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Timeline 1961-1970 (Rise of the Ocean Liners)

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Timeline of events from 1961-1970.

1961

March

  • The MV Britannic, a holdover from White Star, is moved from Kamas Bay, Island of Bute (where most of the White Star ships are laid up), to Falsane, where she is scrapped.
  • The Queen Victoria enters the dry dock for the same reason as her stepsisters: cabin replacement.

July

  • After a surprisingly quick construction process, the Queen Anne is launched with much fanfare.

September

  • The Queen Anne has her first sea trials.

November

  • With a ton of pomp and circumstance, the Queen Anne has her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York. Afterwards, she begins running the regular service on this route.
  • The Queen Victoria re-enters service, uniting the four Queens.
  • Compagnie Générale Transatlantique's newest ship, the SS France, undergoes sea trials.

1962

April

  • The Caribbean cruise pilot program is declared a success by Cunard, and the Caronia returns to Liverpool to begin sailing the Liverpool-Montreal route.

October

  • ATL Cuban Missile Crisis begins here.
  • After failing to remove nuclear missiles from Cuba, the USA declares war on the USSR. Their NATO and Warsaw Pact allies join in the conflict. Official beginning of World War III.
  • As a result of the impending war, the UK Government requisitions all Cunard ships. All schedules are cancelled. The Queen Mary is the first ship converted, regaining her "Gray Ghost" guise. The other ships are converted soon after.

1963

January

  • The Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth are re-routed from their normal route to avoid the risk of being torpedoed by Soviet submarines. Meanwhile, the Caronia and Carinthia begin carrying ordnance to embattled China.

April

  • The Saxonia is torpedoed and sunk by a Soviet submarine near the Aleutian Islands. Only 3 survive.
  • While transporting troops to Hamburg, the Queen Mary sinks the Soviet submarine Scorpion (Get the irony?)

October

  • The Queen Victoria is boarded by Soviet soldiers from a battleship, but US Marines on board kill them all.

1964

March

  • Two other former United States Lines ships, the Constitution and Independence, are given to Cunard, who renames them the Churchill and the Churchill 2, for regular passenger service.
  • The SS Antilles is hit hard by a Soviet battleship and completely blown up. No one survived.

August

  • The USSR, realizing the dangers of nuclear weapons, announces that they will not use nuclear weapons. The USA makes a similar announcement, and the feared nuclear exchange that would extinct mankind becomes a wives tale.
  • The Media is captured by the Soviets. All passengers, crew, and troops are taken prisoner and then dumped into the ocean one-by-one, in a throwback to the swashbucklers of old. The Media itself is left to drift and later recovered.

September

  • E-Day: The long-awaited landing on the Soviet mainland begins. The four Queens are instrumental in bringing troops and supplies, and the Soviets begin to retreat.

1965

July

  • The USSR surrenders after Moscow is leveled by a relentless bombing campaign.
  • All surviving Cunard ships are converted back to passenger purposes, and put back on the routes they were sailing just prior to the war.

1966

January

  • After a lengthy delay as a result of the war, construction on the Lusitania and Aquatania continues. Another ship, named the Queen Elizabeth 2, also begins construction.
  • In the aftermath of the loss of the Antilles, CGT receives a new ship as reparation from the USSR, which it names the Antilles.

May

  • The Caronia and Carinthia are permanently transferred to pleasure cruise service, sailing out of Port Everglades on itineraries to the Caribbean. Meanwhile, all four Queens are sent to the dry dock to be converted to diesel power. In their absence, the Mauretania is recalled from the Pacific, leaving the Media as the only ship. In this timeframe, the Los Angeles-San Francisco-Seattle route is temporarily discontinued.

1967

March

  • The four Queens return to service with brand-new diesel engines, reducing travel time and improving fuel economy.
  • The Titanic hotel/museum is temporarily closed for fumigation. It reopens four days later.

July

  • The Lusitania is launched, after a four month delay to install diesel engines instead of steam turbines.

September

  • The Queen Elizabeth 2 is launched.

1968

June

  • The QE2 leaves the Clyde to begin sea trials.

November

  • The QE2 enters service on the Liverpool-Montreal route.

1969

April

  • The Lusitania enters service on the Liverpool-Montreal route. Her other sister, the Aquatania, is launched shortly thereafter.

July

  • A massive party is held aboard the Queen Mary for the Apollo 11 landing.

October

  • The QE2 is transferred to the Pacific to run the LA-SF-Seattle route.

1970

April

  • The Queen Mary becomes an impromptu recovery ship for the Apollo 13 crew.

November

  • The Queen Elizabeth enters the dry dock for rehab.

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