PROHIBITION in the United States and the equable climate of Bermuda combined during the boom period to make that island one of the favourite playgrounds of the Wealthy New Yorker. Its popularity has changed the status of the 700-miles run between Ambrose Channel, New York, and Fort Hamilton, Bermuda. Formerly the normal passenger-, mail- and cargo-services were all that was necessary on this route. Now, despite financial vicissitudes, the route supports two of the most luxurious electric passenger liners in the world. They form an important merchant-ship type because they represent a design of ship in which everything has been devoted to passenger-carrying. Apart from accommodation for officers and crew and for fresh water and (on the homeward run) for fresh vegetables, the whole hull is taken up by magnificent saloons, extensive bars, lounges and luxury suites.
The Monarch of Bermuda and the Queen of Bermuda were both built by Vickers-Armstrong, the latter at Barrow-in-Furness (Lancashire), and the former at Walker-on-Tyne (Newcastle). The electric motors are by the General Electric Company, Witton, Birmingham, and the boilers are by Babcock & Wilcox. These vessels are among the largest electric ships in the world, having four screws and a speed of 20 knots. The Monarch of Bermuda has a gross tonnage of 22,424; her dimensions are 576 feet by 76·5 feet by 43·25 feet, the draught being 24 ft 3 in. There are two main and four auxiliary turbo-generators, steam being taken from eight water-tube boilers pressed at 400 lb per sq in at 650° superheat.
An unusual arrangement of machinery has been adopted so that the main passenger decks may be fitted in. The boilers are divided into two groups of four, and in the middle is the main turbo-generator room. This supplies current to four propelling motors which are arranged far aft. In the first ship, the Monarch of Bermuda, which was completed in November, 1931, the motors are arranged round the lower swimming-bath.