THE LAST VOYAGE – THE MS STELLA POLARIS – the most famous cruise ship of all time.
THE MS STELLA POLARIS: A great video of the last voyage of the most famous cruise ship of the thirties, the inter war years and probably even in the history of cruising.
On the World Cruise there was more than one crew member for every passenger.
The elegant Stella Polaris.
She was owned by Bergen Line from Norway during the first part of her career, and resembled a royal yacht, with her clipper bow, bow sprit, well deck and lavish accommodations for just 200 passengers. She was built by Gotaverken in Goteborg in 1925-26, measured 5.020 GRT and went into service in early 1927.
As mentioned, Bergen Line ordered Stella Polaris in Sweden; it was the first passenger vessel built by Gotaverken. They built the hull, and interior fittings were subcontracted to other firms.
She was launched in September 1926 by miss Lehmkuhl, the daughter of Bergen Line`s director. Sending her on trials in February 1927 already, these were so successful that the yard had no problems at all to deliver her on schedule. Instead of April 1st 1927, she was delivered 5 weeks early on February 26th.
Stella Polaris is considered one of the first “real” cruise ships in the history of cruising, being not only one of the first full-time cruise ships, but also one of the first purpose built cruise ships. For the most part, until the 1950s passenger ships were a means of transportation, and consequently, most cruise ships were passenger liners that were sent off cruising in “weak” periods, e.g. winter on the North Atlantic when passenger numbers were low.
Stella Polaris’ interiors were nothing short of splendid. There were 6 passenger decks, Bridge Deck and below Decks A to E. On A Deck, 7 life boats were placed, but she also carried two motor barges. Aft on this deck nine passenger cabins were located and the gymnasium. On B Deck: the Music Salon, Verandah Cafe, and Smoking Room were situated. One deck below, C Deck housed the dining room seating max. 214 guests, meaning all passengers could be served in one seating. On its ceiling 150 lamps formed a star. On the remaining part of C deck and the two decks below D and E, passenger cabins were located. Her most luxuriously appointed accommodations were 4 suites (on C Deck), each fitted with its own sort of wood!