An Aquitania Transatlantic Crossing - Ocean Liners Magazine

An Aquitania Transatlantic Crossing

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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.

Recommended reading…

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