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The Fleets

White Star Line / Oceanic Steamship Company / White Star Line of Boston Packets

Founded 1845 and started sailing ship voyages the following year with chartered brig ELIZABETH to Montreal. Purchased their first ship in 1849 - barque IOWA and advertised as the 'White Star Line of Boston Packets'. Commenced steamship sailings 1863. Went into liquidation in 1868 and bought out by Thomas Ismay who formed the Oceanic Steam Nav.Co. in 1869 (known thereafter as the White Star Line). 1926 Oceanic SN Co. taken over by Royal Mail SP Co., 1934 Royal Mail Group collapsed and White Star and Cunard SS Co formed Cunard-White Star Ltd. 1947 Cunard purchased the remainder of Cunard-White Star stock and in 1949 took over all activities but the two remaining White Star ships, GEORGIC and BRITANNIC continued sailing in White Star Line colours until they were scrapped in 1956 and 1960 when the White Star name finally disappeared.

The company sailed from Liverpool via Queenstown to New York. Later, they started sailing through the Suez Canal to Bombay, Calcutta, Hong Kong and Sydney. White Star also sailed to Japan and China. The sailing time by the fast vessels in the fleet was under 6 days Liverpool to New York. The line also sailed monthly to New Zealand and monthly from San Francisco to Japan and China. The Oceanic, in 1889, made the voyage to Yokohama from San Francisco in 13 days, 14 hours, 4 minutes.

Many thanks to Ted Finch for his assistance in collecting this data. The following list was extracted from various sources. This is not an all inclusive list but should only be used as a guide. If you would like to know more about a vessel, visit TheShipsList Ship Descriptions or the Immigrant Ship web site.

Routes:

  • 1872-1960 Liverpool - New York (later with calls at Queenstown (Cobh))
  • 1872-1960 Liverpool - Boston / Philadelphia
  • 1899-1934 Liverpool - Melbourne - Sydney via the Cape
  • 1883-1926 Liverpool - New Zealand via the Cape.
  • 1872-1873 Liverpool - Valparaiso via Cape Horn.
  • 1872-1873 Liverpool - Suez - Calcutta
  • 1875-1883 San Francisco - Yokohama - Hong Kong.
  • 1903-1909 New York - Azores - Gibraltar - Naples - Genoa.
  • 1907-1934 Southampton - Cherbourg - New York.
  • 1909-1939 Liverpool - Belfast / Glasgow - Quebec - Montreal.
  • 1922-1926 Hamburg / Bremen - Quebec - Montreal
  • 1928-1930 London - Havre - Southampton - Quebec - Montreal.
   

Funnel:
Buff with black top.

Charts of Ships period of service Many thanks to Dan Richard for providing the charts

Fleet:

