Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Brittanis...The last of a breed 1932-2000

As she leaves Miami in the 1980's

The ship as she looked to me in 1984

You can see the layers of plates held by rivets that caught my eye in New
York...that afternoon. She was a relic from the great age of ocean liners of the 1930's, and truly the last of her breed. Now the cruise ships look like floating box cars rather than ships!

The beautiful ship as she sailed down the Hudson river past the Twin Towers in NYC

On October 21 2000 as she was being towed to be scraped...she started taking on water and soon she sank...A more noble death for such a ship

As she looked in her early days

She was quite a beauty,,she sailed the ocean for many years. I saw her many times in New York...I will always recall the first time I saw her..I was driving down the Henry Hudson Parkway and passed the shipping terminals. As I went by I saw layers of plates and rivets...I stopped the car and just stared at the ship.....I did not know that there was still a ship sailing using that style of building...Same used on the Queen Mary, Titanic, etc.....I just looked and I parked my car and walked over so I could see it up close and look for the name of this relic from the past....and then I saw her name Brittanis. She was built in 1932 in Quincy, Mass. She was called the Monterey and made her maiden voyage on June 3, 1932.

When Pearl Harbor was bombed she was one of the first ships to go there along with the Aquatania...She arrived in Pearl Harbor December 16th with 3,000 soldiers and returned to San Francisco with 800 wounded. She sailed for many years and eventually became the Brittanis for Chandris Lines...sailing till 1998. She was being towed to be scraped when she started to sink....I was sad that I never sailed on her,but so glad I saw her so many times....She truly was the last of her kind......


Anonymous said...

Quite amazing to read....I travelled from the UK to New Zealand in May 1974 on the Brittanis as a 4 year old boy. I remember snapshots to this day...I nearly died of chicken pox in on the trip and remember seeing Table Top Mountain from medical quaranteen on the ship in South Africa.

So sad to see that she sank 6 years ago....very special memories and a truely beautiful ship!!!

Stew Poole = Christchurch, NZ

Larry Killip said...

I too was on that May 1974 trip to New Zealand, remember it well.

Larry Killip

Anonymous said...

i to was on the ship but i got off in sydney great cruise good memories.

Anonymous said...

I also was on that ship from UK to Sydney arriving Jan 13th 1974 with my family I was not yet two years old.
I have no memories but till this day cannot go on a cruise without been sea sick, apparently was very ill when on this trip, to migrate to Australia.

Anonymous said...

How funny. I woke up this morning and googled the ship as my family and I were on this trip from Southampton the 19th May 1974. Today's date gave me a memory jog. We travelled to Sydney but settled in Perth a month later.
36 years today since we boarded.
Thanks for the memories guys.

Anonymous said...

i to was on that cruise we were to dock in freemantle but there was a dock strike and we anchored outsde the harbour and then on to adelaide nice cruise but they made us keep up the schooling

Cynthia da Silva said...

I sailed on Brittanis August 19-22 out of Miami, on my honeymoon, accompanied with about 20 out of town friends and reltives. I had fallen in love with this graceful classic ship on an earlier cruise to the Bahamas. Just sailed on the Noordam with someone who was very familiar with the story of this gracious ship. I suppose sinking is a more noble end for a glorious lady.

Saul Pfeffer said...

We cruised on the Brittanis in 1986. From St. Juan PR
Here is a photo.

Roseanne Waterstraat said...

I cruised the Brittanis in 1983 with my cousin from NYC to nowhere. I always wondered what happened to this beautiful ship

Ronald Sudul said...

Cruised on her from New York to Bermuda sometime in the late 70's. I remember the gym still had the machines where you put a belt around your waist and turned it on and it shook you like crazy to make you lose weight. Wow.

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