Siosa line T/n Irpinia 1955 & M/v Irpinia 1962 to 1983
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With Reuben Goossens
Maritime Historian, Cruise‘n’Ship Reviewer, Author & Lecturer
Please Note: All ssmaritime and my other related ssmaritime sites are 100% non-commercial and privately owned sites. Be assured that I am NOT associated with any cruise or shipping companies or travel/cruise agencies or any other organisations! The author has been in the passenger shipping industry since May 1960 and is now semi-retired, but continues to write article on classic liners and cruise ships in order to better to inform cruise and ship enthusiasts for their pleasure!
Ex: SS Campana 1929, SS Rio Jachal 1943, SS Campana 1946 to 1955
The Turbine vessel - T/v Irpinia is seen in 1956 during a cruise
She had been modernised, but in 1962 she received a massive transformation and became a Motor vessel - M/v in 1962
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liner and cruise ship, the ‘Irpinia’ was, as
described in Part One,
built as the SGTM liner SS Campana in
1929 by Swan, Hunter on the River Tyne. She sailed from Marseille to the East
Coast of South America,
SS Campana is seen after she was returned to SGTM in 1946
In 1946, she was returned to SGTM, and she recommenced on her regular
South Atlantic duties, until being chartered out, when she commenced voyages
In March 1955, the SS Campana was obtained by
the Italian brothers Grimaldi who had created the Sicula Oceanica,
An advance highly stylised illustration depicting the new T/v Irpinia
She was purchased to be operated on the Trans-Atlantic
service. She headed for
The transformed T/v Irpinia
Two Lounges were one forward and one aft on Lido Deck as was their Swimming Pool together with a spacious Sun Deck. These two venues were separated by cabins ranging from single rooms to twin and three/four berth cabins, most of these having private facilities. The Dining Room was located on Promenade Deck just forward of a Grand Lobby, or “the Hall,” with cabins located amidships. Down on A Deck there were 18 cabins located on the starboard side. The Children’s Room was located aft on Boat deck.
On Lido Deck aft there was the Tourist Class Swimming Pool, and a vast open deck space. Whilst on Promenade Deck two Lounges with a Bar were located aft of the First Class cabins, with a Children’s Playroom a little further aft. Whilst outside, there was a spacious fully covered promenade deck space, which was very popular on hot sunny days. The large Dinning Room was located on A Deck aft with cabins aft, and on B Deck, whilst on C Deck aft there were 5 dormitories.
The Dinning Room and Lounges were located forward on A Deck in the new enclosed well deck section. If taking the stairs from below the main lobby down to B Deck, there was a section of two to four berth cabins, whilst just forward of the Dinning Room, the stairwell there would take you down to B Deck forward were six there were large dormitories. Whilst C Deck had 16 dormitories of various sizes reached via the two staircases mentioned earlier, as they were separate compartments.
Upon completion the T/v Irpinia was registered
A stern view of the Irpinia showing her extended aft decks and additional lifeboats
A new brochure with an introduction to the new ship the T/n Irpinia
Left: The First Class Lounge on
Left: The Grand Lobby (the Hall) looking into the Dinning Room on Promenade Deck
Right: A cosy corner of “The Hall”
The Children’s Playroom
Left: A deluxe Suite Bedroom, there were only two Suites on Lido Deck
Right: An outside Twin bed Cabin on A Deck
A single bedded cabin on Promenade Deck
One of the Lounges & the Main Dinning Room aft on A Deck
The far aft Swimming Pool for Tourist Class, the First class is further forward
Please Note: Deck Plans are available on Part Three
Use the LINKS at the bottom of this page!
The Irpinia operated on a variety of services
between 1956 and 1962, as she first operated as a liner, in a first and a
Tourist Class A & B for the migrant service from
Then she operated on the; Palermo, Naples,
Genoa, Quebec to Montreal service, yet during her return voyages she would call
at Cannes before arriving in Genoa. Just during one summer return voyage she
also called in at
You can click on the above schedules and a full size version will open
But in addition, Siosa Lines realised that the
Irpinia was also popular on shorter cruises around the
Her we see a modernised T/v Irpinia in 1961, but soon she would be completely rebuilt
In 1962 the ship was taken to the Adriatico
An early postcard with an artist impression of the all-new M/v Irpinia
Internally all her public venues received a massive overhaul, with a total of fourteen modern and spacious public venues installed, which included a winter garden, three restaurants, four bars, as well as a night club. First Class now accommodated 209 passengers, in 74 cabins, made up as single bed, twin bedded, and three berth cabins. Tourist Class now accommodated 972 passengers in 256 cabins, made up of two, four, and six berth cabins. The two classes had 166 cabins with private facilities (PF); with most cabins in First Class having PF!
