On 13th April 1877 White Star Line’s Germanic arrived at New York, having completed the crossing from Queenstown to Sandy Hook in 7 days 11 hours 37 minutes to set a new Blue Riband record. Her average speed over 2,830 miles was 15.76 knots. After a period in which the record had changed hands very frequently, this record was to stand for over 5 years, until Guion’s Alaska averaged 16.07 knots for a crossing on 16th April 1882.
Germanic had been launched as Yard Number 85 at Harland & Wolff’s Belfast yard. Externally identical to Britannic, she was fitted with conventional engines and propeller and not the dropped shaft tried and discarded on her sister. Handed over on 24th April 1874, she made her maiden crossing from Liverpool to New York on 20th May 1874. In July of that year she gained her first eastbound record and on 7th August 1874 gained her first westbound record. Over the following years she was rebuilt several times and changed owners. By 1950 she was being used as a floating hotel in Turkey, as Gulcemal, and was finally broken up later that year. Over 76 years of service – a tribute to the builders!