Built in 1893 as sister ship to Campania but just a shade faster Lucania took over the Blue Riband in 1897 and held onto it for nearly two years before finally succumbing to the mighty German giants.
The Lucania was launched on 2 February by the Chairman of Fairfields, Sir William Pearce MP. and on her maiden voyage on 2 September 1893 set the record crossing from Liverpool to New York. The two sister ships continued to set new speed records and remained unchallenged until 1898 when the German liner, Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse, took all the Atlantic records and the Blue Riband.
The Lucania continued to provide a highly efficient Liverpool to New York service for Cunard until 1909. Since the arrival of the Mauretania and Lusitania, however, the Lucania was becoming surplus to requirements and spent some time each year laid up at Liverpool. In 1909 it made only one voyage to New York before being laid up in the Huskisson Dock, Liverpool.
On 14 August 1909 a fire was discovered on board and by the time the fire brigade arrived the fire was out of control. By the early hours of the morning, with water still being pumped onto the ship, the Lucania took on a list. After being pulled upright by tugs it was towed to the middle of the dock and settled firmly in the mud. The blaze finally extinguished at noon.
The Lucania was seriously damaged and the only part of the ship still in tact was the engine-room bulkhead. Although there was still another two months until its next scheduled voyage it was decided, after inspection, that the damage was too great to make repairs a viable option. It was then sold to Thomas Ward, the shipbreakers, and soon sailed to Swansea to be broken up.
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