Famous Ships and Boats

With descriptions, images and notes, origin and demise

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Vessel type — Claim to Fame

Origin ... Demise — Notes

famous ships, Achille Lauro ship

 Another Image 

Achille Lauro

(Originally the Willem Ruys)

Dutch built cruise ship


Hijacked in 1985 by 4 men representing the PLF; one passenger killed and thrown overboard

December 2, 1947 .... Sank in the Indian Ocean on December 2, 1994 due to fire


On January 6, 1953, Willem Ruys collided in the Red Sea with MS Oranje,heading in the opposite direction.

famous ships, SS Admiral

 Another Image 

Admiral, SS

American river steamboat (cruise ship)

(converted to diesel in 1974)


Was the largest river cruise ship in the world, sailing the Mississippi from St. Louis; in 1979 converted to a land-based casino

1907 .... Dismantled and sold for scrapped, 2011


Started out as the side-wheeled steel hulled steamboat, the Albatross; became the Admiral in the 1940s.

famous ships, MS UND Adriyatik

 Another Image 

Adriyatik, MS UND

Turkish cargo ship


Cargo ship that caught fire off the coast of Istria, Croatia and burned for 2 days

June 29, 2001 .... Being repaired


She was sailing from Istanbul to Trieste carrying 200 trucks, nine tons of dangerous material, and 100-200 tons of ship fuel. In spite of fears, there was no environmental damage.

famous ships, Adventure Galley ship

Adventure Galley

English galley


Captain Kidd's flag ship

1695 .... Burnt and sunk at Saint Mary's Island, 1698


Because she had become worm-eaten and leaky, Kidd ordered her to be burnt.

famous ships, African Queen steamboat

 Another Image 

African Queen

American steamboat


Boat used in the 1951 movie The African Queen,an adventure set during World War I, starring Humprey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn

1912 .... Refurbished to service as a tourist boat in Key Largo, Florida.


From 1912 to 1968 she shuttled cargo and passengers across Lake Albert in Africa.

famous ships, CSS Alabama

CSS Alabama

Confederate screw sloop-of-war


A successful commerce raider that attacked Union merchant and naval ships during the American Civil War

Commissioned August 24, 1862 .... Sunk in June 1864 by USS Kearsarge at the Battle of Cherbourg.


She boarded nearly 450 vessels and captured or burned 65 Union merchant ships.

famous ships, USS Albacore

USS Albacore

American submarine


Research submarine that pioneered the teardrop hull of modern submarines

Commissioned December 6, 1953 .... Decommissioned December 9, 1972. When being towed to a permanent display site in April 1984, she became stuck in the mud of Portsmouth Harbor. In 1985, she was dedicated there as a memorial.


For more than two decades she provided the US Navy information and experience in making submarines faster, quieter, safer and more agile.

famous ships, SS Albert M. Boe

 Another Image 

Albert M. Boe

American Liberty ship


Last Liberty ship built

September 25, 1945 .... In 1964, converted to a fish cannery ship, renamed Star of Kodiak


Though currently landlocked, she is still in use as the home of Trident Seafoods.

(as shown in Another Image).

famous ships, Alligator submarine


American submarine


First U.S. Navy submarine

May 1, 1862 .... Sank in bad weather off Cape Hatteras April 2, 1863


The first American submarine, called Turtle (1776), never served in the U.S. Navy.  The first commissioned U.S. submarine was the USS Holland in 1862.

famous ships, Allure of the Seas ship

Allure of the Seas

Norwegian and American cruise ship


Largest passenger ship ever constructed

November 20, 2010 .... Still in service


She is actually about 50 millimeters longer than her sister ship, the Oasis of the Seas.

famous ships, DVS Alvin submersible

 Another Image 

Alvin, DSV

American research vessel, submersible


First Deep Submergence Vehicle (DSV) able to dive to 4,500 meters (14,800 feet)

June 5, 1964 .... Still in service


She was lost October of 1968 when she accidentally sank in 1500 meters of water; was recovered in August of 1969 and refurbished.

