History's Largest Liners

Each of these ships was the world's largest at the time of her maiden voyage.
Olympic became largest in the world for a second time when Titanic was lost.

Ship (Line)                                                     Size              Maiden Voyage
City of New York (Inman)  10,499 tons   8/1/1888
City of Paris (Inman)  10,499 tons   4/3/1889
Campania (Cunard)  12,950 tons   4/22/1893
Lucania (Cunard)  12,952 tons   9/2/1893
Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse (NDL)  14,349 tons   9/18/1897
Oceanic (White Star)  17,272 tons   9/6/1899
Celtic (White Star)  20.904 tons   7/26/1901
Cedric (White Star)  21,035 tons   2/11/1903
Baltic (White Star)  23,884 tons   6/29/1904
Kaiserin Auguste Victoria (Hapag)  24,581 tons   5/10/1906
Lusitania (Cunard)  31,550 tons   9/7/1907
Mauretania (Cunard)  31,938 tons   11/16/1907
Olympic (White Star)  45,324 tons   6/14/1911
Titanic (White Star)  46,329 tons   4/10/1912
Olympic (White Star)  45,324 tons   4/15/1912
Imperator (Hapag)  51,680 tons   6/10/1913
Vaterland/Leviathan (Hapag/U.S. Lines)  54,282 tons   5/14/1914
Majestic (White Star)  56,551 tons   5/10/1922
Normandie (French)  79,280 tons   5/29/1935
Queen Elizabeth (Cunard White Star)  83,673 tons   3/2/1940
Modificatons made to Normandie in 1936 increased her tonnage to 83,423, enabling her to maintain the title of "World's Largest Ship" even after the debut of Cunard White Star's Queen Mary, at 80,774 tons, later that year.

Leviathan was remeasured at 59,956 tons in 1923, giving rise to U.S. Lines' claim that she had never been displaced as the largest ship in the world. This measurement was widely doubted at the time, and this list does not take it into account. Instead, the tonnage figure shown is that provided by Hapag. The credibility of U.S. Lines' measurement is also called into question by the fact that a 1931 measurement purported to show a 48,932 tonnage.

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