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S/S Servia, Cunard Line Main Page >>

BurdenBuiltShipowner or operator Dimensions
7,392 gross 1881 at Glasgow by J. & G. Thomson & Co. Cunard Line 515ft x 52.1ft 
 Year Departure ArrivalRemarks
 1881  Mar. 1, launchedAtlantic Journey ID 1784
 1881  Nov. 26, maiden voyage Liverpool - New YorkAtlantic Journey ID 1785
 1881  Liverpool  Nov. 26  New York  Dec. 07 Reported a stormy journeyTransatlantc ID
 1882  Liverpool - New York serviceAtlantic Journey ID 1786
 1882  Liverpool  Feb. 11  New York  Feb. 20 Transatlantc ID
 1882  Liverpool     New York  May 08 Transatlantc ID
 1882  Liverpool  June 03  New York  June 12 Transatlantc ID
 1882  Liverpool  July 08  New York  July 16 Transatlantc ID
 1883  Liverpool  Mar. 17  New York  Mar. 26 Transatlantc ID
 1883  Liverpool  Apr. 21  New York  Apr. 30 Also reported arrive 1883-04-29Transatlantc ID
 1883  Liverpool  May 26  New York  June 04 Transatlantc ID
 1883  Liverpool     New York  Aug. 12 Queenstown Aug 5. Signed off Fire Island at 5:15 afternoon and reached the bar at about 8 o'clock.Transatlantc ID
 1883  Liverpool     New York  Sept. 18 Landed at pier No. 46 North River. Passenger arrested for swindling at cardsTransatlantc ID
 1884  Liverpool  Feb. 16  New York  Mar. 03 Delay caused trouble with the machinery. Reached her pier at the foot of Clarkson-street, North River at 12 o'clock noon. She was abreast Fire Island at 7 o'clock, and was reported off the Sandy Hook Light-ship at 8:54 o'clockTransatlantc ID
 1884  Liverpool  Mar. 22  New York  Mar. 31 Made a very quick passage, in view of the severe weather which she encounteredTransatlantc ID
 1884  Liverpool  July 05  New York  July 13 Transatlantc ID
 1884  Liverpool     New York  Aug. 17 Transatlantc ID
 1884  Liverpool  Sept. 13  New York  Sept. 21 Transatlantc ID
 1884  Liverpool  Oct. 18  New York  Oct. 26 Transatlantc ID
 1885  Liverpool     New York  Feb. 06 Remarkably stormy passage, during which she sustained considerable damage. The vessel still bore evidences of the rough handling which she had received when she reached her dockTransatlantc ID
 1885  Liverpool  Apr. 04  New York  Apr. 12 Transatlantc ID
 1885  Liverpool  May 02  New York  May 10 Transatlantc ID
 1885  Liverpool  May 30  New York  June 07 Arrived in the morning, crossing the Atlantic Ocean in 6,5 daysTransatlantc ID
 1885  June 13: ran aground on a shoal on the eastern edge of Gedney’s Channel on her eastward voyageAtlantic Journey ID 9198
 1885  Liverpool     New York  July 05 With 206 cabin passengers, who were landed at the Barge Office. It was generally supposed that Secretary Manning's recent order allowing…Transatlantc ID
 1885  Liverpool  June 27  New York  July 05 Arrived New York in the morningTransatlantc ID
 1885  Liverpool  July 25  New York  Aug. 02 Transatlantc ID
 1885  Liverpool  Dec. 19  New York  Dec. 27 Transatlantc ID
 1886  Jan. 30: collided with the Red Star steamship Noordland in the North River eastbound, delayedAtlantic Journey ID 9197
 1886  Liverpool  Feb. 13  New York  Feb. 21 Transatlantc ID
 1886  Liverpool     New York  Mar. 21 Transatlantc ID
 1886  Liverpool  Apr. 17  New York  Apr. 25 Transatlantc ID
 1886  Liverpool  May 15  New York  May 24 Transatlantc ID
 1886  Liverpool  June 13  New York  June 20 Transatlantc ID
 1886  Liverpool  Aug. 07  New York  Aug. 16 Transatlantc ID
 1886  Liverpool  Oct. 02  Boston  Oct. 10 ?? New YorkTransatlantc ID
 1886  Liverpool  Oct. 30  New York  Nov. 08 Transatlantc ID
 1887  Liverpool  Apr. 09  New York  Apr. 17 Transatlantc ID
 1887  Liverpool  June 04  New York  June 13 Transatlantc ID
