TSS Stefan Batory

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Stefan Batory.jpg
TSS Stefan Batory
History
Flag of the Netherlands.svgNetherlands
Name: 1951—1968: TSS Maasdam IV
Owner: Holland America Lines
Port of registry: Netherlands
Ordered: 1950
Builder: Wilton-Fijenoord, Schiedam
Yard number: 733
Laid down: 19 December 1950
Launched: 5 April 1952 by Mrs. Adriaan Gips
Maiden voyage: 11 August 1952 RotterdamSouthamptonLe HavreMontrealNew York City
In service: 1952—1966
Identification: 5216147
Flag of Germany.svgGermany
Name: 1951—1968: TSS Maasdam IV
Operator: Europa-Kanada Linie subsidiary of Holland America Lines
Port of registry: 1966—1968: Bremen, Germany
In service: 1966—1968
Flag of Poland.svgPoland
Name: 1968—1990: TSS Stefan Batory
Operator:
Port of registry: Gdynia, Poland
Route: 1968—1988: GdyniaMontreal
In service: 1968—1990
Flag of Sweden.svgSweden
Name: 1990—2000 TSS Stefan
Owner: Stena AB
In service: 1990—1992 as accommodation for asylum seekers in Gothenburg, Sweden
Out of service: 1992—2000
Identification:IMO number5216147
Fate: Scrapped Aliağa, Turkey 2000
General characteristics
Type: Ocean liner
Tonnage: 15015 GRT
Length: 153.4 m (503 ft)
Beam: 21.1 m (69 ft)
Draught: 8.8 m (29 ft)
Decks: 10
Installed power: 6256 kW
Speed: 17 knots
Capacity:
  • 783
  • First class: 39
  • Tourist class: 734
Crew: 336
Stefan Batory's orchestra conducted by Bronisław Dyszkiewicz

The TS/S Stefan Batory was an ocean liner built in the Netherlands in 1952. It was operated by Holland America Lines and later Polish Ocean Lines. It remained in service until 1988 and was scrapped in 2000 in Turkey.

History[edit]

The ocean liner was put into service, as the fourth Holland America Line (HA) liner to serve under the name of SS Maasdam. It was initially used to service the Dutch East Indies by the Holland America Line. The ship was originally planned as an ordinary freighter under the name of "Diemerdyk" and plans changed during construction to become a passenger liner.

The liner later began trans-Atlantic service between West Germany and New York. The liner struck the wreck of the British ship Harborough in the Weser estuary off West Germany on February 15, 1963. The ship, carrying 500 persons, was safely evacuated. It developed a bad list, but was safely sailed to Bremerhaven by a skeleton crew.[1]

The ship was bought by the Polish government in June 1968 and began service as a Polish ocean liner on 11 April 1969 as a replacement for the then obsolete MS Batory. The ship was rechristened the TSS Stefan Batory, named after a king of Poland Stefan Batory (1533–1586).

After she was refitted and renamed at Gdansk, she became the flagship of the Polish Ocean Lines (1969–1988) and mainly sailed from Gdynia–Copenhagen–Rotterdam–London–Montreal–Southampton–Rotterdam–Copenhagen–Gdynia. According to the contemporary press, on her first arrival in Rotterdam as the "Stefan Batory" in 1969, the former owners of her expressed their interest in buying her back from Polish owners for service under the former flag.

TSS Batory remained in regular service until 1988. During that time, trans-Atlantic travel changed to use passenger airplanes and saw the end of the era of trans-Atlantic liners. By 1988, the Batory was the only trans-Atlantic passenger liner sailing regularly-scheduled voyages between Europe and North America. The ship was used briefly for ocean cruises until 1990, when it was sold to the Swedish government, renamed as the Stefan and used to house asylum seekers in Gothenburg from 1990–1992. Unused from 1992, the Batory was finally scrapped in Aliağa, Turkey, commencing in May 2000.[2]

Onboard travel[edit]

What gave a unique atmosphere during Polish transatlantic cruises were the orchestras. The orchestras, for many years associated with "Batory", were directed by Czesław Słabolepszy, Paweł Laskowski, Janusz Popławski and Bronisław Dyszkiewicz. From 1969, passengers were entertained by two orchestras - an octet playing mid-morning symphonic concerts and evening balls in a large ballroom and a quartet, which played to guests in the afternoon (English tea time). The smaller band played during dinner and evening dance in a small salon (from 9.00 pm till 2.00 am). There were two notable orchestras on the "Stefan Batory": guitarist Jerzy Kowalewski' band and a well-known group from Katowice under the direction of saxophonist/clarinettist Bronisław Dyszkiewicz. Another prominent musician playing on Batory, and later Stefan Batory, was Alojzy Musiał, a star of Polish jazz music in the 1950s and 1960s.

During her long service, the Stefan Batory has at least twice appeared in film, significantly remembered, as "part of the set" in "Kochaj albo rzuć" (Love or Leave). The motion picture team simply filmed the ship, festively leaving Gdynia, and a part of her original, regular voyage.

In 1962, Lee Harvey Oswald, his wife Marina and their daughter were brought to the United States from the Soviet Union onboard the SS Maasdam.

Technical data[edit]

  • 10 decks
  • Tonnage — 15,024 BRT
  • Length — 153.4 m (503 ft).
  • Width — 21.0 m (69 ft).
  • Height — 21.0 m (69 ft).
  • Speed — 17 knots
  • Passengers — 39 1st class; 734 tourist class.
  • Crew — 336.
  • Engines — steam turbines.
  • Stabilizers to reduce heeling

References[edit]

  1. ^ "It was a 'Junket' ... 500 Abandon Ship". Toronto Star. 15 February 1963. p. 1.
  2. ^ "TSS STEFAN BATORY, 1968/ 1988 - Polish Ocean Liner/ Polski Transatlantyk". TS/S STEFAN BATORY, Polish Ocean Liner 1968-1988.