Inside an ocean liner: the 'Aquitania'

Known as 'The Ship Beautiful', Cunard Line's 'Aquitania' (1914 – 1950) was considered one of the most elegant ocean liners of the time when it set sail in 1914. A promotional poster from our collection features a beautifully illustrated cross-section view of the ship's interior.

Ocean liners were strictly organised spaces which reflected social hierarchies. The Aquitania provided accommodation for 3,230 passengers, with 618 in first-class, 614 in second-class, and 1,998 in third-class, as well as a crew of 972. First-class passengers occupied the upper, most-spacious areas, while engineers laboured in the boiler room deep down in the hull.

Take a fascinating tour of the Aquitania's interior – from promenade deck to boiler room – with our interactive. Click on the pins to reveal original photographs and stories about the ship's design.

Cunard Line – to all parts of the world, poster, Ulrich Gutersohn, about 1920, England. Museum no. E.1829-2004. Gift of the American Friends of the V&A; Gift to the American Friends by Leslie, Judith and Gabri Schreyer and Alice Schreyer Batko. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London