On the 7th of June 1906, RMS Lusitania was launched by the Cunard Line in Glasgow at the John Brown shipbuilding firm. With a tonnage of 44,000 tonnes and able to maintain 25 knots due to the 25 boilers powering 4 turbines producing 76,000 horsepower, Lusitania was the largest ocean liner in service at launch and was a highly sophisticated ship for the time.
The maiden voyage of Lusitania was on Saturday the 7th of September 1907, leaving Liverpool for Queenstown (now Cobh) and saw a crowd of 200,000 watching the departure. In the proceeding 8 years of service, Lusitania made a total of 201 crossings on the Cunard Line’s Liverpool-New York Route, carrying a total of 155,795 passengers westbound and another 106,180 eastbound.
Sadly, Lusitania is most famous for being sunk by a German U-boat on the 7th of May 1915 , 11 miles off the south coast of Ireland which resulted in the deaths of 1,198 passengers and crew.
Did you know Lusitania has a small North Ayrshire connection? During sea trials the ship made runs between Stranraer and Cornwall, between Stranraer and the Isle of Man, and to the Isle of Arran and Ailsa Craig.