Ship History


RETURN TO THE HOMEPAGE                                                                                                                                                                                                                     RMS CARONIA 1905

The RMS Caronia was one of a unique pair of ships that were used to test and compare the standard quadruple expansion propulsion system (fitted on the RMS Caronia) with the new steam turbine system invented by Sir Charles Parsons (fitted on the RMS Carmania). The result of the testing in these two ships later led to the steam turbine being chosen as the propulsion system for Cunard Line's mighty Lusitania and Mauretania in 1907. The Caronia and Carmania entered service in 1905 on Cunard Line's flagship Liverpool to New York transatlantic service and were affectionately known as "the Grand Dames of the Atlantic".

Design and Construction (1904-1905):

The Caronia was built by John Brown & Co. (Clydebank) Ltd, Clydebank, Glasgow, Scotland, UK as the first of a trial pair of ships to test the new steam turbine propulsion system developed by Sir Charles Parsons. She was launched on the 13th July 1904.

Early Cunard Line era (1905 1914):

The Caronia and her sister, Carmania, entered service in 1905 on Cunard Line's flagship Liverpool to New York transatlantic service and were affectionately known as "the Grand Dames of the Atlantic". The Caronia sailed on her maiden voyage to New York on the 25th February 1905. In 1906 she was also used for a cruise from New York to the Mediterranean. This successful cruise led to the Caronia being used frequently for cruising in the coming years. In 1914 the Caronia was briefly switched to the Liverpool to Boston service. But soon the First World War intervened.

The First World War (1914 - 1920):

Sadly their career on the transatlantic service was interrupted in 1914 by the outbreak of the First World War. The Caronia was requisitioned by the British Government, along with her sister, for use as Armed Merchant Cruisers. In 1916 she was converted for use as a troopship and served in that role for the rest of the First World War.

Final Cunard Line era (1920 - 1932):

After the end of the First World War, the Caronia was returned to Cunard Line and underwent refurbishment before returning to passenger service on the Liverpool to New York route. She was also converted to oil firing as part of the refit. In the final years with Cunard Line, Caronia served to begin with on the Liverpool to New York or Boston services. Soon the two sisters were switched to serve on the London to New York route. They soon became very popular on their new route - the Cabin Channel Service - from London, Le Havre and Plymouth to New York. In 1922 she sailed from Hamburg to New York. Then in 1924 she returned to Liverpool and sailed to Quebec. Finally in the late 1920s they were further refitted to enable their use on winter cruises from New York to Havana and the Caribbean. They proved popular on this service. But by 1932 with increasing competition from newer ships they were withdrawn from service and sold for scrap.

The Final Years (1932 - 1935):

The Caronia sailed on her last voyage from London to New York on the 12th September 1932. After this she was sold for scrapping. Initially she was sold to Hughes Bolckow for demolition at Blyth, but she was resold  and renamed Taiseiyo Maru and sailed to Osaka where she was scrapped in 1935.


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