Friday, May 27, 2022

The Queen Mary sailed on her maiden voyage 27 May 1936


ON THIS DAY: 27th May 1936 

The Queen Mary sailed on her maiden voyage and won the Blue Riband that August; she lost the title to SS Normandie in 1937 and recaptured it in 1938, holding it until 1952, when it was taken by the new SS United States. With the outbreak of World War II, she was converted into a troopship and ferried Allied soldiers during the conflict. The 80,000 + tonne British Liner sailed primarily on the North Atlantic Ocean from 1936 to 1967 for the Cunard-White Star Line and was built by John Brown & Company in Clydebank, Scotland. She left Southampton for the last time on 31 October 1967 and sailed to the port of Long Beach, California, United States, where she was permanently moored until the present day.

 

Thursday, May 26, 2022

The Regina Maris cruise ship

 

The Regina Maris is a former cruise ship of the Lübeck -based shipping company Lübeck Linie , which entered service in 1966. The ship was sold in 1976, but was rebuilt from 1980 to 1982 under the old name for the Peter Deilmann shipping company . The Regina Maris was the first cruise ship built in Germany after 1939 .
In 1985 the ship was converted into a mega yacht and has been sailing as the Alexander ever since

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Special cover and cancellation on “Tin Can Mail Experiment” - GOAPEX 2021.

 


A Special cover with Special cancellation on “Tin Can Mail Experiment”. GOAPEX 2021.

The following was released on occasion.

 1. Permanent Pictorial Cancellation on Fort Aguada,

2. A Special Ferry carried cover with Special cancellation.

3. Presentation pack & Postcards on Butterfly & Moth Diversity of Goa with Special cancellation,

4. A Special cover with Special cancellation on “Tin Can Mail Experiment”.

In the early part of the 20th century, philatelists began seeking out postal cancellations from Niuafo'ou, a volcanic Tongan island. Since Niuafo'ou lacked a deep water harbor to accommodate ships, postal deliveries were received via the so-called "Tin Can Mail" system of having mail thrown overboard in biscuit tins and retrieved by local swimmers. To swim mail out, Tongans adopted the traditional fishing technique of using a buoyancy pole, called a fau, to swim out with a biscuit or kerosene tin to visiting ships. Using the pole for support the swim could take several hours. 

Goa Philatelic and numismatic society, Goa being the proponent.  Tin Can Mail Experiment was carried out with the assistance of the River Navigation Department of Goa.

Friday, March 11, 2022

Special Ferry carried cover with Special cancellation GOAPEX 2021



Special Ferry carried cover with Special cancellation GOAPEX 2021. 

The following was released on occasion.

 1. Permanent Pictorial Cancellation on Fort Aguada, 

2. A Special Ferry carried cover with Special cancellation.

3. Presentation pack & Postcards on Butterfly & Moth Diversity of Goa with Special cancellation, 

4. A Special cover with Special cancellation on “Tin Can Mail Experiment”.

Goa Philatelic and numismatic society, Goa being the proponent.  Tin Can Mail Experiment was carried out with the assistance of the River Navigation Department of Goa.  

The above cover is a Special Ferry carried cover with Special cancellation. The cover was carried  from Panji Ferry Terminal (Pin: 403001) to Betim Ferry Terminal (Pin: 403101) it has also the signature of the Carrier person. It has clear cancellation of Panji and Betim .

The Ferry name is F/B Betim and was manufactured in the year 2009 and bears the registration number PNJ-496.

The River Navigation Department, Government of Goa, is instrumental in providing transport service to the commuters across the rivers especially for the islanders in the state of Goa where there are no road accesses. It is responsible for providing round the clock ferry service to the public and for transporting vehicles and goods. This service reduces the traffic load on roads and helps in saving fuel energy by utilizing the untapped water ways.

River Navigation Department (RND) with the objective of serving local people has been declared as \'essential public utility services\' for providing 24 hours ferry transport to the commuters at 20 ferry routes all over Goa with fleet of 39 ferry boats. Everyday about 2.5 lakhs commuters and 18000 vehicals use the ferry service. The River navigation Department was established during preliberation time and still an important mode of transport for the Goans. It is a fact that vast spread inland water ways of Goa have been underutilized. 

With its 131-km-long coastline, Goa is an important tourism destination in every tourist\'s itinerary. Tourism is so prominent in the State of Goa that the number of tourists almost equals the state population. Over the recent years the number of local and foreign visitors visiting Goa has been continuously increasing. The pressure on infrastructural facilities in the State has increased significantly. Similarly Goa has widely spread network of inland water ways with two main rivers Zuari and Mandovi and other small rivers such as Terekhol, Chapora, Mapusa, Sal etc. having sufficient draft for navigation. Hence, there is need to develop inland water transport in Goa.

 

Thursday, February 17, 2022

ENGLAND 1902 Edward “ WHITE STAR LINE ** PRE PRINTED SHIP EDWARD POSTAL STATIONERY POST CARD

Recently acquired the beautiful piece if Postal Stationary Post card on Ship Theme .

ENGLAND 1902 Edward “ WHITE STAR LINE ** PRE PRINTED SHIP EDWARD POSTAL STATIONERY POST CARD

Note a couple of points about the postcard

1. The cancellation is of Liverpool where the company was founded 


2.The Postcard is sent to INA Houlden jwellers which is now the once of the best jwellers in UK and Ireland.


