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This website is all about the great ships of our recent history.
National Historic Ships is a public body who advises the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport on British historic ship conservation and funding possibilities. It also offers advice to the Heritage Lottery Fund and many public funding bodies on conservation opportunities and particular applications. It also acts as a centre point for consultation on aspects of the conservation of historic ships and maintains the National Register of Historic Vessels.
The world-renowned RMS Britannia of the mid nineteenth century is a most notable ship as it was the first ship owned by Sir Samuel Cunard and his new shipping line. It was the ship that began the transatlantic crossing and Cunard Line's long pedigree of excellent, well-built ships.
The Britannia was a paddle steamer and inaugurated Cunard Line's transatlantic crossing passenger and royal mail service from Liverpool to Boston, USA.
This website celebrates the history of pioneering ships and their honours its unique place in maritime history in the birth of the transatlantic crossing and Cunard Line back in 1840.
The very first ship to utilise steam as support on a transatlantic trip was the American sailing ship Savannah who had been equipped with auxiliary steam engines geared to two paddle wheels on the ship’s sides. In the 1810s, she took the journey from New Jersey to Liverpool in 27 days, but the ship had depended on her sails most of the time – the engine had only been running for 85 hours during the entire voyage. Eventually, the new coastal steamer Sirius, temporarily rented for the trans-Atlantic voyage, made the entire voyage under continuous steam power.