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Pendennis Castle (Union Castle)

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Pendennis Castle (Union Castle)

Postby shipstamps » Thu Jun 19, 2008 12:57 pm

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Launched on 24th December 1957, Pendennis Castle was the last ship built for Union Castle by Harland & Wolff of Belfast, due to that company delaying her launch due to an industrial dispute. She was the first Union castle ship fitted with stabilisers.
She served for 17 uneventful years and on 14th June 1976 she was sold to Ocean Steam navigation Co., of panama and renamed OCEAN QUEEN. At the end of 1977 she was sold again and renamed SINBAD and later SINBAD l. Unfortunately she never carried a single passenger for her new owners and in April 1980 she arrived at Kaohsiung for breaking up.
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Re: Pendennis Castle (Union Castle)

Postby aukepalmhof » Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:58 pm

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Built as a passenger-cargo vessel under yard No 1558 by Harland & Wolf, Belfast for the Union Castle Mail Steam Ship Co. Ltd.
10 December 1957 christened but not launched due to a strike of the ship building workers on the yard.
24 December 1957 launched as the PENDENNIS CASTLE.
Tonnage 28,582 grt, 15,977 nrt, 15,976 dwt., dim. 232.6 x 25.5m, length bpp. 218.2m.
Powered by four Parsons compound double reduction geared turbines, manufactured by the shipbuilder, 42,000 shp, twin shafts, speed 22.5 knots.
Fuel capacity 4,392 ton.
Accommodation for 197 first class and 539 tourist class, crew 419.
Cargo capacity 613,470 cubic ft., reefer space 346,000 cubic ft.
14 December 1958 completed.

RMS PENDENNIS CASTLE was passenger and cargo ocean liner built for the Union-Castle Line. The vessel served 1959-1976 on a regular route between the UK and South Africa for the Southampton to Las Palmas, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, East London and Durban "Cape Mail" service. She later sailed under the names Ocean Queen, Sinbad, and Sinbad I after her sale from Union-Castle.

Design and constructionIn 1953 Sir George Christopher assumed leadership of Union-Castle. That year the company ordered PENDENNIS CASTLE from Harland and Wolff to replace the ageing RMS ARUNDEL CASTLE which then had over 30 years of service. In 1956 Union-Castle Line was acquired by the British & Commonwealth Shipping Company. The new owners decided to improve and enlarge Pendennis Castle even though she was already under construction.The fitting with Denny-Brown stabilizers required lengthening at midship and her overall length was increased by 18ft. PENDENNIS CASTLE was to be launched on 10 December 1957 but a shipyard strike caused the ceremony to be cancelled. On 24 December 1957 she was launched without any ceremony. After successful sea trials PENDENNIS CASTLE was delivered to Union-Castle by Harland and Wolff on 14 November 1958.
Union-Castle serviceRMS PENDENNIS CASTLE embarked on her maiden voyage on 1 January 1959. Commanded by Commodore George Mayhew of the Union-Castle fleet she set out from Southampton bound for Cape Town. The vessel was promoted as the "fun ship" and appealed to younger passengers because it offered an organized recreational program. The shipping press voted PENDENNIS CASTLE as the "ship of the year" and the vessel also broke with British ocean liner tradition by having female waiting staff in the dining room: “Stewardettes”.
In 1964 the vessel's air conditioning was extended into all first class cabins. Private showers were fitted into 21 additional cabins. In July 1965 Union-Castle introduced a faster mail service by reducing the voyage time from 14 to 11 days, allowing service to be operated by seven liners instead of eight.
In May 1968 an on board fire broke out she was berthed in Southampton, resulting in damage to some of the accommodation. However the vessel managed to sail with Harland & Wolff workers on board performing the repairs. One year later, when diverted to Antwerp due to labor disupte in Southampton, she struck the quayside and had to be taken out of service for a month. Later that year she would set a new Union-Castle record for the fastest running time from Cape Town to Southampton.

Rising oil prices in 1973 forced Union-Castle to add one day to the service and increase fares. By 1976 however the move to containerization of cargo and the rise in air travel made the Union-Castle mail ships unprofitable. On 23 April 1976 she sailed from Southampton for the final time, bound for South Africa. On her final voyage from South Africa to Southampton she flew her paying off pennant. On 14 June 1976, after arriving in Southampton for the final time, PENDENNIS CASTLE was retired from service

Post Union-Castle service PENDENNIS CASTLE was sold to the Ocean Queen Navigation Company and was renamed OCEAN QUEEN. Now wearing a white hull and golden brown funnel she sailed for what was to be a new service life as a cruise ship in Hong Kong. She should never return to active sercice. In 1978 the ship was sold again to Kinvarra Bay Shipping of Liberia and renamed SINBAD I but remained laid up. Finally in April 1980 the ex-PENDENNIS CASTLE departed Hong Kong for the final time, bound for scrapping in Kaoshiung, Taiwan.

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