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Steamship Lines Handling Passenger Traffic On The North Atlantic Between British, US and Canadian Ports (1877)

Fifteen lines of steamships are at present engaged in the passenger traffic of the North Atlantic, between British and United States and Canadian ports, constituting what may well be called an " Ocean Ferry." Arranged alphabetically, these Companies and lines are popularly known under the following titles:

  1. ALLAN
  7. GUION
  8. INMAN
  11. STATE
  13. TRANSATLANTIC (French Line)
  15. WILSON

Of these, five sail from Liverpool to New York, viz , Cunard, Guinn, Inman, National, and White Star ; two from London to New York, viz., the Anchor and National ; two from Glasgow to New York, viz., the Anchor and State ; one from Glasgow to Quebec during the summer months, and one to Portland via Halifax during the winter months, the Allan ; one from Southampton to New York, the North German Lloyd, and one to Baltimore by the same Company ; one from Bristol to New York, viz., the Great Western ; and one from Hull to New York, viz., the Wilson.

Thus New York may be reached direct by one or other of these lines from Liverpool, London, Glasgow, Southampton, Plymouth, Bristol, or Hull. Philadelphia has direct weekly communication with Liverpool by the steamers of the American line, and fortnightly via Halifax by those of the " Dominion " line. Boston is reached from the same port by the Cunard steamers.

To Quebec the Allan and Dominion lines despatch steamers during the summer months ; the former weekly, the latter fortnightly. During the winter months—November to April—the Allan steamers run to Portland, Me., touching at Halifax, N.S., from which ports connection is made with Quebec and Montreal, via Island Pond and Richmond, by the Grand Trunk Railway, and via Truro and Rivière du Loup by the Inter-Colonial Railway.

To Baltimore the North German Lloyd Company despatch a steamer alternate Saturdays--and there is a fortnightly service via Halifax by the Allan line to the same port, while to Norfolk, Va., and New Orleans, there is an occasional boat despatched to meet the requirements of travel and traffic in that section of the Union. To the latter port the Dominion Company despatch a steamer every ten days during the winter months.

Arranged in the order of sailing, it will be seen that there is one or more steamers every day in the week except Monday.

Thus, on Tuesday, the Cunard steamers leave Liverpool for Boston, the North German Lloyd for New York, and the Allan steamer for Quebec.

On Wednesday, National and Guion steamers leave Liverpool for New York, the American for Philadelphia, and the Dominion steamer for Quebec.

Thursday's sailings comprise three departures, viz., the Inman and White Star for New York ; Allan for Portland, via Halifax, or Quebec weekly, and for Baltimore via Halifax fortnightly.

On Friday, there are two steamers for New York, viz., the State Line from Glasgow, and the Hull (Wilson) steamer from Southampton.

Saturday is, however, the heavy day for Atlantic going steamers, no less than four taking their departure on that day ; the list includes, the Cunard from Liverpool, the Anchor from London, and the Anchor from Glasgow to New York, and the North German Lloyd from Southampton to Baltimore.

On Sunday there is but one boat leaving for America, and that is the French Transatlantic steamer from Plymouth for New York. Monday, as already observed, is without a regular sailing from any port.

Beside the foreign lines above mentioned, viz., the Transatlantic (French Line) and German Lloyd, four other Companies despatch steamers from continental ports direct to New York, by which passages may be secured according to the taste or necessity of the traveller. These are the " Hamburg American " from Hamburg and Havre, via Plymouth, the " Netherland American " from Rotterdam, and the " Red Star " and " White Cross " lines from Antwerp.

The voyage out between each of the ports referred to has been too often described to require notice in these pages. All the boats leaving Liverpool have hitherto called at Queenstown Harbour to receive passengers or mails ; but owing to recent changes in the postal service, many steamers now proceed to New York direct.

White Star Line Steamer, Britannic, Outward Bound - 1877 Illustration


Those sailing from Glasgow call at Belfast or Derry : while those from London, Southampton, and Plymouth, with rare exceptions, proceed direct to their several destinations. The passage between Queenstown and New York in the " crack " boats of the respective lines is usually made inside of nine days, and not unfrequently in eight days.

The " White Star " steamer Britannic has just made the run from Queenstown to Sandy Hook in seven and a half days—a passage thus far, we believe, without parallel in the annals of the North Atlantic Steam Service.

Passages from London, Glasgow, and other ports, except in the case of fast steamers, occupy from one day to even three and sometimes, though rarely, four days longer.

