The construction of the Mauretania and her sister ship Lusitania resulted from a British government loan of #2,600,000 to Cunard Line for the construction of two passenger liners, provided that the company remain wholly British for twenty years and that the ships could be requisitioned in wartime. These sister ships were the largest, most luxurious, and fastest liners of their day. On the return leg of her maiden voyage, in 1907, Mauretania captured the Blue Ribband from her sister with a eastbound crossing from sandy Hook to Queenstown at an average speed of 23.69 knots. A favorite of all passengers, she remained on the transatlantic run until just after the outbreak of World War I in 1914 when she served as both a troopship and a hospital ship and finally reentered commercial passenger service in 1919. She was gradually withdrawn from transatlantic service and entered the cruise trade in both the Mediterranean and Caribbean. Her last departure from New York was in 1934 and she was scrapped at Rosyth in 1936.