By Shane Winser
Last updated 2011-02-17
Originally designed for the India and Far East route, the Great Eastern could hold up to 4,000 passengers. However, financial pressures meant that the ship was instead first used for the transatlantic run. This didn't prove to be a success, as the ship couldn't compete with the smaller and faster ships of the other companies.
The later opening of the Suez Canal was to prove another disaster for the ship, which was too big to use it. The Great Eastern was then converted into a cable layer, and worked in this capacity for a number of years before becoming a tourist attraction in Liverpool.
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