Last British built Passenger ship

Pat McCardle
17th March 2009, 19:02
Which one was it?

trucker
17th March 2009, 20:05
don,t know about the last passenger boat to be built in the u.k.but ithink the last one to be built on the tyne, was at swan hunters about early 70s.

Frank P
17th March 2009, 20:21
Pat,
I believe it was the Vistafjord for the Norwegian America Line

Cheers Frank

timo
17th March 2009, 21:25
RMS St Helena, built 1989 in Aberdeen?, CalMac have had some passenger ferries built in the UK but I dont think they can be classed as passenger 'ships', so I'll say the St Helena, only a guess tho'.

sparkie2182
17th March 2009, 21:42
the Odessa, ex Copenhagen........handed to owners 1974 by Vickers, Barrow after initial owners went bust.

i dont know if she was the last built in u.k...... but may be in with a chance.

Pat McCardle
17th March 2009, 21:53
I'll go with Frank's, I have a hunch it was Vistafjord. Many thanks.

sparkie2182
17th March 2009, 22:01
i agree Pat.

Odessa was certainly Barrow's last Passenger ship.

voyagerx1
17th March 2009, 22:03
Which one was it?

Hi Pat, Not too sure but I was offered the QE2 back in '73 and turned it down, prefefering to ship out on the Windsor Castle, now I've just found this artcle on conditions on cruise ships and regardless of where the ships are built the conditions and pay for the crew is still criminal, even if they are foreigh nationals. aybe we should get the shippng companies should stop filling their and their shareholders bank accounts and get some decent wages and working conditions on the liners, so that maybe british and european crews can get back to sea and earn a decent wage for the work done... sorry Pat, not really your theme but had to get it out of my system..

(http://www.cruisejunkie.com/ot.html)

Santos
18th March 2009, 00:31
M. S. V I S T A F J O R D



1973

15th May 1973, Named By Mrs Agnes Henriksen
(the Wife Of The Managing Director Of Norwegian America Line)

Swan Hunter Shipbuilders Ltd, Wallsend On Tyne, Newcastle Upon Tyne, England, Uk

Den Norske Amerikalinje A/s (norwegian America Line)

Still In Service With Saga Cruises As Saga Ruby

Pat Kennedy
18th March 2009, 22:17
Hi Pat, Not too sure but I was offered the QE2 back in '73 and turned it down, prefefering to ship out on the Windsor Castle, now I've just found this artcle on conditions on cruise ships and regardless of where the ships are built the conditions and pay for the crew is still criminal, even if they are foreigh nationals. aybe we should get the shippng companies should stop filling their and their shareholders bank accounts and get some decent wages and working conditions on the liners, so that maybe british and european crews can get back to sea and earn a decent wage for the work done... sorry Pat, not really your theme but had to get it out of my system..

(http://www.cruisejunkie.com/ot.html)

That is spot on, I agree with all you say. There is a lot of comment about beautiful passsenger liners of yesteryear, but ask anyone who sailed in them as a rating and they will tell you, the conditions were abysmal, and by the sound of it they have hardly improved over the years.
Pat

Pompeyfan
19th March 2009, 00:23
Timo is right. The last passenger ship built in the UK was RMS St Helena launched in 1989 at A.P Appledore (Aberdeen)Ltd. I think they went bankrupt, but she made her maiden voyage in late 1990.

She is a true working passenger cargo liner, the only ocean-going vessel in the world to carry the Royal Mail, RMS. She still plies regular 'line voyages' from Portland to St Helena.

David

Frank P
19th March 2009, 09:26
I have just visited the RMS St Helena web site and the cruises are listed under "cargo ship cruises", I would think that the owners of the vessel know what category of ship she is.

http://www.rms-st-helena.com/

Cheers Frank

Pat McCardle
19th March 2009, 09:28
I saw St. Helena being launched late one Saturday night & I would call her a Cargo vessel with accommodation for passengers, not a true passenger vessel, so I stick with Vistafjord. Thanks for the replies.