3.The return address is mentioned as "     Ismay, Imrie and Co" which was the name of the company at that time .In 1869 Thomas Ismay was in business by himself running ships to Australia. At a dinner in Broughton Hall, West Derby, Ismay and Imrie decided they would form a partnership. When Imrie's father died in 1870 the Imrie & Tomlinson business was transferred to TH Ismay and Company. This joint venture was to be called Ismay, Imrie and Company and was the parent company of the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company Ltd which was the White Star Line's official name.

4.It has details of cost and availability of different class aand date of travel in there major ships

5. It has info for most of it ships at that time i.e Majestic,Teutonic,Germanic,Cymric,caltic,runio,medic.

6.The ship on the Post card is "Teutonic".


The White Star Line (WSL), was a British shipping company. Founded out of the remains of a defunct packet company, it gradually rose up to become one of the

most prominent shipping lines in the world, providing passenger and cargo services between the British Empire and the United States. While many other shipping lines focused primarily on speed, White Star branded their services by focusing more on providing comfortable passages for both upper class travellers and immigrants.

Today, it is remembered for the innovative vessel Oceanic and for the losses of some of their best passenger liners, including the wrecking of the Atlantic in 1873, the sinking of the Republic in 1909, the infamous loss of the Titanic in 1912 and the wartime sinking of HMHS Britannic in 1916. Despite its casualties, the company retained a prominent hold on shipping markets around the globe before falling into decline during the Great Depression, which ultimately led to a merger with its chief rival, Cunard Line, which operated as Cunard-White Star Line until 1950, when Cunard purchased White Star's share in the joint company. Cunard Line then operated as a separate entity until 2005 and is now part of Carnival Corporation & plc. As a lasting reminder of the White Star Line, modern Cunard ships use the term White Star Service to describe the level of customer care expected of the company.


The first company bearing the name White Star Line was founded in Liverpool, England, by John Pilkington and Henry Wilson in 1845.It focused on the UK–Australia trade, which increased following the discovery of gold in Australia in 1851. The fleet initially consisted of the chartered sailing ships RMS Tayleur, Blue Jacket, White Star, Red Jacket, Ellen, Ben Nevis, Emma, Mermaid and Iowa. Tayleur, the largest ship of its day, was the one on which high hope was placed.These hopes were quickly dashed. Departing on its maiden voyage on 19 January 1854, Tayleur proved difficult to handle, and its crew inexperienced.When it struck rocks in very rough seas at Lambay Island, near Ireland, the ship sank, with only 290 of the 650 people on board surviving. Subsequent inquiry placed the blame on its owners, Charles Moore & Co., who did not take the necessary safety precautions when the ship was put into service. This alleviated the White Star Line and the ship's captain of any blame.In order to compensate for the loss of Tayleur, the company ordered several clippers of its own, the first of which was Red Jacket. The ship proved to be sufficiently efficient on the Australian route to ensure a certain success for the company, which could thus own new, faster ships such as Shalimar, Sultana, Emma and White Star.In 1856, however, the company lost postal contracts, while Wilson persisted in wanting ever larger ships to keep the public's attention. Pilkington, dubious, then left the company.Wilson replaced him with his brother-in-law, James Chambers,and the company continued its activities, betting everything on sailing ships while its most direct rivals, the Black Ball Line and the Eagle Line merged in 1858 after the difficulties engendered by the establishment of their service using steamships.During these years, Wilson paid attention to migration flows, directing his services to Canada or New Zealand according to trends.In

1863, the company acquired its first steamship, Royal Standard.The original White Star Line merged with two other small lines in 1864, the Black Ball Line and the Eagle Line, to form a conglomerate, the Liverpool, Melbourne and Oriental Steam Navigation Company Limited.Meanwhile, under Wilson's leadership, the company continued to borrow large amounts of money to finance new construction, including its second steamer, Sirius. Worried, Chambers left the company and was replaced by John Cunningham, but business did not improve. Sirius had to be sold before it could enter service.The merger did not prosper and White Star broke away to concentrate on Liverpool to New York City services. Heavy investment in new ships was financed by borrowing, but the company's bank, the Royal Bank of Liverpool, failed in October 1867. White Star was left with an incredible debt of £527,000 (approximately equivalent to £57,200,000 in 2019),and was forced into bankruptcy

