On This Day

23 February


1905 Aragon

Click to enlarge

The 9,441-ton passenger and cargo ship Aragon (Yard No. 367) was launched today for the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company. The christening ceremony was performed by Countess Fitzwilliam. A year and a day later a near identical sistership, Amazon (Yard No. 372), was launched.

The twin-screw steamer marked an epoch, in the history of RMSP, one of the oldest British steamship lines, in addition to being one of the finest vessel in the fleet, Aragon in service was the the largest and and finest steamer engaged in the South American trade.

Her dimensions were: Length, 527 feet, 6 inches; Breadth of beam, 60 feet.

Aragon was designed to carry a large quantity of cargo but her passenger accommodation gave no indication of her duel purpose role. Described as sumptuous and on a scale never previously seen in vessels in the south American service, all her state rooms were on deck. In the 1st Class dinning saloon the tables, seating 210 passengers were arranged on the latest restaurant style, passengers sitting in small groups rather than on old fashion long bench type tables previously used. The 2nd Class included a ‘handsome’ dining saloon, drawing and smoke rooms on deck with ample space on the open promenade decks.

A great deal of thought was put into the comfort of passengers by the elimination of vibration from the engines. Harland & Wolff using their latest design of ‘balanced’ quadruple-expansion engines.

Aragon was a graceful looking vessel; schooner rigged, with two tall pole masts and fine lines, she attracted a great deal of admiration from the shipping press when she eventually entered service in June 1905.