Category Archives: Blue Riband liners

Design and construction

Cover for Normandie book Volume 2A hardback book covering in great detail the design, construction, launch and trials of French Line’s historic liner Normandie.

The first volume in this monumental five-part series, it covers the conception, design, construction and trials of Normandie. French Line’s flagship from the mid-1930s, her interiors were an Art Deco masterpiece. However, it was Yorkevitch’s hull design that was to prove the breakthrough in marine engineering, and is the basis for most liner hulls today and ensured her place in maritime history.

CGT’s early history and design of Normandie

This volume covers the early history of CGT (French Line) and their earlier vessels. It then explains the reasons behind the design and building of the ship. It also examines the need for a new hull design, the best method of propulsion and the new slip and drydock needed to accommodate the vessel. From keel laying to trials, all aspects of Normandie‘s construction are covered. This volume also covers engineering and crew areas. 

Other books in this series cover the Art Deco interiors, the maiden season winning the Blue Riband on the North Atlantic, the following years of service and then the fire and salvage.

A marvellous resource (the full Normandie set) – I wish this had been available years ago! John Maxtone-Graham

Your Normandie books hold a revered space on my bookshelf. Mario Pulice

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126 pages with 550 photographs. £38.00 plus shipping



Germany’s speed queens

Cover for Bremen and Europa bookA hardback book covering the design, construction and service of Norddeutscher Llloyd’s renowned speed queens, Bremen and Europa.

The story of these two historic liners comes to life in this meticulously researched and lavishly illustrated volume from  author J. Russell Willoughby. It includes nearly 300 photographs, many of which are previously unpublished

Born into a world of economic depression and political unrest, the NDL express liners Bremen and Europa were symbols of resilience in post-Great War Germany. At the time of their maiden voyages in 1929 and 1930 respectively, they were the fastest, most modern passenger ships yet built, and every day they seemed to make headlines around the globe. Both liners won the Blue Riband on their maiden voyages across the North Atlantic.

World War II

Their separate rôles in World War II are covered in detail. Bremen escaped from America but was later destroyed by fire. Europa was mainly used as an accommodation ship and was seized by the Allies after the war.

Post-war service of Europa

Europa‘s second life as French Line’s Liberté is well-documented and the book concludes with many fine examples of rare ephemera.

Out of Print

This edition is now out of print. The author has published a newer, much larger edition, which can be seen at:

This new edition is highly recommended, but is not sold by marpubs

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196 pages. £38.00 plus shipping




Cover for Legendary Liners bookThis book represents an eclectic choice – the author’s personal favourite historic, legendary liners. The hardest part was in deciding which liners to leave out!

There have been so many famous  liners since the late Victorian era. The development of reliable, economical engines and the inclusion of a second propeller meant that liners no longer needed to be equipped with sails and associated rigging.

Interiors became ever more luxurious, menus were more inventive, safety increasingly important. Hulls became ever larger, decks more numerous. More dining rooms were added, plus cafés, gymnasiums, winter gardens, swimming pools, libraries and many other facilities designed to help passengers make the best use of their time aboard.

Final selection of Legendary Liners

Ships have been chosen from many of the companies operating around the world. The result is this fascinating page-by-page account of the most famous liners from nearly 100 years of maritime history.

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162 pages. £38.00 plus shipping



Four-Funnelled Legends

Cover for German Greyhounds bookA hardback book covering the design, construction and service of the five German four-funnelled liners. These were known as the German Greyhounds: Kaiser Wilhelm der GrosseDeutschlandKronprinz WilhelmKaiser Wilhelm II and Kroprinzessin Cecilie.

The shipping line which held the Blue Riband speed record for the North Atlantic carried the most passengers – and made the most money. European aristocracy and the American élite wanted to be seen on the best, while emigrants wanted to travel on the largest and the safest.

Germany’s Blue Riband pinnacle

By the late 1880s the two main German companies, Hamburg-America and Norddeutscher Lloyd, had begun looking for ways to make a serious challenge on the lucrative North Atlantic trade. The rivalry between the two companies encouraged both to build ever larger and faster express liners.

German Greyhounds

The competition culminated in the five greyhounds – four-funnelled express liners that were to tear across the Atlantic in a blaze of smoke, steam and glory. This book covers these five famous liners as together they brought German shipping to the forefront of maritime technology and shipping history.

The book then follows each liner through the events of the Great War, service as troopships, reparations and their eventual demise.

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174 pages. £38.00 plus shipping