On 18 January 1868, Thomas Ismay, a director of the National Line, purchased the house flag, trade name and goodwill of the bankrupt company for £1,000 (approximately equivalent to £102,900 in 2019),with the intention of operating large steamships on the North Atlantic service between Liverpool and New York.Ismay established the company's headquarters at Albion House, Liverpool. Ismay was approached by Gustav Christian Schwabe, a prominent Liverpool merchant, and his nephew, the shipbuilder Gustav Wilhelm Wolff, during a game of billiards. Schwabe offered to finance the new line if Ismay had his ships built by Wolff's company, Harland and Wolff.Ismay agreed, and a partnership with Harland and Wolff was established. The shipbuilders received their first orders on 30 July 1869. The agreement was that Harland and Wolff would build the ships at cost plus a fixed percentage and would not build any vessels for White Star's rivals.In 1870, William Imrie joined the managing company.As the first ship was being commissioned, Ismay formed the White Star Line, with a capital of £400,000, divided into shares of £1,000.The company was managed by a new firm: Ismay, Imrie and Company. Despite this complex organization, the shipping company was known publicly throughout its existence as the White Star Line.A debate reigned as to which route Ismay expected to dominate when the company was launched. In 1870, four companies were firmly established on the route between Liverpool and New York: the Cunard Line, the Guion Line, the Inman Line and the more modest National Line, in which Ismay once had shares. The characteristics of the ships ordered from Harland and Wolff, however, tended to prove that Ismay aimed at the North Atlantic from the outset.White Star began its North Atlantic run between Liverpool and New York with six nearly identical ships, known as the Oceanic class: Oceanic, Atlantic, Baltic and Republic, followed by the slightly larger Celtic and Adriatic.

It had long been customary for many shipping lines to have a common theme for the names of their ships, and White Star gave their ships names ending in -ic. The line also adopted a buff-coloured funnel with a black top as a distinguishing feature for their ships, as well as a distinctive house flag, a red broad pennant with two tails bearing a white five-pointed star. In the initial designs for this first fleet of liners, each ship was to measure 420 ft (130 m) in length, 40 ft (12 m) in width and approximately 3,707 in gross tonnage, equipped with compound expansion engines powering a single screw, and capable of speeds of up to 14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph). They were also identical in passenger accommodations based on a two-class system, providing accommodations for 166 First Class passengers amidships, which at the time was commonly referred to as 'Saloon Class' and 1,000 Steerage passengers.
White Star's entry into the Trans-Atlantic passenger market in the spring of 1871 got off to a rocky start. When Oceanic sailed on her maiden voyage on 2 March, she departed Liverpool with only 64 passengers aboard, from whence she was expected to make port at Queenstown the following day to pick up more passengers before proceeding to New York. However, before she had cleared the Welsh coast her bearings overheated off Holyhead and she was forced to return for repairs. She resumed her crossing on 17 March and ended up not completing the crossing to New York until 28 March. However, upon her arrival in New York,
she drew considerable attention, as by the time she departed on her return crossing to Liverpool on 15 April, some 50,000 spectators had looked her over. White Star's troubles with their first ship were short lived and Oceanic's second crossing to New York was more successful. She departed Liverpool on 11 May and arrived in New York on 23 May with 407 passengers aboardAtlantic sailed on her maiden voyage from Liverpool on 8 June without incident. However, later that summer another problem surfaced which posed a threat to public opinion of the line. Of the six ships, the names originally selected for the third and sixth ships of the class had initially been Pacific and Arctic, which when mentioned in the press appeared alongside references to two ships of the same names which had belonged to the now defunct Collins Line, both of which were lost at sea with large losses of life. In the cases of those ships, both of which had been wooden hulled paddle steamers, Arctic had foundered off the coast of Newfoundland in September 1854 after colliding with another ship, resulting in the loss of over 300 lives, while Pacific vanished with 186 people on board in January 1856. As a result, White Star made arrangements to change the names of these two ships. The third ship, which had been launched as Pacific on 8 March 1871 was renamed Baltic prior to its completion and the keel of the sixth vessel, which had just been laid down at Harland & Wolff and dubbed Artic, was renamed Celtic prior to her launch.

The fourth vessel of the Oceanic class, Republic, sailed on her maiden voyage on 1 February 1872, around which time modifications were being made to the last two ships still under construction. Alterations in their designs called for their hulls to be extended in length by 17 ft (5.2 m), which also increased their tonnage. Adriatic entered service on 11 April 1872, followed by Celtic six months later on 24 October. These ships began their careers with notable success. Adriatic, after barely a month in service, became the first White Star ship to capture the Blue Riband, having completed a record westbound crossing in 7 days, 23 hours and 17 minutes at an average speed of 14.53 knots (26.91 km/h; 16.72 mph).In January 1873, Baltic became the first of the line to capture the Blue Riband for an eastbound crossing, having completed a return trip to Liverpool in 7 days, 20 hours and 9 minutes at an average speed of 15.09 knots (27.95 km/h; 17.37 mph)

The company did not focus only on the North Atlantic. In 1871, it bought two ships under construction, which became Asiatic and Tropic. They were initially placed on the route to India via the Suez Canal, but this route proved to be unprofitable.Once the six Oceanic-class ships were in service, and five sufficient for a weekly service, Ismay decided to move Republic, accompanied by Asiatic, Tropic and two recently purchased liners, Gaelic and Belgic, onto the route to South America, in order to compete with the Pacific Steam Navigation Company. Although Republic was successful in its only crossing on this route, it was quickly withdrawn, and its fellow liners gradually suffered the same fate.The route remained however, serviced by the company's sailboats, whose management returned to William Imrie, and was quickly dedicated to a separate company, the North Western Shipping Company.The first substantial loss for the company came only four years after its founding, with the sinking of the RMS Atlantic and the loss of 535 lives near

