The Blue Riband (/ˈrɪbənd/) is an unofficial accolade given to the passenger liner crossing the Atlantic Ocean in regular service with the record highest average speed. The term was borrowed from horse racing and was not widely used until after 1910. The record is based on average speed rather than passage time because ships follow different routes.
Also, eastbound and westbound speed records are reckoned separately, as the more difficult westbound record voyage, against the Gulf Stream and the prevailing weather systems, typically results in lower average speeds.[Note 1]Of the 35 Atlantic liners to hold the Blue Riband, 25 were British, followed by five German, three American, as well as one each from Italy and France. Thirteen were Cunarders (plus Queen Mary of Cunard White Star), five by White Star, with four owned by Norddeutscher Lloyd, two by Collins, two by Inman and two by Guion, and one each by British American, Great Western, Hamburg-America, the Italian Line, Compagnie Générale Transatlantique and finally the United States Lines.
The record set by United States in 1952 remains unbroken by any passenger liner. The next-longest period through which the Blue Riband was retained was 19 years, held from 1909 to 1929 by Mauretania. The shortest period was six weeks, by Bremen from July to August 1933. [Wikipedia]