Pompeyfan
19th March 2009, 10:17
I saw St. Helena being launched late one Saturday night & I would call her a Cargo vessel with accommodation for passengers, not a true passenger vessel, so I stick with Vistafjord. Thanks for the replies.

Pat

Sorry to disagree, but the RMS St Helena is most certainly a true passenger vessel carrying the tradition of all those before her that carried passengers AND cargo. None were ever passenger only. She is a liner, a Royal Mail Ship. This is where people today get confused between liners and cruise ships.

ALL passenger liners used to carry a certain amount cargo. Saying that Vistafjord is more of a passenger ship than St Helena is like saying that she was more of a passenger ship than all the Castle liners, Windsor Castle and so on. None were passenger only ships. That includes every single P&O and Orient liners including us on Canberra. We ALL carried a certain amount of cargo even the trans-Atlantic liners and many were RMS like the St Helena. In between 'line voyages' some of them did cruises with only passengers and not cargo, and later they went cruising full time like Canberra and Arcadia etc. But they were ALL built with Holds etc to carry cargo.

If I have said it once, I have said it a million times that liner is a trade name. It has nothing to do with conventional passenger ships, but the trade they are employed on. The original liners were sailing ships, possibly carrying more cargo than passengers as they opened up trade with the rest of the world. That became more specialised, bigger passenger/cargo ships built to the point where it was more passenger than cargo designed as they are today which many see as the true passenger ship. So more cargo liners came on the scene as the industry evolved as it is today. And even some cargo liners carried a few passengers carrying on the tradition, but in a smaller way passenger wise.

RMS St Helena has 128 berths. Each voyage takes 31 days, and they are voyages, 'line voyages' not cruises although just like the hey day of passenger liners the wealthy can use each voyage as a cruise.

I suppose the only thing you can say about ships like Vistafjord is that she was either the first or last passenger ONLY ship to be built in this country because others before her, the true passenger liners ALL carried a certain amount of cargo, and some carried Royal Mail. Vistafjord was built in the era of full time cruising where the airliner was killing passenger line voyages of the sea, and purpose built cruise ships were coming on the scene. Queen Mary 2 for example was the first passenger liner built ANYWHERE since QE2. And I think QE2 was that last passenger liner to be built in the UK, those after that being cruise ships.

David

fred henderson
19th March 2009, 15:20
I support David’s nomination of St Helena. The usual definition of a Passenger Ship (and the one we follow in the SN Galleries) is a vessel with a Passenger Certificate. This certificate is needed for any ship with cabin accommodation for more than 12 passengers and requires various additional safety provisions, including medical facilities.

First and last claims are always contentious. I have always understood that Southern Cross (1955) did not have any cargo space. It was always stated that Canberra’s trim problem was largely due to the ship being designed to carry 1,500 tons of cargo in a forward hold, but because P&O could not provide any, she had a greater service draught aft than intended. Did she in fact carry cargo on line voyages David?

The absence of cargo caused considerable stability problems in traditional passenger ship designs. (One of the reasons why modern cruise ships have a different appearance) When liners were converted to cruise ships they usually needed to have thousands of tons of permanent ballast added (steel scrap, often embedded in concrete). New ships built on traditional liner hull-forms needed the same treatment. Fairsky (1984) was in trouble as P&O Australia’s Pacific Sky when she developed a serious leak in a permanent ballast space.

Vistafjord was ordered from Swan Hunter as a transatlantic liner with accommodation for 830 passengers that was reduced to 550 for cruising. She has a traditional liner hull-form, ice strengthened. Stability was achieved by doubling the intended thickness of the double-bottom steel plates and constructing the entire superstructure from aluminium.

Vistafjord was completed in 1973 (four months early) and initially employed on liner services from Oslo to New York, plus cruises. The transatlantic voyages were quickly reduced in number until they merely became positioning voyages.