Halifax, Nova Scotia on 31 March 1873.While en route to New York from Liverpool amidst a vicious storm, Atlantic attempted to make port at Halifax when a concern arose that the ship would run out of coal before reaching New York.However, when attempting to enter Halifax, she ran aground on the rocks and sank in shallow waters. Despite being so close to shore, a majority of those onboard drowned, with 585 of the 952 onboard perishing. White Star found itself being accused of not having supplied enough coal to the ship, while the captain was sanctioned for having acted in an irresponsible manner. The crew were blamed for serious navigational errors by the Canadian Inquiry, although a British Board of Trade investigation cleared the company of all extreme wrongdoing.Although Atlantic was quickly erased from the advertisements of the White Star Line, it was not forgotten. With a personal contribution from Ismay, the company financed the maintenance of the graves of the victims and, in 1915, it contributed to the construction of a monument dedicated to the victims.In order to preserve the financial health of the company, Asiatic and Tropic were immediately sold


In the wake of the Atlantic disaster, the White Star Line continued to expand across the North Atlantic. Gaelic and Belgic joined the five Oceanic-class liners, and the company's success continued to grow.However, rival companies quickly caught up: Cunard placed Botnia and Scythia into service, while the Inman Line ordered City of Brussels and Montana and Dakota entered service with the Guion Line. All were built in response to White Star's ground breaking liners and were thus larger.

In response, White Star ordered two new steamers from Harland & Wolff, both of which were designed as considerably larger, two-funnelled versions of the Oceanic class steamers. These two ships measured 455 ft (139 m) in length and 45 ft (14 m) in width, with a gross tonnage of roughly 5,000 tons and with engines of similar design as seen in the earlier ships, with the exception of greater horsepower, capable of driving their single screws at speeds of up to 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph). Passenger capacity was also increased, with the two vessels able to carry 200 Saloon passengers and 1,500 Steerage passengers. The first of the pair, which had initially been named Hellenic, was launched as Britannic on 3 February 1874 and departed on her maiden voyage to New York on 25 June. Her sister, Germanic was launched on 15 July 1874, but due to complications in her construction, she did not enter service until 20 May 1875. With the introduction of these new vessels, Oceanic was declared surplus and in the spring of 1875 was chartered to one of White Star's subsidiaries, the Occidental & Oriental Shipping company, under which she operated their Trans-Pacific route between San Francisco, Yokohama and Hong Kong until her retirement in 1895.The two new steamers proved immensely popular on the North Atlantic run, and both would end up capturing the Blue Riband on two eastbound and three westbound crossings within a two-year period. Germanic captured the westbound record in August 1875, then captured the eastbound record in February 1876, while Britannic captured both records within less than two months of each other, beating the westbound record in November and the eastbound record in December. Germanic captured the westbound record for the last time in April 1877.During that same year, the company began sharing a postal agreement with the Cunard Line, allowing its ships' names to be prefixed with 'RMS' ('Royal Mail Ship').Over the next 12 years, White Star focused their attention on other matters of business, expanding their services with the introduction of several cargo and livestock carriers on the North Atlantic as well as establishing a small but lucrative passenger and cargo service to New Zealand. By 1887 however, Britannic and Germanic and the four remaining Oceanic class liners had aged significantly and were now being outpaced in speed and comfort by newer ships brought into service by White Star's competitors, in particular City of New York and City of Paris.

In an effort to outdo their competitors, White Star began making plans to put two new liners into service which would prove to be exceptionally innovative in design for the time, Teutonic and Majestic. In order to build these new ships, Thomas Ismay made arrangements with the British Government under which in exchange for financial support from the British government, the two new ships would be designed not only as passenger liners, but also as armed merchant cruisers which could be requisitioned by the Royal Navy in times of war.Measuring 565 ft (172 m) in length and 57 ft (17 m) in width and with a gross tonnage of just under 10,000 tons, the new liners would be nearly twice the size of Britannic and Germanic. Additionally, owing to the arrangement with the British Government,Teutonic and Majestic were the first White Star liners to be built with twin screws, powered by triple expansion engines capable of driving the ships at speeds of up to 19 knots (35 km/h; 22 mph).

Teutonic and Majestic were designed with accommodations for 1,490 passengers in three classes across four decks, titled 'Promenade', 'Upper', 'Saloon' and 'Main'; with 300 in First Class, 190 in Second Class and 1,000 in Third Class. Accommodations for passengers were based on the level of comfort on these sections of a ship. Those closer to the center axis of motion on a vessel felt little to no discomfort in rough seas. However those located near the bow and stern would experience every swell, wave and motion in addition to the noise of the engines in steerage. First Class accommodations were located amidships on all four decks, with Second Class located abaft of first on the three uppermost decks on Teutonic and all four decks on Majestic, with Third Class located at the far forward and aft ends of the vessel on the Saloon and Main decks.

In March 1887, the first keel plates of Teutonic were laid at Harland & Wolff, while construction on Majestic commenced the following September. Construction on the two liners progressed in roughly six-month intervals, with Teutonic being launched in January 1889 and sailing on her maiden voyage to New York the following August; while Majestic was launched in June 1889 and entered service in April 1890. Prior to her entry into service, Teutonic made a rather noteworthy appearance at the 1889 Naval Review at Spithead. Although she could not take part in the actual review due to scheduling commitments, she briefly anchored amidst a line of merchant ships awaiting review, complete with four guns mounted, during which time she was toured by the Prince of Wales and Kaiser Wilhelm II. The Kaiser, impressed by what he saw, is rumored to have mentioned to others in his party that "We must have one of these!".They would be White Star's last speed record breakers,as both ships would capture the Blue Riband in the summer of 1891 within two weeks of each other. Majestic beat the westbound record on 5 August 1891, arriving in New York in 5 days, 18 hours and 8 minutes after keeping an average speed of 20.1 knots (37.2 km/h; 23.1 mph). This record was beaten by Teutonic, which arrived in New York on 19 August and beat the previous record by 1 hour and 37 minutes, maintaining an average speed of 20.35 knots (37.69 km/h; 23.42 mph).

