1949 – 1974 / Also known as Columbia and Caribia / Purpose-built for leisure voyages, Cunard’s ‘Green Goddess’ Caronia was unique in every sense of the word. Offering an exclusive experience, she was a sign of the times that passenger shipping was transitioning from crossings to cruises.
1952 – Present Day / The ocean greyhound to rule them all, United States was the last liner to capture the Blue Riband. However, her career was soon put on life support with government subsidies, and she was retired in 1969. Astonishingly, she survives to this day, although a sad shadow of her former self and with a very uncertain future.
1955 – 2003 / Also known as Calypso, Calypso I, Azure Seas, and OceanBreeze / Breaking the mould with an innovative exterior design, the long career of the Southern Cross would see her go from being daring and new to representing the old guard among modern cruise ships. Remarkably, she survived into the 21st century, but was ultimately sent to the breakers.
1969 – Present Day / Considered by many to be the last true ocean liner, the Queen Elizabeth 2 was strikingly modern at the time of her launch, but would eventually come to represent the past. Serving almost 40 years with Cunard, the QE2 became a legend in her own time, but was in the end sold off to make way for newer vessels.