“Cunard Lines” R.M.S. Aquitania 1913 to 1950 - She also served in World War I & II.

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Please Note: All ssMaritime and other related maritime sites are 100% non-commercial and privately owned, thus ssmaritime is NOT associated with any shipping company or any other organisation! Although the author has worked and been involved in the passenger shipping industry for well over 60 years, but due to his old age and poor health, he was forced to retire. Yet, he has completed well over 1,365 Classic Liners, Passenger-Cargo Liners as well as humble converted C3 converted Migrant Liners, which has transported countless thousands folk to the new world, as well on vacations’. I trust the features online will continue to provide Classic Liner and Ship enthusiasts both the information they are seeking, but more so provide a great deal of pleasure and relive many happy memories!

 

 

Please Note: Postcards, photographs & other images are either from the author’s private collection, unless stated otherwise.

Thank you to ssmaritime supporters Danny McDougall (Edinburgh - SCT), Eric Davidson (Liverpool - UK), Pieter ver Brugge (Ghent - BE)

Luis Leforge (Le Havre - FR) and Don Reynolds (New York - US) for their kind assistance and photographs

Thank you Danny McDougall (Edinburgh - SCT) for your assistance and photographs 

Page One

Please Note: This is an extensive multi page feature covering a very special liner, the R.M.S. Aquitania, and Page One covers the ship’s construction, her interiors to her maiden voyage and her early Trans-Atlantic return voyages from Liverpool to New York.

Page Two sees her requisitioned by the British Admiralty to enter World War One services, and this page will include the three roles she operated in during the Great War - 1; as an Armed Merchant Cruiser, 2; a Troop ship and 3; a Hospital ship. After the War she was refitted and returned to civil duties until World War Two when she became a Troop Ship once again. I will conclude Page Two with an extensive list of specifications and details, etc.

However, there is also Page Three being a page that will cover every aspect regarding her massive power plant and other machinery, etc! You will find a link to the “Aquitania’s Power Plant” at the bottom of this page, together with the other relevant pages.

A Brief Intro:

The “Aquitania” was a very special and a spectacular Passenger Liner to say the least! She was one of those grand four stackers that was built especially for the Trans-Atlantic trade to New York, and her public venues were nothing short from spectacular!

Recently I located this incomplete item and it needed some work still to be done to it. Thus I decided, although I had long been retired that I would try and finally finish it, but I am sorry, this will be my very last ssmaritime.com feature. I trust that you will enjoy it!

Reuben Goossens.

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R.M.S. Aquitania is seen as built

 

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Origins and Design:

The origin of the “Aquitania” lies in the rivalry between the “White Star Line” and “Cunard Steamship Co”, Britain’s two leading shipping companies. The “White Star Line’s”  R.M.S. Olympic” and R.M.S. “Titanic” and the upcoming “Britannic” were 15,000 tons larger than the Cunard newest ships, being the R.M.S. Mauretania” and the R.M.S. Lusitania”. However, Cunard’s duo was significantly faster than the “White Star” ships, whilst the “White Star” ships were considered to be more luxurious. Thus “Cunard” required another liner for its weekly Trans-Atlantic express service, and they decided on building a ship that was very similar to the “Olympic-class” of ships, although being a little slower, but larger and above all she would be a far more luxurious and a grand passenger liner.

The R.M.S. Olympic is seen at anchor at Liverpool on June 1, 1911

Thank you Pieter ver Brugge (Ghent - BE) for your assistance and photographs

Plans for the new liner commenced early in 1910, by Cunard’s Naval Architect ‘Leonard Peskett’, and he drew up plans for a larger and wider vessel than “Lusitania and the “Mauretania being around 130 ft - 40 m longer. Like the “Olympic-Class” ships of the “White Star Line” and her two earlier sisters she would of course feature four large funnels, but ‘Peskett’ also designed the superstructure with ‘glazed in’ areas from the smaller R.M.S. Carmania which he also designed. Another design feature from “Carmania” was the addition of two tall forward deck ventilator cowlings. Although the “Aquitania’s” outward dimensions were greater than that of Olympic, her displacement and tonnage were actually lower.

