Today Cunard Queens is introducing a new feature for all fans who share our love for ocean liners. Our collection of maritime videos has finally found a home on the Cunard Queens website:
Welcome to Flagship World Cruises
The place to meet and get reunited with famous names from the past – liners who have been long time companions of the Queens; an opportunity to relive the splendour and extravaganza of transatlantic crossings and to experience the sophisticated leisurely way of cruising to far corners of the world. We will be adding more and more films over the next couple of months, so be sure to come back from to time to enjoy the treasures we unearthed from the archives and storage rooms.
As usual we are most grateful for any material you may want to share with us or make available to be shown in our collection. Please drop us a line using the contact form. We will get right back to you.
Flagship World Cruises is starting with footage of wo famous ocean liners:
SS Norway: A video from a private collection taken during a 1993 Caribbean cruise going to St. Thomas. This cruise was shortly after her refit where two additional decks were added. The Norway was the grand dame of the Caribbean: As a rule her cruises were all 7 day and started out of Miami to the Caribbean where she called on all major ports: St Thomas, St Maarten, St John, islands in the Bahamas and many more. It was a Big Band Cruise, the stage lights were on every night, and they shone very brightly indeed. Passengers were treated to full-scale musical revues and plays.
The 6 episodes of the film last approx. 60 minutes and include
- A walk around the decks
- St Maarten, where you will go out on a night in St Maarten with Norway and Crown Princess all lit up and saluting each other
- A view from the bridge and the Westerdam saluting
- The Norway Olympics, Sven’s Ice Cream and a cabin visit
- A walk through Norway’s interior spaces on International Deck at night
SS Canberra: 2 video productions which probably would have been shown on TV at one point.
- A news report from 1982 when she returned victorious from the Falklands War
- A 15 minute video featuring Sarah Kennedy from UKTV. It is a promotional video by P&O and exceptionally well done
Both SS Norway and SS Canberra have a colourful history.
The SS Norway has a checkered history as the Norway and before that as the SS France. Since her first, and rough, voyage across the Atlantic in February 1962 as the France, she has had several owners, she has been out of service a number of times and maintenance problems have popped up from time to time.
SS France was the French Line flagship from 1961 to 1974, combining regular transatlantic crossings – six days and nights – with occasional winter cruises, as well as two world circumnavigations. As the SS Norway she was the flagship of the Norwegian Cruise Line from 1980 to 2001.
While the SS France was the elegant French grand dame who represented the great era of transatlantic steamship travel, the SS Norway became a synonym for a new form of modern cruising which revived the dwindling interest in cruising.
After a turbulent period of uncertainty between 1974 and 1979 she was sold to Knut Kloster, the owner of Norwegian Cruise Line for conversion into the world’s largest cruise ship. France was renamed Norway. By August of that year Norway was moved to the Lloyd shipyards in Bremerhaven, Germany, where she would undergo renovations including a huge new lido deck at her stern, and two outdoor pools to the cost of $80,000,000 US
On 25 May 2003, after docking in Miami, Norway was seriously damaged by a boiler explosion which killed several crew members. She was towed to Bremerhaven where she remained berthed until 2005 following NCL’s decision to remove her from the NCL fleet. She changed owners twice, was renamed by her last owner ‘Blue Lady’ and awaited her future fate in Port Klang, Malaysia while asbestos law suites and illegal ship movements prevented the scrapping of the former liner. Scrapping eventually started in May 2007 and by late 2008 the ship’s destruction was essentially completed.
The nose of her bow was returned to France together with other salvaged items early 2009 to be sold at an auction on February 8/9. Out of the 446 items 430 were sold for a total of 1,186,000 Euro, which was twice the estimate. The nose achieved a price of 273,000 and was returned to Le Havre where it is now publicly displayed on the quay.
SS Canberra was an ocean liner, which later operated on cruises, in the P&O fleet from 1961 to 1997. She was built at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Like SS Norway she had some uncertain times in 1972 when the possibility of going to the scrapyard almost became reality. During the Falklands War, she served as a troop ship and hospital ship, underwent a lengthy refit and returned to service as a cruise ship. Eventually she became too expensive to run and was sold to ship breakers for scrapping in Pakistan in 1997.
In April 1982 Britain went to war with Argentina and for the first time in 42 years a P&O liner was requisitioned for service as a troop ship. During the three months of the Falklands campaign she made headlines around the globe and she received an enthusiastic welcome when she returned home.