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M.S. VICTORIA 1952
Design and Construction (1950 - 1953):
The Victoria was the last Trieste-built liner, she was the last active example of the classic passenger cargo liner. She was built as the Victoria for Lloyd Triestino's Italy to Hong Kong service. She carried 286 first and 181 tourist class passengers, had five cargo holds, and was driven by CRDA Fiat diesels capable of 16,100 BHP to drive twin screws at a speed of 19.5 knots. The Victoria was completed by the San Marco (near Trieste) yard of Cantieri Riuniti dell'Adriatico in March of 1953.
They were some of the most stylish and elegant small passenger liners built during the 1950s. The Victoria had especially stylish and modern interiors, courtesy of the brilliant architect and designer, Gustavo Pulitzer-Finale. Lustrous veneers, carved panels by Marangoni depicting ancient Venice, sculptures by Mascherini, etched glass panels, midcentury modern light fixtures and furnishings, acres of linoleum and a sweeping three deck high first class stairtower with glass insets were at once Italian and cutting edge features. Both ships also boasted full air conditioning years before it became a standard feature in passenger shipping. The Victoria and Asia in turn were part of a series of seven almost identical ships buit for Lloyd Triestino:
Lloyd Triestino Line era (1953 - 1974):
completion, the Victoria entered service with Lloyd Triestino in 1953
and sailed on the "Asian service" linking Italy to India and the Far
East via the Suez Canal. After the Suez Canal was closed due to the
6-day war in 1967, the Victoria and Asia travelled via the Cape of Good
Hope to India.
Adriatica Line era (1974 - 1977):
Lloyd Triestino retired the Victoria from service and she was
transferred to Adriatica Line to join the Ausonia on services in the
Mediterranean from Italy to Beirut and cruises. She continued in this
role until 1977 when she was retired from service.
Mercy Ships Years (1978 - 2007):
As the Anastasis, she has performed a great role for Mercy Ships and her legacy lives on. Over her 29 year career with Mercy Ships, the Anastasis contributed more than half of Mercy Ships total output in terms of number of services, value and beneficiaries. An average of 350 crew from more than 30 nations lived and worked onboard. The former passenger liner was modified to contain three fully-equipped operating rooms, a hospital ward, a dental clinic, a laboratory, an X-ray unit, three cargo holds and accommodation for 420 crew. She carried a fleet of over 20 vehicles for onshore work. Since 1978, the Anastasis has performed more than 1,000,000 services, at a total value today of over £162 million with an estimated 1.5 million people as direct beneficiaries.
She was sold by Mercy Ships and arrived on the 18th August 2007 at Alang, India for scrapping By this time she was the last survivor of Lloyd Triestino's elegance postwar fleet of ocean liners from the 1950s. It was the end of an era.
Howeer the Anastasis has left a remarkable legacy during her years as the flagship of Mercy Ships and served a very useful purpose. We salute the Anastasis (former Victoria). Your legacy lives on with the Mercy Ships fleet.
(c) The AJN Transport Britain Collection 2008 A Edward Elliott