 1887  Liverpool  July 02  New York  July 11 Also reported arrive 1887-07-07Transatlantc ID
 1887  Liverpool  July 30  New York  Aug. 07 Transatlantc ID
 1887  Liverpool  Aug. 27  New York  Sept. 05 Transatlantc ID
 1887  Liverpool  Sept. 24  New York  Oct. 03 Transatlantc ID
 1887  Liverpool  Oct. 22  New York  Oct. 31 Transatlantc ID
 1887  Liverpool  Nov. 19  New York  Nov. 28 Transatlantc ID
 1888  Liverpool     New York  May 14 Arrived safely in spite of London rumors that she had gone down.Transatlantc ID
 1888  Liverpool  June 02  New York  June 10 Transatlantc ID
 1888  Liverpool  Aug. 25  New York  Sept. 02 Transatlantc ID
 1888  Liverpool     New York  Sept. 30 Transatlantc ID
 1888  Liverpool     New York  Oct. 28 Transatlantc ID
 1888  Liverpool  Dec. 15  New York  Dec. 24 Transatlantc ID
 1889  Liverpool     New York  Mar. 17 Transatlantc ID
 1889  Liverpool  Apr. 06  New York  Apr. 15 Subm. by Linda Stewart, NorwayTransatlantc ID
 1889  Liverpool  May 04  New York  May 13 Transatlantc ID
 1889  May 18: when eastbound in dense fog, she went aground and was held fast in the mud of Gedney’e Channel Atlantic Journey ID 9200
 1889  Liverpool  June 29  New York  July 08 Transatlantc ID
 1889  Liverpool  July 27  New York  Aug. 04 Transatlantc ID
 1889  Liverpool  Aug. 24  New York  Sept. 01 Transatlantc ID
 1889  Liverpool  Sept. 21  New York  Sept. 29 Transatlantc ID
 1889  Liverpool  Oct. 19  New York  Oct. 27 Transatlantc ID
 1889  Liverpool  Nov. 16  New York  Nov. 25 Transatlantc ID
 1889  Liverpool     New York  Dec. 24 Capt. Walker reports that he met with severs westerly gales and high seas throughout the entire vovageTransatlantc ID
 1890  Liverpool     New York  Mar. 09 Transatlantc ID
 1890  Liverpool     New York  May 12 Transatlantc ID
 1890  Liverpool     New York  June 08 Transatlantc ID
 1890  Liverpool  June 28  New York  July 07 Transatlantc ID
 1890  Liverpool     New York  Aug. 04 Transatlantc ID
 1890  Liverpool     New York  Sept. 01 Transatlantc ID
 1890  Liverpool     New York  Sept. 28 Also reported arrive 1890-09-27Transatlantc ID
 1890  Liverpool     New York  Oct. 26 Transatlantc ID
 1890  Liverpool     New York  Nov. 24 Also reported arrive 1890-11-23Transatlantc ID
 1890  Liverpool     New York  Dec. 22 Transatlantc ID
 1891  Liverpool     New York  Feb. 08 Transatlantc ID
 1891  Liverpool     New York  Mar. 08 Transatlantc ID
 1891  Liverpool     New York  May 03 Transatlantc ID
 1891  Liverpool     New York  May 31 Also reported arrival 1891-05-30Transatlantc ID
 1891  Liverpool     New York  June 28 Transatlantc ID
 1891  July, machinerey breakdown eastbound, towed back to New York in disabeled condition. Prince George of Greece were among the passengers.Atlantic Journey ID 8858
 1891  Liverpool     New York  Sept. 20 Transatlantc ID
 1891  Liverpool     New York  Oct. 18 Transatlantc ID
 1891  Liverpool     New York  Nov. 15 Transatlantc ID
 1892  Liverpool     New York  May 08 Transatlantc ID
 1892  Liverpool     New York  June 06 Transatlantc ID
 1892  Liverpool     New York  July 03 Transatlantc ID
 1892  Liverpool     New York  July 31 Transatlantc ID
 1892  Liverpool     New York  Aug. 28 Transatlantc ID
 1892  On the eastbound voyage had a narrow escape from serious disaster when she collided in mid-ocean with the S/S UNDAUNTED in dense fog, neither vessel injuredAtlantic Journey ID 9201
 1892  Liverpool  Sept. 17  New York  Sept. 24 Transatlantc ID
 1892  Liverpool     New York  Oct. 23 Transatlantc ID
 1893  Liverpool     New York  Jan. 09 Transatlantc ID
 1893  Liverpool     New York  Feb. 13 Transatlantc ID
 1893  Liverpool  Feb. 25  New York  Mar. 06 Transatlantc ID
