Top 10 Greatest Ocean Liners

The Top Ten
1 Normandie (1935-1942)

The culmination of the interwar period's art deco movement. A glamourous liner, with sleek, streamlined (maybe even radical) shapes and lines topped off by magnificent interiors that are aggressively elegant. No other liner can match her first class interiors, she truly was the epitome of luxury at sea.

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.

2 Queen Mary (1936-present)

Probably the second most known ship after the Titanic. This Queen wasn't too remarkable IMHO especially compared to the Normandie, but her historical significance is there and that's what puts her up here.

One of my all time favourite Ships and would love to visit the Floating Hotel / Museum in Long Beach in California.

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)

Ah yes, the liner that carried Cunard into the 21st century. What do I have to say, she's not just special for being able to survive past the 60s, she's special for maintaining the tradition of transatlantic travel (QM2 as well). This is a liner that you could just say, "thank you" to. Glad she's still around!

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

4 Olympic (1911)

A simple-looking, but complex liner with its own glamour and glory. One of the cleanest looking liners ever put to sea, and one of the most badass of them all. She had a habit of occasionally ramming another vessel. Her encounter with the U-103 is still one of my favorite moments in ocean liner history. You could argue that she truly was "unsinkable".

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.

5 Titanic (1912)

The RMS Titanic is my #1 favorite ocean liner. Although other liners are tied with Titanic for the top spot on my list, she'll always be my true love. In terms of ocean liners, that is. There will never be another ship like her. There can only be one RMS Titanic. But my connection to her is more personal. I have the last name of the final Titanic survivor to pass away. I don't know what to make of it. I'm unaware of much of my family history, but is it possible for me to share a familial connection to Millvina?

6 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.

Beautiful design, aweful that she was sank by a U-Boot, around 1,201 people died in 15 - 18 minutes, almost as much as titanic. She was also very fast along with her sister, Mauretania.

7 Mauretania (1907)

The Grand Old Lady. The largest and fastest ship at the time of her launch. Holding the Blue Riband for 20 whole years is something only the SSUS surpassed.

8 Queen Mary 2 (2004-present)

The baton of the transatlantic service was passed over to this newer queen of the seas. A combination of classic styling and modernity.

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 tea and the food one could write a book about. While inside sipping a quite cupper one was totally oblivious of the maelstrom like windstorm outside. Finally at about 2 AM and with the Cape Moreton light fading to a little skyward glow, I had another cupper and retired to the plushest bed. The Queen Mary 2 was truly a magnificent ocean liner.

Richard Freeman.

9 Aquitania (1914-1950)

Cunard's response to the Olympic Class. Nicknamed "The Ship Beautiful" which holds its own. Served in both World Wars and has a legacy and charm of its own.

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

10 Queen Elizabeth (1939-1975)

The superior Queen for me in terms of overall design, but her impact is not as long lasting as the QM, being the largest ship for half a century is insane however.

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

The Contenders
11 France/Norway (1962-2008)

Normandie's daughter. An unfortunately timed liner that didn't get to thrive on the Atlantic. Her significance lies in how she shaped the modern cruise industry as we know it, and led to the creation of the somewhat controversial big boi cruise ships of today. And might I add, she's gorgeous.

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

12 Rotterdam (1959)
13 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.

She could have ruled the Atlantic, been in service through the forty's like the Aquitania and possibly saved! She was the best Olympian.

14 Carpathia (1901-1918)

One awesome ship, beautiful looking ship and a heroic one as well (you all know why :) ). I absolutely hate the Germans for torpedoeding it. But I think it would have been scrapped just like Mauretania and Aquatania if it wasnt torpedoed anyways

15 Empress of Ireland (1906 - 1914)
16 Great Britain (1843)

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

17 Canberra (1961-1997)

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

18 RMS Baltic (1903-1933)
19 SS United States (1952-1999)

The single fastest ocean liner of all time (and likely won't ever be challenged). A true marvel of engineering, not so much interior design but is one that can be held up.

20 Kaiser Wilhelm Der Grosse (1897)
21 Caronia (1949-1974)

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

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

22 Berengaria (1913-1939)
23 Andrea Doria (1953-1956)
24 SS America (1939-1994)
25 Kungsholm (1966-2015)
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