When Christopher Columbus came upon the New World in 1492, his historic crossing of the Atlantic Ocean had taken five weeks. Since then various records have been set for traversing the Atlantic. There is the famous "Blue Ribband" award established in the mid-1800s for passenger vessels that made the fastest crossing times. The SS United States holds this prize with a 1952 crossing in three days, ten hours, and 40 minutes, at 35.5 knots.
Specialized high-speed vessels have gone even faster. The powered record is held by the Italian ship Destriero. In 2009 she crossed at 54 knots, doing the voyage in less than two and a half days. The fastest sailing boat took a little over three and a half days at a speed of 33 knots.
At the other end of the speed spectrum is a truly remarkable seven-month crossing recently made by a specially configured unmanned submersible, the Scarlet Knight (RU-27), operated by Rutgers University. It took 221 days, from April to December 2009, for the craft to make the 4,500 miles from New Jersey to the vicinity of Baiona, Spain (coincidentally, the same port where Columbus' ship Nina returned in 1493).