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NAME

SS. CARONIA II (COLUMBIA) (CARIBIA)

CLASS

CRUISE SHIP

LAUNCHED

OCTOBER 30th 1947

BUILT

JOHN BROWN & CO / CLYDEBANK / SCOTLAND

WEIGHT

34,183 TONS

LENGTH

715 FEET

WIDTH

91 FEET

SPEED

22 KNOTS - TURBINE ENGINES - TWO PROPELLERS


Caronia was originally being built as a Trans Atlantic liner for the Cunard/White Star Line. Her design had to be changed during construction as the company decided they wanted this liner to become their first full time cruise ship. After being painted four shades of light green, she set out on her maiden voyage from Southampton - Cherbourg and New York April 4th 1949. She was then operated on cruises out of New York - West Indies and South America. Caronia became an instant success as a cruise ship with many passengers describing her as the most luxurious ship afloat at that time. She completed her first world cruise in 1951 and was chartered in 1953 to carry guests to Queen Elizabeth II coronation in Great Britain. As more modern cruise ships were entering service in the early 1960s; Cunard had Caronia undergo a major refit to update her interiors in 1965.

Caronia

The Star Shipping Company acquired Caronia May 24th 1968 to be operated under the name Columbia. After the completion of a second refit at the Greek port of Piraeus, her name was changed to Caribia before entering service for the new company on cruises out of New York. A steam pipe blew out during the second of these cruises killing one of the crew and leaving the ship drifting without power for some time. Caribia’s crew had to make temporary repairs at sea before she could be returned to New York under her own steam. That incident led to Caribia being sold to a Turkish company. As the new owners were unable to meet the cost of a refit, she was laid up at New York for five years before being sold to a Taiwanese ship breakers. Caribia departed New York towed by tugs April 27th 1974 bound for Taiwan. After encountering a tropical storm near the port of Apra/Guam on August 12th, the tugs were forced to cut the towlines. This led to Caribia being thrown against the harbors breakwater and breaking into three pieces. The wreckage had to be cut up where it lay.

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