The RMS "Britannia" was an
ocean linerof the British Cunard Steamship Lines. She was launched in February 5, 1840 at the yard of Robert Duncan & Company in Greenock, Scotland. The ship and her sisters, "Acadia, Caledonia, and Columbia", were the first ocean liners built by the company.
The Britannia was a small ship, 207 feet (63 m) long and 34 feet (10.3 m) across the beam, with three masts. She was relatively fast for the time at about ten knots. She had paddle wheels and her two-cylinder side-valve engine (from
Robert Napier) had an output of about 740 i.h.p. She had a displacement of 1,154 tons. She was capable of carrying 115 passengers with a crew of 82.Lavery, Brian. "SHIP: The Epic Story of Maritime Adventure", p. 209. "DK Publishing" 2004.] .
On her maiden voyage, on July 4, 1840, she made Halifax, Nova Scotia from
Liverpool, Englandin 12 days and 10 hours. Her homeward run was made in just 10 days at an average speed of convert|10|kn|km/h.Bernard Dumpleton, “The Story of the Paddle Steamer”, 1973, The Uffington Press, ISBN 0854750576]
She was joined by her sister ship "Acadia" in August 1840, by "Caledonia" in October 1840 and by Columbia in January 1841. All four ships could carry 115 passengers and 225 tons of cargo. The dining saloon was a long deck-house placed on the upper deck and there was also a 'ladies only' saloon. The fare to Halifax was 35
guineas, which included wines and spirits as well as food.
In January 1842 Charles Dickens traveled to the United States on Britannia. He was seasick for most of the voyage and returned home on a sailing ship. [ [http://www.maritimequest.com/side_wheel/britannia_1840/britannia_1840.htm MaritimeQuest- SS Britannia / Barbarossa] ]
As "Barbarossa" in German service
In March 1849 she was sold by Cunard to the
German ConfederationNavy and was renamed SMS Barbarossa. She had nine guns fitted, and was the flagship of the Reichsflotteunder Karl Rudolf Brommyin the Battle of Heligoland (1849). In June 1852 she was transferred to the PrussianNavy and used as a barracks ship at Danzig. In May 1880 she was decommissioned from the Prussian Navy and in July 1880 she was sunk as a target ship. [ [http://www.maritimequest.com/side_wheel/britannia_1840/britannia_1840.htm MaritimeQuest- SS Britannia / Barbarossa ] ]
Film depiction of RMS Britannia
The funding and first crossing of the Britannia were key plot plot elements in a
Warner Brothersfilm released in 1941 as " Atlantic Ferry" in the U.K., and "Sons of the Sea" in the U.S.
*SMS Barbarossa http://www.janmaat.de/m_dfbarbarossa.htm
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