The Mauretania entered service a few months after her sister, Lusitania, starting her maiden voyage on November 16, 1907, and battling her way across the Atlantic through frightful seas.
During her career, she proved to be slightly faster than the Lusitania; she was also slightly longer (790 feet instead of 787) and larger (31,938 tons instead of 31,550.47). During their career together, the Lusitania seems to have proved to be the more popular liner, but her life was cut short in 1915, whereas the Mauretania survived unscathed after service as a hospital ship and a troopship.
The first post-war voyage of the Mauretania came on March 6, 1920, from Southampton instead of Liverpool, her pre-war English terminus. She continued to sail from Southampton for the remainder of her career, and could frequently be seen in company with other legendary liners of the day: Majestic, Berengaria, Olympic, Leviathan and many others.
She remained the holder of the Blue Riband through the 1920's; although for a time there was some concern that she could lose the speed record to the Leviathan, the U.S. Line vessel did not, in point of fact, never exceed the Mauretania's average speed for an entire crossing.
In 1929, the Mauretania finally lost the Blue Riband to the German liner Bremen. With the onset of the Depression, and her own advancing age, the ship began to make a series of pleasure cruises. For this guise the ship was painted white. She was eventually laid up in late September of 1934. She was subsequently sold for scrap, ending the career of one of the most historic and remarkable Atlantic liners in history.
The Mauretania's fitting out nears completion. She will soon enter service with her sister, the Lusitania. ~ Author's Collection
The Mauretania at the Liverpool landing stage.~ Author's Collection.
A stern view of the Mauretania at the Liverpool landing stage.~ Author's Collection.
This photograph of the Mauretania's Forecastle Deck gives a good impression of what life on board was like. ~ Author's Collection.
The Mauretania at sea. From a painting by Mitchell. ~ Author's Collection.
A starboard profile of the Mauretania, most likely from after the First World War. ~ Author's Collection.
A beautiful colorized image of the Lusitania tied up to the Liverpool Landing Stage. ~ Author's Collection.
The Mauretania is maneuvered through the tight quarters of harbor by a flotilla of tugboats. This photograph was from late in the ship's career, but was taken before she was painted white for cruising. ~ Author's Collection.
The Mauretania in Cherbourg during the 1920's. This color postcard view has become iconic of the legendary liner. ~ Author's Collection.
An early color view of the Mauretania. ~ Author's Collection.
The Lusitania (left) and Mauretania (right) pass in the Mersey. ~ Author's Collection.
A ca. 1920's view showing the Aquitania (center) docked in Southampton, with the Mauretania at her bow (right) and the Olympic just visible (left), on the opposite side of Ocean Dock. ~ Author's Collection