This elegant steam turbine powered quintet of passenger liners, Lady Nelson, Lady Rodney, Lady Drake, Lady Somers and Lady Hawkins, were known as ‘The Lovely Ladies’ on their route from Canada to a dozen warm, tropical, sun drenched ports in the Caribbean. They were completed in 1928/29 for Canadian National Steamships (West Indies) Ltd. and resulted from a trade agreement between Canada and the British Colonies in the Caribbean of 1925 for improved passenger and cargo services. A similar trade treaty of five years earlier for services between Canada and Jamaica had run into serious problems as the ships allocated to it were too small, slow and inadequate. The 1920 treaty called for sailings every three weeks to Nassau, Jamaica and Belize (British Honduras) with a call added at Bermuda in 1922. The Canadian Government Merchant Marine (CGMM) provided three ships of around 3,000 grt with accommodation for 28 passengers, while Royal Mail Line of London had a five year contract to carry the mail, passengers and cargo from Canada to the eastern Caribbean islands as far down as Georgetown in British Guiana.
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