 1893  Departed from New-York June 6 for Liverpool, Capt. Dutton, on June 7 she ran down the American ship A. McCallum, Capt. O’Brien, which filled and sank a short time after the accident, all crew of 25 rescued except oneAtlantic Journey ID 9202
 1893  Liverpool     New York  July 16 Transatlantc ID
 1894  Liverpool     New York  Jan. 08 Transatlantc ID
 1894  Liverpool     New York  July 16 Transatlantc ID
 1894  Liverpool     New York  Sept. 19 Transatlantc ID
 1896  Liverpool     New York  Jan. 20 Transatlantc ID
 1897  Liverpool     New York  Feb. 14 Transatlantc ID
 1898  Liverpool     New York  Jan. 16 Transatlantc ID
 1898  Liverpool     New York  May 04 Transatlantc ID
 1898  Liverpool     New York  June 01 Transatlantc ID
 1899  Boer War transportAtlantic Journey ID 1787
 1899  Liverpool     New York  Aug. 09 Transatlantc ID
 1899  Liverpool     New York  Sept. 06 Transatlantc ID
 1900  Liverpool - New York serviceAtlantic Journey ID 1788
 1900  Liverpool     New York  June 17 Transatlantc ID
 1900  Liverpool     New York  Aug. 16 Transatlantc ID
 1900  Liverpool     New York  Sept. 12 Transatlantc ID
 1900  Liverpool     New York  Oct. 11 Transatlantc ID
 1901  Liverpool     New York  Jan. 07 Transatlantc ID
 1901  Liverpool     New York  Apr. 07 Transatlantc ID
 1901  Liverpool     New York  May 08 Transatlantc ID
 1901  Liverpool     New York  June 06 Transatlantc ID
 1901  Liverpool     New York  July 03 Transatlantc ID
 1901  Liverpool     New York  Aug. 28 Transatlantc ID
 1901  Liverpool - New York service, final voyage Sept. 17Atlantic Journey ID 1789
 1901  Liverpool     New York  Sept. 25 Arrived in the morningTransatlantc ID
 1902  Broken upAtlantic Journey ID 1790
The information listed above is not the complete record of the ship. The information was collected from a multitude of sources, and new information will be added as it emerges
Servia - original sailing rig
Servia - original sailing rig
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Cunard line steamship Servia
Cunard line steamship Servia
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Servia - Cunard liner at Liverpool
Servia - Cunard liner at Liverpool
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Picture of the S/S Servia from an engraving in the Illustrated London News 1881. On some later pictures she appears with what seams as lower funnles
Picture of the S/S Servia from an engraving in the Illustrated London News 1881.
On some later pictures she appears with what seams as lower funnles
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Servia - Cunard Line steamship
Servia - Cunard Line steamship, reduced rig
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Servia - deck plan
Servia - deck plan showing arrangements on the Promenade Deck, Saloon Deck and Main Deck
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At the time of her launching the Servia was the largest of all ships afloat except the Great Eastern. She was designed and built by Messrs. James and Georne Thomson, at Clyde Bank, near Glasgow. The Servia was built with four decks and a promenade deck. The promenade, which was reserved for the passengers, was large and spacious. The steam steering gear and house, captain's room and flying bridge was situated on the fore part of the promenade deck. On the upper deck forward was the forecastle, with accommodation for the crew, and lavatories and bath rooms for steerage passengers, while aft were the light-towers for signalling the Admiralty lights, with the look-out bridge on the top. Near to the amidships house were the captain's and officers' sleeping cabins.