With several plans having been conceived due to determine her hull and which one would be the best design for her to obtain a service speed of 23 knots, but in due course one set of plans were decided on. In July 1910, Cunard sent the plans for construction to several shipyards, and they decided to use “John Brown and Company” Clydebank, Scotland, being the builder of the “Lusitania”.

She was officially ordered on December 8, 1910, and “Cunard had decided on a name for their new ship, being “Aquitania”. She was named respectively after Ancient Roman provinces of “Lusitania”, “Mauretania”, and finally “Gallia Aquitania”.

Construction and Launch:

Her keel was laid down in yard 409 on June 5, 1910, being the  same yard where the Lusitania had been built, and it would in due course be used to construct the “Queen Mary”, “Queen Elizabeth”, as well as the “Queen Elizabeth 2”. The experienced Mr. Leonard Peskett took a voyage on the R.M.S. Olympic in 1911 in order to experience the feel of the large ship being a good 50,000 tonnes, but also to obtain ideas for his company’s new liner, ensuring she would be a far superior ship. The “Aquitania” having been constructed with Cunard funds, yet ‘Peskett’ had to design her according to strict British Admiralty specifications for according to regulations, she would always have to be at the ready for War time duties.

The ship to be named Aquitania” is seen from her portside close to her launch date

Thank you Eric Davidson (Liverpool - UK) for your assistance and photographs

 

 

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Above & below: Her grey painted hull is seen in the stocks and she is almost ready to be launched

 

As they had done with “Mauretania”, especially for the launching her hull was painted in a light grey mostly for photographic purposes; this had become a common practice in those day’s for the first ship of a new class, the lighter colour would make the lines of the ship so much clearer in black-and-white photographs.

Awaiting the big event of launching the grand new liner had been huge news and a massive crowd came to witness this special event, in fact well over 100,000 people turned up shore side on April 21, 1913. She was officially named “Aquitania” and launched by ‘Alice Maud Olivia Stanley’, the Countess of Derby.

Alice Maud Olivia Stanley, the Countess of Derby

 

The “Aquitania” having been launched and she is finally in the water for the very first time

Thank you Eric Davidson (Liverpool - UK) for your assistance and photographs

 

The three tugs took her in tow and she headed to the “John Brown” fitting-out berth

 

Aquitania is being towed to the John Browns fit-out basin, the tugs from left are;

Flying Serpent 1911, Flying Cormorant 1908, and Flying Falcon 1904

Her fitting out was led by ‘Arthur Joseph Davis’ and his associate ‘Charles Mewès’. And her fit-out would take a good thirteen months and some notable installations were the electrical wiring and some of the finest decorations.

The “Aquitania” is seen at the John Browns Fit-out berth early in 1914

Towards to her being completed late in April 1914, she was returned to the “John Brown” dry-dock in order to have her hull repainted black as well as red boot topping, with a thin white ribbon that separated the two colours and it surrounded her hull.

Aquitania’s hull being painted in the Cunard livery in the “John Brown” dry-dock in April 1914

Thank you Danny McDougall (Edinburgh - SCT) for your assistance and photographs

On May 10, 1914, she headed off for her very successful deep sea trials and she operated perfectly and steamed at a superb 24 knots, being one full knot over the speed they were expecting.

She is seen departing early in the morning heading down the Clyde on May 10 for her sea trials

 

Aquitania” is seen returning to her fit-out berth having completed her deep sea trials

Thank you Danny McDougall (Edinburgh - SCT) for your assistance and photographs

In the wake of the Titanic sinking, Aquitania was one of the first new ships to carry enough lifeboats for every single passenger and all her crew. She had 80 lifeboats, including two motorised launches each with Marconi wireless equipment, and they were carried in both “Swan-neck” davits, as well as the newer “Welin-type” davits.

Here we see her lifeboats, as well as one of her motorised launches up on Boat Deck

She also had a double skin hull and sufficient watertight compartments that were designed to allow the ship to remain float with five compartments flooded. In addition, as is required by the British Admiralty, she was designed to be easily converted into an armed merchant cruiser or a troopship, and thus she was given reinforced mounts for gun placements for service in a wartime role.

