Built as a cargo- passenger ship under yard No. 119 by Vickers-Armstrongs, Newcastle upon--Tyne. For the Furness Withy & Co., London.
27 July 1950 launched under the name of OCEAN MONARCH.
Tonnage 13.654 gross, 7.041 net, dim. 157.3 x 20.0 x 11.94m.
Powered by Parsons turbines, 11.500 shp, speed 18 knots, twin propellers.
Accommodation for 414 passengers in one class.
23 March 1951 made her first trial.
18 April 1951 sailed for her maiden voyage from London to New York.
Thereafter used in the service from New York to Bermuda.
September 1966 she made her last sailing from Bermuda, bound for England, after arrival there on 22 September, she was laid up at the River Fall.
1977 Sold to Nav. Bulgare (Balkanturist), Varna, Bulgaria and renamed VARNA.
Used in the cruise trade.
1971 Laid up at Perama, Greece.
1977 Sold to Dolphin (Hellas) Shipping S.A., Piraeus, renamed VENUS.
1978 Renamed in RIVIERA.
The intention was to use her as a cruise vessel, with cruise from Genoa and Venice, Italy.
28 May 1981, she caught fire in her boiler room before she was completed her refit, when she was lying at Ambelaki near Piraeus, when the blaze spread the crew and yard workers abandoned the vessel, and she was towed out to sea near a position south of Kynosoura, where, with her gutted superstructure having caved in she capsized and sank during the early hours of 01 June.
Her hull and machinery had a value of $7 million, she was declared a constructive total loss.
There are reports that she sank under the name REINA DEL MAR, but of she ever carried that name is doubtful.
One the Bermuda stamp she is the ship in the foreground of the stamp, the other vessel is the QUEEN OF BERMUDA.
Bermuda 1994 25c sg695, scott660. 1994 75c sg697, scott662
Source: Northern Atlantic Seaways by Bonsor. Register of Merchant ships completed in 1951. Modern Shipping Disasters 1963-1987, by Norman Hooke.
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