About Us

 RETURN TO THE LOBBY                                                                                                                                                                                                           THE OCEAN LINER VIRTUAL MUSEUM

The passenger ocean liner is, without question, the greatest of all man-made construction, especially as exhibited at the peak of its development from the 1930s onwards. They were as large then as any skyscraper or any of the world’s greatest railway stations. But unlike these edifices, locked to the earth, static upon their foundations, the passenger ocean liners, fitted with machinery as large as that of any power station, were powerful, mobile monuments of man’s engineering prowess. Cleaving the waves at anything up to 30 knots, they were the leviathans and monarchs of the oceans, and truly were floating cities.


Of course other equally large ocean vessels have been built such as large crude oil supertankers and aircraft carriers to name just two. But none of these have incorporated the same level of complexity or ornamentation as that which is characteristic of the true ocean liner. Passengers as their “cargo”, required creature comforts, as far as possible, a real “home from home” which could delude them into feeling far removed from the ocean’s fury (only a hull’s thickness away), as if they were still on dry land. The same is true of today’s cruise ships although they are built more as holiday resorts and not for speed and a means of travel as the ocean liners were.


In their heyday there was great rivalry between shipping lines, especially on the transatlantic route, as the liners were symbols of national prestige and you had to be the fastest and the best. It was the ocean liners and their scheduled liner routes linking Britain (and other ocean liner countries) with the diverse corners of the world that enabled people for the first time to travel long distances between continents on a regular basis. Thus the ocean liners enabled trade, communication and migration across the world and laid the foundations of the modern globalised world we live in today. This traffic has since been succeeded by the aeroplane and today’s airlines serve a similar role but in less time that the ocean liners and their shipping companies did before. Today, as communication improves via air travel and the internet, we live in an ever more globalised world. But the foundations of this modern, globalised world were laid by the ocean liners and their liner routes. Even today 90% of trade is by sea. Ever since the jet age arrived in the 1960s and 70s the ocean liner has declined, but instead they have evolved into today’s cruise liners. But there are now very few true ocean liners left and their number is continuing to dwindle until eventually there will be none left.


Now the last true ocean liners are in their twilight years and before long there may be none left. This is why we believe that now is an opportune moment to create an Ocean Liner Museum to tell their remarkable story and interpret it and make it relevant for present and future generations. Great Britain is the birthplace of the ocean liner and has been home to many famous shipping companies and their ships, thus we believe that Britain is the most appropriate place to have the Ocean Liner Museum. The ocean liner has a remarkable and inspirational story to tell and has taken part in many epic events of the 20th century and has played an important role in travel and human history but yet there is no museum in the world that tells this story.

To start off with we have created a virtual museum – the Ocean Liner Virtual Museum. This was first established in 2005. The great thing about a virtual museum is that it is not expensive to create, it has no limits to how big it can get and it is accessible to everyone around the world via the Internet and so is open 24 hours a day! Then if this virtual museum is successful there may be the potential to eventually consider creating a physical Ocean Liner Museum in reality perhaps based here in the UK. We believe that the Ocean Liner Museum (in its current virtual form, and perhaps eventually the actual museum) could become the hub of a global network via linkages with other “branch museums” around the world thereby allowing the full story of the Ocean Liner to be told from the perspectives of all the countries that had a role in this remarkable and inspiring story.


Also we are aware that there are many collections of ocean liner artefacts and film archives etc around the world that do not have a home for the long term. Many existing museums have been approached to display these artefacts and yet they declined due to lack of money and space to display these fine objects. Gradually we saw that perhaps there was a need to create a museum to house these collections and tell their story and the story of the ocean liner and thus was born our idea. The virtual museum could perhaps provide a virtual home for these collections if they were digitalised. But in the meantime our virtual museum can tell the story of the ocean liner and their legacy.

We are delighted to have been recently featured in the "Website of the Week" section of the 24 Hour Museum website (www.24hourmuseum.org.uk). We are most grateful to the 24 Hour Museum for this recognition and support.


We hope you enjoy exploring our Ocean Liner Virtual Museum – the only museum in the world dedicated to telling the story of the ocean liners and ocean travel.

This Website is developed using information researched from a wide variety of sources, including books, magazines and websites etc too numerous to mention or credit individually. While we try our very best to ensure that any apparent "copyright" is not breached, due to limited time and resources we cannot always guarantee that inadvertently mistakes may occur. But should such inadvertent mistakes come to light we will do our best to cooperate. However we must point out that as information on the internet, in most cases, is not actually copyrighted under international law (but rather is wishful thinking on the part of the author / owner), we may not be legally obliged to do so, and this is at our discretion. As a result we reserve the right to, if appropriate, request proof of "registered copyright" in every single country in the world for your material. If this is not the case then your material is not "copyright" protected and we will not have breached "copyright" and so don't have to comply with your request. Unfortunately we cannot promise or guarantee to give credit to all information sources used. We hope you understand, but we do have to research information using other sources of information such as websites, books, magazines etc. To prevent us doing this legitimate research would be an unreasonable request and an infringement of civil liberties and freedom of speech.

While I do sympathise with those who wish to hold back this technological change and resolutely protect to the full their apparent "copyright" over material.
Sadly, with respect, I think that they do not understand the realities of the modern technological, internet dominated world. Frankly, irrespective of whether people are decent or not, the complete protection of "copyrights" on the internet of any material is nigh on impossible, as we should resign ourselves to that fact and accept it. To do otherwise and to try and protect "copyrights" is highly misguided. 
We shouldn't be too precious about information, but instead let it flow freely. After all the internet was created as a place independent of governments, free from any aspect of control or regulation, and where freedom of speech reigns supreme. And it will always be this way. As a result there is no legal way to prevent unauthorised use of information on the internet, as it is outside the jurisdiction of any government.

So even if something (e.g. an article or photo) is marked "copyright" on the internet, it often actually isn't unless it has been specifically registered by the owner / author under the international copyright laws of every single country in the world. However that is impractical and therefore there is nothing anyone can do legally under international law to stop someone going and using the photo or article without permission. Even if they did they would not be breaching "copyright" in most cases. It is often just wishful thinking and someone being "precious". We cannot uninvent the internet and stop people communicating and using this vast resource.
However I strongly oppose anyone who takes so called "copyright" protection to such lengths that they prevent reasonable research and repetition of historical information and facts to inform and develop new articles. Such research may of course inevitably involve using historical facts and information also stated in other websites, books or articles. After all history and historical facts do not change according to the website it is on, history is history and cannot change. We strongly resent those who infer or suggest that we deliberately and knowingly copy whole articles directly from other sources. This is most definitely not the case as we only use facts and information from such sources to inform our own articles.

This website does not intend to infringe any copyright and all reasonable steps are taken to ensure this to the best of our ability with limited resources. It is believed that all the information contained in this website, apart from those articles written by the author, are freely available within the public domain or freely given for use on this website. All information on this website is purely intended to help promote the story of the ocean liners to a wider audience and to maritime enthusiasts and is entirely not-for-profit and is not intended for commercial gain. We warmly welcome any donations of photographs or information to this website on the basis that no financial reward is asked for or given as this website is purely for charitable not-for-profit purposes.

        (c) Cruise Ship History Collection 2018 including www.thecunarders.co.uk                                                                                                                                                                              A Edward Elliott