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Power Plants:

On 14 May, she reached Mersey and she remained in port there for fifteen days, during this time she was fully stocked and crewed, as well being thoroughly cleaned and made ready for her maiden voyage.

Aquitania was the first Cunard liner to have a length in excess of 900 feet. Unlike some four-funnelled ships, such as White Star Line’s Olympic Class liners, the “Aquitania” did not have a dummy funnel; as each and every funnel was utilised, venting smoke from the ship’s boilers. The superstructure of the ship was painted white, which was the traditional contrast to her black hull red boot topping with a thin white ribbon between the red and black hull. She certainly looked the traditional grand style ocean liner, and thus her appearance was particularly imposing. Although as many noted, she did not have the usual raised forecastle, but that made her look, as some feel advanced, as the days would come that ships would no longer have them anymore. But, I personally liked them.

Steam was provided by twenty-one forced-draft, double-ended Scotch boilers, having eight furnaces each, that were 22 feet (6.7 m) long with diameter of 17 feet 8 inches (5.4 m) arranged in four boiler rooms. Each boiler room had seven ash expellers with pump capacity of approximately 4,500 tons per hour that could also be used as emergency bilge pumps.

The starting platform at the forward end of the Engine Room

Above is a view of the starting platform looking to the port side. The main controls of the propelling machinery were operated from here. Hand wheels connected to the master steam valves are visible on the right. On the left are interlocking levers connected to the manoeuvring steam valves. The large instruments indicating the speed of the propeller shafts were manufactured by “Chadburn’s (Ship) Telegraph Co Ltd” of Bootle, Liverpool.

Steam drove her Parsons turbines in three separate engine rooms in a triple expansion system for four shafts. The port engine room contained the high pressure ahead (240 tons, 40 feet 2 inches (12.2 m) long with four stage expansion) and astern turbine (120 tons, 22 feet 11 inches (7.0 m) long) for the port shaft, the centre room contained two low pressure turbines with ahead and astern capability within single casings (54 feet 3 inches (16.5 m) long, nine expansion stages in ahead turbine, four in astern turbine) for the two centre shafts and the starboard room contained the intermediate pressure ahead turbine (41 feet 6.5 inches (12.7 m) long) and a high pressure astern turbine (twin of the port high pressure turbine) for the starboard shaft.

The electrical plant, located on G deck below the waterline, consisted of four 400 kW British Westinghouse generator sets generating 225 volt direct current, with emergency power provided by a diesel driven 30 kW generator up on the promenade deck. Power was provided for about 10,000 lamps and about 180 electric motors. She also had brass triple chambered 3 chime steam whistles on the 1st funnel and 2nd funnel.

Please Note: There is a comprehensive page covering everything you may want to know about her power plans and other machinery parts! A LINK to the “Aquitania Power Plant” page is located at the bottom of this page.

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Interiors & Photo Album:

In 1914, Aquitania had the capacity to carry 3,220 passengers (618 First Class, 614 Second Class, and 2,004 in Third Class). Although after a refit in 1926, the figure was reduced to 610 in first class, 950 in second class, and 640 in tourist class. Although the original specification mentioned a capacity of 972 crew members, the ship sometimes carried around 1,100, whilst from 1926 it was 850.

Although “Aquitania was slightly different in appearance to her running mate, the R.M.S. Mauretania and the “Lusitania”, her greater length and a wider beam allowed for far grander and more spacious Public Rooms.

Outfitting the Aquitania took a good 13 months and her magnificent First Class interiors were designed by the superb British architect ‘Arthur Joseph Davis’ of the interior decorating firm “Mewès and Davis.”

With the architectural firm “Mewès & Davis” having been chosen by Cunard and they designed the interiors of their new liner. The price for this contract £5,000, being equivalent to around to £300,000 in today’s currency. Thus Arthur Davis is credited with the bulk of the interior design of “Aquitania”. He incorporated features sourced from other liners, including a “Winter Garden”, which would even have a permanent gardener employed to maintain the exotic foliage there.