famous ships, America racing yacht


American 19th century racing yacht ( schooner)


Won the Royal Yacht Squadron's 53 mile regatta around the Isle of Wight, August 22, 1851

May 3, 1851 .... In disrepair, her remains burned in Annapolis in 1945


The international sailing trophy, America's Cup, is name after her.  During the Civil War, she served in the Union blockading squadron off Charleston, then after the war as a training ship at the Naval Academy.

famous ships, American Queen steamboat

American Queen

American river paddle steamboat, stern-wheeler


Largest steamboat ever built, as of 2012

1995 .... Still in operation on the Mississippi River


In 2012 she participated for the first time in the Great Steamboat Race and came in second.

famous ships, HMS Amethyst

Amethyst, HMS


British modified Black Swan class sloop


Subject of the 1957 movie Yangtse Incident, an actual event in April of 1949 during the Chinese Civil War. In the movie, she played herself.

May 7, 1943 .... Scrapped January 19, 1957


During World War II, she was deployed mostly on anti-submarine patrols and escort duties.

famous ships, Ancon steamship

Ancon, SS

American steamship


First ship to officially transit the Panama Canal on August, 15 1914.

(Sister ship Cristobal made the first unofficial transit on August 3, 1914)

1902 .... As the USS Ancon (ID-1467), she was decommissioned on July 25, 1919


She was acquired by the US Navy from the US Army for troop transport just after the end of World War I.

famous ships, SS Andrea Doria

 Another Image 

Andrea Doria, SS

Italian luxury ocean liner


Collided with the MS Stockholm in the Atlantic and sank; 52 people died

January 14, 1953 .... July 25, 1956


Of all Italy's ships at the time she was the largest, fastest and supposedly safest. She was the last major transatlantic passenger ship to sink.

famous ships, Andrea Gail fishing boat

Andrea Gail

American fishing vessel


Lost at sea off the coast of Massachusetts with six crew during "The Perfect Storm" of 1991

1978 .... Lost at sea October 28, 1991


The tragedy was the basis of the 1997 book and 2000 movie The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger.

famous ships, Antonia Graza ghost ship

Antonia Graza

Italian ocean liner


A fictional ship in the movie Ghost Ship

First scene takes place in May, 1962 .... Last scene takes place in 1966


The plot follows a salvage crew that discovers a long-lost passenger ship floating lifeless in a remote region of the Bering Sea... and horrors abound.

famous ships, SS Archimedes

Archimedes, SS

British steamship


First ship propelled by a screw drive

May 2, 1839 .... Sank in the Meuse River during a storm on March 1, 1864


The advantages over side paddlewheel propulsion persuaded the Royal Navy to build the steam sloop-of-war HMS Rattler, the first British warship to adopt a screw propeller.

famous ships, Argo galley ship


Legendary ancient Greek galley


The ship on which Jason and the Argonauts are said to have sailed from Iolcos to retrieve the Golden Fleece

Built perhaps in the 14th century BC .... unknown


Legend has it that the Argo was built by the shipwright Argus, and its crew were specially protected by the goddess Hera.

famous ships, HMS Argus

Argus, HMS

British aircraft carrier


First Aircraft carrier to have a full flight deck and a lift.

Lauched September 1918 .... Scrapped December 1946


She was built from the incomplete Italian ocean liner Conte Rosso and served extensively in both world wars.

famous ships, Ariel clipper ship


English clipper ship


Famous for almost winning The Great Tea Race of 1866, an unofficial race between Fuzhou, China and London

1865 .... Went missing in early 1872


On September 6, 1866, the Taeping docked twenty minutes ahead of Ariel

famous ships, USS Arizona

 Another Image 

Arizona, USS


American battleship


The sunken ship lies in Pearl Harbor with a memorial above it honoring the crew lost

October 17, 1916 .... Sunk during the December 7, 1941 Pearl Harbor attack


The sunken ship continues to leak about a quart of oil per day into the harbor.

famous ships, HMS Ark Royal

 Another Image 

Ark Royal, HMS

(Originally named Ark Raleigh)

English galleon


English flagship that fought against the Spanish Armada

1587 .... Accidentally sunk in April of 1636; raised and broken up in 1638


During the reign of James VI and I, she was renamed Anne Royal.

