Readers ask: How Long Was A Transatlantic Ship Journey?

Transatlantic crossing

The majority of passenger traffic is across the North Atlantic between Western Europe and North America, and Christopher Columbus’ voyages established a permanent transatlantic trade route with the Spanish West Indies fleets in 1566.

By sea

Prior to the 19th century, transatlantic crossings were done by sailing ships, with Spain establishing the first trade route across the Atlantic a few decades after the discovery of the Americas. The Guinness Book of World Records awards world records to vessels of various classes, including luxury liners, sailboats, and rowing boats.

Passenger liners

The Great Western, which was built in 1838 and was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, is considered the first purpose-built transatlantic steamship. It was a breakthrough in size, capacity, and fuel efficiency, and it became the prototype for a generation of similar ships.


The late Tom Gentry set nearly every powerboat speed record in existence, including the transatlantic crossing record, which he and a crew of five shattered in 1989, taking the Blue Riband away from British airline and music tycoon Richard Branson.


Alain Bombard sailed across the Atlantic from East to West in his Zodiac, L’Hu00e9ru00e9tique, for 113 days, covering 13,000 nautical miles (26,000 kilometers).


Henri Beaudout crossed the Atlantic in 1956 on L’u00c9garu00e9 II, a raft made of wood and rope, while Thor Heyerdahl’s Ra II was built to an Ancient Egyptian design, and the junk raft Son of Town Hall crossed the North Atlantic Ocean in 1988.

Rowing and paddling

Maud Fontenoy, a French rower, began an eastward crossing of the Atlantic from Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon on June 13, 2003, and arrived in A Coru00f1a, Spain, on October 10, 2003. In 2005, the Vivaldi Atlantic 4 broke the previous record of 55 days.

Transatlantic rowing races

The first Eastu2013West Atlantic Rowing Race, which runs from the Canary Islands to the Caribbean every two years or so, took place in 1997, and the Westu2013East North Atlantic Rowing Race, which ran from New York City to Falmouth, Cornwall, in 2006.

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The 26-foot lifeboat Red, White, and Blue sailed from New York City to Margate in 1866, and the 20-foot yawl City of Ragusa sailed from Queenstown to New York in 1870 and 1871. Each year, hundreds of sailing yachts cross the Atlantic Ocean.

Transatlantic flights

In the twentieth century, transatlantic flight surpassed ocean liners as the most popular mode of crossing the Atlantic. Charles Lindbergh flew the first solo non-stop transatlantic flight in an airplane, and Edward R. Armstrong proposed a string of anchored “seadromes” to refuel planes during a crossing. The two K-ships made the first transatlantic crossing of the Atlantic Ocean on May 28, 1944.

Transatlantic cables

The first pair of eastbound and westbound transatlantic telephone cables were laid in 1955 and 1956, and the exchange rate between the United States dollar and the British pound is still referred to as “cable” by financial marketeers.

Transatlantic tunnel

A Transatlantic Tunnel is a hypothetical structure that has been proposed several times since the late 1800s and would span the Atlantic Ocean between New York City and the United Kingdom or France, or between the United States and the United Kingdom or France.

Duration of Transatlantic Crossings

From 1620 to the Concorde in the 1970s and 1980s, the time it took to travel westbound from Europe to North America when a new transport innovation was introduced for commercial use is listed below. The introduction of various technologies has led to progressively faster Transatlantic crossings.


Anthony Smith, an adventurer in his 80s who crossed the Atlantic by raft, died at the age of 88. Heyerdahl, Thor (1972). The Ra Expeditions. “Ses-traversees-et-son-tour-du-monde.”

Further reading

William M. Fowler Jr., author of Steam Titans: Cunard, Collins, and the Epic Battle for Commerce on the North Atlantic (London: Bloomsbury), is the CEO of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RIOS), one of the UK’s most successful naval shipbuilding projects.

External links

Look up transatlantic crossing in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. “Evolution of trans-Atlantic ships,” May 1931, Popular Mechanics (1931). Retrieved from “”

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How long did transatlantic shipping take?

From Liverpool to Quebec, a sailing ship journey took an average of 6 weeks; from Irish ports, it took 4 days less; and from Liverpool to New York, it took an average of 5 weeks.

How long did it take a ship to cross the Atlantic in 1940?

While sailing ships took one to two months to cross the Atlantic, the first steamships took only 15 days.

How long did it take sailors to cross the Atlantic?

Commercial sailing ships had long taken three, sometimes four weeks to cross the Atlantic eastbound; the westbound route, which was usually against the wind, took six weeks.

Do passenger ships still cross the Atlantic?

A transatlantic voyage on a passenger ship was the only way to cross the Atlantic for more than 200 years, and while it is not as quick as flying, it is still possible to sail both ways and see some of Europe in a reasonable amount of time.

What is the fastest transatlantic crossing?

While the Concorde had already cut the flight time between New York and London in half, February 7th, 1996 was a watershed moment: the plane flew from JFK to Heathrow in just 2 hours, 52 minutes, and 59 seconds, covering 6,035 kilometers at a staggering speed of 2,010 kilometers per hour.

Do ocean liners still exist?

The RMS Queen Mary 2 is the only ocean liner currently in service.

How much does it cost to cross the Atlantic by ship?

Freighter Cruises Getting on board a freighter ship, whose primary purpose is to transport cargo, is the simplest and cheapest way to cross the Atlantic by ship. Freighters usually carry up to a dozen passengers and cost around $100 per day (including meals) for each person.

How long did it take to travel from Europe to America in 1900?

Sailing ships took about six weeks to cross the Atlantic in the early 1800s, but the journey could take up to fourteen weeks if there were strong winds or bad weather.

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Is it safe to sail across the Atlantic?

Is It Dangerous to Sail Across the Atlantic? In general, we would say that sailing across the Atlantic Ocean is not necessarily dangerous; in fact, it can be quite pleasant at times. However, your experience will vary depending on the time of year you travel and the route you take.

Can a super yacht cross the Atlantic?

There are routes from the United States to Europe that stretch for just over three thousand miles, a distance that some superyachts can cover in no time, and they’re also big enough to handle any adverse Atlantic weather.

How big of a sailboat do you need to cross the Atlantic?

In essence, your sailboat should not be less than six feet long because it may be too dangerous out there; however, the best sailboat for crossing the Atlantic should be at least 30 or 40 feet long to withstand the stormy weather, rough waves, and winds.

Is transatlantic cruise rough?

Issues: Because there are no nearby landmasses to provide shelter, ocean crossings always encounter the roughest waters. Avoid: The winter months are the most intense, with transatlantic cruises hitting very rough seas from November to February and Pacific cruises from February to April.

Can a cruise ship cross the ocean?

A transatlantic cruise is any sailing that travels across the Atlantic Ocean, usually between North America and Europe, and typically lasts two weeks with several days at sea, allowing you to experience the best that a cruise ship has to offer.

What’s the largest ocean liner ever built?

Symphony of the Seas is about five times the size of the Titanic, and at 362 meters long, it could balance on its stern and its bow would tower over all but two of Europe’s tallest skyscrapers. Its maiden voyage from Barcelona in March 2018 made it the largest passenger ship ever built.

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