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On the Line

Shipping is an international business, and crucial to Britain`s fortunes. Explore the business of shipping and how shipping companies developed. Learn about the businesses and services that a port needs to support shipping.
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Company growth and development

There's more to ship owning than buying a vessel and watching the money roll in. Find out what shipowners do and the risks they face.
 Ships at dock in Southampton
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Ship arrives at Southampton docks  Shipping lines

Read stories of famous lines and learn how they developed to become shipping greats. Discover the lines that used Southampton and the ships they operated.
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Transatlantic travel

Sailors venturing across the Atlantic ocean had to face many dangers. Learn what they were and how the steamship made regular transatlantic crossings possible.

 [25074] Crest of a wave
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046210-400  Preparing a liner

Have a look at some of the elements of preparing a liner for a voyage, the services and supplies and how the process has changed with the time spent in port shortened.
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Finding out more about shipping companies

Discover more about the history of a famous shipping line, learn what they own, or do your own historical research into a shipowner.
 Find out More
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Get Interactive!  Get interactive!

Test your shipping line knowledge and see ship photos in a whole new light with On The Line interactive games. (Requires Java)
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Highlights
Recognisable lines: shipping company identity

What a shipping company does

Canadian Pacific

Cunard Steamship Company / Cunard White Star

Imperial Airways

Peninsular & Oriental (P&O)

Red Funnel (Southampton, Isle of Wight & South of England Royal Mail Steam Packet Company)

Royal Mail Steam Packet Co / Royal Mail Lines

Union-Castle Mail Steamship Company

White Star Line

Quick quiz
Which British shipping line ignored classification society rules and did not insure all its ships?
 Cunard
Blue Funnel
Blue Star

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