"Traverse the Seas of our Lady Harmony aboard her most lovely of ships in comfort and safety."-Great Harmony Shipping Line Tagline
The Great Harmony Shipping Line, or the GHSL, arguably the most famous shipping line in history, is a large commercial shipping company located on the continent of Bariquel, providing passenger and cargo services between the Westland Empire and the nations of the Rahmiel continent, as well as the Great Houses of the island of Theltheim. Founded in 13 AU and funded by the Westland Empire, the Great Harmony Shipping Line is one of the most lucrative companies in the world, and by far the largest commercial shipping industry in the known world, serving as a large source of revenue for the Empire as a whole. It was founded by Sylvian entrepreneur Sal Edwal, the head of the "Interprovincial Packet Carrier Service," in conjunction with five other large companies in the Empire across the provinces, including "Alexander Dock Construction," "Commonwealth Food Services," "Guild of International Maritime Merchants," "Sparkdust Communications," and "Pixy's Immaculate Linen."
The agreement between these six commercial entities was partially started, encouraged, and funded by the Westland Empire itself as at the time, it was trying to modernize and capitalize the collective continent to increase trust and interest in the various provinces to remain within the newly reunified Empire. Something the Shipping Line in conjunction with various other entities was very successful at. As a result, the Great Harmony Shipping Line is regarded as an Imperial entity, meaning that their ships can freely enter and leave any port within the Empire's control, their ships can be constructed within any Imperial shipyard, and any number of their fleet can be acquisitioned into the Imperial Navy during wartime should it be needed. As well, any ship within the Great Harmony Shipping Line can fly both the Imperial Flag, or the flags of any province, city, or county. Along with this, their ships can also have the Imperial standard IRS (Imperial Reserve Ship) prefix before it's respective given name, along with more specialized prefix's such as IHS. (Imperial Hospital Ship) IMS. (Imperial Mail Ship) IDS. (Imperial Delegation Ship) Or IIS. (Imperial Immigrant Ship)
The shipping line has been praised by both governmental organizations and the citizenry of the collective civilized world for its many ground breaking takes on shipping, passenger comfort and safety, as well as the many technological achievements unrelated to shipping but were inspired due to problems within the shipping industry. The most notable of these would be the creation of the "Sparkdust Station," the first dedicated piece of technology for Spark Speak communication, created to allow for long range communication between ships in open ocean, able to communicate hundreds of kilometers in a distance in case of emergency, or to share crucial weather and environmental condition information for approaching ships. As well, the Great Harmony Shipping Line made it standard that all ships, no matter who or what their make, will always have enough life rafts for each passenger on board, along with equal opportunity booking passage, employment, and disallowing mistreatment of poorer passengers.
Along with their ships being sea traversing vessels, select members of their fleet are equip with air traversal engines thanks to recent advancements in air travel technologies with their fairly recent partnership with the "Airforge Traversal" transportation company. However due to the technologies fairly recent creation, as well as the high price tag, upkeep cost, and slow travel speed as compared to sea travel, only around five of the Shipping Line's vessels are able to cross the air. But despite that, each one that is capable is a very popular way to traverse long distances for the Empire's more affluent denizens, despite the fact they move extremely slow, making a flying ship to be more marketed towards pleasure cruses, where the trip itself is the bulk of what you want to experience with your money, making most both highly expensive, and filled to the brim with top of the-line luxuries, services and amenities.
Despite their stellar reputation in the eyes of the public, the Great Harmony Shipping Line's service history has not been without its disasters, as numerous ships within their fleet have wrecked and fully sank beneath the waters, most being during their time acquisitioned for wartime service, however a large number still have been lost during peacetime service. In total, around six hundred and six ships have been lost in the thousand plus year history of the Great Harmony Shipping Line, four hundred and sixty-eight lost during wartime and three hundred and thirty-eight lost during peacetime service, with the total estimate loss of forty-five thousand souls. The deadliest of which being the loss of the IIS Last Hope, who crashed into the rocks of island Safe Haven in 573 AU with the loss of ten thousand, five hundred and thirty souls.