Monday, January 2, 2012

SS "CANBERRA", the Great White Whale




The first posts of 2012 are about SS "CANBERRA" one of my all time favourites. The story of CANBERRA started in 1956 when P & O asked British Shipbuilders to tender for a new liner to be operated between the UK and AUSTRALIA, it was later that year that P & O announced that HARLAND & WOLFF would build the new ship, the keel was laid in 1957 and she was lanched in 1960, CANBERRA started her maiden voyage on the 2sd of June 1961, she was 45.270 GRT and had a top speed of over 29 knots. Later when the ship was full time employed on cruising the top speed was reduced to 23.5 knots, for many CANBERRA's finest hour was when she served on the Falklands conflict where she was sent to the heart of the conflict, she was by then nicknamed the "Great White Whale". After returning from the Falklands she resumed cruising and served P & O until 1997 when she was withdrawn from service, much to the despair of her legion of loyal followers, she was a British favourite with a reputation almost impossible to match, I have never sailed on CANBERRA never even been on board, but I have seen and photographed her in many occasions and will never forget her, my fondest memory of the vessel was in 1995 when I went to Southampton to see the brand new ORIANA, I was very pleased with the new ship but she was completely overshadowed by the amazing CANBERRA's profile when she skipped her moorings half an hour later. She left unnoticed in October of 1997 to Gadani Beach in Pakistan to be scrapped under her own steam a sad but dignified ending for such a unique and beautiful liner. Photos of CANBERRA in Lisbon during the eighties

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