Aquitania’s First Class accommodations surpassed the standards of luxury of any other Cunarder before her. Her First Class Dining Saloon located on the Upper (D) Deck was decorated in the tradition of Louis XVI and diners were seated on the lower level, however above was the balcony that surrounded the venue and there was a decorative slightly raised ceiling above, giving the impression that the room spanned a number of decks. The Grill located on the port side of the Upper (D) Deck was decorated in Jacobean style; whilst the Smoking Room was located on the Promenade (A) Deck was in a Carolean style featuring fine oak panelling and beams. The Drawing Room was decorated in the Adam come the neoclassical style, with the walls decorated with prints of English seaports and portraits of Royalty and other famous individuals.

The Lounge, also known as the “Palladian Lounge” was the signature venue of the ship and was located on Promenade (A) Deck and it featured a rich Baroque-style of decoration. Whilst on a lower deck of the ship, was the very first ever Swimming Pool to be placed on a Cunard liner, even though shipboard pools originally appeared on the “White Star” liner, the S.S. Adriatic of 1907.

Her brilliant interiors and her magnificent exterior design gave the R.M.S. Aquitania the nickname of; “The Ship Beautiful”, and she was that indeed!

A mural of the “Aquitania” entitled the … “Ship Beautiful”

There is no doubt that her designers, and the firm “Mewès and Davis” had turned this ship into something very special, for every single space was simply outstanding. From her spacious public multi level Public Venues, including her magnificent lobbies and stairwells.

Grand Entrance of the RMS Aquitania was located on Promenade Deck (A Deck) and included two Lifts

Second Class offered all the comforts, and there was a Main Lounge, Drawing Room, Smoking Room, Veranda Café, and a Dining Room. In addition there was also a gymnasium; many being unique facilities for this class on British liners.

Third class had several Lounges and a Dinning Room, us well as ample open and covered promenades.

The cabins offered great comfort. The first class included eight luxury suites, named after famous painters. A good number of first-class cabins had private bathrooms, whilst the rest used the spotless public facilities. Second-class cabins tended to be larger than the average, and some would be able of accommodating up to three people as opposed to the standard four. Third Class accommodations were a great expansion in facilities compared to her running mates. Whilst most Cunard liners had their Third Class cabins and public venues confined far forward, but aboard the “Aquitania it spanned the full length of the ship.

Over her thirty-five years career, her facilities was updated and changed on several occasions. Examples of this was the addition of a cinema during her refit from 1932 to 1933 and also the re-organisation of the newly named Second Class to “Tourist Class” during the 1920s, and it offered then, as well as for passengers in Third Class.

Before covering her Maiden Voyage and lengthy Career, let us look at her magnificent Interiors and exteriors!

Bridge & Boat Deck:

The Navigation Bridge

Far forward was the ships Navigating Bridge and above we see a view looking towards the port side. Forward of the steering platform are binnacles and the telemotor gear for controlling the steering engines. The instruments on pillars at the right edge of the image are telephones manufactured by Alfred Graham & Co, London.

Directly aft of the bridge were spaces such as the Chart and the Marconi (wireless) rooms, and of course the Captains quarters and his office, as well that of the First Mate and other officer quarters.

The Marconi Room

The Marconi Room was the place where wireless operators would communicate with ships the shore and other ships if required which was done over a Marconi transmitter.

Above we see the portside very spacious Flying Bridge with two crew members who are standing on the compass platform.

A colourised version of her four funnels

Colourisation by the author

As we can see her four stately funnels are surrounded by cowl ventilators standing on the top of the deck. The ships steam whistles were fitted to both the first and second funnels, and they are clearly visible. That is Aquitania’s very first Captain standing on the deck, being Captain William Thomas Turner, OBE, RNR.

A view looking forward from the port side of the Docking Bridge, showing the arrangement of the semi-collapsible lifeboats on the Boat Deck aft. The boats were moved across the deck and lowered by Quadrant type davits.

First Class passengers seen relaxing on the topside decks, whilst stewards attend to their every need!

Promenade Deck (A):

First Class:

In the forward section there were 35 single and two bedded staterooms, however aft of this section on the starboard side is the delightful Drawing Room.

