The Last Days of the Liners

The Last Days of the Liners

Documentary which tells the story of how, in the years following the Second World War, countries competed to launch the most magnificent passenger ships on the great ocean routes.

National pride and prestige were at stake. The Americans had the United States, the fastest liner of all; the Dutch had the elegant Rotterdam; the Italians had the sleek Michelangelo; the French had the France as their supreme symbol of national culture and cuisine; and Britain had the Queens Mary and Elizabeth.

The coming of the jetliner and the 1960s’ assault on class and privilege might have swept this world away, but as the film explains, the giant vessels sailed on. Today, more people than ever travel on big ships – liners that have a modern take on glamour and romance.

The Last Days of the Liners – Sunday 11.20pm on BBC4

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