Next to the engine skylight was the smoking-room, which could be entered from the deck or from the cabins below. It was unusually large for a smoking-room, being 30 feet long by 22 feet wide. Near the after-deck house was the ladies' drawing-room, to which access could be obtained either from the music-room or from the deck. Abaft of this, and in the upper end of the upper deck, was the music-room, which was 50 feet by 22 feet in dimensions, and which was fitted up with polished wood-panelling. Immediately abaft of the music-room was the grand staircase, which lead to the main saloon and the cabins below on the main and lower decks. The Servia was the first Cunard liner to be lighted electrically.

For the convenience of the passengers there were four different entrances from the upper deck of the ship to the cabins. At the foot of the stair leading to the saloon, and also in the cabins, the panelling was of polished Hungarian ash and maple wood. The saloon was 74 feet long by 49 feet wide, with sitting accommodation for 350 persons, while the clear height under the beams was 8 feet 6 inches. The sides were all in fancy woods, with beautifully polished inlaid panels. All the upholstery of the saloon was of morocco leather. Right forward of the after deck were the pantries, baths, lavatories, and staterooms. The total number of staterooms was 188, and the vessel originally had accommodation for about 450 first-class and 600 steerage passengers, besides a crew of about 200 officers and men. Two thirds of the entire length of the lower deck was fitted up with first-class staterooms.

The ship was divided into several watertight bulkheads, and she was built according to the Admiralty requirements for war purposes with 10 gun mountings for service as an armed merchant cruiser. A special feature was the arrangement of the watertight doors in the engine and boiler spaces. Another great improvement to the security was that the doors could be shut from the upper deck by using a connecting rod. The usual arrangements on other merchant ships required the doors to be screwed down, and this process took up a considerable time in case of accident. There were in all twelve boats, and these were equipped as life-boats, and had Hill and Clark's patent improved boat-lowering apparatus.

The machinery consisted of two three cylinder compound surface condensing engines, each with a high pressure cylinder 72 inches diameter and two low pressure cylinders each 100 inches diameter, with a common stroke of 78 inches. There were in all seven boilers, six of which were double and one single ended, and all were made of steel, with corrugated furnaces. Steam was supplied at 9° lb. per sq. in. pressure. The total number of furnaces was thirty-nine, constructed with Fox's corrugated flues. On trial the engines indicated 10,300 horse-power, and the vessel attained a speed of 17.8 knots.

Engines of the S/S Servia
Engines of the S/S Servia

The Servia was the first merchant steamer to be built entirely of Siemens mild steel. The keel of the ship consisted of five thicknesses, making a total thickness of 6¾ inces, and in order to secure thoroughly reliable workmanship, the riveting was done by Tweddell's hydraulic riveter. All the frames and beams of the ship were riveted by this process. The upper deck was of steel, covered with yellow pine, the main deck is of steel with a teak covering, and the lower deck was of steel with a covering of teak above the engine and boiler spaces. All the deck-houses and deck fittings, which were liable to be carried away in a heavy sea, were made of iron and steel, and were riveted to the steel decks underneath.

The Servia was built with a double bottom, the lower portions of the ship being framed on the cellular system, combined with a flat central through-plate keel (on the longitudinal bracket system). Her cargo capacity was equal to 6500 tons, with 1800 tons of coal and 1000 tons of water ballast. She was equipped with three masts, bark rigged, and the Cunard Company had adhered to their special rig, believing it to be more ship-shape than the practice of fitting up masts according to the length of the ship, allowing a good spread of canvas to assist in propelling the vessel. The anchor davits were 8 inches, and the cable chain pipe 22 inches in diameter. The weight of the propeller shaft was 26½ tons, and the propeller, boss, and blades, which were made of Vicars steel, 38 tons.

Servia, Cunard Line steamship
Painting of the S/S Servia
S/S Servia, Cunard Line
S/S Servia, Cunard Line
Servia, Cunard Line steamship - advertising card: Cunar Line - Royal Mail Steamers, Liverpool to New York and Boston
Servia, Cunard Line steamship - advertising card: Cunar Line - Royal Mail Steamers, Liverpool to New York and Boston
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Photo of the S/S Servia
The Servia on an old photo
Servia - Cunard Line steamship
Servia, steaming out
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