Greatest Ocean Liners

The Top Ten

1 Normandie (1935-1942)

Some drunk worker caused her to burn. - SurcaneWolf

The most glamourous liner ever built! Sleek, streamlined superstructure, dramatic profile, stunning interiors and impeccable cuisine. The true epitome of the ocean liner. One could imagine Marlene or Fred and Ginger strolling along her decks, or eating dinner in the first-class dining room, a temple of gastronomy.

The Queen Mary was a great ship and had a long and successful career on the North Atlantic run, but the Normandie was simply better. While she was slightly slower than QM, she used significantly less fuel to achieve a speed only a fraction of one knot slower than QM, making her much less expensive to operate. Normandie was also better looking, inside and out. Her interiors were light and airy while QM's were dark and stifling. Normandie's exterior was much more attractive with wide funnels and a sleek superstructure on top of an innovatively designed hull. Normandie was clearly a better ship in every way and it was a shame that the careless Americans burned her wile being converted into a troopship.

Unmatchable. It’s a ship designed to be the best, biggest, fastest, most modern and most luxurious of all in the golden era of fast Ocean Liners… with a basically unlimited budget!

A true new Normandie would be a financial suicide and we will never see a ship like that again.

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2 Queen Mary (1936-present)

When I looked at this list in the newest category, I thought, oh Lord, here's another person with no imagination who's just seen Titanic. I was pleasantly surprised to see a very informative and well thought out list. Bravo, anonymous. Or should I say, encore? - beatles

It set a speed record, served as a troop ship, touched millions of lives, and is now a floating hotel and museum in Long Beach, California

3 Queen Elizabeth 2 (1969)

Paved the modern ocean liner/cruise business and a combination liner/cruise ships.

The last "true" ocean liner

4 SS United States

I did some consulting work on this beautiful ship in 1981 when she was still completely intact (linens and china, even writing paper in the cabin desks). She was truly the thoroughbred of the seas. The lines were sleek and well proportioned and proclaimed her speed even when moored. The interior was 50's modern with much stainless steel and glass, but it lacked the glamour of some of the other ships discussed herein. But she was beautiful, even in the eerie silence that I shared with her. I saw her again a year ago... sad. Even though there are cocerted efforts to save her, she is too far gone for anything but dreams that will never materialize. Time to take her off of life support and allow her to join her trans Alantic running mates in history. Watching this once great liner rust and rot into junk is as painful as it was watching the once proud S.S. America lay ship wrecked in the Canary Islands waiting to be slowly consumed by the sea.

Fastest ship in the world, and the largest passenger ship built in the U.S.A.

5 Olympic (1911)

From her symmetry, luxurious yet balanced interior design, Old Reliable was a perfect ocean liner. She was not only an extremely successful passenger liner, but war hero who sunk an enemy U-boat; which can’t be said by any other ocean liner. She also survived multiple attacks and accidents. She was a cut above the rest and as time past, her popularity stayed with her. In addition, her crew claim that she ran better at the time of scrapping than when new, which is a testament to her crew, engineers and quality. Although time bring evolution and new technology, the RMS Olympic is timeless and charming.

The most simple, yet elegant ship ever built. The Olympic class ships didn't try too hard, yet achieved the perfect blend of luxury and class. The Olympic was a war hero and favorite for the transatlantic route. She evolved with time and stay relevant till the end.

Titanic's successful and loved sister, which sailed until 1935 and was sold for scrap.

6 Mardi Gras

Originally a liner for Canadian Pacific, it was turned into a cruise ship and became Carnival Cruise Line's first ship (a true liner on top of that).

7 France/Norway (1962-2008)

One of the last great liners built. Elegant and beautiful, she had a real soul. Even with her hideous superstructure additions and paint job for her life as SS Norway she oozed grace and sophistication from a bygone era and managed to hold her own among the modern cruise ship monstrosities

France's last super liner went to Norwegian Cruise Line to become Norway. It was scrapped in 2008.

8 Titanic (1912)

Titanic sinks but it is still to cool

She was the one and only.

You can't go wrong voting for the titinac

9 Rotterdam (1959)

Liner/Cruise ship of HollandAmerica Line.

10 Lusitania (1907-1915)

The Lusitania was a really fast ocean liner of it’s time, averaging from 25-27 knots (Mauretania's was only 24-26 knots) knots hitting top speeds of 32 knots. For some crazy reason, it went on a transatlantic crossing in just 4 days, 19 hours and 52 minutes (Mauretania’s was only 4 days, 22 hours). It claimed the Blue Riband until 1909 when her sister the Mauretania claimed (even though she’s slightly slower). Unfortunately she sank during 1915 with deaths of over 1200 people.

The Newcomers

? RMS Baltic (1903-1933)
? SS America (1939-1994)

The Contenders

11 Aquitania (1914-1950)

One of the longest lasting at its time close to the Lusitania and Mauritania.

12 Queen Elizabeth (1939-1975)

I actually find her the best looking - Normandie's big funnels ruin her and the 3 funnels of the Queen Mary just never caught on with me - And how is a random ship like Mardi Gras ahead? THat's a joke

Queen Elizabeth, for me, is one of the best looking ocean liners ever! she was also the biggest and one of the fastest! It was a shame that she burned in 1972

13 Queen Mary 2 (2004-present)

I have commercially fished the Pacific Ocean for over forty years. Many a time, I have encounter gales and high seas. Seas which have been a sheer battle retreating back to my home port of Mooloolaba.

Now I was on board the Queen Mary 2. About 10pm we let the pilot off at Mooloolaba and the ship turned to starboard and into a gale. I found a position up on the bow where the wind was coming across the deck at 70 to 80 knots. I truly had the biggest smile on my face, the adrenaline rush and emotion was like something most would not understand. For once, I was not on my little ‘cat’ with my heart in my mouth, nor was I on just a cruise ship which might be battling the roaring ocean below. I was now on board the greatest ocean liner ever built, and try as she may the ocean had to concede. Though nobody was going to hear me above the roar of the wind I unashamedly shouted to the ocean “You are not going to get me tonight”. I went ‘below’ a couple of times for a cup of ...more

14 Great Britain (1843)

Combined an iron hull and propellor and became the first passenger ship to do so.

15 Mauretania (1907)

Yes, it's spelled that way.

16 Canberra (1961-1997)

Australian ocean liner that was loved and ultimately sold for scrap after a glorious career.

17 Caronia (1949-1974)

One of the first cruise ships. This ship was painted four shades of green.

The beautiful Green Goddess. A Saxonia-class Liner, she was built to cruise as well as make crossings.

18 Carpathia (1901-1918)
19 Berengaria (1913-1939)
20 Kaiser Wilhelm Der Grosse (1897)

First German super liner

21 Britannic (1915-1916)

The final sister ship of the Titanic. The ship had a saying that is rarely known but it was this :
"Britannic is as perfect of a specimen as man's creative power.

22 Empress of Ireland (1906 - 1914)
23 Andrea Doria (1953-1956)
24 Kungsholm (1966-2015)
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