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List of Famous Ships and Boats

including ships in history, of tragedy, and in movies


There are more than 300 ships here, but the initial list is only for famous ships names A-C. For other options, select  Change List . The term 'movies' includes books, and TV shows.
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(To start with) Famous Ships and Boats A-C

 

(Touch image to enlarge)

Vessel Type — Claim to Fame

Launched Demise — Notes

Achille Lauro

Achille Lauro

 other image 
(Originally the Willem Ruys)

Dutch cruise ship

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

1947 July 1 Sank in the Indian Ocean on December 2, 1994 due to fire

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

Admiral, SS

Admiral, SS

 other image 

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.

Adriyatik, MS UND

Adriyatik, MS UND

 other image 

Turkish cargo ship

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

2001 June 29 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.

Adventure Galley

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.

African Queen

African Queen

 other image 

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.

Alabama, CSS

Alabama, CSS

American Confederate screw sloop-of-war

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

1862 July 2 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.

Albacore, USS

Albacore, USS

American submarine

Research submarine that pioneered the teardrop hull of modern submarines

1953 August 1 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.

Albert M. Boe

Albert M. Boe

 other image 

American liberty ship

Last Liberty ship built

1945 September 26 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. (See other image).

Alligator

Alligator

American submarine

First U.S. Navy submarine

1862 May 1 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 Hollandin 1862.

Allure of the Seas

Allure of the Seas

Norwegian cruise ship

Largest passenger ship ever constructed

2010 November 20 Still in service

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

Alvin, DSV

Alvin, DSV

 other image 

American research vessel; submersible

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

1964 June 5 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.

America

America

American racing yacht; schooner

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

1851 May 3 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.

American Queen

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.

Amethyst, HMS

Amethyst, HMS

(F-116)

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.

1943 May 7 Scrapped January 19, 1957

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

Ancon, SS

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.

Andrea Doria, SS

Andrea Doria, SS

 other image 

Italian ocean liner

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

1953 January 14 Sank July 26, 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.

Andrea Gail

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.

Antonia Graza

Antonia Graza

Italian ocean liner

A fictional ship in the movie Ghost Ship

1962 first scene takes place in May 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.

Archimedes, SS

Archimedes, SS

British steamship

First ship propelled by a screw drive

1839 October 18 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.

Argo

Argo

Greek galley, legendary

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

1300 BC, perhaps unknown

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

Argus, HMS

Argus, HMS

British aircraft carrier

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

1917 December 2 Scrapped December 1946

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

Ariel

Ariel

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.

Arizona, USS

Arizona, USS

 other image 
(BB-39)

American battleship

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

1915 June 19 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.

Ark Royal, HMS

Ark Royal, HMS

 other image 
(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.

Arthur Foss

Arthur Foss

 other image 
(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  other image )

Association, HMS

Association, HMS

British second-rate ship of the line

After serving with distinction at the capture of Gibraltar, she ended up lost in a storm and wrecked with 3 other ships with the loss of nearly 2,000 lives.

1697 Wrecked of the Isles of Scilly October 22, 1707

The rediscovery of the Association and so many historical artefacts led to legislation such as the Protection of Wrecks Act to preserve British historic wreck sites.

Atlantic, RMS

Atlantic, RMS

English ocean liner with sails and steam

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

1871 June 8 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.

Australia II

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.

Balao, USS

Balao, USS

American submarine

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

1942 October 27 Sunk as a target off Florida on September 6,1963

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

Baychimo, SS

Baychimo, SS

(Originally the Angermanelfven)

German cargo ship, then British; steel-hulled

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.

 

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NameVessel type — Claim to Fame Launched Demise — Notes
Beagle, HMS

Beagle, HMS

English sloop, or brig-sloop, two-masted

She carried Charles Darwin on his historic expedition beginning in 1831

1820 May 11 Sold for scrap in 1870

Robert FitzRoy was captain during thehistoric round-the-world trip. In 1845 the Beagle was refitted as a static coastguard watch vessel.

