After the war, both liners received extensive reconditioning before returning to service. At a cost of three quarters of a million dollars, the reconditioning in 1919 saw the removal of many small cabin class—the popular name for first class after the war—accommodations. Groups of six rooms were knocked into two or three, and the newly rebuilt and more spacious accommodations allowed for the installation of bedsteads instead of the traditional berths. Additionally, hot and cold running water was introduced in all cabin class rooms. In an era that would see a radical alteration in the interior design of ocean liners, company executives were keen to point out the ships did not mimic the décor of the “Age of Innocence.” Instead, advertisements highlighted the rebuild by stating each ship was “brightly, efficiently, and completely contemporary.”

Returning to service in 1920, the ships benefited from Cunard’s famed onboard service, and the sisters became tremendously popular on the “Cunard Cabin Channel Service” route, traveling from New York to Plymouth, Havre and London. The service conveniently served the booming American tourist trade by stopping at all major Channel ports. The sisters were eventually supplemented in their run by the “debutante sisters to the Grand Dames of the Atlantic,” Lancastria and Tuscania. Company advertisements made much fanfare in proclaiming the ships to be “THE FASTEST WEEKLY CABIN SERVICE AFLOAT” and enthusiastically stated passengers were traveling in “the polished days of travel.”

After the introduction of newer and more contemporary liners on the North Atlantic trade in the late twenties, Caronia and Carmania once again underwent refits to allow the ships to accommodate winter cruising duties from New York to Havana and the Caribbean. The ships proved popular on the run, but by 1931 competition from more contemporary liners and the gripping effects of the worldwide depression lead to the decision withdraw the sisters from service. In 1932 both Caronia and Carmania were sold for scrap, ending the history of the famed liners.

Page 3

HTML layout and design by Bryan R. Guinn. All images, except where noted, are from the private collection of Bryan R. Guinn. Bibliographical information on text available here. No unauthorized reproduction.