Famous Maritime Ships and Their Freight Cargo

Boats of all sizes serve the essential purpose of providing passage for individuals and cargo across bodies of water. While some boats are small and meant to be recreational, others have served a greater purpose and have played a significant role in history. Circumstantial evidence dates the history of the boat back to over 40,000 years ago though the oldest boat to be discovered is from approximately 10,000 years ago. Additional information on some of the most famous boats in history is found below.

Follow these links to learn about some of the most famous ships in human history:

Achille Lauro (1947 - 1994)

A maritime cruise ship that gained its notoriety in October of 1985, when four hijackers representing the PLF seized control of the ship. This event resulted in the murder of one passenger who was tossed overboard.


Admiral, SS (1907-2006): The SS Admiral was the largest river cruise boat in the world. It transported passengers down the Mississippi River from St. Louis. The owners of the ship made renovations to convert it into a land-based casino in 1979.


Adriyatik, MS UND (2001-2008): A cargo ship mainly used for transporting goods between Istanbul, Turkey, and Italy. It caught on fire on February of 2008 off the coast of Croatia, right outside of territorial waters.


African Queen (1912-1968): A maritime boat used in the 1951 motion picture, The African Queen, starring Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn. The boat was originally used as a cargo boat to transport people and cargo over Lake Albert in Africa.


Alligator (1862-1863): The Alligator was a United States Navy submarine that operated during the American Civil War. The submarine sank in 1863.


MS Allure of the Seas (2010-current): Royal Caribbean International constructed the MS Allure of Seas, the largest passenger cruise ship.



HMS Amethyst (1943-1957): A maritime ship that played herself in the 1957 movie, Yangste Incident. The motion picture was based on an actual event in April of 1949, which took place during the Chinese Civil War.


American Queen (1995-current): The American Queen was constructed in 1995 as a six-deck recreation of a Mississippi steamboat. It ranked second in the Great Steamboat Race of 2012.


SS Andrea Doria (1953-1956): The SS Andrea Doria, an ocean liner that operated for the Italian Line, collided with the MS Stockholm and sank in 1956. It resulted in the death of 52 people.


Andrea Gail (1978-1991): The Andrea Gail commercial fishing boat became lost, along with a six-man crew, in 1991.


RMS Atlantic (1871-1873): A transatlantic ocean liner operated by the White Star Line that ran into rocks off the coast of Nova Scotia. This tragedy resulted in the death of 535 people, making it one of the deadliest civilian maritime disasters in history.


HMHS Britannic (1914-1915): One of the sister ships of the RMS Olympic and RMS Titanic that encountered a mine or torpedo off the Greek Island of Kea. This tragic incident resulted in the loss of thirty lives.


HMS Beagle (1820-1870): The infamous maritime ship that carried Charles Darwin on his voyage through the Galapagos Islands in 1831.


HMS Challenger (1858-1878): A steam-powered Royal Navy corvette, which undertook the first global marine research project in 1872.


USS Cole (1995-current): An American guided missile destroyer. In October 2000, the USS Cole became the target of Al-Qaeda in the Yemeni port of Aden.


USS Enterprise (1960-current): The world's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and 8th United States Naval vessel to bear the name.


USS Nautilus (1954-1980): The world's first nuclear-powered submarine and the first vessel to cross under the North Pole.


La Nina (1492-1501): The smallest of the vessels that were a part of the voyage of Christopher Columbus. Columbus set sail with La Nina back to Spain after losing the Santa Maria.


La Pinta (1441-1501): The fastest of the shipping vessels employed by Christopher Columbus during his expedition of the Americas.


RMS Titanic (1911-1912): The RMS Titanic sank after it struck an iceberg in the Atlantic Ocean, resulting in the loss of 1502 lives. It became the most famous maritime tragedy in all of human history.

Written by