The “Drawing Room”,  is also called the “Adam Drawing Room”, which was decorated in the Neoclassical style using characteristic motifs from the repertoire of Adam ornaments such as arabesques, urns, Corinthian columns, husks, and grisaille plaques. A copy of a painting by ‘Cipriani’ depicting Neptune and Amphitrite in a chariot drawn by sea horses is visible above the marble fire place. The walls are decorated with mezzotints depicting George III after Allan Ramsay’, the Marchioness of Hertford after Reynolds’, and Samuel Johnson’ after John Opie’. Wedgwood jasper ware can be seen on the chimney piece and on the left-hand side console. The view is looking forward.

Next comes the “Grand Entrance Hall”, decorated in the Louis XVI style. The view above is looking across to the starboard side, with the Lifts (elevators) on the right (aft). The image below is looking aft along the portside, and it looks into the “Salon”, or the “Writing Room”, the glazed doors aft is the entrance to the “Lounge”.

 

A view of the Lifts

 

Here is a closer look at the “Salon” being the Writing Room)

 

The magnificent Lounge, which is also called the “Palladian Lounge”, above and below are views looking forward. The Baroque-style interior decoration was carried out by Lenygon & Co Ltd, of London. The spandrels on each side of the arches are copies after Jean Baptiste Van Loo’s the ‘Four Elements’. The allegorical painting on the ceiling is said to be an original 18th-century Dutch painting and the carpet is a ‘Savonnerie’ reproduction.

 

A view of the starboard side of the Lounge

The carvings have been inspired by those of the Dutch wood carver Grinling Gibbons’ (1648-1721); and the lunettes above the cornice by the work of the celebrated 17th-century metalworker Jean Tijou’.

The intricate wrought-iron grilles were reproduced from the work of Jean Tijou’ (circa 1689-1712)

 

 

 

This “Garden Lounge”, is located directly starboard side of the Lounge. This view looks aft, the windows are of the starboard “Salon” (library) and the “Lounge” can be seen on the right. There is an identical “Garden Lounge” on the portside.

Above we see the “Long Gallery”, which is located directly aft between the Lounge and to the Smoking Room further aft. The image above looks forward, with the Barber’s Shop in the foreground on the right. The windows on the left are to the open Promenade Deck. The “Long Gallery”, was also called the “Historical Gallery” as it contained portraits and topographical prints. This venue had the dual role of being an art gallery and an additional lounge area with views of the sea. Like the “Drawing Room” it was also decorated in the Adam style.

The traditional “Smoking Room” was also called the “Carolean Smoking Room”, and was located aft on the main section of the Promenade Deck (A Deck). Above is a view of the venue looking forward. Above the mantelpiece is a full-length portrait of James II, a copy of the painting by ‘Sir Godfrey Kneller’ (the original painting is in the National Portrait Gallery, London). The carvings may have been inspired by the Dutch wood carver ‘Grinling Gibbons’ (1648-1721). A copy of the American Declaration of Independence is visible on the right hand side of the image. The decoration of the First Class Smoking Room was carried out by W. & E. Thornton-Smith Ltd, London. The overall decorative scheme was said to have been inspired by a room in the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich. Below we see the aft section of the “Smoking Room” which had a more intimate feel.

 

 

Upper Deck (D):

 

Here is a view looking forward of the “Dining Saloon: or the “Louis XVI Restaurant”. The Dining Saloon is decorated in the Etruscan style, a type of delicate, painted Neo-classical decoration, derived mainly from the shapes, motifs and colours of antique vases. The painted ceiling representing “The Triumph of Flora” is visible. A well established iconographic theme, the “Triumph of Flora” is a celebration of spring and the renewal of floral life. Flora is seated on a cloud with Pomona and Ceres’ by her side. The decoration of the Dining Saloon was carried out by “P. H. Rémon & Sons” of Paris.

Above is another view of the “Dining Saloon”, but this time the starboard side and looking forward. The double doors go through to the First Class Main Foyer can be seen in the distance. 