Belle of Louisville

Belle of Louisville

(Originally named the Idlewild)

American steamboat, paddle, stern-wheeler

Oldest continually operating river 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.

Birkenhead, HMS

Birkenhead, HMS

 other image 

British frigate, steamer

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

1845 December 30 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.

Bismarck

Bismarck

 other image 

German battleship

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

1939 February 14 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”.

Bluebird K7

Bluebird K7

 other image 

British hydroplane, jet powered

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

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

Developed and piloted by Donald Campbell.

Bluenose

Bluenose

 other image 

Canadian schooner, fishing and racing

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

1921 March 26 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.

Bonhomme Richard, USS

Bonhomme Richard, USS

American frigate

Warship commanded by John Paul Jones

1766 Sank in battle off the coast of Yorkshire September 25, 1779

Defeated HMS Serapis in the Battle of Flamborough Head.

Bounty (replica)

Bounty (replica)

 other image 

Canadian collier, three-mast (American owned)

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

1960 August 27 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.

Bounty, HMS

Bounty, HMS

English collier, three-mast

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.

Britannia, HMY

Britannia, HMY

British yacht

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

1953 April 16 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).

Britannic, HMHS

Britannic, HMHS

 other image 

British ocean liner

Largest ship lost during the World War I.

1914 February 26 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.

Caine, USS

Caine, USS

American destroyer minesweeper

The vessel captained by Queeg in the 1951 book The Cain Mutiny and the 1954movie.

1951 (movie, 1954) continues

In the movie, the USS Thompson (DD-627) was used as the USS Caine.

Cairo, USS

Cairo, USS

American gunboat ;ironclad

First ship sunk by a naval mine; first vessel of the City class ironclads

1861 sunk by a naval mine in the Yazoo River, December 12, 1862

Served with the Army's Western Gunboat Fleet during the American Civil War. Remnants of the gunboat are in a museum in the Vicksburg National Military Park.

Calypso, RV

Calypso, RV

 other image 

American minesweeper; refitted for research

Oceanographer Jacques-Yves Cousteau sailed her as a mobile laboratory for field research

1941 March 21 Sank in 1996, raised, neglected, and now being restored in Brittany

Carried advanced equipment, including mini submarines.

Cap Arcona, SS

Cap Arcona, SS

 other image 

German ocean liner

Her sinking was one of the biggest maritime losses of life during World War II

1927 May 14 Sank on 3 May 1945 after being attacked by an RAF squadron.

Only 350 of the 4,500 former concentration camp inmates aboard the ship survived.

Carpathia

Carpathia

British ocean liner; (Cunard Line passenger steamship)

Became famous for rescuing survivors of RMS Titanic on April 15, 1912

1902 August 6 Sunk in the Atlantic on July 17, 1918 during WW-I by a German U-boat

After sailing through dangerous ice fields, she arrived at the sinking Titanic at 4:00 am and took on 705 survivors from lifeboats.

Carroll A. Deering

Carroll A. Deering

American five-masted commercial schooner

A famous maritime mystery after she was found with her crew of 11 missing

1919 Found wrecked off Cape Hatteras on January 31, 1921; scuttled on March 4

Theories of her demise include piracy, mutiny, hurricane, and paranormal events. Nine other ships also disappeared without a trace in that same area at about the same time.

Cassin Young, USS

Cassin Young, USS

(DD-793)

American destroyer in World War II

One of only four surviving Fletcher-class destroyers still afloat.

1943 September 12 Docked at the Boston Navy Yard as a museum ship as a museum ship.

Named for Captain Cassin Young (1894-1942), who was killed in the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal.

Central America, SS

Central America, SS

 other image 

American paddle steamboat, stern-wheeler; three-masted

Sank in a hurricane in 1857, along with 400 passengers and crew and 30,000 pounds of gold

1852 October 28 Sank September 12, 1857 about 160 miles east of Cape Hattera

Originally named SS George Law; came to be known as “the ship of gold”.