Several British aircraft carriers have been named Ark Royal.

famous ships, Arthur Foss tugboat

 Image from movie 

Arthur Foss

(Originally named Wallowa)

American tugboat


One of the oldest wooden-hulled tugboats afloat in the United States

1887 .... renovated and on display at Seattle's South Lake Union Park


She was cast by MGM to play in the 1933 movie Tugboat Annie. (See Image from movie)

famous ships, RMS Atlantic

Atlantic, RMS

English steam ocean liner with sails


One of the deadliest civilian maritime disaster in history killing 535 people

June 8, 1871 .... Ran onto rocks and sank off the coast of Nova Scotia April 1, 1873


The greatest disaster for the White Star Line prior to the loss of Titanic 39 years later.

famous ships, Australia II racing yacht

Australia II

Australian racing yacht


First winning challenge to the New York Yacht Club's132 year hold on the America's Cupduring the 1983 America's Cup Race

1982 .... On display at the Western Australian Maritime Museum in Fremantle


The legality of her winged keel, which gave her advantage in maneuverability and heeling moment, was challenged by the NYYC but upheld.



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Vessel type — Claim to Fame

Origin ... Demise — Notes

famous ships, USS Balao submarine

Balao, USS

American submarine


Featured as the "pink submarine" in the 1959 movie Operation Petticoat, co-starring with Cary Grant and Tony Curtis

October, 1942 .... Sunk as a target off Florida on September 6,1963


She served ten patrols in World War II, then in training exercises afterwards.

famous ships, SS Baychimo cargo ship

Baychimo, SS

(Originally the Angermanelfven)

German, then British steel-hulled cargo ship


Known as a ghost ship and seen numerous times since, her last sighting in 1969

1914 .... Abandoned and lost along the Alaska coast, November, 1931


She was taken by Great Britain as part of Germany's WW I reparations and acquired by the Hudson's Bay Company in 1921.

famous ships, Beagle sloop

Beagle, HMS

English two-masted sloop, or brig-sloop


She carried Charles Darwin on his historic expedition beginning in 1831

May 11, 1820 .... Sold for scrap in 1870


Robert FitzRoy was captain during the historic round-the-world trip.

In 1845 the Beagle was refitted as a static coastguard watch vessel.

famous ships, Belle of Louisville steamboat

Belle of Louisville

(Originally named the Idlewild)

American river paddle steamboat, stern-wheeler


Oldest continually operating steamboat in the United States

1914 .... Restored in 1964, still in use at Louisville, Kentucky


She competes every year in the Kentucky Derby Festival event The Great Steamboat Race.

famous ships, Birkenhead frigate ship

 Another Image 

Birkenhead, HMS

British steam frigate


The protocol "women and children first" originated on this sinking ship.

December 20, 1845 .... Struck a hidden reef and sank February 26, 1852


Only 193 of the 643 people on board survived. Over the years, numerous attempts have been made to salvage the gold thought on board.

famous ships, Bismarck battleship

 Another Image 


German battleship


At the Battle of Denmark Straits, May, 1941, sunk the British battlecruiser HMS Hood.

August 24, 1940 .... Sunk by British forces May 27, 1941 in the North Atlantic


Relentlessly pursued and sunk by the Royal Navy following Winston Churchill's order “Sink the Bismarck”.

famous ships, Bluebird K7 hydroplane

 Another Image 

Bluebird K7

British jet powered hydroplane


Set 7 world water speed records between 1955-1964, reaching 276.3 mph (444.7 km/h)

Early 1955 .... Flipped and disintegrated at high speed on Coniston Water January 4, 1967, killing Donald Campbell


Developed and piloted by Donald Campbell.