With the introduction of Teutonic and Majestic, White Star disposed of some of their aging fleet to make room for the new ships. Prior to the completion of the two new ships, Baltic and Republic were both sold to the Holland America Line and respectively renamed Veendam and Maasdam, after which they were put into service on the company's main Trans-Atlantic route between Rotterdam and New York. Veendam was lost at sea without loss of life after striking a submerged object in 1898, while Maasdam was again sold in 1902 to La Veloce Navigazione Italiana and renamed Citta di Napoli, after which she was used as an emigrant ship for an additional eight years before being sold for scrap at Genoa in 1910.In 1893, by which time Teutonic and Majestic had established themselves on the North Atlantic run, White Star sold Celtic to the Danish Thingvalla Line, who renamed her Amerika and attempted to use her for their own emigrant service from Copenhagen to New York. This, however, failed to prove profitable for the line and she was sold for scrap at Brest in 1898.

Beginning in the late 1890s, White Star experienced an explosion of rapid growth and expansion of its services, highlighted by a dramatic shift in focus from building the fastest ships on the North Atlantic to building the most comfortable and luxurious. Their first step in this direction came in 1897 during the construction of a new ship, Cymric. Initially designed as an enlarged version of the livestock carrier Georgic, which had entered service in 1895, Cymric had been planned as a combination passenger and livestock carrier, and thus was not designed with engines necessary to qualify her for the express service maintained by Britannic, Germanic, Teutonic and Majestic. However, while she was under construction at Harland & Wolff, a decision was made to convert spaces aboard her designated for cattle into Third Class accommodations after it was deemed that carrying passengers and livestock aboard the same vessel would likely not prove a popular venture. Therefore, in addition to the accommodations planned for 258 First Class passengers, her designs were altered to include berthing for 1,160 Third Class passengers.

Overall, her modest layout and design placed her between the elderly but well reputable Britannic and Germanic and the more modern Teutonic and Majestic. Measuring just over 13,000 tons and with a length of 585 ft (178 m) and a beam of 64 ft (20 m), she was to be the largest liner in the White Star fleet. Additionally, her more utilitarian appearance with a single funnel and four masts contrasted against her four running mates considerably. Due to this design, she was considered the first of White Star's 'intermediate' liners. However, as a result of this partial transition from livestock carrier to passenger liner, Cymric came to attain several noteworthy advantages which White Star would employ on several other liners. While her passenger accommodations had been modified, the specifications of her machinery and engines were left in place. Like Teutonic and Majestic, Cymric was fitted with twin screws, but was instead powered by quadruple expansion engines capable of achieving a modest speed of 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph) commonly seen in cargo and livestock carriers of that time. The major difference was that because these engines were designed for more modest speeds, they were considerably smaller and required only seven boilers, leaving more space within the hull for passenger and crew accommodations.At the same time, this also meant she consumed much less coal than steamers designed with larger engines, making her more economical. Cymric was launched at Harland & Wolff in October 1897 and entered service in February 1898, and in time proved a popular and profitable addition to the fleet.

In the early months of 1897, while Cymric was still under construction at Harland & Wolff, it became clear to Thomas Ismay and other company officials that a new addition to the North Atlantic fleet was needed, as White Star's fleet was starting to lag behind those of their competitors, such as Cunard and North German Lloyd. By this point, the only remaining ship of the original Oceanic class of liners was Adriatic, which had been in service for 25 years and was starting to show her age. Britannic and Germanic were equally outdated, and with advancements in shipbuilding during the 1890s, Teutonic and Majestic had been eclipsed by several newer vessels, most recently by North German Lloyd's Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse. In response, Ismay and his partners at Harland & Wolff set out to design two new liners for the North Atlantic run which would, in a fashion similar to how Teutonic and Majestic had done, go down in shipbuilding history

The new steamers, which were intended to be named Oceanic and Olympic, were designed to be both the largest and most luxurious the world had ever seen.In March 1897, the first keel plates for Oceanic were laid at Harland & Wolff, but almost immediately problems arose. Due to the fact that a vessel of this size had never been built, work on the ship was delayed until an overhead gantry crane could be built. Her launch on 14 January 1899 drew an immense crowd of spectators numbering more than 50,000, as Oceanic would be the last British transatlantic liner to be launched in the 19th century, as well as the first to exceed the Great Eastern in length.She measured 704 ft (215 m) in length, with a beam of 68 ft (21 m) and had a gross tonnage of 17,254, making her a full 42% larger than North German Lloyd's Kaiser Wilhelm Der Grosse. Like Teutonic and Majestic, Oceanic was designed with capabilities to be converted to an armed merchant cruiser in time of war if needed, specifications for which included her to be built with a double-plated hull and turrets on her upper decks which could be quickly mounted with guns.She was also built with triple expansion engines geared to twin screws capable of achieving a respectable, if not record breaking, service speed of 19 knots (35 km/h; 22 mph). Additionally, she had a considerably larger passenger capacity of just over 1,700, providing for 410 First Class, 300 Second Class and 1,000 Third Class passengers.