Work was started in Barrow on Copenhagen before Vistafjord was ordered, but construction was halted in 1970 because of contractual disputes with her owners. She was eventually launched in 1972 as Prins Henrik af Danmark and towed to the Tyne in 1973 for completion by Swan Hunter. She ran sea trials in 1974, but the owners were unable to pay the delivery instalment. The ship was eventually sold to the Russians in 1975 and was renamed Odessa. She was a pure cruise ship, about half the size of Vistafjord.

Fred

Pompeyfan
19th March 2009, 19:11
Fred

Canberra as you would know, was designed to carry various types of cargo like other liners of the era and before, in addition to passengers baggage and even cars. Her deck plans contained the following: No 2 and 3 cargo space on the port side of H Deck, and two Tween decks on starboard. Just forward of these was an area for special cargo. On J Deck forward were No 2 and No 1 Cargo on port side, another Tween deck, and a Hold on starboard. There was a large Baggage Room on the starboard side of G Deck. On Northern Star they opened the Hold now and again when I emigrated on her. I had a large trunk and other cases down there, but others had furniture and goodness know what. It was a huge area.

However, because in the case of Canberra her cargo space made her stern heavy as you know, her Holds were converted to bunkers and tanks and pig iron ballast.

Therefore, in answer to your question, although designed to carry cargo, as far as I am aware she did not, other than what passengers took with them which in itself was cargo, but not for export etc. We had a full time Baggage Steward, a very large baggage room.

I would have thought that the smaller emigrant liners like Fairsky and Castel Felice would not have carried any cargo either other than passengers.belongings.

David

KenLin39
20th March 2009, 00:07
I feel sure that the last two Castle line ships carried no cargo. Possibly Transvaal and Windsor. It states this in Snowbow film "Castles to the Cape" Ken.

vectiscol
20th March 2009, 06:20
I worked on Copenhagen (Odessa) in Vickers' naval architect's office in 1969, although the design actually came from Knud E Hansen in Denmark.

Surely the question of whether the ship carried cargo or not is academic. Cars and lorries and trailers are cargo. If a ship has a passenger certificate then by definition it is a passenger ship, be it cruise ship, ferry or liner.

Pompeyfan
20th March 2009, 10:21
I feel sure that the last two Castle line ships carried no cargo. Possibly Transvaal and Windsor. It states this in Snowbow film "Castles to the Cape" Ken.

Yes, but that would have been at the end Ken. Certainly not when they were in full service all those years.

David

Fairfield
20th March 2009, 11:04
Would agree with ST HELENA. Before that it possibly would have been NORSEA unless she is classed as a ferry.

Ron Stringer
20th March 2009, 20:34
Scillonian?

Dulcibella
24th March 2009, 11:05
I totally agree with Pompeyfan, all P&O ships carried cargo and passengers. The "big" ships, certainly before Canberra, carried a lot of cargo in their big holds. It was a regular occurance to see Arcadia, Iberia, Himalaya,and even the Straths being loaded in Melbourne with banded wool bales, frozen lamb/sheep carcases prior to sailing for UK; no doubt similar events in Sydney as well. I'm not sure whether Orient Line liners carried any freight, if they did I don't think it was to the same extent, but I confess I'm not certain about this aspect.

Our smaller cargo "liners".... carrying perhaps a dozen passengers.... also loaded similar cargoes as well as anything else that was needed to be carried to/from Australia by sea. Regular advertised sailings; regular and dated ports of call; travelling "on the same line" from point of first departure to final port of arrival on outward voyages, in other words " a liner". As has been already mentioned, cruise ships are not "liners" in the real and accepted sense of the word.

I can well remember that the P&O Freight Department manager used to say (and I'm talking about the 1950s, 60s), that it was the carriage of freight aboard the ships that paid for the voyage NOT the carriage of passengers.

Dulcibella (Ian)

Shipbuilder
26th April 2009, 19:40
I sailed in TRANSVAAL CASTLE (3 voyages), WINDSOR CASTLE (about 5 years) and ST. HELENA (almost 2 years in new ship, 11 years in old one). TRANSVAAL and WINDSOR CASTLEs carried thousands of tons of cargo. Both ST. HELENA's also carried cargo as well as passengers.