Cerberus, HMVS

Cerberus, HMVS

 other image 

Australian breastwork monitor; iron-clad

On her maiden voyage from Chatham, England to Melbourne, Australia, she traveled 123 days and over 12,700 miles(20,400 km) with the assistance of temporary sails and frequent stops to refuel wherever possible .

1868 December 2 Sunk as breakwater September 2, 1926 off Half Moon Bay becoming a popular site for scuba diving.

During her life, she never left Port Philip Bay and never fired in anger.

Challenger, HMS

Challenger, HMS

 other image 

British corvette; steam-assisted

Undertook the first global marine research expedition

1858 February 13 Broken up for her copper end in England, January, 1921

Flagship of the Australia Station between 1866 and 1870.

Champion of the Seas

Champion of the Seas

English clipper ship

On her maiden voyage, she set a record for the fastest run in 24 hours of 465 nautical miles (861 km)

1854 April 19 Abandoned off Cape Horn in leaking condition in 1877

She was the speedy passenger ship built for the run from Liverpool, England to Melbourne, Australia.

Charles W. Morgan

Charles W. Morgan

 other image 

American whaling ship

World's oldest surviving merchant vessel; America's surviving wooden whaleship

1841 On exhibit at the Mystic Seaport museum in Mystic, Connecticut

After a 5-year, multi-million dollar restoration, she set sail again, July, 2013.

Christina O

Christina O

(formerly HMCS Stormont, K327 & Argo) christinax

Greek luxury yacht

Famous yacht of Ari Onassis and his wife, former first lady, Jackie Kennedy

1943 July 14 Available for charter cruises from many ports

Originally a Canadian built anti-submarine River-class frigate, after WWII, she was purchased by Onassis, refitted as one the largest yachts in the world, and hosted many famous personalities.

City of Adelaide

City of Adelaide

English clipper ship

The world's oldest surviving clipper ship

1864 May 7 Out of service since 1948, current being restored

From 1923-1948, she was commissioned in the Royal Navy as HMS Carrick. She is part of the National Historic Ships of the United Kingdom.

Clermont

Clermont

(Officially North River Steamboat)

American river steamboat

First enduring and financially successful steamboat, running on the Hudson River

1807 August 17 Retired in 1814, scrapped

Never known as Clermont at the time, but North River Steamboat. After it was lengthened and refitted in 1808 at Clermont, NY, it was named the North River.

Cole, USS

Cole, USS

 other image 

American aegis-equipped guided missile destroyer

Suicide attack against it on October 12, 2000

1995 February 10 Still in service

Seventeen American sailors were killed in the incident while harbored in the Yemeni port of Aden.

Color Magic

Color Magic

Norwegian cruise ferry

The largest cruise ferry in the world

2006 December 15 Still in service

The ship operates between Oslo, Norway and Kiel, Germany.

Colossus, HMS

Colossus, HMS

 other image 

British third-rate ship of the line

After many battles and much glory, she lost her way and ran aground and sunk.

1787 April Wrecked of the Isles of Scilly December 10, 1798

In 1974, fragments from the Colossus were discovered and reconstructed and are now displayed at the British Museum in London.

Constellation, USS

Constellation, USS

(Also see the original USS Constellation)

American sloop-of-war

The last sail-only warship designed and built by the U.S. Navy

1854 August 26 On display at Annapolis, Maryland as a museum ship

This flagship of the USN African Squadron from 1859-1861 disrupted the African slave trade off the coast of Africa.

Constitution, USS

Constitution, USS

(Nicknamed Old Ironsides)

American three-masted heavy frigate

Oldest commissioned ship afloat in the world

1797 October 21 On display at the Boston Navy Yard as a museum ship

Larger and more heavily armed than the standard frigates of the period.

