The media has jumped on the bandwagon to create as much commotion as possible and thus hide the key issues in this tragedy. Captain Schettino is now accused by the vox populi of abandoning ship. I do not believe this is so. The captain left the bridge when the ship was listing at such an angle that it was almost impossible to move within its confines. At that point, more than 90% of the people aboard (passengers and crew) had been evacuated. The listing finally reached an angle of about 70 degrees. I believe Captain Schettino was much more effective commanding operations from a launch, than from a semi-capsized vessel. The real culprits (the ship builders and the cruise line management) will now try to destroy Captain Schettino to hide their own ineptitudes. I believe this is the reason for the smear campaign against the ship’s captain. The real issue in this tragedy, however, is faulty hull design.
CRUISING TODAY. CARNIVAL CORP’S PR SPIN GOES AFTER COSTA CONCORDIA CAPTAIN TO DOWNPLAY DANGER OF MEGASHIPS.
CRUISE HISTORY AND LINER HISTORY: HISTORY OF SITMAR CRUISES AND SITMAR LINE…
SAIL WITH SITMAR
WONDERFUL VIDEO OF THE MV FAIRWIND DURING THE 1970S…
MV FAIRSEA and the Suez Canal 1961.
SITMAR CRUISES and SITMAR LINES were common names for the Societa Italiana Trasporti Marittimi (English: Italian Society of Maritime Transport); an Italian shipping company founded by Russian émigré Alexandre Vlasov. Vlasov operated cargo and passenger services from 1937 until 1988, when it was sold to the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O). After the sale of the company, all of its ships were transferred to the fleet of P&O subsidiary Princess Cruises with some remaining in service to the present day.
Aboard the MV Fairsea in 1969.
SITMAR began when Alexandre Vlasov carried coal in the Mediterranean using two small cargo ships. During the Second World War, these ships were lost to the company. Vlasov re-started SITMAR after the war, and slowly assembled a new fleet of passenger and cargo ships. SITMAR obtained contracts with the International Refugee Organisation (IRO) to take refugees from Europe to Australia and other nations.
SITMAR’s first vessel to operate from Australia was the Castelbianco. Amongst the many companies contracted to transport displaced people, SITMAR’s vessels were noted for providing higher quality accommodation and food.
During the 1950′s, SITMAR became a major passenger shipping company. It offered regular journeys between Australia and Europe for migrants and other passengers. For several years, the company operated journeys between Europe, Central America and South America. SITMAR also engaged in the tourist trade between Europe, the United States and Canada.
The Central America and South America services, and the North Atlantic summer services, were abandoned by 1957. Except one, SITMAR sold its cargo vessels and the company concentrated on passenger routes between Europe and Australia until the early 1970s, when it began operating cruises from North America. The company used the name Sitmar Cruises in Australia, and abandoned the liner trade to operate full-time as a cruise liner in 1974.
The Sitmar cruises were excellent and the line very successful.
In July 1988, Sitmar Cruses was purchased by the P&O Group. In Australia, the operation was re-named P&O-Sitmar Cruises, and in 1991 became P&O Holidays. The company’s ship MV Fairstar was the most popular cruise ship sailing from Australia until 1997, when Fair Princess replaced it. It was replaced in 2000 by Pacific Sky.
The Vlasov Group, now renamed V-Ships, currently operates Silversea Cruises.
Cruise and Liner History – The Italian Line’s ANDREA DORIA…
The Italian Line’s Andrea Doria was one of the largest, most luxurious, and most beautiful passenger ships in the world – indeed, it was one of the most gorgeous ocean liners ever built – 700 feet long with sweeping lines, lovely decor, and expensive artwork. However, it had design problems affecting its stability and seaworthiness; these flaws contributed to severe listing after the collision of July 25, 1956.
While steaming west in the foggy North Atlantic late that evening, the ship collided with the east-bound Swedish liner Stockholm about 50 miles southeast of Nantucket Island and 200 miles east of New York City. Fifty-one people were killed in the accident; hundreds needed rescue. Many crew members of the Andrea Doria were among the first to abandon ship (a contravention of proud maritime tradition); their cowardly absence contributed to widespread panic during the rescue. Many injuries resulted. Passengers dropped children into lifeboats, though this was not necessary. Norma Di Sandro, age four, died in a Boston hospital after being dropped.
The Stockholm suffered a crumpled forward section and eventually limped into New York harbor, while the Andrea Doria slipped beneath the waves on the morning of July 26 after an 11-hour wallow. The ship rests today in 235 feet of cold, dark, swirling, shark-infested water. See Life magazine’s coverage here with a piece by Walter Lord, author of “A Night to Remember” about the Titanic.
French Line NORMANDIE – Part One
French Line NORMANDIE – Part Two
French Line NORMANDIE – Part Three
These are probably the finest video available of trans-Atlantic liner service in the late 1930s. Excellent color footage of the French Line’s famous SS NORMANDIE.
Her novel design and lavish interiors led many to consider her the greatest of ocean liners.Despite this, she was not a commercial success and relied partly on government subsidy to operate. During service as the flagship of the CGT, she made 139 transatlantic crossings westbound from her home port of Le Havre to New York and one fewer return.
