Definitions

Blue Riband

Blue Riband

For use of the related term "Blue Ribbon", see Blue ribbon (disambiguation).

The Blue Riband is the award received by the ship with the record for the fastest transatlantic crossing. The term is believed to have been derived from Cordon Bleu. The first steam-only powered crossing of the Atlantic was in 1838. The Blue Riband was a creation of the transatlantic shipping companies in the 1860s, for the publicity opportunities of possessing the fastest ship. There were separate awards for the fastest eastbound and westbound crossings. It was represented by a blue pennant flown from the topmast of the ship, until 1935 when Sir Harold Keates Hales (1868-1942), a British politician and owner of Hales Brothers shipping company, initiated a trophy.

The Hales Trophy is awarded on the basis of average speed, since the distance of transatlantic routes varies. Theoretically the endpoints could be any port in the Canadian Maritimes or the Eastern Seaboard of the United States in the west, and any port in Ireland, Britain, or western Europe in the east, but traditionally routings considered for transatlantic records tend to involve service to or from New York City. The last "superliner" to hold the trophy was SS United States, which set a time that was not beaten until 1990.

Holders of the Blue Riband

Some of the ships that held the record for the fastest crossing, including those recorded before the Blue Riband was instituted, with the date first achieved:

Westbound

Steamer Year Dates Line From To Nautical
Miles
Days, hours, minutes Knots
1838 4 April22 April B&A Cork Sandy Hook 3583 18 d, 14 h, 22 m 8.03
1838 8 April23 April GW Avonmouth New York 3220 15 d, 12 h, 0 m 8.66
1838 2 June17 June GW Avonmouth New York 3140 14 d, 16 h, 0 m 8.92
1839 18 May31 May GW Avonmouth New York 3086 13 d, 12 h, 0 m 9.52
1841 4 June15 June Cunard Liverpool Halifax (2534) 10 d, 19 h, 0 m (9.78)
1843 29 April11 May GW Liverpool New York 3068 12 d, 18 h, 0 m 10.03
Cambria 1845 19 July29 July Cunard Liverpool Halifax (2534) 9 d, 20 h, 30 m (10.71)
America 1848 3 June12 June Cunard Liverpool Halifax (2534) 9 d, 0 h, 16 m (11.71)
Europa 1848 14 October23 October Cunard Liverpool Halifax (2534) 8 d, 23 h, 0 m (11.79)
Asia 1850 18 May27 May Cunard Liverpool Halifax (2534) 8 d, 14 h, 50 m (12.25)
Pacific 1850 11 September21 September Collins Liverpool New York (3050) 10 d, 4 h, 45 m (12.46)
Baltic 1851 6 August16 August Collins Liverpool New York 3039 9 d, 19 h, 26 m 12.91
Baltic 1854 28 June7 July Collins Liverpool New York 3037 9 d, 16 h, 52 m 13.04
Persia 1856 19 April29 April Cunard Liverpool Sandy Hook (3045) 9 d, 16 h, 16 m (13.11)
Scotia 1863 19 July27 July Cunard Queenstown New York (2820) 8 d, 3 h, 0 m (14.46)
1872 17 May25 May W.Star Queenstown Sandy Hook 2778 7 d, 23 h, 17 m 14.53
1875 30 July7 August W.Star Queenstown Sandy Hook 2800 7 d, 23 h, 7 m 14.65
City Of Berlin 1875 17 September25 September Inman Queenstown Sandy Bank 2829 7 d, 18 h, 2 m 15.21
1876 27 October4 November W.Star Queenstown Sandy Hook 2795 7 d, 13 h, 11 m 15.43