The elegant and super luxurious “Grill Room”, was located along the port side. A view looks aft, from just inside the entrance, and the serving counter is seen at the left of the image. The room is decorated in the early Jacobean style and was inspired by a 17th-century room from the ‘Old Palace’ at Bromley-by-Bow in the Victoria & Albert Museum”, London

Main Deck (E):

The ships indoor Pool was located amidships on the starboard side). The “Aquitania” was the first Cunard liner to have a swimming pool below decks.

First Class Gymnasium, on the starboard side of the Main Deck (E Deck), a view looking forward. A cycling machine is in the left foreground. The equipment was supplied by Spencer, Heath & George Ltd, London. Transatlantic liners were expected to be equipped with all the luxuries of a hotel or a club, and swimming pools and gymnasiums soon became regular and indispensable fixtures.

First Class Accommodations:

First Class accommodations on the “Aquitania” were without a doubt amongst the best appointed for their time. Her luxury accommodations were the suites located on B Deck, each dedicated in name and decor to distinguished artists of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The largest suites, were forward of the B Deck foyer, and they were the ‘Reynolds’ and ‘Gainsborough’ suites which offered three capacious staterooms, two bathrooms, and a private sitting room. In addition they had a private verandah, but these were removed in 1926 in order to create more spacious lounges. Further aft on this Deck there were a further six such ‘Artists’ suites in various configurations. As well as five smaller ‘Parlour’ suites were fitted across B-Deck and C-Deck, each including a private sitting room, private bathroom, and one or two adjoining staterooms. In anticipation of changing passenger expectations, the “Aquitania” was also fitted with an extensive number of staterooms with private bathrooms. Further to the larger suites on B-Deck, passengers also have the availability of thirteen further private bathroom suites in addition to a further thirty-one staterooms with private bathrooms across C-Deck and D-Deck.

The decorative style that was adopted in the staterooms was comparatively understated yet elegant and refreshing. The walls and ceilings were cleanly finished in white and adorned with elegant ‘Wedgwood’ detailing. This was perfectly complemented by plush ‘Wilton’ carpets in shades of blue, green, and grey. The furniture was Georgian in design including large marble washstands and comfortable mahogany bedsteads in place of traditional fitted berths. The walls were hung with skilfully executed reproductions of the works of painters such as ‘Reynolds’, ‘Hopper’, and ‘Lawrence’. All staterooms were fitted with hot and cold running water and modern heating at the control of the occupants. Cunard Line also sought to greatly improve the standards of comfort for passengers in all C-Deck interior staterooms by introducing an innovative arrangement to ensure lighting and good ventilation. This was achieved by adding a raised section to the B-Deck promenade thus allowing windows to be fitted to the top of the walls in these 'inside-outside' staterooms on the Deck below. By the mid-1920’s, this innovation was no longer required as a large number of these inside accommodations were removed to create larger staterooms. The raised portion of the B-Deck promenade was consequently removed by extending the size of the suites on this Deck. Together with an updated decorative scheme, this greatly improved the comfort of these already luxurious bedrooms.

B Deck:

The partially enclosed starboard side B Deck promenade looking aft

 

The dining room

 

The bedroom

 

The raised verandah

The two Gainsborough Suites No’s B53 & B55 were located on the starboard side of Bridge (B) Deck, the deck directly below Promenade (A) Deck. These multi-room Suites had a bedroom, lounge and a separate dining room and a sitting room and access to another stateroom if needed. Reproductions of Gainsborough’s paintings can be seen on the walls in each room. They had spacious bathrooms and a raised verandah outside, on the A Deck promenade.

This is the Romney Suite No B100, is a bed and a sitting room suite located on the port side of the B Deck

 

Romney Suite hallway, the bedsitting room is located on the right; the adjoining stateroom can be seen at the end

 

The Raeburn Suite No B101, is also a bed and a sitting room, and it is located on the starboard side of the B Deck

Like the Romney suite it also can book an adjoining stateroom

 

The Holbein-Suite No B104, is on the port side of B Deck has a bedroom and lounge area and a bathroom

 

Suite No B133, is on the starboard side of B Deck and is a bedroom with seating and a bathroom

 

Suite No B135 is on the starboard side of B Deck and it has a more decorative bedroom

The bathroom can be seen through the open door

C Deck:

Suite No C133 is on C Deck, and it shows one of the bedrooms, as can be seen through the open door

 

Cabin No C125 is a single berth stateroom on C Deck, although the sofa does convert to another bed berth if required

D Deck:

Cabin No D37 is a two berth stateroom on D Deck

 

On the port side on D Deck we see a corridor to First Class cabins, a little further aft we can see an overhead oval sign on the right hanging from the ceiling, and it the location for the ‘Ladies’ public bathroom.