Vessel
Built
Years in Service Tons
Adriatic (1)
1872
1899 scrapped Preston. 3,888
Adriatic (2)
1907
1935 scrapped Japan. 24,541
Afric
1899
1917 torpedoed and sunk; loss of 22 lives. 11,948
Albertic
1923
ex- Munchen North German Lloyd, war reparations, 1923 transferred to Royal Mail SP Co, renamed Ohio, 1927 purchased by White Star and renamed Albertic, 1934 scrapped at Japan. 18,940
Arabic (1)
1881
1890 sold to Holland America Line, renamed Spaarndam. 4,368
Arabic (2)
1903
1915 torpedoed and sunk off Ireland; loss of 44 lives. 15,801
Arabic (3)
1908
ex- Berlin North German Lloyd, war reparations, 1921 renamed Arabic, 1925-1929 Red Star Line service, 1930 White Star, 1931 scrapped Genoa. 16,786
Armenian
1895
1903 transferred from Leyland Line, 1904 cargo service only, 1914 torpedoed and sunk off Cornwall. 8,825
Asiatic (1)
1871
1873 sold to African SS Co (Elder Dempster & Co) renamed Ambriz. 2,122
Athenic
1902
1928 sold Tonsberg converted to Whale Factory ship, renamed Pelagos. 12,234
Atlantic
1871
1873 wrecked near Halifax NS; loss of 585 lives. 3,707
Baltic (1)
1871
1883 and 1885-1886 chartered to Inman Line, 1888 sold to Holland America Line, renamed Veendam. 2,209
Baltic (2)
1904
1933 scrapped Japan. 23,876
Bardic 1918 ex- War Argus, 1919 purchased from the Shipping Controller renamed Bardic, 1925 transferred to the Aberdeen Line renamed Hostilius. 8,010
Belgic (1)
1874
1875-1883 chartered to Occidental & Oriental SS Co., San Francisco, 1883 sold to Portugal, renamed Goefredo. 2,652
Belgic (2)
1885
1899 sold to Atlantic Transport Line, renamed Mohawk. 4,212
Belgic (3)
1903
ex- Mississippi, Atlantic Transport Line, ex- Samland, 1911 transferred from Red Star Line, renamed Belgic, 1913 reverted to Red Star Samland. 9,748
Belgic (4)
1917
1923 transferred to Red Star Line, renamed Belgenland. 24,547
Bovic
1892
1922 transferred to Leyland Line, renamed Colonian. 6,583
Britannic (1)
1874
1903 scrapped Hamburg. In 1887 collided with Celtic. 5,004
Britannic (2)
1915
1916 torpedoed or mined and sunk in Aegean Sea while hospital ship; loss of 21 lives. 48,158
Britannic (3)
1930
1934 taken over by Cunard-White Star, 1960 scrapped Inverkeithing. 26,943
Calgaric
1927
ex- Orca purchased from Royal Mail SP Co, 1935 scrapped Rosyth. 16,063
Canopic
1900
ex- Commonwealth 1903 purchased from Dominion Line, 1925 scrapped Briton Ferry. 12,268
Cedric
1902
1932 scrapped Inverkeithing. 21,035
Celtic (1)
1872
1893 sold Thingvalla Line, renamed Amerika. In 1887 collided with Britannic. 3,867
Celtic (2)
1901
1928 wrecked near Cobh Harbour. 21,035
Ceramic
1913
1934 transferred to Shaw, Savill & Albion Line. 18,495
Cevic
1894
1914 converted to dummy battleship HMS Queen Mary, 1916 converted to naval oil tanker Bayol. 8,301
Coptic
1881
1906 sold to Pacific Mail SS Co, renamed Persia. 4,367
Corinthic
1902
1931 scrapped at Blyth. 12,367
Cretic
1902
ex- Hanoverian, Leyland Line, ex-Mayflower, 1903 purchased from Dominion Line, renamed Cretic, 1923 sold to Leyland Line, renamed Devonian. 13,507
Cufic (1)
1888
1896 chartered to Spain, renamed Nuestra Senora De Guadeloupe, 1898 reverted to Cufic (White Star), 1901 sold to Dominion Line, renamed Manxman. 4,639
Cufic (2)
1895
ex- American 1904 purchased from Leyland Line, 1923 sold Italy renamed Antartico. 8,249
Cymric
1898
1916 torpedoed and sunk; loss of 5 lives. 13,096
Delphic (1)
1897
1917 torpedoed and sunk; loss of 5 lives. 8,273
Delphic (2) 1918 ex- Mesaba, 1925 transferred from Atlantic Transport Line renamed Delphic, 1933 sold to Clan Line renamed Clan Farquhar (2) 8,006
Doric (1)
1883
1906 sold to Pacific Mail SS Co, renamed Asia. 4,784
Doric (2)
1922
1935 scrapped after collision off Portugal. 16,484
Gaelic (1)
1873
1875-1883 chartered to Occidental & Oriental SS Co, San Francisco, 1883 sold to Cia de Nav.La Flecha, Bilbao, renamed Hugo. 2,865
