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Article: The Southern Cross

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    The Southern Cross

    76 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)
    R760142

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: The Southern Cross

    Yet another fine example of a great looker of the past!

    The Southern Cross I had seen in (actually she was delivered to her owners on my dear Wifes Birthday Feb 23rd) Cape Town in the years gone by,and she was a lovely Ship!

    She was on her Maiden Voyage from Southampton to Australia via Cape Town

    Ports visited were Southampton, calling at Trinidad, Curacao, the Panama Canal, Tahiti, Fiji, Wellington, Auckland, Sydney, Melbourne, Fremantle, Durban, Cape Town, Las Palmas and back to Southampton

    When she was in Cape Town in 1955 I went aboard her to have a look at this new Ship,as it was a big attraction on the day,with lots of news in the Papers and on the Radio of her coming very big crowds were there to see her!

    I cannot recall her ever going there again but I may be incorrect!
    Cheers
    Senior Member and Friend of this Website

    R697530

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    Default Re: The Southern Cross

    The Southern Cross may have looked splendid with her streamlined upper decks and forward thinking design however her crews quarters and working conditions still had not improved from previous decades. One short trip was enough for me; in my view the GOTHIC was a far superior vessel, in which did three.
    R 627168 On all the Seas of all the World
    There passes to and fro
    Where the Ghostly Iceberg Travels
    Or the spicy trade winds blow
    A gaudy piece of bunting,a royal ruddy rag
    The blossom of the Ocean Lanes
    Great Britains Merchant Flag

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    Default Re: The Southern Cross

    She was used for a time as an immigration ship for those wishing to go to Australia. Sailed with one guy who had been on her who said on those occasions she was a hell ship with the antics of some of the migrants.
    Happy daze John in Oz.

    Life is too short to blend in.

    John Strange R737787
    World Traveller

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    I can tell you folks that feeding the children was horrendous. The parents would come down and indulge the little brats and I used to think ," good luck to those poor Aussies here is another ship load of whingeing Pommies ". One of my best Aussie mates used to offer me 20 GBP per head to send them back again. The cheeky bastard said I kept my money under a bar of soap so no other poms could find it. Strangely enough we are still mates 50 years later.
    R 627168 On all the Seas of all the World
    There passes to and fro
    Where the Ghostly Iceberg Travels
    Or the spicy trade winds blow
    A gaudy piece of bunting,a royal ruddy rag
    The blossom of the Ocean Lanes
    Great Britains Merchant Flag

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    Default Re: The Southern Cross

    Similar in the 1950's Neil
    On the old Union Castle Liners with all those Families going to South Africa,with loads of Kids!
    Oh the Kids Tea's as we called it,was a really bad time for us ,we used to hope that our name wasn't put on the Roster for the Kids!
    But Alas! I seemed to cop it most of the time! Grrrrr!
    Cheers
    Senior Member and Friend of this Website

    R697530

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    Struck lucky on thta one Vernon, got onto day watch so no kids for me, wonderful.
    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

    Hi Brian.
    I sailed on the Southern Cross to NZ as an immigrant in 57, she was a lovely ship, very good at sea, the passenger accommodation wasn't up to some of the crews quarters on some of the ships I sailed on, but all in all being it cost only 10pounds I was happy with it, thanks for posting this picture, my wife enjoyed having a look, as we met on board 59 years ago.
    Cheers Des

    redc.gif

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    Default Re: The Southern Cross

    The white Empress's of Canadian Pacific were also fine looking ships and on the Atlantic crossings we had many families that were emigrating . Often it would be the wives and children alone as hubby had gone out some months before to secure his job and arrange housing. As a junior officer I had very little contact with the children beyond occasionally having to escort them on bridge tours (occasionally very interesting when a flighty young teenage girl would show interest in a male in uniform). The younger children had a playroom staffed with children's entertainers etc. but some of their mothers seemed to be enjoying a last taste of freedom on those crossings with some very wild behaviour, if you get my drift.
    I had a mate who sailed on the Uganda when it did its educational cruises and his stories of teenage school girls and their teachers were enough to turn your hair grey with the antics they all used to get up too. Made a night in the campo's of Mexico and S. America look like a church outing.
    rgds
    JA

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    Default Re: The Southern Cross

    Hi Doc, have got a couple of photo's which I took of the Southern Cross in Melbourne sometime between Jan & March 1956 will put them
    on Gallery shortly, was on the Port Napier, sailed Liverpool 5th Dec. 1955. Discharged RAD 27th May 1956.
    Did almost 7 years on Port Line before going to the Beaver Boats for another 3 Years.

    Fred. R525985.

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