Here we see the completed all new motor vessel M/v Irpinia
There was ample space for a variety of sports topside on Sun Deck
Here we see the First Class Swimming Pool located aft on Boat Deck
The delightfully intimate Venezia Lounge and Bar far forward on Lido Deck
On Lido Deck there are two of these spacious deluxe twin staterooms with an extra large Bathroom
The Belvedere Restaurant is located on Promenade Deck forward
Here we see a Twin bedded cabin on Promenade Deck
Aft of the First Class accommodations on Lido Deck was the spacious Dalmazia Lounge
Aft of the Dalmazia Lounge was the Buffet and the Swimming and a children’s Pool
Here we see the delightful Sicilia Ballroom on Promenade Deck aft
Directly aft of the Ballroom was the Cruise Office and a shop as well as a spacious covered deck
This is a typical 4-berth cabin on Main Deck aft
And an inexpensive 2 berth cabin on A Deck aft
Please Note: Deck Plans are available on Part Three
Use the LINKS at the bottom of this page!
M/v Irpinia is seen at anchor in port with one of her tenders attending to the ships passengers
Upon completion this beautiful modern ship,
yet already 34 years of age, recommenced duties to the Caribbean, taking
Spanish and Portuguese migrants Westbound, and collecting West Indian migrants
Eastbound mostly bound for the
Additional ports of call on some voyages would
Irpinia is seen here berthed at
Irpinia Fares and schedule to the
In addition to M/v Irpinia’s line
voyages to the Caribbean, the
However with the ships cruise successes, by 1970 the Irpinia was mostly used on cruise duties, being based in Genoa and operating short Mediterranean cruises, as well as a cruise to The USA and the Caribbean; which at the time were at a cost from US$79 for seven days, or US$134 for a fourteen-day Christmas cruise to New York and the Canaries.
postcard of the Irpinia seen in
She continued with her various cruise duties and she gained a huge following, as she proved a comfortable ship, being a superbly British built ex French liner, as well with her extensive modernisations, she was a most attractive as well as an intimate ship and proved to be one of the friendliest and happiest ship afloat!
In 1976 the company decided to withdraw the Irpinia from service, considering she was already an amazing 47-years of age and were planning to sell her to the breakers. However before she could be sold, something astounding occurred; for ‘Grimaldi Sicula Oceanica’ was contacted by “Associated General Films” who intended to make a ‘Lew Grade’ movie entitled the ‘Voyage of the Damned,” and they required a suitable older style liner and the 1929 built M/v Irpinia was perfect. Thus they chartered her for the making of this major movie event, which had a massive cast of some of the finest and best-known actors of that time!
One of the many movie posters
The story of the movie was based on the actual
events that took place in 1939, when the German luxury liner, MS St. Louis
carried Jewish refugees from
This is the actual 1929 completed, Hamburg America Line 16,730-ton MS St Louis
The SS St Louis departed from
Shortly before the film’s end, it is
revealed that the governments the United States and other governments who
refused to take a single one of these poor refugees as the Captain tried to
find safe havens for them, but then the UK, Belgium, France, the Netherlands,
and the United Kingdom agreed to accept a share of the passengers as refugees.
As they cheered and clapped at the news, tragically the footnotes in the film
clearly disclose the fates of some of the passengers on board, suggesting that
over 600 of the 937 Jewish passengers on board did not survive, for in due
course they lost their lives in Auschwitz concentration camp, as well in other
death camps, the reason being that each of the European countries they went to
were invaded by Nazi Germany. Only the small number Jewish persons that went to
Here we see the Irpinia transformed as the MS St Louis, with Max von Sydow as Captain Gustav Schröder
A dummy funnel was placed over her actual funnel and another located just aft, but they retained her white hull
‘Voyage of the Damned’ won Golden Globe Awards for being the Best Motion Picture and Supporting Actress. It was without a doubt an amazing movie, but it was a grossly under-rated film by the public!
Another poster for the movie, a link is located at the bottom of the page for you to watch the full Movie!
M/v Irpinia and her concluding Days:
After the filming concluded T/v Irpinia was returned to Grimaldi Siosa Lines, and remarkably she was placed back into her previous Mediterranean cruise duties out of Genoa, and operated these very successfully for the next two years. There was no doubt that the public loved this wonderful ship!
Irpinia is seen berthed at her home
Photograph by & © Enrico Righett
However in 1981, when she was due for her next
major certification inspection by “ sadly the Irpinia was unable to
obtain a new certificate of seaworthiness in
Soon she headed to
Irpinia is seen laid up at
Photograph by & © Alan Blakely
Grimaldi Siosa Lines.
SS Campana, SS Rio Jachal & SS Campana
You can watch the movie in full HERE or use the link below
a 3.16-minute interior film of the MS St Louis
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