Friday, December 27, 2013

the 'Akaroa' in Wellington Harbour, 1930s

Someone's personal photo. MS Akaroa was built in 1914 by Harland & Wolff of Belfast for the Aberdeen and Commonwealth Line and was known as the Euripides. She was registered at 14,947 gross tons at the time and had a top speed of 15 knots.

Her maiden voyage was from London to Brisbane, leaving on 1 July 1914. Two days after her arrival, she was taken over for Australian troop transport; the following year she returned to the UK-Australia run, but continued transporting Australian troops to 1919, when she was overhauled at Belfast.

In 1929 the Euripides was transferred to the White Star Line, and in 1932 was again transferred, this time to the Shaw, Savill & Albion Line.

The company had her re-fitted to 15,128 gross tons, renamed her Akaroa, and she sailed the  Southampton, England to Wellington, New Zealand by way of the Panama Canal route. On 1 September 1939, two days before the declaration of WW2, she set sail for Auckland, not arriving until 8 October. Why it took over 5 weeks isn't clear but the passengers presented the Captain with a silver salver in memory of "an epic and perilous voyage". 

In 1945 she was again re-fitted, and continued the UK-NZ run until May 1954 when she was sent to breakers at Antwerp, Belgium.

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