Year Built / Last Refurbished: 1940
Length / Tonnage: 1,031 / 83,637
Number of Cabins / Passengers: 761 / 2,283
Officers / Crew: British / International
Launched on 27 September 1938 Her maiden voyage ended on
7 March 1940 with a surprise arrival in New York harbor where he captain
was told that she was to be turned into a troop ship..
On 21 March 1940 she received her orders and proceeded
to Singapore and then Sydney to meet her future running mate RMS
Queen Mary. After conversion to a troopship she too spend the remainder
of the war moving troops around the world. On most voyages she carried
between 13,000 and 15,000 troops.
She was released from war duty in March 1946 and and underwent
an extensive refit. Her maiden passenger voyage was in October of the
same year and she then began a 20-year career of transatlantic crossings.
She cruised some during the 1960s but since she was never designed for
such trips they never proved profitable. When losses finally became too
great she was retired in September 1967.
On 5 April 1968 she was sold to a group of businessmen headed by Mr. C.
Y. Tung and renamed Seawise University. The plan was to convert her to
a floating university and work was almost complete when a fire broke in
January 1972 and she burned and capsized in Hong Kong harbor. She was
a total loss and was broken up on the spot.
As the Seawise University
Photograph courtesy of
TABLE BAY UNDERWAY SHIPPING