Normandie held the Blue Riband for the fastest transatlantic crossing at several points during her service career, during which the RMS Queen Mary was her chief rival.
During World War II, Normandie was seized by the United States authorities at New York and renamed USS Lafayette. In 1942, the liner caught fire while being converted to a troopship, capsized and sank at the New York Passenger Ship Terminal. Although salvaged at great expense, restoration was deemed too costly and she was scrapped in October 1946.
RMS TITANIC 2 – Who is the villain in the COSTA CONCORDIA disaster? Carnival Corp (Micky Arison Israeli-American CEO) or the Captain?
Cruise Ship History and Liner History: Who is the villain in the COSTA CONCORDIA disaster? Micky Arison’s Carnival Corp or the Captain?
Are today’s mega-ships designed for safety? If this had happened in a rough sea, the Costa Concordia would have made the Titanic look like child’s play.
New footage has emerged of the Costa Concordia’s captain on the bridge in the minutes after the ship hit a rock off the coast of the Italian island of Giglio.
Graphic: The final moments of the Costa Concordia
Seventeen people died and 15 are still missing after the ship capsized when an underwater reef tore a hole in its hull as it passed just 150 feet from the shore.
Captain Francesco Schettino, 52, has been accused of altering the vessel’s course so he could show off to friends and crew. He is currently under investigation for multiple manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning the Costa Concordia when passengers were still on board.
The 10 minutes of film, screened on Italian TV news channels, shows for the first time the reaction of the ship’s captain and crew as they dealt with the situation after several water-tight compartments on the 114,500-ton ship were breached.
In the footage, a man identified as Mr Schettino can be seen speaking on the telephone in the half light of the bridge, illuminated only by emergency lights after the power failed on the liner with more than 4,000 passengers and crew on board.
When the wreck was found they still believed she was intact and well preserved. The next step was to raise the ship.
Horror evacuation videos aboard Carnival Corp’s Costa Concordia – Filipino crews were brave – American owned cruise lines barely pay affordable wages.
(Left: Israeli-American Billionaire Micky Arison, CEO of Carnival Corp, hid out in Miami while Costa Concorida passengers suffered) Cruise History and Liner History: Horror evacuation videos aboard Micky Arison’s Carnival Corp’s Costa Concordia. Getting there is not half the fun American congressional members refuse to investigate after two US Citizens die. Were the American politicians paid off by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA)?
Video horror aboard Micky Arison’s Carnival Corp Costa Condordia – Chaos proves these large ships are very dangerous… In rough seas thousands would have died.
The Costa Concordia sea tragedy where some 17 people were killed in Italy last month opened discussions among members of the cruise line industry about the safety measures and protocol that they follow in their operations.
Union Steam’s luxurious T.S.S. Awatea was the “only way to cross” the Tasman Sea from Australia to New Zealand in the late 1930s!
The T.S.S. AWATEA
Cruise History: Far away from the Trans-Atlantic services – “Down Under” – Union Steam Ship Company operated a fleet of excellent passenger ships between Australia and New Zealand until 1960.
The Awatea was the ultimate statement in luxurious service and was the only way to cross the Tasman Sea in the late 1930s. Unfortunately, this beautiful jewel of a liner’s life was very brief but will always be remembered as an elegant experience while it lasted.
The fast way to cross.
In August 1936 the Union Steam Ship Company took delivery of its new trans-Tasman liner, Awatea. In September the ship began a new express service between Australia and New Zealand.
The Awatea (meaning Eye of the Dawn) was one of the most famous and beautiful ships under the Union flag and the only way to cross the Tasman Sea. She also made several voyages from Sydney to Vancouver via Honolulu.
Awatea passing Sydney’s Harbor Bridge 1936.
She accommodated 566 passengers (377 in First Class, 151 in Tourist Class and 38 in 3rd Class).
Awatea seen in Vancouver, Canada. She made six voyages in 1940-41 from Sydney to Canada when Australasian airmen were conveyed for training. A year later she would be sunk while serving as a troop transport.
She was built to the company’s design by Vickers-Armstrong at Barrow-in-Furness and was a handsome vessel with a high standard of accommodation. Her length was 527 ft, with a beam of 74 ft, and a gross tonnage of 13,482.
The Awatea’s first class public rooms rivaled many liners operating from New York to Europe.
Her speed, comfort, and ability to keep going with the minimum of time in port, together with the publicity sense of her master, Captain A. H. Davey, made her a popular and well-known ship. In the summer of 1937 she made 11 Tasman crossings in 41 days and in the same year she brought the times for the Auckland-Sydney and Sydney-Wellington passages to less than 56 hours. Her best day’s run was 576 miles, an average speed of 23.35 knots.
The tourist class dining salon.
