The RMS Britannia was an ocean liner of the British and North American Royal Mail Steam Packet Company, later known as Cunard Steamship Company. She was launched on 5 February 1840, at the yard of Robert Duncan & Company in Greenock, Scotland. The ship and her sisters, Acadia, Caledonia, and Columbia, were the first ocean liners built by the company.
was a large ship for the period, 207 feet (63 m) long and 34 feet (10.3 m) across the beam, with three masts. She had paddle wheels and her two-cylinder side-lever
engine (from Robert Napier
) had a power output of about 740 indicated horsepower
. She was relatively fast for the time: her usual speed was about , but she could do better if the winds and currents were favourable. She had a tonnage
, or carrying capacity, of 1,154 tons (by the Builder's Old Measurement
). She was capable of carrying 115 passengers with a crew of 82.Lavery, Brian. "SHIP: The Epic Story of Maritime Adventure", p. 209. DK Publishing
On her maiden voyage, starting on 4 July 1840, she made Halifax, Nova Scotia
from Liverpool, England
in 12 days and 10 hours, continuing on to Boston, Massachusetts
. Her first homeward run from Halifax to Liverpool was made in just under 10 days at an average speed of about , setting a new eastbound record
which lasted until 1842.
She was joined by her sister ship Acadia
in August 1840, by Caledonia
in... Read More