SS Arcadia (1954)
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SS Arcadia in Vancouver in 1974
|Port of registry:||London United Kingdom|
|Route:||UK/Australia, and cruising|
|Builder:||John Brown & Company, Clydebank, Scotland|
|Laid down:||28 June 1951|
|Launched:||14 May 1953|
|Completed:||20 January 1954|
|Maiden voyage:||22 February 1954|
|Fate:||Scrapped at Kaohsiung, Taiwan, 30 April 1979.|
|Class & type:||Ocean liner|
|Length:||721 feet 4 inches (219.9 m)|
|Beam:||90 feet 8 inches (27.6 m)|
|Draft:||31 feet (9.4 m)|
|Installed power:||6 impulse reaction geared steam turbines, 42,500 shp|
1954: 670 1st class, 735 Tourist class1973: 1,350 open class
The Arcadia was built for P&O by John Brown & Company at Clydebank in Scotland; her keel was laid in 1952 and she was launched on 14 May 1953, just a couple of hours after the Orsova of the associated Orient Line. Her maiden voyage commenced on 22 February 1954, sailing from the UK to Australia via the Suez Canal. Arcadia had a virtually identical sister in the Belfast-built SS Iberia. As the number of passengers travelling by ship to Australia declined due to growth in air travel, P&O was forced to diversify with the deployment of its ships. In 1959, Arcadia was refitted (with amongst other things complete air-conditioning) and commenced operations on the trans-Pacific route, and from 1965 was placed on part-time cruising duties out of Sydney. In 1970, she became a full-time one-class cruise ship. Unlike her sister, Arcadia was a reliable and popular ship and whereas Iberia was the first of the post war fleet to be scrapped (in 1972), Arcadia sailed on to be the last of these ships in service.
In 1974, when Arcadia sailed up the Columbia and Willamette Rivers to reach Portland, Oregon, on the first leg of a cruise from Vancouver to Hawaii, she was the largest passenger ship ever to have visited Portland up to that time. From 1975 until scrapped in Taiwan in 1979, her cruising role out of Sydney was full time. She was replaced by P&O's then newly acquired Sea Princess, formerly the Kungsholm.
SS Arcadia appeared as stock footage in the 1964 Perry Mason episode Nautical Knot, set near Acapulco, Mexico. The episode only shows this popular ship at dock, though its size near the pier makes an impression on the episode's characters.
- Wohler, Milly (May 22, 1974). "'Largest' cruise ship visits Portland". The Oregonian (Portland, Oregon), p. 24.
- HMS Arcadia (Clydebuilt Ships Database)
- Encyclopedia Peninsular website viewed 10 July 2006
- Arcadia of 1954 at Simplon Postcards
- Home and Back - Australia's Golden Era of Passenger Ships, Stuart Bremer, Dreamweaver Books, 1984
- Pictorial Encyclopedia of Ocean Liners, 1860-1994, William H. Miller, Dover Publications, 1995
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