1877 6 April13 April W.Star Queenstown Sandy Hook 2830 7 d, 11 h, 37 m 15.76
Alaska 1882 9 April16 April Guion Queenstown Sandy Hook 2802 7 d, 6 h, 20 m 16.07
Alaska 1882 14 May21 May Guion Queenstown Sandy Hook 2871 7 d, 4 h, 12 m 16.67
Alaska 1882 18 June25 June Guion Queenstown Sandy Hook 2886 7 d, 1 h, 58 m 16.98
Alaska 1883 29 April6 May Guion Queenstown Sandy Hook 2844 6 d, 23 h, 48 m 17.05
Oregon 1884 13 April19 April Guion Queenstown Sandy Hook 2861 6 d, 10 h, 10 m 18.56
1885 16 August22 August Cunard Queenstown Sandy Hook 2801 6 d, 5 h, 31 m 18.73
1887 29 May4 June Cunard Queenstown Sandy Hook 2848 6 d, 4 h, 12 m 19.22
1888 27 May2 June Cunard Queenstown Sandy Hook 2854 6 d, 1 h, 55 m 19.56
1889 2 May8 May I&I Queenstown Sandy Hook 2855 5 d, 23 h, 7 m 19.95
1889 22 August28 August I&I Queenstown Sandy Hook 2788 5 d, 19 h, 18 m 20.01
1891 30 July5 August W.Star Queenstown Sandy Hook 2777 5 d, 18 h, 8 m 20.10
1891 13 August19 August W.Star Queenstown Sandy Hook 2778 5 d, 16 h, 31 m 20.35
1892 20 July27 July I&I Queenstown Sandy Book 2785 5 d, 15 h, 58 m 20.48
1892 13 October18 October I&I Queenstown Sandy Hook 2782 5 d, 14 h, 24 m 20.70
1893 18 June23 June Cunard Queenstown Sandy Hook 2864 5 d, 15 h, 37 m 21.12
1894 12 August17 August Cunard Queenstown Sandy Hook 2776 5 d, 9 h, 29 m 21.44
1894 26 August31 August Cunard Queenstown Sandy Hook 2787 5 d, 8 h, 38 m 21.65
1894 23 September28 September Cunard Queenstown Sandy Hook 2782 5 d, 7 h, 48 m 21.75
1894 21 October26 October Cunard Queenstown Sandy Hook 2779 5 d, 7 h, 23 m 21.81
1898 30 March3 April NDL Needles Sandy Hook 3120 5 d, 20 h, 0 m 22.29
1900 6 July12 July Hapag Eddystone Sandy Hook 3044 5 d, 15 h, 46 m 22.42
1900 26 August1 September Hapag Cherbourg Sandy Hook 3050 5 d, 12 h, 29 m 23.02
1901 26 July1 August Hapag Cherbourg Sandy Hook 3141 5 d, 16 h, 12 m 23.06
Kronprinz Wilhelm 1902 10 September16 September NDL Cherbourg Sandy Hook 3047 5 d, 11 h, 57 m 23.09
1903 2 September8 September Hapag Cherbourg Sandy Hook 3054 5 d, 11 h, 54 m 23.15
1907 6 October10 October Cunard Queenstown Sandy Hook 2780 4 d, 19 h, 52 m 23.99
1908 17 May21 May Cunard Queenstown Sandy Hook 2889 4 d, 20 h, 22 m 24.83
1908 5 July10 July Cunard Queenstown Sandy Hook 2891 4 d, 19 h, 36 m 25.01
1909 8 August12 August Cunard Queenstown Ambrose 2890 4 d, 16 h, 40 m 25.65
1909 26 September30 September Cunard Queenstown Ambrose 2784 4 d, 10 h, 51 m 26.06
1929 17 July22 July NDL Cherbourg Ambrose 3164 4 d, 17 h, 42 m 27.83
1930 20 March25 March NDL Cherbourg Ambrose 3157 4 d, 17 h, 6 m 27.91
1933 27 June2 July NDL Cherbourg Ambrose 3149 4 d, 16 h, 48 m 27.92
1933 11 August16 August Italian Gibraltar Ambrose 3181 4 d, 13 h, 58 m 28.92
1935 30 May3 June CGT Bishop Rock Ambrose 2971 4 d, 3 h, 2 m 29.98
1936 20 August24 August C-WS Bishop Rock Ambrose 2907 4 d, 0 h, 27 m 30.14
1937 29 July2 August CGT Bishop Rock Ambrose 2906 3 d, 23 h, 2 m 30.58
1938 4 August8 August C-WS Bishop Rock Ambrose 2907 3 d, 21 h, 48 m 30.99
1952 11 July15 July USL Bishop Rock Ambrose 2906 3 d, 12 h, 12 m 34.51