A Cunard artistic postcard of the R.M.S. Aquitania

 

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Second Class:

A Deck (aft):

The Second Class Main Stairwell and Lounge is located on Promenade (A) Deck, and above is a view of this fine hall. The decorative scheme of this stairwell includes elements from the repertoire of neoclassical ornaments.

A beautiful and a bright Lounge is located on the aft section of the Promenade (A) Deck, and above we see a view from the port side, looking towards the piano on the aft wall. This venue like some First Class lounges, feature the elegant Louis XVI-style of décor.

Above we see part of the Second Class Promenade, located on the starboard side of the Promenade (A) Deck, this is a sheltered area located under the Boat Deck Aft. The vestibule of the Second Class Lounge can be seen through the open doors on the right side of the image. Deck chairs are lined against the exterior of the Lounge.

B Deck:

The Drawing Room is located one deck down and just forward on the Bridge (B) Deck a view above is from the starboard side, looking towards the fireplace at the forward end. The Neoclassical decoration incorporates scrolling acanthus leaves and griffins; all were part of the repertoire of ornaments employed by Robert Adam.

A colour artist impression of the Drawing Room provides a good idea of its elegant surroundings

 

Above is another view of the Drawing Room, but this time looking aft. Note that the mainmast passed through the deck and it is enclosed by the panelled area in the centre, with the writing desk along it.

Aft of the Drawing Room is the Lobby and Stairwell that reached all 2nd Class decks

 

 

Above are two views of the elegant Smoking Room that is also called the “Kensington Palace Smoking Room”. It is located aft of the B Deck Lobby an Stairwell. A view looking forward, showing the central area under the raised roof and skylights and the second image is a close up of the forward section of the venue and the fireplace.

The Verandah Café is on B Deck directly aft of the Smoking Room, and this is a view looking to the starboard side. Of course these are the windows of the Smoking Room that are visible on the left side of the image. 

D Deck:

Here is pre launch post card of her Second Class Dining Saloon, although we see the balustrade

but sadly not the magnificent decorative ceiling as it had not been completed as yet

 

The Dining Saloon is located on the Upper (D) Deck, above is a view from the starboard side looking forward. You will note that in the centre of the venue there is a well to the floor above and it features a fine decorative ceiling above. The decoration of the Dining Saloon was carried out by “George Trollope & Sons and Colls & Sons Ltd”, London.

 

The Second Class Gym adjoins the Second Class Entrance on the Upper Deck (D Deck), here is a view to the starboard side. The equipment includes punching balls, cycling machines and pulley weights.

Second Class Accommodations:

C Deck:

Cabin No C303, is a two berth stateroom on C Deck. On the left side of the image is a sofa that folds into a bed if needed, whilst the upper berth on the right does fold away, meaning the room can be used as a single, twin, or a three berth cabin.

Cabin No C265, is a four berth stateroom also on C Deck

 

The beautiful R.M.S. Aquitania is seen on a Cunard postcard

 

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Third Class:

A Deck:

Aft on the Poop (A) Deck is the Third Class spacious outdoor promenade deck. This is a view looking aft towards the Docking Bridge. Deck seats and a shadow cast by one of the electric deck cranes are visible in the foreground. Only because she is berthed at Liverpool that we see ropes lying around, and normally it will be perfectly clear.

C Deck:

Here we see the Third Class aft main stairwell on C Deck, and are looking aft doors into the Lounge on the starboard side (left of the image) and the Smoking Room on the portside (right side).

