Something Old, Something New

Two postcards I came across this week which highlight how ocean travel has changed over 70 years.

Tegelberg PostcardDawn Princess Postcard

Tegelberg: (Info from Ronald Turner’s web page)
Dutch passenger ship
Built at Nederlandscae Sb hij in 1938
Capacity: 640 passengers.
GRT: 14140,
Length: 170.5 metres,
Width: 22 metres,
Speed: 17/18 knots
Converted to a Troopship and chartered for the Ministry of War, Liverpool, in 1942, capable of housing 2681 troops.
Broken up at Kaohsiung in 1968 after 30 years of service.

Dawn Princess: (Info from Wikipedia)
Built by Fincatieri, in Italy in 1996.
Capacity: 1950 passengers, 900 crew.
GRT: 77,500
Length: 261m
Width 32m
Speed: 21 knots

My father travelled on Tegelberg between India and the UK in 1945. He tells me he remembers being aboard the ship, and how all the children were told to stay below decks at one point during the voyage while they buried a recently deceased Italian prisoner of war at sea.

Despite having 1/5 the GRT of a modern day cruise ship like Dawn Princess, Tegelberg was required to carry over 2,000 crew during her war service. One can only imagine how crowded that must have been.

Aurora

A postcard I sent home to Liz and the kids during my cruise between Sydney and Auckland.

The purser very kindly stamped it with the big black ship stamp before I posted it.

Unfortunately Aurora had problems with a thruster bearing during that leg of the voyage, so we missed a few ports, but it was still very enjoyable.

Built in 2000 for P&O, Aurora is 270m long, and over 76,000 GRT. She normally cruises at about 24 knots and usually does one circumnavigation in Feb / March each year.

Postcard: RMS Queen Mary 2


RMS Queen Mary 2
Originally uploaded by MagicTyger

A postcard from Wendy, who works on Cunard’s flagship RMS Queen Mary 2. This postcard was sent recently while she was crossing the North Atlantic from Southampton to New York.

Thanks Wendy!

Queen Mary 2 was launched in 2003.

She has a length of 345m (1,132 feet) and a tonnage of 148,528 GRT. With a displacement of about 76,000 tonnes, she is the heaviest passenger ship in the world, eclipsing RCI’s Freedom of the Seas, which although having a higher tonnage, only displaces 64,000 tonnes.

QM2 cruises at about 30 knots, making her the fastest ocean liner on the seas today.

She’s too wide (41m / 135 feet) to pass through the Panama Canal, which means that during circumnavigations she must sail around Cape Horn, the southernmost tip of South America.

Source: Wikipedia en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen_Mary_2

Rotterdam V in Bar Harbour


Rotterdam V in Bar Harbour
Originally uploaded by MagicTyger

A Postcard from fellow ship watcher, Dave.

Built for Holland America Line (HAL) in Rotterdam in the 1950’s, she was the biggest passenger ship ever built in the Netherlands.

At almost 40,000 GRT, 228 metres long, she could carry almost 1,500 passengers on Trans-Atlantic crossings, but also with single-class cruises in mind. The staircase and dividing walls were able to be altered to allow passengers to enjoy the entire ship during cruises.

She was the first ship to be built without traditional funnels. an idea which was taken up by P&O when they build Canberra in 1960.

She served for 38 years with HAL until 1997 when she was sold to Premier Cruise Line (PCL), operating out of the Carribean.

PCL went bankrupt in 2000, and the ship suffered an uncertain fate until she was purchased by a consortium of two Dutch companies, Eurobalance and Woonbron.

She’s currently berthed in her home port of Rotterdam, awaiting refurbishment as a Museum.

“M/S Funchal”

A Postcrossing post card from Vitoria in Portugal.

Funchal was originally built in 1961 to cruise between Lisbon, Madiera and the Azores. At 153m in length, she’s much smaller than many of today’s cruise ships, but she still has all of the essentials, including two restaurants, three bars, a theatre, a library and a casino.

She can accommodate over 400 passengers, and regularly cruises around the world during the Northern winter.

Thanks for the lovely postcard, Vitoria!

Ellinis, Fairsea

Postcards from CruiseCritic friend Lesley. Thanks Lesley!

Chandris liner Ellinis circa 1971.

This one makes a lovely match to another postcard I have of Ellinis here: neilius.blogspot.com/2008/07/arriving-in-oz.html

The “X” on the funnels is a greek “Chi” and stands for “Chandris” – she was part of the Chandris line.

This was the ship that my family migrated to Australia aboard in 1965. She carried many migrants to Australia in her time.

Built in 1932, she was originally named “Lurline” of the Matson line, and had distinguished herself during WW2 serving as a troop carrier, and was fortunate to have left Pearl Harbour in 1941 about 3 days prior to the Japanese attack.

Former Australian PM John Curtin sailed on her as part of a voyage to meet with President Roosevelt.

She was scrapped in the 1980’s and parts of her were cannibalized for use on “Britanis” another Chandris ship.

She may not be as pretty as some of the more modern ships, but with a history of over 50 years she touched the lives of many people who, todoay, would probably never have had the chance to cruise.


Sitmar liner Fairsea.
You can read a more detailed history of Sitmar ships here: http://www.prijt-priet.nl/htm/fairsea.htm

Fairsea was built in 1941, and originally named “Rio de la Plato”. She was taken over by the Royal Navy in 1941, renamed “HMS Charger” and fitted out as an aircraft carrier. She was later handed over to the US Navy who renamed her “USS Charger” after which she spent most of her war service in the Pacific.

Purchased by Alvion Steam Ship Corporation in 1949, she was converted into a Passenger Liner, and renamed “Fairsea”, and operated as a Passenger Liner and Cruise Ship until 1969 when she was eventually broken up for scrap.

“Ile de France”


DE-253807
Originally uploaded by MagicTyger

“Ile de France”, French Line. Built 1927. A Postcrossing Postcard from Maren who lives in the west of Germany on the River Rhine.

The “Ile de France” was the first major ocean liner built after WW1, and was entirely decorated with Art Deco designs. She was considered the most beautifully decorated ship built until the SS Normandie.

Her dining room was said to be magnificent – three decks high, with a grand staircase.

She boasted a gymnasium, shooting gallery, a gothic style chapel and merry-go-round/

Her entrance foyer was four decks high, and cabins boasted beds instead of bunks.

She was the fastest mailship of her time. Not because of excessive speed, but because she had a sea-plane catapult at her stern. When the ship was within 200 miles of land, she would launch the mail in a seaplane. Thus the mail would arrive sooner than if it had stayed aboard the ship.

She had a distinguished record in World War 2, on loan to the British admiiralty.

She was eventually sold to Japansese scrap merchants in 1959.

What a grand old ship.

Thanks for the postcard, Maren!

More info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Ile_de_France