The Pendennis Castle - Union Castle Line

Builder - Harland and Wolf - Belfast

Total passengers 670
(197 first class, 473 tourist class)
Length overall 764 ft
Breadth 83ft 6in
Normal Service speed 19 knots

Placed into service on January 1, 1959 the Pendennis Castle traveled along the South African route on a regular basis. Her crew of 418 members - a ratio of less than 2 passengers per crewmember - ensured that her service was of the best.

PENDENNIS CASTLE was built in 1958 by Harland & Wolff at Belfast with a tonnage 28582grt, a length of 763ft 2in, a beam of 83ft 9in and a service speed of 22.5 knots. She was the largest ship built for Union-Castle as subsequent buildings were ordered by British & Commonwealth. Due to a dockyard strike she was named on the 10th December 1957 but not launched until 24th December. Based on the earlier Pretoria Castle design, but considerd to have an ungainly profile, her internal layout was the first to differ significantly since the Arundel Castle set the pattern. She commenced her maiden voyage on 1st January 1959 on the Southampton- Cape Town- Durban mail run and was the first ship to have Stewardettes - waitresses in the dining room.

A little know fact is that she caught on fire in about 1973/4 while on route from Cape Town to Europe.
No serious damage was done - but the passengers, including my father, had to put on life jackets and assemble on deck!

She was withdrawn from the mail run on 14th June 1976

Sold to Ocean Queen Navigation Copr. of Panama, but Philippine owned, she was renamed Ocean Queen. she left Southampton on April 23 1976 on her final Union Castle Voyage and arrived in Hong Kong on 9th August 1976 where she was laid up and was given a white hull and gold-brown funnel.

In 1978, still laid up, she was sold again and renamed Sinbad by Kinvarra Bay Shipping Co. of Liberia - flying the Panamanian flag and later in the year was renamed Sinbad 1. Four years later, in April 1980, she arrived at Kaohsiung in Taiwan for breaking up.


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