Oceanic sailed on her maiden voyage from Liverpool on 6 September 1899, arriving in New York to much fanfare on the morning of 13 September with 1,456 passengers aboard, many of whom were satisfied with how the crossing had gone. Among those travelling aboard in First Class were Harland & Wolff's managing director, Lord Pirrie, and Thomas Andrews, who had designed Oceanic under Thomas Ismay's direction. At the same time Oceanic had departed from Liverpool, a fireman's strike had been ensuing at the docks, which in turn meant she sailed with a boiler room crew consisting of fewer men than her specifications called for. Thus, during her maiden voyage, she maintained an average speed of just under 19 knots (35 km/h; 22 mph).

Thomas Ismay was unable to enjoy the fruits of his labour. Just a few weeks after Oceanic was launched, he began complaining of pains in his chest, from whence his health steadily began to decline. In fact, his health began to deteriorate so rapidly that managers of both White Star and Harland & Wolff decided to cancel plans to construct Olympic. The name was shelved, only to be reused 12 years later. His health improved for a brief time, allowing him to visit Oceanic upon her completion in Belfast that July. During his visit, Belfast officials awarded him with a key to the city, citing his contributions to the local economy and to British merchant shipping. Unfortunately, in late August he took a turn for the worse and he underwent two operations to alleviate his ailment, both of which proved unsuccessful, and he suffered a heart attack on 14 September. He lingered in worsening agony for another ten weeks until his death on 23 November 1899 at the age of 62. In the immediate aftermath, control of the company was passed to Thomas' son Bruce, who was named chairman of the line.
With the death of Thomas Ismay, his eldest son, Bruce, took over.He was joined at the helm of Ismay, Imrie & Co. by his friend Harold Sanderson in addition to the members already present, notably the now elderly William Imrie and his brother, James Ismay.The company was very quickly involved in the Second Boer War, with several of its ships being requisitioned, starting with the cargo ship Nomadic in October 1899.Several ships quickly followed, notably Britannic, which had become surplus to requirements on the North Atlantic route. A total of ten ships were assisting in the war effort, six of them as part of their regular service. 17,000 men and 4,000 animals were transported to the conflict by White Star vessels in just over two years.

Even before Oceanic had been completed, White Star had already started making plans for a considerably larger addition to their fleet. In September 1898, before his health began failing, Thomas Ismay negotiated the terms for the orders for the last passenger liner he would ever order for the line he had built. This time, plans were essentially the same as they had been with Oceanic, only taking considerably more steps in innovation. While staying with the trend in focusing more on comfort than speed as had been set with Cymric and Oceanic, Ismay's plans called for a new passenger liner of dimensions the world had never seen, and her chosen name was to be Celtic, a name taken and reused from the original Oceanic class.The initial designs for Celtic had her at 680 ft (210 m) in length, slightly shorter than Oceanic, but with a greater breadth of 75 ft (23 m). Additionally, while Oceanic had set the record for length, Celtic would triumph in tonnage, measuring just over 20,000 tons.

Additionally, Celtic was to be designed with far greater capacities for both passengers and cargo. Her plans called for accommodations for a staggering 2,859 passengers: 347 in First Class, 160 in Second Class, and a total of 2,352 in Third Class, the latter being the largest capacity seen on any liner on the North Atlantic at the time. Passenger accommodations were spread across six decks, titled from top to bottom: Boat Deck (A Deck), Upper Promenade (B Deck), Promenade (C Deck), Saloon (D Deck), Upper (E Deck) and Lower (F Deck). First Class accommodations were located amidships on the uppermost four decks and included a lounge and smoke room on the Boat Deck, as well as a grand and spacious dining room on the Saloon Deck. Second Class accommodations were allocated to the starboard sides of the Saloon and Upper Decks. As seen aboard Teutonic, Majestic, and Oceanic, Second Class passengers were provided with their own smoke room and library, housed within a separate deckhouse situated just aft of the main superstructure, directly above their dining room on the Saloon deck.

What made Celtic rather exceptional was her Third Class accommodations, which in addition to ample open deck space on the Promenade Deck, were located on the Saloon, Upper and Lower Decks at both the forward and aft ends of the vessel, with a vast majority being located aft. The pattern followed that seen on all White Star vessels on the North Atlantic, with single men berthed forward and single women, married couples and families berthed aft. On the Saloon Deck, in addition to baths and lavatories both forward and aft, were two large dining rooms at the far after end of the deck, situated side by side, which when not in use functioned as smoke and general rooms. An additional, fairly larger dining room was located directly beneath these on the Upper Deck, while a fourth dining room was located forward where single men were to be berthed, for which this dining room was equipped with a service bar. Aside from this, the biggest change brought by Celtic for Third Class passengers was in sleeping quarters. Open berths were still fairly common on the North Atlantic, which White Star had from the start gradually shied away from. Aboard the Oceanic class liners, Britannic and Germanic, steerage passengers had been provided with large rooms which generally slept around 20 people, while aboard Teutonic and Majestic the usage of two and four berth cabins had been introduced, but only for married couples and families with children, a policy which also held with Cymric and Oceanic. Celtic broke that mould. At the forward end of the vessel, located in two compartments on the Lower Deck were accommodations of the older style of sleeping arrangements, each compartment providing for 300 single men. The remaining 1,752 berths were located aft, all of which consisted of two, four and six berth cabins.

