4th May 2005, 09:39
Built 1940 by Newport News S.B. &D.D. Co., Newport News, as AMERICA.
26,315grt. 723' 0" x 93' 6" x 32' 8".
Sold to Chandris in 1964 and after an extensive refit, she entered the emigrant trade between the UK and Australia/New Zealand.
Withdrawn from service in Decemebr 1977, she was laid up at Timaru, arriving there on 23 December from Auckland.
She was sold to American interests in April 1978 and sailed from Timaru on 23 April bound for Auckland and thence New York.
Renamed AMERICA, she did not last long with her new owners and was resold to Chandris for $1,000,000 - not a bad deal really seeing as they had sold her for $4,000,000. (Or so it was reported at the time).
Chandris gave her another refit, removing her forward (dummy) funnel at the same time and renamed her ITALIS.
She was not in service under this name for long and spent many years laid up at Piraeus, under a variety of colours, owners and names until finally, renamed AMERICAN STAR, she was towed away bound for a new life as a hotel ship in Thailand. Regrettably she never made it (and some would say it was almost stage-managed), breaking away from her tow in heavy weather and running aground at Furenventura, Canary Islands on 17 January 1994.
She is still there albeit broken in two, but it is only a matter of time before she finally succumbs to the sea.
Photo shows her at Timaru in January 1978.
Photo source: "Timaru Herald"

26th October 2005, 22:06
I went on a Christmas cruise on Australis from Auckland in 1969. Many passengers including me got bad stomachs. I took my own jipper so was not too bad. Other than that, I enjoyed it and being on board the former America which I saw so many times when growing up on the Isle of Wight was an added bonus despite her new name and owners. David Cole

27th October 2005, 03:38
I wonder if that old wharf is still there, staggered down there a few times from the local delights.

27th October 2005, 09:26
Yes it is still there, but it's days are numbered. The North Mole (remember it?) is slowly growing in that directionn and will mean the eventual demolition of it. Do you recall the little Fishermans Wharf just to the north of No.3? It's been gone for many years.