The new ST. HELENA carried 132 passengers and the cargo sometimes took a week to load in Cape Town and the same time to discharge in St. Helena. Without a doubt, she was the last British built passenger liner and her main role is to keep the island of St. Helena supplied and transport passengers to and from the place as there was, and still is, no airport there!

I don't think what modern shipping companies sometimes describe their ships as carries much weight these days. I have heard of a number of them referring to their ships as "boats," and even the TRANSVAL CASTLE ended her days under the disgraceful name of BIG RED BOAT III.

Bob

Pompeyfan
27th April 2009, 00:38
I sailed in TRANSVAAL CASTLE (3 voyages), WINDSOR CASTLE (about 5 years) and ST. HELENA (almost 2 years in new ship, 11 years in old one). TRANSVAAL and WINDSOR CASTLEs carried thousands of tons of cargo. Both ST. HELENA's also carried cargo as well as passengers.

The new ST. HELENA carried 132 passengers and the cargo sometimes took a week to load in Cape Town and the same time to discharge in St. Helena. Without a doubt, she was the last British built passenger liner and her main role is to keep the island of St. Helena supplied and transport passengers to and from the place as there was, and still is, no airport there!

I don't think what modern shipping companies sometimes describe their ships as carries much weight these days. I have heard of a number of them referring to their ships as "boats," and even the TRANSVAL CASTLE ended her days under the disgraceful name of BIG RED BOAT III.


Bob

I agree with all you say including those who refer to these great ships as boats, a pet subject of mine. The captain of the old Arcadia would have scolded any crew member who called his ship a boat. I heard him telling a passenger off once!.

David

K urgess
27th April 2009, 10:11
Tried to fix your quote, David, but this is one of those threads where quotes and links don't work.
Sorry. (Sad)
Kris

Pompeyfan
28th April 2009, 22:43
Tried to fix your quote, David, but this is one of those threads where quotes and links don't work.
Sorry. (Sad)
Kris

Thanks for trying Kris.

I wrote in the wrong place.

David

Dickyboy
26th July 2009, 17:16
Didn't I see something on the news this week, very briefly, about a new British built cruise liner going into service?

Shipbuilder
28th July 2009, 19:19
Splitting hairs, I suppose, but a cruise ship is a cruise ship, not a cruise liner. A passenger liner ran on a fixed run in order to get people from A to B. I still insist that my last ship, RMS ST HELENA was, and still is, the last British passenger liner.
Bob

Pompeyfan
30th July 2009, 11:54
Splitting hairs, I suppose, but a cruise ship is a cruise ship, not a cruise liner. A passenger liner ran on a fixed run in order to get people from A to B. I still insist that my last ship, RMS ST HELENA was, and still is, the last British passenger liner.
Bob

Spot on Shipbuilder, a cruise ship is not a liner unless employed on 'line voyages' as well as cruising. As you would know, liner is a trade name, and nothing to do with the type of vessel plying that trade. Many people think that any passenger ship is a liner. That is not so. The first passenger liners were sailing ships, not posh looking ships that many associate as liners today. Cruising and 'line voyages' are different trades meaning there is no such thing in nautical terminology as a cruise liner. Sadly however, the term is used by almost everybody including cruise companies who are even worse referring to these blocks of flats as super liners. Only those of us who know the nautical meaning of liner know the truth. But we are a dying breed sadly, and the nautical profession is doing nothing to stop the misuse of the meaning of the term liner. In the not too distant future, the true meaning the liner will be totally lost.

Basically, a single word was needed in the past for ships plying 'line voyages' as countries began trading with each other by sea. These are scheduled voyages passenger or cargo or both transporting passengers or cargo from A to B on the same line crossing oceans, hence Ocean Liner. Passengers were not on holiday, but going somewhere just like getting on a bus or train stopping at different ports en-route. Today, the role of the former passenger liner has been taken over by passenger aircraft, and it is no coincidence that passenger aircraft are known as AirLINERS.

