton RMS Caronia, affectionately known by her crew as the “Green Goddess," was launched from John Brown's Shipyard on Clydebank, Glasgow on 30 October 1947 by HRH Princess Elizabeth as her last public engagement ahead of her marraige. Caronia's maiden voyage, to New York, departed from Southampton in January 1949. She was to become the most famous of all cruise liners.

The Cunard White Star company’s 34,183 ton RMS Caronia, affectionately known by her crew as the “Green Goddess,” was launched from John Brown’s Shipyard on Clydebank, Glasgow on 30 October 1947 by HRH Princess Elizabeth as her last public engagement ahead of her marraige. Caronia’s maiden voyage, to New York, departed from Southampton in January 1949. She was to become the most famous of all cruise liners.

  • Reports in all the leading periodicals pointed toward a ship that had set new standards.
  • If cruising in style was your desire and you could afford it, there was no other choice.

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  • Not long after entering service, initially aided by Cunard’s huge publicity machine, but very quickly by a reputation carefully crafted by her Officers and Crew, Caronia became a huge dollar earner, both for her owners and her home country.
  • The hull to Cunard’s first post World War 2 liner was laid at the John Brown Co. in 1946. A radical departure from previous liners constructed by Cunard, the exclusive purpose of the new ship would be cruising. While many liners in the past had been built with cruising excursions in mind — such as the Canadian Pacific linerEmpress of Canada — no liner had been built with cruising as its foremost purpose. This new liner would pioneer a market that would soon be the only money making venue for ocean going vessels.

    The Cunard Line’s RMS Caronia arrives in Sydney, Australia on her 1951 World Cruise. 

  • The passenger list was filled with America’s rich.The new vessel was to be named RMS Caronia, a name long popular in Cunard’s history.
  • As the first and largest ship built in the post-war period, there was much ceremony in the launch of the new vessel. On hand for the christening ceremony in October 1947 was Princess Elizabeth — in one of her final roles before her marriage to Prince Philip. The fitting out was speedily carried out and Caronia’s maiden voyage commenced in January 1949 with the traditional voyage from Southampton to New York. 
  • Weighing in at 34,172 tons and with an overall length of 715 feet, Caronia’s profile was distinguished by her clipper-like bow and single mast and funnel. As a purpose built cruise ship, Caronia featured extensive outdoor lido decks and was the first Cunard ship with a permanent outdoor pool. The most striking feature of the new liner was the radical departure from the traditional Cunard livery. Rather than the traditional black and white livery, Caronia was painted in a pale green livery that earned her the nickname “green goddess.”

Passengers bid farewell as Cunard Line’s RMS Caronia departs Sydney, Australia on her 1951 World Cruise.

Famous comedian Oliver Hardy (Laurel and Hardy) is interviewed abroad Cunard Line’s RMS Caronia on a TV show in 1950.  He is sailing with his wife from New York to Europe.  They departed on June 10, 1950.  Hardy was joining partner, Stan Laurel, to make a new film in France.

A steward cleans the plague commemorating the portrait of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip aboard Cunard Line’s RMS Caronia in 1951. 

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Keywords: RMS CARONIA , ghost ships,  Green Goddess, cunard line, cruise history, liner history, rms titanic, history of cruising, liner, Cunard White Star Line,  SS Caribia, HRH Princess Elizabeth, world cruises,World War 2, ms Oslofjord, ms Sagafjord, ss rotterdam, holland-america line

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About Michael L. Grace

During the mid-80s, Michael Grace worked as a writer on the TV Hit Series THE LOVE BOAT. He wrote many of the two hour special featuring great stars of the past, including Lana Turner, Claire Trevor, Anne Baxter, Ethel Merman, Alexis Smith, etc. The public’s access to these stars, in familiar dramas and comedies, made them want to go on a cruise. They could see the stars in an ordinary world as “regular” people. The phenomenally successful series was responsible for creating the cruise industry as we know it today. By the time he was writing for Love Boat, the great steamship companies and their liners were flying hand me down foreign flags, painted like old whores, scrapped or doing three day cruises to the Bahamas. He had sailed on over thirty ships and liners with his parents, aunt and grandmother in late 50s to early 70s. The very successful CRUISING THE PAST website has been an outgrowth of Michael’s strong interest in cruise and social history. Drawing on his own knowledge and a vast maritime and social history collection, he is able to produce a very successful website. Michael is part of the award winning team that created the internationally performed award winning musical SNOOPY, based on PEANUTS by Charles M. Schultz. He has written for television and films. Read more by going to "About" (on the above dashboard) and clicking "Editor"…