Gaelic (2)
1885
1905 sold to Pacific Steam Nav.Co, renamed Callao. 4,206
Gallic (1)
1894
paddle steamer, ex-Birkenhead 1907 purchased from Birkenhead Corporation, Cherbourg passenger tender, 1913 scrapped. 461
Gallic (2) 1918 ex- War Argus, 1919 purchased from the Shipping Controller renamed Gallic, 1933 sold to Clan Line renamed Clan Colquhoun (2) 7,914
Georgic (1)
1895
1916 captured and sunk by German raider Moewe. 10,077
Georgic (2)
1931
1934 Cunard-White Star, 1956 scrapped Faslane. 27,759
Germanic
1874
1904 sold to American Line, then Dominion Line, 1905 renamed Ottawa. 5,008
Gothic
1893
1907 transferred to Red Star Line, renamed Gothland, 1911 White Star Gothic, 1913 Red Star Gothland, 1926 scrapped Bo'ness. 7,755
Haverford
1901
1921 transferred from American Line, 1922 transferred to American Line. 11,635
Homeric
1913
ex- Columbus, North German Lloyd, war reparations, 1922 renamed Homeric, 1936 scrapped at Inverkeithing. 34,351
Ionic (1)
1883
1900 chartered to Spanish Government for trooping, 1900 sold to Aberdeen Line, renamed Sophocles. 4,753
Ionic (2)
1903
1932 transferred to Shaw, Savill & Albion Line. 12,352
Justicia
1917
1918 torpedoed and sunk off Skerryvore; loss of 10 lives. 32,234
Lapland
1908
1914 transferred from Red Star Line, 1920 returned to Red Star Line. 18,565
Laurentic (1)
1908
1917 mined and sunk off Ireland; loss of 354 lives. 14,892
Laurentic (2)
1927
1940 torpedoed and sunk while Armed Merchant Cruiser. 18,724
Magnetic
1891
1932 Liverpool passenger tender, 1932 sold to Alexander Towing Co, renamed Ryde. 691
Majestic (1)
1890
1914 scrapped Morecambe. 9,965
Majestic (2)
1914
ex- Bismarck, Hamburg America Line, war reparations, 1922 renamed Majestic, 1934 taken over by Cunard-White Star, 1936 sold to Admiralty as cadet ship renamed HMS Caledonia. 56,551
Medic
1898
1928 sold to N. Bugge, Tonsberg, converted to Whale Factory ship, renamed Hektoria. 11,985
Megantic
1908
1933 scrapped Japan. 14,878
Mersey 1894 three masted sail training ship, 1908 purchased from Nourse Line, 1915 sold to Transatlantic Motorship Co., Christiania, Norway, 1916 renamed Christian Radich. 1,820
Naronic
1892
1893 went missing at sea; loss of 74 lives. 6,594
Nomadic (1)
1891
1903 sold to Dominion Line, 1904 renamed Cornishman. 5,749
Nomadic (2)
1911
1927 Cherbourg passenger tender, 1927 transferred to France. 1,273
Oceanic (1)
1870
1875-1895 chartered to Occidental & Oriental SS Co, San Francisco, 1895 scrapped London. 3,707
Oceanic (2)
1899
1914 wrecked on Shetland Islands while Armed Merchant Cruiser. 17,274
Olympic
1911
1934 taken over by Cunard-White Star, 1935 sold for scrap. 45,234
Persic
1899
1927 scrapped Holland. 11,973
Pittsburgh
1922
1925 Red Star service, 1926 renamed Pennland. 16,322
Poland
1897
1922 transferred from Red Star Line, 1925 sold renamed Natale, scrapped in Italy. 8,282
Pontic 1894 water boat and baggage tender at Liverpool, 1919 sold to Rea Towing Co., Liverpool. 395
Regina
1917
1923 White Star-Dominion Line joint service, 1929 transferred to Red Star Line, 1930 renamed Westernland. 16,313
Republic (1)
1871
1889 sold to Holland America Line, renamed Maasdam. 3,707
Republic (2)
1903
ex- Columbus 1903 purchased from Dominion Line, 1909 sank after collision with FLORIDA off Nantucket, no lives lost. 15,378
Romanic
1898
ex-New England 1903 purchased from Dominion Line, 1912 sold to Allan Line, renamed Scandinavian. 11,394
Royal Standard
1863
1867 sold to Liverpool owners, converted to sail. 2,033
Runic (1)
1889
1895 sold to West India & Pacific SS Co, renamed Tampican. (This is the ship which later became the Norwegian Imo and collided with the Mont Blanc causing the Halifax explosion) 4,833
Runic (2)
1900
1930 sold to Christian Salveson, converted to Whale Factory ship, renamed New Sevilla. 12,482
