RMS Lucania was a luxurious jewel in the Cunard fleet, working the Liverpool-New York route from 1893 to 1909. This unusually complex film was shot on board the Lucania and its tender ship SS Skirmisher, and dockside at the Prince's Landing Stage. Among hectic scenes of passengers boarding, cargo loading and lifeboat drills are some striking and evocative shots of the crews posing for the camera.
The Lucania left Liverpool for New York on Saturday 1st December 1901. Among the officers seen on deck is Captain McKay. Liverpool's Daily Post reported on notable saloon passengers including American jockey Johnny Reiff and his brother Lester; music hall star Eugene Stratton was there seeing off his niece. The Liverpool Mercury of 3rd December includes a review of a screening at the Prince of Wales Theatre featuring "a number of magnificent pictures" of the Lucania's departure. The ship would be scrapped in 1909 after a disastrous fire in her berth at Liverpool, while the humble SS Skirmisher soldiered on until 1946, making her probably the longest-serving Cunard vessel.