Thursday, August 9, 2012

"SOUTHERN CROSS" the ship that revolutionized building design




"SOUTHERN CROSS" was built in 1955 by HARLAND & WOLFF, when she came into service she was rather original, it was very unusual for a ship to have her engines aft. Her owners as a result of careful planning decided that a passenger only ship was needed as opposed to a passenger-cargo one, delays in cargo handling was not acceptable. She was operated by SHAW SAVILL & ALBION on a around the world service. "SOUTHERN CROSS" was a well proportioned ship with a streamlined bridge, the result was one of sleek elegant vessel. SHAW SAVILL used the ship from Southampton to Australia calling at Trinidad, Curacao, through the Panama Canal, Tahiti, Fiji, Wellington, Auckland and then Sydney, Melbourne, Fremantle, the return home was via Durban, Cape Town and Las Palmas. "SOUTHERN CROSS" was so successful that her owners decided to replace the DOMINION MONARCH with a new ship, very identical to the 1955 built ship, NORTHERN STAR came into service in 1962, both liners remained in operation throughout the 60's, however in 1968 both were employed on cruising as well from either Southampton and Sydney, SOUTHERN CROSS also made some cruises from Liverpool. In 1971 was announced that SOUTHERN CROSS would be withdrawn from service, inevitably the liner operations had to come to an end. Late 1971 she was laid-up at Southampton and during spring of the following year she was moved to Cornwall, she was considered to be too expensive to be converted to full-time cruising so she remained laid-up until 1973 when she was finally sold to Greek interests and renamed CALYPSO, the ship was in service for another 20 years cruising for ULYSSES LINE, WESTERN CRUISES, ADMIRAL CRUISES, DOLPHIN CRUISE LINE, PREMIER CRUISE LINE and finally IMPERIAL MAJESTY CRUISES, she was dismantled in 2003 as the OCEAN BREEZE. When built she was 20.204 GRT and cruised at 20 knots her capacity was for 1150 passengers in one class only, because she carried no cargo, there was plenty of room for passenger facilities which included two swimming-pools on board not very common for a ship of her size. "SOUTHERN CROSS" a classic that changed and influenced passenger ship building forever.

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