TUGS Liner Characters

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The Liners from the 1988 children's series TUGS were always played a critical role of getting the bustling port-like atmosphere in the show.

The Duchess


The Duchess

The Duchess is the first Ocean Liner we encounter in the series - in the very first episode Sunshine. She only appeared in two separate scenes in the whole of that episode: when the Star's were towing her in - and in the nighttime firework celebrations following a successful journey. In appearance she looked a lot like Princess Alice - and it is possible she was the same model - only distinctively modified. She is the TUGS Liner Character to make most cameos.

The Duchess is based on the Hamburg America Line ship SS Imperator, who was given to the Cunard Line after World War I, and renamed Berengaria after the 12 Century English Queen Of The Same Name. Like the "Imperator/Berengaria," she has three funnels, an open promenade, and is about 919ft long. When Captain Star is saying "One of The Biggest Liners Around," meaning that she's not the The Largest Ocean Liner in The World, also a reference to how Imperator was surpassed by her younger sisters SS Vaterland and SS Bismarck.

Her profile card in the TUGS board game gave her nationality as British.

Princess Alice


Princess Alice

"Princess Alice" was the most prominent of the three Liners - she appeared in three episodes ("High Winds", "High Tide", and "4th of July"), in High Winds she was in need of repair and the Stars (and Zebedee) all fought against the heavy winds to bring her safely into port. When she appeared in the 12th episode 4th of July, she was fully repaired - and was celebrating Independence Day heartily with the other vessels whilst being loaded by Big Mickey. She makes a brief cameo in High Tide.

Princess Alice is based on Empress of Britain, and her sister Empress of Ireland which sunk in the St. Lawrence River in 1914, and her name is a direct reference to another doomed vessel - the Princess Alice.

Her profile card in the TUGS board game gives her nationality as American.



S.S. Vienna

"S.S.Vienna" was the most vague, but at the same time most beautiful Ocean Liner ever to come into Bigg City Port. She was pale mauve in colour and, much to Lillie Lightship's jealousy - certainly captured Hercules' breath! She appeared in the episode Bigg Freeze where the Star Tugs and Z-Stacks alike were eagerly awaiting her return. She performed a hearty rendition of a segment of the TUGS theme tune (with added dialogue of course). In some videos she appears in the opening credits, and she makes a cameo in Sunshine. The Vienna is a hybrid between the RMS Mauretania (1906) which eventually was turned into a Cruise Ship and was scrapped in 1942 and RMS Lusitania which in War World 1 sank after a U-Boat torpedoed it. The Vienna has a similar Cruise Ship livery as the Mauretania (from the Great Depression to her fate in Scotland). The Vienna is the same length as the Cunard Line's RMS Aquitania. Her funnels look similar to the SS Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse and other 4 funneled German Liners. She appears only 2 times in the series, and only one time is she named(although she appears in Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends).

She appears only 2 times in the series, and only one time is she named(although she appears in Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends).

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