Yes, in true nautical terms, RMS St Helena was the last British passenger liner to be built in this country, and one of the last passenger liners to ply passenger 'line voyages, and certainly the last RMS.


David

Stephen J. Card
31st July 2009, 13:39
We should not forget that Shaw Savill's SOUTHERN CROSS and NORTHERN STAR were designed and built as 'passenger only' vessels and they did sail on their owner's line voyages. Both vessels had a set of derricks forward but to my knowledge they were used for handing stores.

Likewise VISTAFJORD had a hold forward but it's purpose is for stores etc. St HELENA on the other hand was designed and is a cargo/passenger liner.

Stephen

Pompeyfan
1st August 2009, 11:47
We should not forget that Shaw Savill's SOUTHERN CROSS and NORTHERN STAR were designed and built as 'passenger only' vessels and they did sail on their owner's line voyages. Both vessels had a set of derricks forward but to my knowledge they were used for handing stores.

Likewise VISTAFJORD had a hold forward but it's purpose is for stores etc. St HELENA on the other hand was designed and is a cargo/passenger liner.

Stephen

Yes Stephen, RMS St Helena is a cargo/passenger liner, the cargo of course vital for the island of St Helena as they have no airstrip, so cargo, mail, and indeed passenger service can only come by sea, just like the days when the entire world depended on ships. That is why liners, those that ply regular 'line voyages' were so critical just as RMS St Helena is for the island that bares her name. There was a good programme on Meridian a few weeks ago of RMS St Helena and indeed the island. Liners are, or were of course passenger or cargo or a mixture of both many carrying the Royal Mail, now only carried by RMS St Helena.

And yes, Southern Cross and Northern Star had no cargo Holds. However, I emigrated on Northern Star to New Zealand in the 1960s. She did have a very large Hold where emigrating passengers could store big objects because many took their worldly belongings for their new home. On occasions, we were allowed into the Hold if we needed anything or to just check it. I had very large trunk in addition to my normal baggage one which I had in the cabin. We all had one cabin case. There were six of us in the cabin. Therefore, although passenger only, we did have our own cargo. And of course we ourselves were classed as cargo [=P]

Actually, I have just been looking at the diary I wrote every day aboard Northern Star the things I was doing etc, life aboard the ship, and loads of keep-sakes I still have of that wonderful six week voyage that opened my eyes so much seeing places I had dreamed of, or never knew existed!. So much could be seen when being transported to a far away destination by sea stopping en-route. By air, you just fly over it all and see nothing.

David

Stephen J. Card
1st August 2009, 12:33
Yes And of course we ourselves were classed as cargo [=P]


David


Hallo David,

Of course 'real' cargo doesn't talk back!!!!

Stephen

Kraffy
16th September 2009, 14:28
I always thought that the QE2 was the last true passenger liner built in Britain. She did spend some time on the North Atlantic run did she not. I am not very sure as I have been in Australia since 1965 & not involved with ships since then.

Scurdie
29th September 2009, 23:46
I feel sure that the last two Castle line ships carried no cargo. Possibly Transvaal and Windsor. It states this in Snowbow film "Castles to the Cape" Ken.

I sailed on the old Transvaal Castle when she was the cruise ship IslandBreeze. Premier Cruise Line (now defunct) were proud of their ships' histories, and passengers were given a talk about the ship and the changes made to her over the years. She certainly did carry cargo in her original role, and was even fitted with tanks for the carriage of South African wine and stables for the transport of race horses.

Shipbuilder
3rd October 2009, 08:41
All of the last lot of Castles carried thousands of tons of cargo. These were:
Windsor, Edinburgh, Pendennis, SA Vaal (Ex Transvaal), SA Orange (Ex Pretoria), Good Hope and Southampton. I sailed in them all except Southampton. Our other passenger ship was REINA DEL MAR, but under Union-Castle charter was cruising and did not carry any cargo.
Bob