famous ships, Bluenose schooner ship

 Another Image 


Canadian fishing and racing schooner


Featured on the Canadian dime and once on a Canadian 50 cent postage stamp and appears on the Nova Scotia licence plate

March 26, 1921 .... Struck a coral reef and abandoned off Haiti on January 28, 1946


During its racing career Bluenose was never beaten and held the International Fisherman's Trophy for 18 consecutive years.

famous ships, Bonhomme Richard frigate ship

Bonhomme Richard, USS

American frigate


Warship commanded by John Paul Jones

February 4, 1779 .... Sank in battle off the coast of Yorkshire September 25, 1779


Defeated HMS Serapis in the Battle of Flamborough Head.

famous ships, HMS Bounty

Bounty, HMS

English three-mast collier


Mutiny aboard ship, April 28, 1789, led by Fletcher Christian against Captain William Bligh

1784 .... Was burned by the mutineers on January 23, 1790


Its mission was to pick up breadfruit plants from Tahiti and transport them to the West Indies.


famous ships, Bounty (replica)

 Another Image 

Bounty (replica)

Canadian built, American owned three-mast collier


A reconstruction of the original 1787 Royal Navy ship built for the 1962 movie Mutiny on the Bounty

August 27, 1960 .... Sank near North Carolina during Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2012


She also appeared in the 1989 movie Treasure Island and the 2006 and 2007 movies Pirates of the Caribbean. Over the years, she was also used for promotion, entertainment, education.

famous ships, Britannia yacht

Britannia, HMY

British yacht


Former Royal Yacht of the British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, and where Prince Charles and Diana took their honeymoon

April 16, 1953 .... Decommissioned December 11, 1997, now a museum ship at Leith, Edinburgh, Scotland


During her service as Royal Yacht conveying members of the Royal Family and various dignitaries, she steamed 1,087,623 nautical miles (2,014,278 km).

famous ships, HMHS Britannic

 Another Image 

Britannic, HMHS

British ocean liner


Largest ship lost during the First World War.

February 26, 1914 .... Struck a mine and sank off the Greek island of Kea November 21, 1916, with the loss of 30 lives


Launched just before the start of the World War I, she was put to use as a hospital ship in 1915.

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famous ships, Achille Lauro
famous ships, Achille Lauro
famous ships, SS Admiral
famous ships, SS Admiral
famous ships, MS UND Adriyatik
famous ships, MS UND Adriyatik
famous ships, Adventure Galley
famous ships, African Queen
famous ships, African Queen
famous ships, CSS Alabama
famous ships, USS Albacore
famous ships, SS Albert M. Boe
famous ships, SS Albert M. Boe
famous ships, Alligator submarine
famous ships, Allure of the Seas
famous ships, DSV Alvin
famous ships, DSV Alvin
famous ships, America yacht
famous ships, American Queen
famous ships, HMS Amethyst
famous ships, SS Ancon
famous ships, Andrea Doria
famous ships, Andrea Doria
famous ships, Andrea Gail
famous ships, Antonia Grazal
famous ships, SS Archimedes ship
famous ships, Argo ship
famous ships, HMS Argus
famous ships, Ariel clipper ship
famous ships, USS Arizona
famous ships, USS Arizona
famous ships, HMS Ark Royal
famous ships, HMS Ark Royal
famous ships, Arthur Foss
famous ships, Arthur Foss
famous ships, RMS Atlantic
famous ships, Australia yacht
famous ships, Balao, SS
famous ships, Baychimo, SS
famous ships, HMS Beagle
famous ships, Belle of Louisville
famous ships, HMS Birkenhead
famous ships, HMS Birkenhead
famous ships, Bismarck battleship
famous ships, Bismarck battleship
famous ships, Bluebird K7
famous ships, Bluebird K7
famous ships, Bluenose schooner
famous ships, Bluenose schooner
famous ships, USS Bonhomme Richard
famous ships, MHS Bounty
famous ships, Bounty replica
famous ships, Bounty replica
famous ships, HMY Bitannia
famous ships, HMHS Britannic
famous ships, HMHS Bitannic