On 22 March 1899, just two months after Oceanic was launched, the first keel plates of Celtic were laid at Harland & Wolff. Construction progressed rapidly, and as White Star had planned, the new fleet of liners would be constructed in overlapping succession. In October 1900, while Celtic's hull was nearing completion, construction began on the second ship, Cedric. When Celtic was launched in April 1901, there was much fanfare, as she was the largest ship in the world in terms of tonnage, as well as being the first to exceed the tonnage of the infamous Great Eastern. She took a mere four additional months for fitting out before sailing on her maiden voyage from Liverpool on 26 July of that year.Upon her entry into service, one of her most attractive features was her seaworthiness. It was noted that she was "as steady as the Rock of Gibraltar."

Meanwhile, construction on Cedric had proceeded as planned and she was launched on 21 August 1902. Although she was of exactly the same dimensions as Celtic in length and width, she outweighed her twin by a mere 155 tons, making her the largest ship in the world. Despite their similarities, the two had distinct differences. First Class accommodations aboard Cedric included more private bathrooms, as well as more suites consisting of interconnecting cabins provided with sitting rooms.She had accommodations for a total of 2,600 passengers, with a slightly increased number of First Class passengers at 350, her Second Class capacity was increased to 250 and Third Class was scaled back to approximately 2,000. Cedric entered service later that winter, departing Liverpool on her maiden voyage on 11 February 1903.

White Star had begun as a line serving traffic to and from Australia, especially during the gold rushes of the 1850s, but following the line's collapse and its purchase by Thomas Ismay in 1868, the company was rebuilt as a trans-Atlantic line. However, in the late 1890s White Star decided to reinstate a service to Australia, partly because of the discovery of further gold deposits in Western Australia leading to another series of gold rushes and an increase in emigrants to Australia, as well as an increasing trade in minerals, agricultural produce, wool and meat in the other direction. The latter had become a major source of revenue for shipping lines already on the route after the advent of effective mechanical refrigeration systems in the late 1880s, allowing large quantities of cattle carcasses to be preserved on the long voyage back to the British Isles.

Thomas Ismay decided to re-enter the Australian run in 1897 with a monthly service between Liverpool, Cape Town and Sydney. A stop at Tenerife was included in the schedule both outbound and inbound. Outbound ships would call at Adelaide and Melbourne and the return trip would call at Plymouth before ending at Liverpool. With the journey taking six weeks, five ships would be needed to maintain the service in both directions. The specification for the new ships was drawn up and the order placed with Harland & Wolff in the summer of 1897, coinciding with the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria, thus they became known as the Jubilee-class.In keeping with White Star's new philosophy on the Atlantic of size over speed, the Jubilee-class were to be the largest ships ever put on the Australia run, at 550 ft (168 metres) in length and nearly 12,000 gross tons. They were single-funnel, twin-screw ships designed as mixed cargo/passenger vessels, essentially being enlarged versions of White Star's earlier Naronic-class.With a service speed of 14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph), the Jubilee-class were significantly slower than the smaller mailships run by the Orient Line and P&O and their size meant they could not transit the Suez Canal, so they would have to take the long route via South Africa and would not attract first-class passengers. Instead they were intended for the emigrant/seasonal worker traffic, carrying 320 passengers solely in what was described as third-class accommodation. However, following White Star's long tradition of improving standards for third-class passengers, these facilities were considerably ahead of the equivalent on other lines, being broadly in line with second-class facilities on other ships. Although all of the same class, prices for berths on the Jubilee-class varied, allowing passengers the choice of two- or four-berth cabins for a premium or open dormitories. Passengers had use of facilities such as a large dining room, a library and a smoking room, as well as free run of nearly all the ship's deck space during the voyage. The ships could carry 15,000 tons of cargo in seven holds, including capacity for 100,000 meat carcasses.