Russian   see Victorian  
Sirius
1865
1866 sold foreign, renamed Columbia (later became Anchor Line Scandinavia) 620
Suevic
1900
1928 sold to Finnvhal A/S, Tonsberg converted to Whale Factory ship, renamed Skytteren. 12,531
Tauric
1891
1903 sold to Dominion Line, 1904 renamed Welshman. 5,728
Teutonic
1889
1921 scrapped Emden. 9,984
Titanic
1912
1912 hit iceberg and sank on maiden voyage; loss of 1,503 lives. 46,329
Traffic (1)
1873
Baggage tender at Liverpool, 1896 sold to Liverpool Lighterage Co.
(1955 scrapped at Tranmere, 82 years old)
155
Traffic (2)
1911
Cherbourg passenger tender, 1927 sold to Cie. Cherbourgeoise de Transbordement, Paris. 675
Tropic (1)
1871
1873 sold to Serra y Font, Bilbao, renamed Federico. 2,122
Tropic (2)
1896
ex- European 1904 purchased from Leyland Line, 1923 sold to Italy, renamed Artico. 8,262
Vaderland
1900
1914 transferred from Red Star Line, 1915 renamed Southland, 1917 torpedoed and sunk off Ireland; loss of 4 lives. 11,899
Vedic
1918
1934 scrapped Rosyth. 9,332
Victorian
1895
1903 transferred from Leyland Line, 1904 cargo service only, 1914 renamed Russian, 1916 torpedoed and sunk off Malta. 8,825
Zealandic
1911
1926 sold to Aberdeen Line, renamed Mamilius. 8,090
Zeeland
1901
1910 transferred from Red Star Line, 1911 returned to Red Star, 1914 White Star Line, 1915 renamed Northland, 1920 Red Star reverted to Zeeland, 1927 sold to Atlantic Transport Line renamed Minnesota. 11,905
    Managed Ships  
Vessel Built Years in Service Tons
Alexandra Woermann 1898 1919 ceded to Britain by Woermann Line, managed by White Star Line, 1920 acquired by Ellerman Wilson Line renamed Calypso (3) 3,908
Frankfurt 1899 1919 ceded to Britain by North German Lloyd, managed by White Star Line, 1922 sold to Oriental Navigation Co., Hong Kong renamed Sarvistan. 7,431
Hunslet 1898 ex- Tannenfels (Hansa Line), 1914 taken over by German Navy but captured by Royal Navy in the Philippines and converted to Admiralty supply ship, renamed Basilan, 1915 ceded to Shipping Controller renamed Hunslet, 1917 White Star Line managers, later Union-Castle Mail SS Co. 1921 sold to Woermann Line renamed Waganda. 5,341
Ypiranga 1908 1919 ceded to Britain by Hamburg America Line, managed by White Star Line, 1921 sold to Anchor Line renamed Assyria. 8,142
Zeppelin 1915 1919 ceded to Britain by North German Lloyd, managed by White Star Line, 1920 sold to Orient S.N. Co. renamed Ormuz (2) 14,167

White Star Line

From ad dated March 1, 1871.

These steamships have been designed to afford the very best accommodation to all classes of passengers and are expected to accomplish quick and regular passages between this country and America.

The state-rooms, with saloon and smoking-rooms, are placed amidships, and cabin passengers are thus removed from the noise and motion experienced at the after part of the vessel.

Passengers are booked to all parts of the States, Canada, and Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, India, etc., at moderate through rates. A surgeon and stewardess carried on each ship. Drafts issued at New York for sums not exceeding 10, free.

Parcels will be received at the Company's offices until 6 P.M. of the day before sailing.

Bills of lading to be had from Messrs. Benson and Holme, and Mawdsley and Son. Shipping notes at the Company's office. Loading berth, S.W. corner Bramley Moore Dock.

Saloon passage, 18 18s. and 16 16s.; return ticket, 27 guineas. Steerage as low as by any other first-class line.

Rates of freight, etc., may be obtained by applying to J.H. Sparks, at the Company's offices, 19, Broadway, New York; in Belfast, to Samuel Gowan and Co., 4, Corporation Street, or to Ismay, Imrie and Co., 7, East India Avenue, London, E.C., or 10, Water Street, Liverpool

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