Port Melbourne/Port Sydney.

18th December 2005, 11:35
I think it was in Greece, but can anyone advise at which yard(s) the "Port Melbourne" and "Port Sydney" of 1955 were rebuilt into their current conditions as "Princess Danae" and "Ocean Monarch" respectively?

Photographic evidence would indicate that nothing was done to change the shape of their hulls from the sheer strake down but can anyone confirm (apart from the cutting of port holes) that nothing was done to their hulls.

I believe their main engines are the originals and it is all credit to their builders (H & W Belfast and Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson respectively) that with hulls of 50 years of age, the current owners are still confident enough to be updating at least one of them - it looks as if "Ocean Monarch" has had penthouse suites added for'd of the funnel in the last year?


19th February 2006, 03:44
During my apprenticeship at Harland & Wolff I worked on the Main Engines in the Engine Works prior to installation on the Port Melbourne.
Nice to learn the engines lasted for so long.
I subsequently sailed on the Port Wyndam and Port Vindex as an Engineer.

Great site.
Alex in Oz

19th February 2006, 06:33
Hi Mike, the following web site (Red Duster) shows the conversions for both ships were done at the Chalkis Shipyard.


I hope this is of some assistance.
Regards.....Bill Burton.....Tassie.

doug rowland
23rd February 2006, 20:39
I saailed in Port Sydney for three years,she was a fine ship then(1960's) and her conversion was well done as she and her sister are still good looking in their modern guise.Port Sydney had Doxford engines,still going strong in the Ocean Monarch over 50 years since building. I saw her and went aboard when she was Daphne and although some original equipment was still evident(deck crane and windlass and possibly some of the lifeboats) not much of the original ship was evident.
Doug Rowland.

31st May 2011, 15:23
There is a fine picture of the day of "Princess Danae" ex Port Melbourne in todays' newsclippings at clippingnews@maasmondmaritime.com <clippingnews@maasmondmaritime.com> almost certainly taken recently. Considering this ship, on which I was first trip apprentice in 1962, was built in 1956 she looks incredible. All power to her Portuguese owners and managers for keeping her in such a fine condition and continuing to operate this 54 year old vessel with an almost clean Port State Inspection record since 1999. Chris Allport

25th June 2011, 17:02
What what was the average length of the vovages

27th June 2011, 17:14
Hi Tiachapman,

I think that on average the M.A.N.Z. run would last about one year. In 1958 was engaged on that run whilst on the 'Port Huon'. The trip started off in late Dec.1957. From the U.K. went out to N.Z. (spent about 3 months on the coast), then to the east coast of the U.S. , back down to OZ ( another three months round the coast) then back to Boston, Mass., via Venezuela and Jamaica. From Boston they flew the crew home in time for Xmas (which was nice of them). With Port Line, I think it was company practice to change crews after about one year, although I don't know if the same practice applied to the ships of the N.Z.Shipping Co. and other Companies engaged in that trade.


10th November 2011, 14:46
Great to note from Ships Monthly(December 2011) that both Princess Daphne (ex Port Sydney 1955) and Princess Danae (ex Port Melbourne 1955) will continue operating through 2012. Details can be found at http://www.shipsmonthly.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=491:princess-daphne-chartered-for-cruises&catid=51:cruise&Itemid=66 entitled "Sprightly sisters sail on". An understatement about ships that will be 56 years old. Must have been well built by Harlands?

Hugh Ferguson
20th July 2012, 09:58
The attached is a silver plated, with enamelled house flag, matchbox which once belonged to Captain Andy McClounan. It contains a list of the names of no fewer than 32 Port Line ships-date unknown.

7th January 2013, 16:20
I sailed in both the Port Sydney and the Port Melbourne in the 1950,s / 60. They were both fine ships and a credit to their builders. They were very happy times for me. Bosun on the Sydney was Murdo McDonald and on the Melbourne it was John Bremner.
Alex C.

15th February 2013, 14:12
There are 2 Kindle books about Port line voyages in the 50's UK to Aus and NZ, Port Mel is in both, good stories by the crew.

20th October 2014, 21:06
I sailed on the Port Melbourne in the 1960's and without a doubt, it was the most miserable time I have ever spent on a ship. I walked off the ship (jumped ship) in NZ in 1966 , out of desperation. I eventually returned to the UK in 1970 after having spent four years working and travelling around Australia and New Zealand.
I continued sailing with other shipping companies and had my first C/E job in 1976.
I look back on this period with mixed feelings - my time with Port Line.