The first Jubilee-class ship, Afric, was launched in November 1898, but her maiden voyage in February 1899 was to New York as a shakedown cruise and to test the new ship on a shorter route – small improvements were made to Afric and her sister ships as a result of this trip.The Australian service was actually inaugurated by the second ship, Medic, which left Liverpool in August 1899 and arrived in Sydney in October.The third ship, Persic, began her maiden voyage in December 1899 but was delayed for several weeks in Cape Town after her rudder broke due to faulty metalwork. The final pair of ships for the Australia run were built to a modified design following the experiences with the original trio. The Australian run proved to be more popular with passengers than expected, so these two ships, Runic and Suevic, had their bridges moved forward and their poop decks extended.As well as slightly increasing their gross tonnage, this gave them capacity for a further 50 passengers, bringing the total to 400. Suevic made her maiden voyage in May 1901, bringing White Star's new Australian service to full strength. By now the return voyage also included a stop at London – most passengers from Australia disembarked at Plymouth to go to their final destination by rail, while much of the cargo was bound for London. The ship would then steam back through the English Channel to offload the last of her cargo and passengers at Liverpool before preparing for the next voyage. The Australian run was successful and profitable for White Star, and largely uneventful for the ships. In the earliest days of the route the initial three ships were heavily used to transport men, soldiers and supplies to South Africa during the Boer War, while Suevic ran aground off Lizard Point, Cornwall in 1907. There were no casualties and, despite the ship being broken in two as part of an ambitious salvage operation, she was repaired and re-entered service in January 1908.The success of the new Australian service in terms of freight led to White Star transferring an older cargo-only ship of a similar size to the Jubilee-class, Cevic, from the New York service to the Australia Run. In 1910 Cevic was used to experiment with routing ships to Australia via the Suez Canal but she ran aground several times in the canal and the ships continued to operate via the Cape. Cevic was used on the Australia run on a seasonal basis, mainly carrying cattle and wool at the end of the Australian autumn (February–April) and then being switched to the New York run during the Atlantic summer.

Continued demand for extra passenger capacity led to White Star building a one-off ship for the route. Launched in 1913, Ceramic was a larger, more sophisticated development of the Jubilee-class, at 655 ft (200 m) in length and 18,495 gross tons. Like Laurentic and the Olympic-class, Ceramic was a triple-screw ship with the central propeller driven by a low-pressure turbine using exhaust from the two reciprocating steam engines. This enabled her to be slightly faster – 16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph) – than the Jubilee-class vessels despite her extra size for a minimal increase in coal consumption. The new ship had a significantly larger superstructure and nearly double the passenger capacity of the Jubilee-class ships – a total of 600 passengers, still carried only in what was advertised as third-class accommodation. She could also carry 19,000 tons of cargo in eight holds, including 321,000 cu ft (9,100 m3) of refrigerated space.The dimensions of Ceramic were restricted by the length of the quay at London's Port of Tilbury and the clearance for the masts under the then-proposed Sydney Harbour Bridge. When she arrived in Sydney in September 1914, she took the place of the Jubilee-class ships as the largest vessel on the Australia run from Britain. After the long-delayed construction of the Harbour Bridge in 1932, Ceramic would be the tallest ship then in service to pass under it.

All seven ships were requisitioned as troop transports during World War I, forcing White Star to suspend the regular Australia service. Afric was torpedoed by a U-boat in the English Channel in 1917 and Cevic remained in the ownership of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary after the war, but the remaining five ships were returned to White Star and the service was resumed in 1919. The remaining Jubilee-class liners were withdrawn from service in the late 1920s. Persic was scrapped in 1926 while Medic and Suevic were sold in 1928 and Runic in 1929. All were converted into whaling factory ships on account of their size and cargo capacity. The Australia run was no longer as lucrative or as heavily trafficked as it had been before the war and the route was no longer a priority for White Star, especially once it came under the ownership of the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company in 1927. A new ship, intended to be the first of a new class to replace the Jubilee-class, had been launched in 1917 – Vedic. This was the first White Star ship to be powered solely by turbines and had the same emigrant/cargo-carrying role as her predecessors, although at 460 ft (140 m) and 9,332 gross tons, she was smaller than the older ships. Vedic went straight from the builders to service as a troopship and was initially used on White Star's Canadian service until she was put on the Australia run in 1925. Ceramic and Vedic maintained a less-intensive Australian service until White Star merged with the Cunard Line in 1934. The new management immediately decided to end White Star's routes to the southern hemisphere – Ceramic was sold to the Shaw, Savill & Albion Line, which continued to operate her on the same route, while Vedic was scrapped.

The White Star Line's main offices still exist in Liverpool, standing in James Street within sight of the more grandiose headquarters of their rivals, the Cunard Building. The building has a plaque commemorating the fact that it was once the head office of the White Star Line. It was the first open plan office building in Liverpool.J. Bruce Ismay had his office in the building.

The White Star Line's London offices, named Oceanic House, still exist today, and have been converted into apartments.They are on Cockspur Street, off Trafalgar Square, and the company name can still be seen on the building over the entrances. The Southampton offices still exist, now known as Canute Chambers, and are situated in Canute Road.

The French passenger tender Nomadic, the last surviving vessel of the White Star Line, was purchased by the Northern Ireland Department for Social Development in January 2006. She has since been returned to Belfast, where she has been fully restored to her original and elegant 1912 appearance under the auspices of the Nomadic Preservation Society with the assistance of her original builders, Harland and Wolff. She is intended to serve as the centerpiece of a museum dedicated to the history of Atlantic steam, the White Star Line, and its most famous ship, Titanic. The historic Nomadic was opened ceremoniously to the public on 31 May 2013.

In 1995, Cunard Line introduced White Star Service to Queen Elizabeth 2 as a reference to the high standards of customer service expected of the company. The term is still today onboard RMS Queen Mary 2, MS Queen Victoria and MS Queen Elizabeth. The company has also created the White Star Academy, an in-house programme for preparing new crew members for the service standards expected on Cunard ships.

The White Star flag is raised on all Cunard ships and Nomadic every 15 April in memory of the Titanic disaster.

Info taken from wikipedia