RMS Carinthia (1955)

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RMS Carinthia (1956).jpg
A postcard of the RMS Carinthia
Name: 1956—1968: RMS Carinthia
1968—1971: SS Fairland
1971—1988: SS Fairsea
1988—2000: SS Fair Princess
2000—2005: SS China Sea Discovery
2005: Sea Discovery[1]
Owner: 1956—1968: Cunard Line
1968—1988: Sitmar Cruises[1]
1988—2000: P&O Cruises[2]
2000—2002: Emerald Sea Cruises
2002—2005: China Sea Cruises[1]
Operator: 1956—1968: Cunard Line
1971—1988: Sitmar Cruises[1]
1988—1995: Princess Cruises[2]
1997—2000: P&O Cruises[3]
2000: Emerald Sea Cruises
2002—2003: China Sea Cruises[1]
Port of registry: 1956—1968: Liverpool,  United Kingdom
1968—2005: Monrovia,  Liberia[1]
Ordered: 1955[citation needed]
Builder: John Brown and Company, Clydebank, Scotland[1]
Laid down: 1955[citation needed]
Launched: 14 December 1955[1]
Christened: 1956[citation needed]
Completed: 1956[4]
Acquired: June 1956[1]
Maiden voyage: June 1956[1]
In service: June 1956[1]
Out of service: 2003[1]
Identification: IMO number: 5063629[1]
Fate: Scrapped at Alang, India, 2005[1]
General characteristics (as built)[1]
Class and type: Saxonia class ocean liner
Tonnage: 21,946 GRT
Displacement: 8,500 t DWT
Length: 185.40 m (608 ft 3 in)
Beam: 24.39 m (80 ft 0 in)
Draught: 8.70 m (28 ft 7 in)
Installed power: 4 × John Brown steam turbines
combined 18,277 kW
Propulsion: Two propellers[2]
Speed: 19.5 knots (36.11 km/h; 22.44 mph) service speed[2]
25 kn (46 km/h; 29 mph) maximum[citation needed]
Capacity: 868 passengers
Crew: 461[citation needed]
General characteristics (after 1970 refit)[1]
Type: cruise ship
Tonnage: 16,627 GRT
Displacement: 9,509 t DWT
Capacity: 884 passengers
Notes: Otherwise the same as built
General characteristics (after 1984 refit)[1]
Capacity: 906 passengers
Notes: Otherwise the same as built

RMS Carinthia was an ocean liner built in 1956 as one of the four Saxonia class ships.[4] She sailed for Cunard Line from her completion until 1968 when she was sold to for Sitmar Line, rebuilt into a full-time cruise ship and renamed SS Fairsea. She sailed with Sitmar until 1988, when Sitmar was sold to P&O. She was renamed SS Fair Princess and sailed for Princess Cruises and P&O Cruises until 2000. She was then sold to China Sea Cruises and renamed SS China Sea Discovery. In 2005 or 2006 she was scrapped in Alang, India.[1][4]

Concept and construction[edit]

Near the end of 1951 Cunard Line designed new ships for Canadian service on the Liverpool-Montreal-Halifax route. Cunard originally decided to build just two ships but later on two more were ordered. These ships were largest ships to be operated to Canada at the time. The ships were built in Clydebank and they were designed for luxury and speed including carrying passengers and cargo up the St Lawrence River in summer and to Pier 21 in Halifax in winter when the St. Lawrence froze.

Service history[edit]

RMS Carinthia started on her maiden voyage to Montreal on 27 June 1956 with 890 passengers and crew on board. After four more voyages, she proved with her running mate RMS Saxonia that the new Canadian Cunarders were so successful that other ships operating on the route were all scrapped leaving the four ships on the Montreal route.[5] During 1960 the Carinthia suffered a fire in one of her cabins. In 1961 the ship's crew went on strike and the ship did not operate for two weeks. Also during 1961 she collided with the SS Tadoussac. In 1962 her propellers failed during a voyage. During 1964 the crew went on strike again. Carinthia was still operated from Liverpool to Montreal well into 1965, and from Southampton to Montreal and New York until after March 1967.

Carinthia laid up alongside Caronia

Cunard Line decided start operating the Carinthia as a cruise ship during the winter months. She was used on 10 day cruises from New York to Bermuda. During 1968, along with RMS Sylvania, she was sold to Sitmar Line, initially renamed Fairland[4] and laid up at Southampton for two years. Following year-long major refurbishments of both vessels in Italy, Fairland became Fairsea and in 1972 commenced cruising from the United States West Coast, for the re-styled Sitmar Cruises. Following the sale of Sitmar to P&O in 1988, the vessel was transferred to Princess Cruises and used for Pacific Ocean cruises as the Fair Princess.[4]

In 1996 Fair Princess was transferred to the fleet of P&O Cruises Australia for cruising out of Sydney, Australia.

In 2000 the ship was sold to China Sea Cruises and renamed China Sea Discovery.[4] She operated as a casino cruise ship but was unsuccessful. During 2001 she operated in Taiwan. Finally after many unsuccessful voyages she was moved to Alang, India, to be scrapped. While under scrapping, a fire broke out in the engine room, burning five workers alive, and injuring another fifteen people.[6] In the end, the ship was scrapped in either 2005 or 2006.[1][4]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Asklander, Micke. "S/S Carinthia (1956)". Fakta om Fartyg (in Swedish). Retrieved 2008-11-05. 
  2. ^ a b c d Miller, William H (1995). Pictorial Encyclopedia of Ocean Liners, 1860-1994. Mineola: Dover. p. 24. ISBN 0-486-28137-X. 
  3. ^ Plowman, Peter (2004). The Sitmar Liners: Past and Present. Hong Kong: Rosenberg. pp. 226–227, 247–249. ISBN 1-877058-25-4. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Carinthia". Chris' Cunard Page. Retrieved 11 December 2010. 
  5. ^ http://www.thecunarders.co.uk/Carinthia.html
  6. ^ Casey, Michael (2006-06-26). "South Asia takes junked ships no one else will". MSNBC.com. Retrieved 14 June 2012. 

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