Travel back to the 1920s and enjoy a transatlantic crossing on Cunard Line’s Aquitania
This silent film, which runs just under 15 minutes, is a remarkable document of daily life on a great Atlantic greyhound during the golden age of ocean liners. It’s pure gold for any linerfan.
Here are some of the film’s highlights:
00:11 – We see passengers embarking. Several carry large bunches of flowers. Baggage is sent on a “sliding staircase,” or conveyor belt, on to the ship. Suitcases, hat boxes, golf clubs and trunks are seen.
01:23 – Shots from deck as the liner leaves the dock.
01:41 – Top shot of the Cunard Pier Head as the liner moves off. People wave.
02:03 – United States Lines’ Leviathan (ex-HAPAG’s Vaterland) is seen in the background. Aquitania ‘s bridge is seen. The lower North River piers glide by. (Imagine the view of Aquitania from any of those piers!)
04:04 – The Statue of Liberty is shown as the liner passes by. A New York ferry boat provides an ad hoc escort. Dropping the pilot (in a rowboat!). A small rowing boat approaches larger ship.
05: 32 – The “Cunard Daily Bulletin” is distributed by a group of young uniformed boys. Passengers pay the boys for their papers in the lounge and on deck.
06:38 – Children play with a ball and have running races on deck. Adults play shuffleboard.
07:40 – Commodore Sir James Charles, Aquitania’s captain, and other officers, are seen on deck using sextants.
08:31 – A boxing match on deck. A boxer has his glove tied on by his trainer.
09:28 – Blindfold Boxing!
10:00 – A game of deck tennis—without blindfolds.
11:04 – The ship’s crew line up to perform lifeboat duty.
11:49 – Waiters in uniform serve afternoon tea to passengers in the garden lounge.
12:20: Fire drill.
13:30 – Passengers relaxing on deck.
14:20 Approach to Cherbourg harbor.