HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone. Seen here departing Funchal on New Year's day is the very handsome classic passenger ship "SAGA RUBY", the ship was the last passenger ship order to be received by SWAN HUNTER and started service as the VISTAFJORD in 1973, not the last one to be built in Britain as commonly stated, the last one was the "ODESSA" also finished by Swan Hunter in 1974. This could very well be her last call to Madeira, the ship is due back in Southampton on the 7.1.2014, the end of her very last cruise with SAGA CRUISES, she has been reported to be withdrawn from service after that and with tougher rules coming into place all the time, affecting mainly classic passenger ships, it is unlikely that she will be sailing again on regular cruising services, I sincerely hope not. Photo taken by Peter Goncalves, 1.1.2014
Built in Germany in 1997, the cruise ship "HAMBURG" is owned by Hapag-Lloyd and was previously named COLUMBUS, she is only 15.200 GRT and cruises at 16 knots, the ship has capacity for 400 guests and is today operated by Plantours as the "HAMBURG". She is a fine looking small yacht-like vessel with very luxurious interiors and provides to her passengers a very cosy and friendly atmosphere, the ideal size ship for many passengers. I have never photographed the "HAMBURG" or previously the COLUMBUS so have to thank two keen contributors to this Blog, top image by Harald Oanes in Norway and Rui Agostinho for the other two photos, in Lisbon.
This post is dedicated to all the Italian followers of this blog. This past week saw an unprecedented number of pageviews from Italy, I was really pleased to notice that the post "WILLEM RUYS BECOMES ACHILLE LAURO" is the most popular post of this blog, leading by far all the posts related to the COSTA CONCORDIA's tragedy, so despite the relevance of the tragic events which obviously dominated the news not just in Italy but around the world, there is an obvious interest on Italian passenger liners and this is reassuring for me, I do believe that the most beautiful liners came out of Italy, this is why I have chosen CRISTOFORO COLOMBO for many the most elegant liner ever built as a testimony of appreciation to the great nation that Italy was and still is as far as shipping and ship building is concerned, so thank you to all my Italian followers, I will endeavour to carry on with the best possible work on this blog. Postcards of my collection
This "post" is about a remarkable ship, the S.S. "UNITED STATES" of 1952 one of the greatest passenger liners ever built. Work on the building of the UNITED STATES" began at NEWPORT NEWS SHIPBUILDING AND DRY DOCK on the 8.2.1950, this extraordinary ship was built with the dual purpose of an Ocean Liner and also a Naval Auxiliary, she could be converted into a Troopship in just 48 hours. Her Turbines could develop an incredible 248.000 s.h.p. making her by far the fastest ocean liner ever to have crossed the North Atlantic, on her maiden voyage from New York, 3.7.1952 she bested the QUEEN MARY record for 14 years by some 10 hours, she crossed the North Atlantic in just 3 days, 10 hours and 40 minutes at an average speed of 35.59 knots. The "UNITED STATES" is 53.330 GRT and had capacity for 1925 passengers. After a decade of solid bookings, the numbers of passengers crossing by sea started steadily started to disappear, "UNITED STATES" was w…