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Article: The Southern Cross

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    The Southern Cross

    86 Comments by Brian Probetts (Site Admin) Published on 6th January 2016 12:33 AM
    The Southern Cross

    1 Comments by Brian Probetts (Site Admin) Published on 5th January 2016 12:44 PM



    How passenger ships have grown and the passenger ship business expanded!

    Sixty years ago, in the winter of 1955, workers at the Harland & Wolff shipyard at Belfast were adding the finishing touches to the 20,000-ton Southern Cross, the innovative flagship of Britain's Shaw Shaw Line.
    The new liner had aroused and intrigued the press, the shjipping industry and ocean travelers across the globe.
    In many ways, the 20-knot, twin-screw vessel would be a "ship for tomorrow".
    She would be the first major liner to have her engines and therefore her funnel placed aft -- and creating a design style that became increasingly popular.
    She was also one of the first all-one class, all-tourist class passenger ships (meaning a passenger in a top-deck suite would share, say, the public areas used by migrants in an inside six-berth down on D Deck).
    Indeed, it was the beginning of a new social age at sea! The 604-ft long Southern Cross was also the first passenger liner of size and note that carried no cargo (other than passengers' baggage) whatsoever and so earned her keep exclusively from passenger fares.
    She was also designed for a unique service: continuous 76-night around-the-world voyages out of Southampton.


    The Southern Cross went on to a long and varied career -- later becoming the Calypso, then Azure Seas and finally Ocean Breeze -- before meeting the scrappers in faraway Bangladesh in 2003.
    Photo: As the Ocean Breeze, the former Southern Cross is seen above at Nassau and moored alongside the far newer and larger, 102,000-ton Carnival Triumph, a new generation, 3,500-passenger ship that is in fact five times the size of the older liner. Times on the high seas had changed!

    PS: If you have any stories to share about the Southern Cross and her long career, kindly forward them on. We enjoy hearing from others.
    Brian Probetts (site admin)
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  3. #81
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    Default Re: The Southern Cross

    My Dad was a Carpenter and Joiner working on the Southern Cross during final fitting out, he mainly worked in the cabins on the furniture and bulkheads..
    He told me a funny story whilst doing various jobs on Her one day, when he thought he did enough ( he was quite a fast worker and by no means a shirker) he used too walk around mid afternoon with a piece a wood and his tool bag looking busy but, in actual fact he was talking to the rest of his trade mates and staying one step ahead of the forman!! So when my Dad was on the deck above the forman was behind him on the deck below, he only did this as a bit of a joke to see how long he could do it for! So when the forman used ask wheres Paddy or Dave to some other the chippys they used to reply "he's on the deck above somewhere" so by the time the forman got there my Dad was on the deck below in front of him.. If there pathes ever crossed my Dad used to say "he was ashore getting something from the stores or you just walked right passed me"!! True story..

    During my time with shell tankers uk, i saw her in Singapore eastern anchorage, by then she was a sheep carrier going to gulf states.. We were based in Singapore and on one occasion whilst we were waiting for cargo orders and still at anchor it was observed that smoke was pouring out of the Southern Cross, Engine room fire, one Engineer and one Greaser died in the fire. Sad day!!
    Last edited by David John Foy; 2nd September 2020 at 10:28 AM.

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  5. #82
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    Default Re: The Southern Cross

    She was always known as the "SUFFERING CROSS, "

    I never sailked on her so do not know why.
    Cheers
    Brian

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  7. #83
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    Default Re: The Southern Cross

    From a few Stories that i have heard first hand Capt she got that name from all the hard work that was thrown at the Crew especially the Catering side!
    Apparently something like the old UCL Ships ,well some of them at least, real work Ships in Catering, with i recall having Two Sittings of Fourteen Bloods for many a trip.
    One was run off ones feet! Plus the Scrubouts,Silver and porthole cleaning, the Beer and Linin carries from one end of the Ship to the other. And above all this had to find time to serve the Kids Teas as they were called! Eeeeeek!
    Senior Member and Friend of this Website

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  9. #84
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    Default Re: The Southern Cross

    There have ben some very odd stories about her and her sister the Northern Star.
    Both at times were used to carry 10 pound Poms to Oz.
    There was one story, maybe true who knows, that on the way back to UK there was a bit of a riot with some of the passengers and they did some very serious damage to a number of public areas.
    Happy daze John in Oz.

    Life is too short to blend in.

    John Strange R737787
    World Traveller

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    Default Re: The Southern Cross

    post 81 was the ship that you mentioned in your post the same Southern Cross that was built for Shaw Savill in Belfast in 1955 and not some other ship, as everything that I can find on line about her was that she was the Southern Cross until 1972, the Calypso from 73 to 80, the Calypso 1 from 80 to 81, the azure seas from 81 to 92 .Then finally the Ocean Breeze from 92 to 2003 owned by Imperial Majesty Cruise Lines as a cruise ship. This company eventually sold her as scrap to a company in Bangladash who beached her at Chittagon in November 2003

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    Default Re: The Southern Cross

    I have heard stories of Stewards smacking kids with a tea towel with spoons inside!

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    Default Re: The Southern Cross

    Quote Originally Posted by George Bis View Post
    I have heard stories of Stewards smacking kids with a tea towel with spoons inside!
    There were a number of first class wingers on UCL that would have liked that.
    Happy daze John in Oz.

    Life is too short to blend in.

    John Strange R737787
    World Traveller

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