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
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.