What Is the Ocean Liner Used For?
What Is the Ocean Liner Used For? An ocean liner is a passenger-carrying ship today used for luxury cruises. The name comes from the fact that such ships used to be part of a liner service running on fixed routes, regularly, carrying whatever cargo and passengers are available on the date of sailing. An ocean liner has streamlined deep v-hulls that can withstand punishing conditions, and have large capacities for fuel, food, and other consumables on long voyages.
The first such ship was probably the 72 m (236 ft) British paddle steamer Great Western, launched in 1838. The heyday of the ocean liner was the years immediately before and after the Second World War when ships fought for the Blue Riband, awarded for the fastest crossing of the North Atlantic before air travel really took over.
The fastest liner of all was the United States, whose 1952 crossing of the Atlantic in the time of 3 days 10 hours 40 minutes (at an average speed of 66 km/h (41 mph) has never been beaten by a passenger ship. These years also saw in service the largest ocean liners ever built, including the famous British ‘Queens’ – Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary – and the longest ever, the 315.6 m France.
Four ocean liners that were made before World War II survive today as they have been preserved as museums, and hotels. The Japanese ocean liner Hikawa Maru, has been preserved in Naka-ku, Yokohama, Japan, as a museum ship, since 1961. RMS Queen Mary was preserved in 1967 after her retirement and became a museum/hotel in Long Beach, California. In the 1970’s, SS Great Britain was also preserved and now resides in Bristol, England as another museum. The latest ship to undergo preservation is MV Doulos, which is to become a dry berthed hotel on Bintan Island, Indonesia.
Post-war ocean liners still extant are United States (1952), docked in Philadelphia since 1996; Rotterdam (1958), moored in Rotterdam as a museum and hotel since 2008; and Queen Elizabeth 2 (1967), floating luxury hotel and museum at Mina Rashid, Dubai since 2018.
MV Astoria (1948) (originally MS Stockholm, which collided with Andrea Doria in 1956) is still in service.
Ocean liners have a strong impact on popular culture, whether during their golden age or afterward. In 1867, Jules Verne recounted his experience aboard SS Great Eastern in his novel A Floating City. In 1898, writer Morgan Robertson wrote the short novel Futility, or The Wreck of the Titan, which features a British ocean liner Titan that hits an iceberg and sinks in the North Atlantic with great loss of lives. The similarities between the plot of the novel and the sinking of the RMS Titanic 14 years later led to the assertion of conspiracy theories regarding Titanic.
Ocean liners were often a setting of a love story in films, such as the 1939’s Love Affair. Liners were also used as a set of disaster films. The 1960 film The Last Voyage was filmed onboard the Íle de France, which was used as a floating prop and was scuttled for the occasion. The 1972 film The Poseidon Adventure has become a classic of the genre and has spawned many remakes.
The sinking of the Titanic also attracted the attention of filmmakers. Nearly fifteen films were made to depict it, with James Cameron’s 1997 film being the most commercially successful.