She was also known as “The Queen of the Tasman Sea” and in October 1937 set a record between Auckland and Sydney of 55 hours, 28 minutes. In achieving this, no less than 23,881 shaft horsepower was unleashed at an average speed of 22.89 knots. In recognition of this, she was presented a stainless steel greyhound that was mounted on the foremast of the ship. Captain Davey was the Master most associated with Awatea and on his retirement in 1941, he took (or was presented with it) the greyhound with him and had it mounted on his home in Auckland.
At the outbreak of war she was undergoing her annual survey and was fitted with a 4 in. gun aft. She continued to cross the Tasman until July 1940 after which she made several trips to Vancouver and, in addition, was used for transporting troops and refugees. In September 1941 she was requisitioned by the British Government for use as a troop transport and did three voyages. Then she was fitted out to take part in Operation Torch, the Allied landings in North Africa. She carried the 6th Commando group to off Algiers where she dropped them early on 8 November 1942. Eventually the Awatea anchored off Bougie, but as she was leaving German bombers attacked her and despite good anti-aircraft fire she was hit several times and sank during the night. The master, Captain G. B. Morgan, was awarded the D.S.O. and several of the crew were decorated for the ship’s part in the operation.
The Awatea’s wheelhouse and bridge.
During her six years of life the Awatea steamed 576,132 miles, slightly more than half in peacetime, including 225 Tasman crossings. In its day the Awatea provided the acme of maritime speed and comfort.
Cruise and Liner History – The Princess Victoria disaster – could it happen again?
59 years ago, on January 31,1953, the British ferry “Princess Victoria” foundered in severe weather off the Irish coast. She sank shortly after 1400 local time, taking 128 people with her.
One of those was the ship’s Radio Officer, David Broadfoot, who continued sending distress messages as the ship was capsizing. He even apologised for his poor sending to the Portpatrick Coast Radio Station as the vessel was on her beam ends……
Carnival Corp’s Costa Concordia went down in calm seas. Imagine if the recent tragedy had happened in rough waters, considering the chaos of Costa Line’s evacuation of 3,000 passengers.
The sinking of the Princess Victoria had many similarities with the Costa Concordia.
None of the officers or women and children were saved on the Princess Victoria.
A video of the MV Princess Victoria. The British Railways steamer sank in the North Channel on January 31, 1953.
MV Princess Victoria was a British Railways passenger car ferry operating between Scotland and Northern Ireland. She set sail from Scotland on 31st January 1953 in the midst of a violent storm. A short time later she started to take on water from the car deck stern doors causing her to list before she capsized.
The Princess Victoria was built in Dumbarton in 1947 and was operated as a passenger car ferry between Stranraer and the Northern Irish port of Larne.
A full blown gale was in progress when the Princess Victoria left her home port of Stranraer on the Scottish west coast on 31st January 1953. A short way into the voyage the stern doors on the car deck were breached by high seas, and despite attempts to secure the doors the seawater continued to penetrate them pouring into the car deck.
She listed badly and capsized, sinking with the loss of 133 lives.
Ahoy There! Brooke Astor – The late Brooke Astor, from the 1900s to 1950s, sailed trans-Atlantic on scores of famous liners including the SS Champlain. These were not cruise ships but floating palaces known as ocean liners. They would have had three or four classes of travel… First, Cabin, Tourist, 3rd Class and Steerage. Brooke Astor sailed first or cabin. Cabin before world WW2 was first class on many liners. This is a type of service you will never see today on the floating condos called cruise-ships.
The SS Champlain was a cabin class ocean liner built in 1932 for the French Line by Chantiers et Ateliers de Saint-Nazaire, Penhoët. She was sunk by a mine off La Pallice, France, in 1940 — one of the earliest passenger ship losses of the Second World War.
(Left: SS Champlain, Salon – The French Line’s SS Champlain of 1932 was another truly modern ocean liner and embodied many design features later incorporated in the more famous SS Normandie. Her gorgeous in-teriors were designed by Rene Prou who décorated spaces in several earlier French Line ships.)
Although not as well remembered as her larger fleetmates, the Champlain was the first modern ocean liner and embodied many design features later incorporated into the French Line’s SS Normandie. Her interiors were designed by Rene Prou who decorated spaces on several earlier French Line ships, including the cabin motorship Lafayette. When she made her début in June 1932, the Champlain was the largest, fastest, and most luxurious cabin class liner afloat.
At the outbreak of the Second World War, the Champlain was pressed into evacuee work, transporting refugees from Europe to the safety of North America. This included many European Jews escaping Nazi Europe. Vladimir Nabokov and his family were passengers on the last voyage to New York in May 1940. It was on the return trip that the Champlain met her fate. On 17 June 1940, the liner struck a German air-laid mine while swinging at anchor in the waters off La Pallice, France, near Île de Ré, and quickly heeled over on her side.
SS Champlain sailing into New York… 1930s…
A few days later a German U-boat fired a torpedo into the hulk — possibly to finish her off, as much of the ship lay above water level. Many sources quote a wire service report from 1940 that as many as 300 lives were lost but this is erroneous. Although there were many injuries there were only 11 or 12 fatalities. She was one of the largest ships sunk in WWII. Her wreck lay quite visible for over twenty years and was eventually scrapped in 1965.