Browse The Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives Home Page

Port of Cobh, Ireland

Ocean Liner at Queenstown circa 1905.

Ocean Liner at Queenstown circa 1905. GGA Image ID # 144594521a

Abandoning Queenstown (1913)

The White Star liner Olympic sailed from Queenstown on Sept. 25 without taking on board 200 passengers and 1,500 sacks of mail waiting to be shipped to New York. Of course the passengers immediately held an indignation meeting and were loud in their denunciation of the treatment meted out to them and telegrams full of fire were sent to the White Star company.

Now, if these passengers would stop and think for a moment, the last thing in the world the White Star Line or any other steamship company would do would be to discommode its passengers, and especially such a distinguished lot of passengers as were waiting at Queenstown.

The fact of the matter is that the harbor of Queenstown is no safe place for the giant liners which have been created during the past few years and it would be a mighty foolish undertaking for the steamship company to risk so valuable a piece of property as the Olympic in such a dangerous waterway.

The company did all that it could in the premises. The Olympic anchored in the roadstead outside of the harbor, but the masters of the tenders conveying the passengers considered the heavy swell too dangerous to attempt to put them the smoother water inside of Roches Point.

The captain of the Olympic declined to follow them into aboard the steamer and turned around and made for the harbor but he waited outside until the tenders had returned to Queenstown and disembarked their passengers.

The White Star Line, in doing what it did, did only what was prudent, and the passengers suffered no material delay as the Adriatic was sent for them the next day.

In this policy the White Star Line is simply following the lead of the Cunard Steamship Co., which has definitely abandoned Queenstown as a port of call for its express steamers Lusitania and Mauretania, notwithstanding the fact that it had a contract with the British postal service to call there regularly for the mails.

The matter was gone into pretty thoroughly by the Board of Trade and the nautical adviser of the post office department, and it was the conclusion that it was hazardous even in fine weather for these steamers to proceed into the harbor at any time near low water and that it was almost impossible to select a spot in which they could swing clear of shallow water at single anchor.

Obviously, the gravity of the situation would be greatly enhanced in heavy weather. The circumstances that caused the Cunard Co. to realize that they were taking an unwarrantable risk occurred to the Mauretania last spring when she entered Queenstown harbor about one and one-half hours after high tide, that is to say on the ebb, and she anchored with her bow pointing up harbor.

The violence of the gale overcame the influence of the tide and she was swung athwartship of the harbor with her stern very close to the shoals. In this position she was practically fixed and could not use her screws for turning around to proceed to sea but had to wait the flood tide to swing her.

It is no wonder, therefore, that the Cunard Co. has definitely abandoned Queenstown and the wisdom of the White Star Line in declining to send the Olympic into the harbor during heavy weather cannot be disputed.

Ports of Call - Queenstown (Cobh) - 1911

Arrangements for Ocean Passengers landing at QUEENSTOWN.

Travellers landing at Queenstown will do well to consult the Great Western Railway Company's representative, who meets all Liners, and who will be pleased to afford full particulars relative to the various tours in Southern Ireland and all places of interest on the Great Western system of Railways.

Convenient tours can be made to the world-renowned Lakes of Killarney, the coach routes of the extreme west, the Vale of Ovoca, made famous by the poet Moore, and many such places unique to Ireland. On completing their round of sight-seeing Passengers can travel direct from any of ,these districts to England by the through Trains to Rosslare Harbour, from whence the Great Western Railway magnificent Turbine Steamers run to Fishguard Harbour, performing the journey in 2 3/4 hours. Specially built vestibuled Restaurant Car (and at night Sleeping Car) Trains run direct to London, via Cardiff, with connections to all parts.

Advantages of the Liverpool-Queenstown Route (1907)

LIVERPOOL is the most central point of landing or embarkation in the British Islands.

It is situated about midway between London in the South, and Edinburgh and Glasgow in the North, at a distance of 190 to 220 miles, and communication with each of these important cities is maintained by services of luxuriously appointed express trains.

London is less than four hours distant. York and other historical cities in the North of England are within easy reach, and the venerable and most interesting city of Chester, with its ancient Cathedral, encircling walls, and numerous Roman antiquities, is only sixteen miles away.

The ancient towns of Shrewsbury, Warwick, Stratford-on-Avon, and Windsor all lie on the routes from Liverpool to London ; as also Chatsworth, Haddon Hall, Newstead Ablbey, Southwell Minster, Bedford (with the memorials of Bunyan), and St. Albans.

Queenstown

Landing the Mails at Queenstown circa 1907.

Landing the Mails at Queenstown circa 1907. GGA Image ID # 1445b2febc

For American travelers making their first visit to the British Islands, and wishful to see some of the beauties of the Emerald Isle, a good plan is to land at Queenstown and proceed through Glengariff to the far-famed Lakes of Killarney, thence through Dublin or Belfast to Liverpool.

By the enterprise of the railway companies a series of new and high-class hotels has been provided at various points of interest in the south-west of Ireland, adding greatly to the attractions of that beautiful district.

 

Bibliography

"Abandoning Queenstown," in The Marine Review, Vol. 43, No. 10, October 1913, p. 371.

"Advantages of the Liverpool-Queenstown Route," in White Star Line Royal & United States Mail Steamers, 1907 Brochure.

Return to Top of Page

Ocean Travel Ports of Call
GG Archives

Updates and Social Media

Copyright © 2000- Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives. All rights reserved. See Terms of Use.