The Blue Riband was an accolade given to the transatlantic liner (a vessel that crossed the North Atlantic Ocean in regular passenger service) with the fastest recorded average speed attained during a westbound crossing.
The average speed was used to calculate the record, rather than the days taken, as ships use different passages to transit the Atlantic.
While only the more difficult westbound crossings are credited with the Blue Riband (as this route has unfavourable currents), liners operating on the eastbound crossing are also noted as record breakers.
Liners from 1935 were eligible to be awarded the Hales Trophy. The rules for the Hales Trophy allow the award to be won by any type of sea going passenger vessel for a crossing in either direction.
There were 35 transatlantic liners to capture the Blue Riband, with Cunard being the most regular holder of the award. Queen Mary was the last Cunard liner to hold the award, losing it in 1952 to the SS United States, which holds the record to this day.