The French Line’s Luxury Liner

The Ile de France as built with 3 funnels.
The Ile de France as built with 3 funnels.

This famous French transatlantic liner had a long career of over thirty years from her completion in May 1927. She was launched on 14th March 1926 at the Penhoet yard of Chantiers de l’Atlantique at St. Nazaire as the largest French ship yet built at 43,153 grt with a length of 791 feet and a breadth of 92 feet. She was named after the region of France around Paris that dated back to 1387 and which today borders Picardy, Champagne, Normandy and Orleanais. She was completed with superb accommodation for 537 first class, 603 cabin class and 641 third class passengers and a crew of 646 with a garage for 60 cars. Her four powerful Parsons steam turbines, two triple reduction geared and two double reduction geared, produced 60,000 shp and drove quadruple screws to give her a service speed on the Transatlantic route of French Line to New York of 24 knots. She was neither the largest nor the fastest ship on the North Atlantic, but she was considered the most beautiful French Line ship, inside and outside, until the advent of the fabulous Normandie in May 1935. She had six passenger decks and three funnels, and ran alongside the three funnelled Paris of 1921 and the four funnelled France of 1912. She regularly carried a higher percentage of first class passengers than any other liner, and was thus the leading North Atlantic liner for her affluent and fashionable American and French clientele.

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PhotoTransport SeaSunday2023


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