Eastbound

Steamer Year Dates Line From To Nautical
Miles
Days, hours, minutes Knots
1838 1 May19 May B&A New York Falmouth (3159) (18/0/0) (7.31)
1838 7 May22 May GW New York Avonmouth 3218 14 d, 15 h, 59 m 9.14
1838 25 June8 July GW New York Avonmouth 3099 12 d, 16 h, 34 m 10.17
1840 4 August14 August Cunard Halifax Liverpool (2610) 9 d, 21 h, 44 m (10.98)
1842 28 April11 May GW New York Liverpool 3248 12 d, 7 h, 30 m 10.99
Columbia 1843 4 April14 April Cunard Halifax Liverpool (2534) 9 d, 12 h, 0 m (11.11)
Hibernia 1843 18 May27 May Cunard Halifax Liverpool (2534) 9 d, 10 h, 44 m (11.18)
Hibernia 1843 18 July27 July Cunard Halifax Liverpool (2534) 8 d, 22 h, 44 m (11.80)
Canada 1849 19 July28 July Cunard Halifax Liverpool (2534) 8 d, 12 h, 44 m (12.38)
Pacific 1851 10 May20 May Collins New York Liverpool (3078) 9 d, 20 h, 14 m (13.03)
Arctic 1852 7 February17 February Collins New York Liverpool 3051 9 d, 17 h, 15 m 13.06
Persia 1856 2 April12 April Cunard Sandy Hook Liverpool (3048) 9 d, 10 h, 22 m (13.46)
Persia 1856 14 May23 May Cunard Sandy Hook Liverpool (3048) 9 d, 3 h, 24 m (13.89)
Persia 1856 6 August15 August Cunard Sandy Hook Liverpool (3046) 8 d, 23 h, 19 m (14.15)
Scotia 1863 16 December24 December Cunard New York Queenstown (2800) 8 d, 5 h, 42 m (14.16)
City of Brussels 1869 4 December12 December Inman Sandy Hook Queenstown (2780) 7 d, 20 h, 33 m (14.74)
1873 11 January19 January W.Star Sandy Hook Queenstown 2840 7 d, 20 h, 9 m 15.09
City of Berlin 1875 2 October10 October Inman Sandy Hook Queenstown 2820 7 d, 15 h, 28 m 15.37
1876 5 February13 February W.Star Sandy Hook Queenstown 2894 7 d, 15 h, 17 m 15.79
1876 16 December24 December W.Star Sandy Hook Queenstown 2892 7 d, 12 h, 41 m 15.94
1879 22 July29 July Guion Sandy Hook Queenstown 2810 7 d, 8 h, 11 m 15.96
Alaska 1882 30 May6 June Guion Sandy Hook Queenstown (2791) 6 d, 22 h, 0 m (16.81)
Alaska 1882 12 September19 September Guion Sandy Hook Queenstown 2781 6 d, 18 h, 37 m 17.10
Oregon 1884 29 March5 April Guion Sandy Hook Queenstown 2916 7 d, 2 h, 18 m 17.12
Oregon 1884 26 April3 May Guion Sandy Hook Queenstown 291 6 d, 16 h, 57 m 18.09
Oregon 1884 30 July6 August Cunard Sandy Hook Queenstown 2853 6 d, 12 h, 54 m 18.18
Oregon 1884 3 September10 September Cunard Sandy Hook Queenstown 2853 6 d, 11 h, 9 m 18.39
1885 1 August7 August Cunard Sandy Hook Queenstown 2822 6 d, 9 h, 0 m 18.44
1888 7 July14 July Cunard Sandy Hook Queenstown 2981 6 d, 4 h, 50 m 19.36
