Cunard Line’s Scotia took the Blue Riband from fleetmate Persia on 27 July 1863, completing a westbound transatlantic crossing in 8 days, 3 hours, at an average speed on 14.46 knots. At that moment it seemed inevitable that it would soon become possible to travel from London to New York, or vice versa, in less than a week. Where, many wondered, would the relentless race for speed finally end?
Exactly 29 years later, on 27 July 1892, Inman Line’s City of Paris would take the Blue Riband from White Star Line’s Teutonic, completing a westbound transatlantic crossing in 5 days, 15 hours and 58 minutes at an average speed of 20.48 knots. Again, people wondered, where would it all end?
The answer to that question, at least in terms of ocean liner travel, would finally arrive on 15 July 1952.