SS Doric (1883)

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United Kingdom
Name: SS Doric
Owner: White Star flag NEW.svg White Star Line
  • White Star Line
  • Shaw, Savill and Company
  • Occidental and Oriental Line
Route: United KingdomNew Zealand
Builder: Harland and Wolff, Belfast, Ireland
Yard number: 153
Launched: 10 March 1883[1]
Completed: 4 July 1883
Maiden voyage: LondonWellington, 6 January 1885
Out of service: 1906
Fate: Sold to the Pacific Mail Steamship Company in 1906 and renamed Asia.
United States
Name: SS Asia
Owner: Pacific Mail Steamship Company Flag.svg Pacific Mail Steamship Company
Route: San Francisco, CaliforniaHong Kong
Acquired: 1906
Out of service: 1911
Fate: Wrecked 23 April 1911[2]
General characteristics
Type: Ocean liner
Tonnage: 4,784 gross register tons (GRT)
Length: 440.1 ft (134.1 m)
Beam: 44.2 ft (13.5 m)
Height: 28 ft (8.5 m)

SS Doric was a British ocean liner operated by White Star Line.

The ship was constructed by Harland and Wolff in Belfast and was launched in 1883. Doric was the sister ship to both the Coptic and the Ionic. Each of the three vessels were constructed of steel, a first for the ship building company, whose previous designs had been constructed only in iron. The vessel was the first White Star Line ship to bear the name Doric, with a later vessel built in 1923 also sharing the name.[3] After serving on White Star Lines and Shaw, Savill & Albion Lines joint route from London to Wellington, she was chartered to the New Zealand Shipping Company.[4] In 1896 Doric was again transferred, this time to the Joint White Star and Occidental and Oriental Steamship Company service running between San Francisco and Hong Kong. The New York Times reported on 6 July 1902 that Doric had arrived in San Francisco with a particularly large cargo of 2,693 tons, which included the largest ever shipment of opium, at the time, of 33,210 pounds, and 129,492 chests of tea.[1]

Doric left San Francisco for her last White Star and Occidental & Oriental voyage on 8 August 1906. In 1906 Doric was sold to the Pacific Mail Steamship Company for £50,000, who renamed her Asia.[5] She remained in service, making runs to Hong Kong until she ran aground off the coast of Zhejiang.

The ship in Rudyard Kipling's poem "McAndrew's Hymn" was inspired by the Doric; in a letter to illustrator Howard Pyle he wrote "-but it may help you a little to know that the ship “McAndrew’s Hymn” belongs to is the old Doric, once an Atlantic White Star I think, and now a Shaw, Savill, Albion boat running to New Zealand via the Cape of Good Hope and home round the horn..."[6]


On 23 April 1911 Doric ran aground in foggy conditions and was wrecked near Taichow Islands, Wenzhou, South China. Once all of the crew and passengers had been safely rescued, the ship was looted by local fishermen who subsequently burnt the remains of the vessel.


  1. ^ a b "Doric (I)". White Star Line History Website Project. Retrieved 27 August 2010.
  2. ^ "SS Doric (1st)". Titanic and Other White Star Ships. 26 November 2006. Retrieved 27 August 2010.
  3. ^ "SS Doric (2nd)". Titanic and Other White Star Ships. 2 December 2006. Retrieved 27 August 2010.
  4. ^ "S/S Doric (1), White Star Line". Norway Heritage. Retrieved 27 August 2010.
  5. ^ "The Fleets: White Star Line". TheShipsList. 13 February 2010. Archived from the original on 16 July 2012. Retrieved 27 August 2010.
  6. ^ Wilson, Alastair. "McAndrew's Hymn". Retrieved 28 November 2012.