1889 15 May22 May I&I Sandy Hook Queenstown 2894 6 d, 0 h, 29 m 20.03
1892 17 August23 August I&I Sandy Hook Queenstown 2814 5 d, 19 h, 57 m 20.11
1893 6 May12 May Cunard Sandy Hook Queenstown 2928 5 d, 17 h, 27 m 21.30
1894 6 May12 May Cunard Sandy Hook Queenstown 2911 3 d, 13 h, 28 m 21.81
1894 2 June8 June Cunard Sandy Hook Queenstown 2911 5 d, 12 h, 59 m 21.90
1895 18 May24 May Cunard Sandy Hook Queenstown 2897 5 d, 11 h, 40 m 22.00
1897 23 November29 November NDL Sandy Hook Needles 3065 5 d, 17 h, 23 m 22.33
1900 18 July24 July Hapag Sandy Hook Eddystone 3085 5 d, 15 h, 5 m 22.84
1900 4 September10 September Hapag Sandy Hook Eddystone 2981 5 d, 7 h, 38 m 23.36
1901 13 June19 June Hapag Sandy Hook Eddystone 3083 5 d, 11 h, 51 m 23.38
1901 10 July17 July Hapag Sandy Hook Eddystone 3082 5 d, 11 h, 5 m 23.51
1904 14 June20 June NDL Sandy Hook Eddystone 3112 5 d, 11 h, 58 m 23.58
1907 19 October24 October Cunard Sandy Hook Queenstown 2807 4 d, 22 h, 53 m 23.61
1907 30 November5 December Cunard Beady Hook Queenstown 2807 4 d, 22 h, 33 m 23.69
1908 25 January30 January Cunard Sandy Hook Queenstown 2932 5 d, 2 h, 41 m 23.90
1908 7 March12 March Cunard Sandy Hook Queenstown 2932 5 d, 0 h, 5 m 24.42
1909 3 February8 February Cunard Ambrose Queenstown, 2930 4 d, 20 h, 27 m 25.16
1909 17 March22 March Cunard Ambrose Queenstown 2934 4 d, 18 h, 35 m 25.61
1909 5 May10 May Cunard Ambrose Queenstown 2934 4 d, 18 h, 11 m 25.70
1909 16 June21 June Cunard Ambrose Queenstown 2933 4 d, 17 h, 21 m 25.88
1924 20 August25 August Cunard Ambrose Cherbourg 3198 5 d, 1 h, 49 m 26.25
1929 27 July1 August NDL Ambrose Eddystone 3084 4 d, 14 h, 30 m 27.91
1933 10 June15 June NDL Ambrose Cherbourg 3199 4 d, 16 h, 15 m 28.51
1935 7 June11 June CGT Ambrose Bishop Rock 3015 4 d, 3 h, 25 m 30.31
1936 26 August30 August C-WS Ambrose Bishop Rock 2939 3 d, 23 h, 57 m 30.63
1937 18 March22 March CGT Ambrose Bishop Rock 2967 4 d, 0 h, 6 m 30.99
1937 4 August8 August CGT Ambrose Bishop Rock 2936 3 d, 22 h, 7 m 31.20
1938 10 August14 August C-WS Ambrose Bishop Rock 2938 3 d, 20 h, 42 m 31.69
1952 3 July7 July USL Ambrose Bishop Rock 2942 3 d, 10 h, 40 m 35.59
Hoverspeed Great Britain 1990 23 June Aegean Speedlines 3 d, 7 h, 54 m 36.6
Catalonia 1998 9 June Buquebus Manhattan Tarifa, Spain 3125 3 d, 9 h, 40 m 38.9
Cat-Link V (or today Fjord Cat) 1998 20 July Master Ferries 2 d, 20 h, 9 m 41.3

References and links

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