Oceanic held first place among passenger liners at the start of the 20th century. She was the largest afloat and was famed for her luxurious accommodation. A vessel of dignified appearance, she was the largest of all passenger liners ever to combine a two-funnelled, three-masted profile with the graceful counter type of stern. She had a promenade deck of 440 ft (134 m), and tall funnels, 115 ft (35 m) above the waterline. They were widely spaced to allow the dining saloon between. She was long-hulled with twin screws (22·2 ft (7 m) in diameter, 3-bladed of manganese bronze, the bosses of gun metal). Her steel hull had a full-length, cellular, double bottom and 5 decks sub-divided by 13 transverse bulkheads. Port and starboard engine rooms were separated by a longitudinal bulkhead 97 ft (30 m) long. Bunker space for 3,700 tons of coal was enough for 24,000 miles (38,500 km) steaming at 12 knots. Launched in January 1899 she logged over 20 knots on trial but her long hull vibrated so much she seldom operated at full speed. She ran between Liverpool and New York until 1907 when transferred to Southampton-New York to catch continental travellers at Cherbourg. The Oceanic had been built under Admiralty supervision, this with a view to possible use as a naval auxiliary. Early in 1914, with the advent of war, Oceanic was requisitioned by the Admiralty. In September, en route to patrol the seas off the West Coast of Scotland with her 4.7-inch guns newly mounted, she stranded on Foula Island in the Shetlands owing to a navigation error and became a total wreck.