View Full Version : The SS Caronia

Brian Probetts (Site Admin)
14th September 2015, 12:11 PM

Commissioned in December 1948, Cunard's Caronia gained a reputation as the most luxurious ocean liner in the world. The 34,000-ton ship painted entirely in green and so soon dubbed the "Green Goddess" reigned supreme during the 1950s. But no short 6 or 7 night cruises to Bermuda or Nassau for her, it was nothing but long, luxurious cruises one, two and three month jaunts. And it all had a pattern, a sort of grand familiarity to it, such as 100 days around the world in January; two months to the Med in spring; 45 nights to Scandinavia in high summer; and one or two more Med cruises in the fall. The Caronia was said to have the very best crew in the Cunard fleet back then. Staff all but queued up to serve aboard her. She carried just about millionaires only, of course, and so the tips were legendary. One restaurant waiter was presented with a sports car, English of course, by a grateful heiress. The Caronia was also like a big floating club built for 900 passengers, her cruise capacity was reduced to 600 but normally finished-up at a clubby 300. And all being looked after by 600 handpicked Cunard staff. Yes, the caviar flowed. No request was too great. And passengers came year after year including one lady who "lived" aboard for fourteen years. But by the mid '60s, the Caronia had fallen out of step, new liners came into service and Cunard was in deepening financial trouble. The grand ship was sold, in 1968, to Greek buyers, who planned to re-use the legendary ship on 7-night Caribbean cruises as the Caribia. The maiden season was all but canceled, however there was a fire, mechanical problems and, worst of all, a shortage of money. The Caribia was soon laid-up in New York harbor faded, rusting and shifting from berth to berth to anchorage. For a time, in 1970, the ship was moored in Brooklyn, at the old Bush Terminal. A strange site along that remote waterfront, her luxury days had long past.

Captain Kong
14th September 2015, 01:10 PM
i SAW THE Caronia wrecked across the entrance to Apra Harbour in September 1974. it had happed a few weeks before.
She was named Carib and was being towed to Taiwan for scrap. The tug let her go while it went into Apra for repairs and the Carib decided to follow and with a Big swell running she went up on top of the breakwater on the port side of the entrance and snapped into three pieces, The Bow was stood high and dry on top of the breakwater as tho` she had been cut by a knife just abaft the focsle. the rest of the ship was sank across the entrance, and the US Navy Divers were cutting her up to keep the entrance clear.
We were running in there quite regularly with fuel oil for the Fleet up to the end of the Viet Nam War.
an interesting but sad sight. I guess she didn't want to go to the breakers in Taiwan.