The good times didn’t last forever, however. In 1932, with the Great Depression driving transatlantic passenger levels to new lows, Aquitania was used as a cruise ship for the first time. She left New York on 3 February and cruised the Mediterranean. In 1936, she was paired with Queen Mary as her transatlantic running mate.
Aquitania was requisitioned as a troopship on 21 November 1939, a little over two months after the outbreak of World War II. From March 1940 she was based in Sydney, transporting Australian and New Zealand troops. She also made two passages between Pearl Harbor and San Francisco. Aquitania was repositioned to the Atlantic for the remainder of the war.
On 1 April 1948, Aquitania was returned to Cunard. She was then chartered by the Canadian government to carry emigrants between Southampton and Halifax. She served in this capacity until 1949. In December of that year Cunard announced that Aquitania would be withdrawn from service. Aquitania was broken up in Scotland in 1950. “The Ship Beautiful,” and the last of the “four stackers,” was gone forever.
To continue, click the NEXT button on the top of this page.