 

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famous ship Achille Lauro of Dutch
famous ships Achille Lauro of Dutch
famous ship Admiral, SS of American
famous ships Admiral, SS of American
famous ship Adriyatik, MS UND of Turkish
famous ships Adriyatik, MS UND of Turkish
famous ship Adventure Galley of English
famous ship African Queen of American
famous ships African Queen of American
famous ship Alabama, CSS of American Confederate
famous ship Albacore, USS of American
famous ship Albert M. Boe of American
famous ships Albert M. Boe of American
famous ship Alligator of American
famous ship Allure of the Seas of Norwegian
famous ship Alvin, DSV of American
famous ships Alvin, DSV of American
famous ship America of American
famous ship American Queen of American
famous ship Amethyst, HMS of British
famous ship Ancon, SS of American
famous ship Andrea Doria, SS of Italian
famous ships Andrea Doria, SS of Italian
famous ship Andrea Gail of American
famous ship Antonia Graza of Italian
famous ship Archimedes, SS of British
famous ship Argo of Greek
famous ship Argus, HMS of British
famous ship Ariel of English
famous ship Arizona, USS of American
famous ships Arizona, USS of American
famous ship Ark Royal, HMS of English
famous ships Ark Royal, HMS of English
famous ship Arthur Foss of American
famous ships Arthur Foss of American
famous ship Association, HMS of British
famous ship Atlantic, RMS of English
famous ship Australia II of Australian
famous ship Balao, USS of American
famous ship Baychimo, SS of German
famous ship Beagle, HMS of English
famous ship Belle of Louisville of American
famous ship Birkenhead, HMS of British
famous ships Birkenhead, HMS of British
famous ship Bismarck of German
famous ships Bismarck of German
famous ship Bluebird K7 of British
famous ships Bluebird K7 of British
famous ship Bluenose of Canadian
famous ships Bluenose of Canadian
famous ship Bonhomme Richard, USS of American
famous ship Bounty (replica) of Canadian
famous ships Bounty (replica) of Canadian
famous ship Bounty, HMS of English
famous ship Britannia, HMY of British
famous ship Britannic, HMHS of British
famous ships Britannic, HMHS of British
famous ship Caine, USS of American
famous ship Cairo, USS of American
famous ship Calypso, RV of American
famous ships Calypso, RV of American
famous ship Cap Arcona, SS of German
famous ships Cap Arcona, SS of German
famous ship Carpathia of British
famous ship Carroll A. Deering of American
famous ship Cassin Young, USS of American
famous ship Central America, SS of American
famous ships Central America, SS of American
famous ship Cerberus, HMVS of Australian
famous ships Cerberus, HMVS of Australian
famous ship Challenger, HMS of British
famous ships Challenger, HMS of British
famous ship Champion of the Seas of English
famous ship Charles W. Morgan of American
famous ships Charles W. Morgan of American
famous ship Christina O of Greek
famous ship City of Adelaide of English
famous ship Clermont of American
famous ship Cole, USS of American
famous ships Cole, USS of American
famous ship Color Magic of Norwegian
famous ship Colossus, HMS of British
famous ships Colossus, HMS of British
famous ship Constellation, USS of American
famous ship Constitution, USS of American
famous ship Costa Concordia of Italian
famous ships Costa Concordia of Italian
famous ship Cutty Sark of English
famous ships Cutty Sark of English
NameVessel type — Claim to Fame Launched Demise — Notes
Costa Concordia

Costa Concordia

 other image 

Italian cruise ship

Largest cruise ship disaster; ran aground on a reef off Isola del Giglio and capsized; 32 people dead

2005 September 2 Capsized, January 13, 2012

In 2008, she suffered damage to her bow when high winds pushed the ship alongside its dock.

Cutty Sark

Cutty Sark

 other image 

English clipper ship

Lost China-to-London race to ship called Thermopylae

1869 November 22 Now preserved in dry dock in Greenwich, England

She is one of three remaining original composite construction (wooden hull on an iron frame) clipper ships from the nineteenth century.

The number of ships listed is 63

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