To anyone familiar with ocean-going travel, the mere name ‘Cunard’ conjures images of luxurious transatlantic voyages and spectacular, red-funnelled Liners. Since 1840, Cunard Line has been a dominant force at sea and the names of its great ships has entered the public lexicon; Mauretania and Aquitania among them. Beginning with an austere fleet of almost spartan sailing vessels, Samuel Cunard turned his fledgling company into a giant and by the turn of the century Cunard boasted an unrivalled safety record. The company was not without its tragedies however; Lusitania was famously sunk by a German submarine in 1915. Into the 1920s and 1930s Cunard built upon a stellar reputation by launching the biggest liners the world had ever seen - Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth simply dwarfed everything else afloat at the time and became legends in their own right. Today, Cunard still operates three ships but, like all other shipping lines, has focused on the cruising market.