The Smoking Room is located on the port side of the C Deck, and this is a view looking aft

 

A view of the Third Class Lounge located far aft of C Deck

D Deck: 

The room above is known as the “General Room” and it is a non smoking venue, located on D Deck forward. It was panelled in pine. The view’s of the port side, looking forward and a drinking fountain are visible on the right side of the stairs.

The Third Class Promenade deck located at the after end of D Deck, a view of the port side looking aft. Seats are fitted along the bulwark at the right edge of the image.

E Deck (far forward):

This covered promenade is far forward of the ship on E Deck. The view above is from the port side, looking towards a watertight door and in view is also a drinking fountain.

F Deck:

Third Class Dining Saloon is located on F Deck, above is a view looking across to the port side. The stairs in view go up to the C Deck.

Third Class Accommodations:

G Deck:

Cabin No G32 is an interior four berth outside cabin on G Deck

 

Cabin No G24 is a six berth inside cabin on G Deck

 

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Maiden Voyage & Early Services:

Cunard announced in February 1914 that Aquitania’s first Captain would be Captain William Thomas Turner OBE, RNR, and he took the R.M.S. Aquitania out of Liverpool for her maiden voyage on May 30, 1914.

Captain William Turner is seen on the ships flying bridge

 

R.M.S. Aquitania is seen departing Liverpool on her maiden voyage on May 30, 1914

Thank you Danny McDougall (Edinburgh - SCT) for your assistance and photographs

Although, sadly the tragic sinking of the “Empress of Ireland” one day earlier overshadowed Aquitania’s big moment. And on this her maiden voyage, she only carried 1,055 passengers to New York, being just around a third of her actual capacity. Unbelievably this was mostly due to a superstition that had many from sailing on a new ship’s maiden voyage this was mostly due to the “Titanic” having sunk on her maiden voyage to New York just over two years earlier. Yet the passengers who did sail on this voyage announced that this voyage had been a huge success and they all raved about the ship! She arrived at New York on June 5, 1914.

 

Above & below: R.M.S. Aquitania is seen arriving & ready to berth on her maiden call to New York on June 5, 1914

 

Thank you Don Reynolds (New York - US) for your assistance and photographs

Her maiden voyage really pleased Captain Turner, his Crew especially the Company. Why were they so delighted? Well it is simple; her average speed for this voyage was 23.1 knots, taking into account a five-hour stop due to fog and the proximity of icebergs. She had sailed a distance of 3,181 nautical miles (5,891 km; 3,661 mi) measured from Liverpool to the Ambrose Channel lightship. In addition, she briefly managed to exceed a record speed of 25.1 knots. And her coal consumption was considerably lower than both the of R.M.S. Lusitania and the Mauretania.

Her voyage homeward was equally successful, but this time she carried 2,649 passengers, which apparently was a record for a British liner departing New York.

Having returned to Liverpool she made two further voyages, for sadly all too soon her civil service would come to a sudden end as it became clear that war was about to break out!

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Link to Page Two is located below

Remembering the Grandiose & Luxurious …
R.M.S. Aquitania

A view of R.M.S. Aquitania seen before World War One

 

R.M.S. Aquitania’s Index:

Page One (this Page).

From Concept, Construction, Interior & exterior Photo Album,

her Maiden Voyage and pre WW1 services.

 

Page Two

Aquitania WW1, Civil service & WW2, with her final days.

 

Page Three

Aquitania’s Power Plant & more …

 

View a YouTube video on the Aquitania.

 

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ssMaritime.com & ssMaritime.net

Where the ships of the past make history & the 1914 built M.S. Doulos Story.

The Author has been in Passenger Shipping & the Cruise Industry for well over 60 years

In addition he was the founder of “Save the Classic Liners Campaign” in 1990.

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Photographs on ssmaritime and associate pages are by; the author or from the author’s private collection. In addition there are some images that have been provided by Shipping Companies and private photographers or collectors. Credit is given to all contributors. However, there are some photographs provided to me without details regarding the photographer/owner concerned.

This notice covers all pages; although, and I have done my best to ensure that all photographs are duly credited and that this notice is displaced on each page, that is, when a page is updated!

 

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