Port to Port - Length of Transatlantic Voyages (In days)

The average time all round for winter and summer running from port to port will be found not far from eleven days. With comparatively rare exceptions, the boats belonging to the various lines engaged in the passenger service between the two countries are splendidly built, powerfully engined, efficiently officered, well manned, and thoroughly trustworthy vessels. They are equipped with all the latest improvements and best approved appliances known to modern shipbuilding and engineering art, and are replete with every requirement and well nigh every comfort compatible with the character and exigencies of the service.

Very many of the newer boats are even luxuriously appointed, and well merit the title frequently applied to them of " Floating Palaces " To obviate the risk of collision, and ensure, as far as practicable, exemption from the ordinary dangers of navigation, steam "lane" routes are now generally followed by the best steamship lines, both on the outward and homeward voyages.

The White Star steamers follow those laid down by and generally known as Lieutenant Maury's, U.S.N. Long Island is usually the first land sighted in approaching New York harbour, and once inside Sandy Hook, and across the bar, the steamer, unless detained in quarantine, is soon alongside her dock in the Hudson or North River, or safely moored in mid-stream. Passengers' luggage (baggage) is examined on the wharf, and not on board the steamer, as is the custom in Liverpool and other British ports.

For further particulars in regard to the North Atlantic lines and the steam service generally between British and Continental and American ports the reader is referred to the appendix, and to the official advertisements of the Steamship Companies themselves, to be found at the end of the book.



  1. "ALLAN" Line to QUEBEC.
    Regular mail steamer every Thursday of each week from April to November, calling at Londonderry on Fridays.
    From QUEBEC every Saturday during the season.
    To PORTLAND, U.S., via Halifax, N.S. Every Thursday from November to April, calling at Londonderry on Friday.
  2. "ALLAN" Line to BALTIMORE, via Halifax.
    Alternate Tuesdays, calling at Queenstown following day. Returning via, Halifax every alternate Tuesday.
    London Office, 17, Gracechurch Street. Montgomerie and Greenhorne.
    Liverpool Office, Alexandra Buildings, James Street. Allan Bros. and Co.
    Glasgow Office, 70, Great Clyde Street. J. and A. Allan, with Branches in Queenstown, Londonderry, Montreal, Halifax, Portland, etc.
    every Wednesday, calling at QUEENSTOWN following day.
    From PHILADELPHIA every Thursday, calling at Queens. town.
    London Office, 19-21, Queen Victoria Street, E.C. Charles Boyd, agent.
    Liverpool Office, 17-19, Water Street. Richardson, Spence, and Co. Branches in Manchester, Glasgow, Belfast, etc.
    Philadelphia Office, 307, Walnut Street. Peter Wright and Sons.
  4. " CUNARD " steamers to NEW YORK
    every Saturday, calling at QUEENSTOWN on Sunday.
    From NEW YORK every Wednesday, calling at QUEENSTOWN.
  5. " CUNARD " Steamers to BOSTON
    every Thursday, calling at QUEENSTOWN on Friday.
    From BOSTON, via Queenstown, every Saturday.
    London Office, Win. Cunard, 6, St. Helen's Place, Bishops-gate Street, E.C.
    Liverpool Office, 8, Water Street. D. and C. Mac Iver. Glasgow Office, 30, Jamaica Street. G. and J. Burns,
    Branches in Queenstown, Belfast, Boston, Halifax, &c. New York Office, 6, Bowling Green.
    alternate Wednesdays from April to November, calling at Belfast, Thursday.
    To HALIFAX and PHILADELPHIA fortnightly, as advertised. To New ORLEANS every ten days, as advertised, during the winter months.
    Liverpool Office, 24, James Street. Flinn, Main, and Montgomery, agents.
    Belfast Office, Henry Gowan, Queen's Square.
  7. " GUION " Line to NEW YORK
    every Wednesday: from QUEENSTOWN every Thursday.
    From NEW YORK every Tuesday.
    Liverpool Office, 25, Water Street.
    London Office, 101, Bishopsgate Street.
    New York Office, 63, Wall Street, and 29, Broadway.
  8. " INMAN " Line to NEW YORK
    every Thursday, calling at Queenstown the following day.
    From. NEW YORK every Saturday.
    Liverpool Office, 22, Water Street.
    London, Office, 61, King William Street, E.C. Eives and Allen.
    New York Office, 15, Broadway.
    Queenstown Office, Seymour and Co.
  9. "NATIONAL " Line to New YORK
    every Wednesday, calling at Queenstown the following day.
    From New YORK every Saturday.
    Liverpool Office, 23, Water Street.
    London Office, 55, Gracechurch Street, E.C. Mosses and Mitchell.
    New York Office, 68, Broadway. W. F. J. Hurst.
  10. " WHITE STAR" Line to New YORK
    every Thursday, calling at Queenstown the following day.
    From NEW YORK (pier 52, foot of W. 10th Street) every Saturday to LIVERPOOL, calling at Queenstown.
    Liverpool Office, 10, Water Street. Ismay, Imrie, and Co. (See adv. p. x.)
    London Office, 34, Leadenhall Street, E.C. Ismay, Imrie, and Co.
    New York Office, 37, Broadway. R. J. Cortis.
    Queenstown Office, J. Scott and Co.


  1. " ANCHOR " Line to NEW YORK
    direct, every Saturday.
    Landon Offices, Henderson Bros., 19, Leadenhall Street ; and Gillespie Bros. and Co., 14, Waterloo Place, Pall Mall.
    New York Office, 7, Bowling Green.
  2. "NATIONAL" Line to NEW YORK
    tri-monthly, on Wednesday and Saturday.
    From QUEENSTOWN following day.
    London Office, Mosses and Mitchell, 55, Gracechurch Street ; or W. S. Rowland and Co., 57, Charing Cross.
    fortnightly during the season, calling at Plymouth.
    London Office, Temperley, Carter, & Drake, 21, Billiter Street, E.C.
    Liverpool Office, Thos. Meadows & Co., 60 and 61, The Albany, Oldhall Street.


  1. "ALLAN " Line to QUEBEC and MONTREAL
    every Tuesday from April to November, calling at Belfast the day following.
    Montreal Office, H. and A. Allan.
    London Office, Montgomerie and Greenhorne, 17, Grace-church Street.
    Liverpool Office, Alexandra Buildings, James Street.
  2. " ANCHOR " Line to NEW YORK, via Moville,
    every Saturday, calling at Motile the day following.
    Front NEW YORK every Saturday for Glasgow via Moville.
    Henderson Brothers, 45, Union Street, Glasgow ; 17, Water Street, Liverpool.
    New York Office, 7, Bowling Green.
    London Office, 19, Leadenhall Street, E.C.
  3. " STATE " Line to NEW YORK
    on alternate Fridays, calling at Belfast the day following.
    From NEW YORK alternate Thursdays.
    Glasgow Office, Allan C. Gow and Co., 65, Great Clyde Street.
    New York Office, Austin Baldwin and Co., 72, Broadway.
  4. " TRANSATLANTIC " (French Line) to NEW YORK
    direct, every Saturday, from Plymouth, Sunday. From NEW YORK every Saturday.
    London Office, Chamot and Capel, 65, Gracechurch Street, corner of Fenchurch Street, E.C. West End, Freeman, Brothers, 300, Regent Street. (See adv. p. xiii.) Paris Office, 4, Rue de la Pair.
    Havre Office, M. Paulin Vial, Quai d'Orleans, 35.
    New York Office, Louis de Bébian, 55, Broadway. Plymouth Office, Luscombe, Bellamy, and Co.


    direct, every Tuesday.
    To BALTIMORE every alternate Saturday.
    From NEW YORK every Saturday.
    London Office, Keller, Wallis, and Postlethwaite, 16 and 17, King William Street, E.C.
    New York Office, Oelrichs and Co., 2, Bowling Green.


    direct, fortnightly. Bristol Office, Grove, Queen Square.
    New York Office, W. D. Morgan and Co., 70, South Street.


  1. "WILSON" Line to NEW YORK,
    alternate Wednesdays, calling at Southampton on the following Friday.
    From NEW YORK alternate Saturdays to Hull via Southampton.
    Hull Office, T. Wilson, Sons, and Co.
    London Office, W. E. Bott and Co., 10, Mark Lane.
    Southampton Office, G. Dunlop and Co.
    New York Office, C. L. Wright and Co., 56, South Street.

For rates of fare and othar special particulars in regard to the following services, see the several Steamship Companies' official advertisements at the end of the book.

Source: The Picturesque Tourist: A Handy Guide Round the World. For the use of all travellers between Europe, America, Australia, New Zealand, India, China, and Japan Across the American Continent. London, Hamilton, Adams and Co. 1877

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