Cogedar Line MS Aurelia previously the MS Huascaran & Beaverbrae later Chandris Cruises MS Romanza & New Ambassador Cruises Romantica
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With Reuben Goossens
Maritime Historian, Cruise‘n’Ship Reviewer, Author & Maritime Lecturer
Please Note: All ssMaritime and other related maritime/cruise sites are 100% non-commercial and privately owned. Be assured that I am NOT associated with any shipping or cruise companies or any travel/cruise agencies or any other organisations! Although the author has been in the passenger shipping industry since 1960, although is now retired but having completed over 700 Classic Liners and Cargo-Passengers Ships features I trust these will continue to provide classic ship enthusiasts the information the are seeking, but above all a great deal of pleasure! Reuben Goossens.
A fine photograph of the MS Aurelia
seen during a cruise from
Photographs on these pages are from the author’s private collection, unless stated otherwise!
MS Aurelia was
originally built as the 6,951 GRT (Gross Registered Ton), Hamburg America
Line Passenger-Cargo Ship MS Huascaran. She was launched on December 15, 1938
at the Blohm & Voss shipyards in
A waterline model of the MS Huascaran seen as built in 1939
Provided by www.shipmodels.co.uk
1940 she was taken over by the German Navy and converted into a
submarine/U-Boat depot and later during the war as a Submarine repair ship,
spending the majority of her time in
On September 2,
1947, the MS Huascaran was sold
to the Canadian Pacific Line and was comprehensively refitted at
Canadian Pacific Line 9,034-ton MS Beaverbrae
accommodations were as follows; she now offered new upgraded cabin
accommodations for 74 passengers, however she also had dormitory accommodations
for up to 699 persons. On February 8, 1948 she departed on her maiden voyage as
the MS Beaverbrae, sailing from
Pacific Line intended at all times to use this ship to transport cargo from
In due course, there
was a decline in the passenger’s trade that suited this ship, thus the MS
as no longer required and she
made her last migrant voyage when she departed
First Cogedar post card of MS Aurelia
The Beaverbrae was purchased on November 1, 1954 by the
well-known Italian shipping Company, “Cia, Genovese do Armamento,” or
as the company is better known, “Cogedar Line.” Having taken
delivery they renamed her Aurelia and they took her to Monfalcone,
Her superstructure was stretched forward and aft making her more like a passenger liner. Topside on Sports Deck far forward there was a glass enclosed deck space offering views over the forward decks of the ship. Along the sides there were covered decks leading to a sports deck. One deck down on Lido Deck, or Lounge Deck, there were still some cabins far forward and lounges aft, but these were spread the full width of the ship. Aft of thee was the outdoor pool and further deck space. The next deck down was Promenade Deck, generally called Shelter Deck, and besides the main Lobby forward, aft was the main Dining Room.
1,124 passengers in cabins raging from 2 to 8 berth cabins. Forward on Lido
Deck in the new added superstructure located between the eight lifeboats
contained some 12 outside cabins that had a private toilet, with their own or
shared shower facilities between two cabins. There was also 1 outside cabin
that had use the shared facilities with the 4 inside cabins. The shared
facilities were located close by. Air-Conditioning had been installed
throughout the ship and she was registered in
Here we see her after her first refit into a passenger liner in 1954/55
On May 13, 1955
Aurelia is seen transiting the
Amazingly, Cogedar decided during the European winter months of 1958/59 that it was worthwhile to replace her original Man Diesels with a brand new pair of the same type. In addition The was given a comprehensive refit that saw some alterations take place throughout her interiors as well as to her exterior, which saw her profile further enhanced.
Forward above the accommodation superstructure between the lifeboats, up on Sports Deck area, an open-air glass enclosed Solarium deck and children’s pool was added. At a later date this section was partially covered and much later still, after her Chandris Cogedar days, this deck was completely rebuilt to contain cabins.
Forward, but below the bridge was the new
Solarium deck and children’s pool
Forward, but below the bridge was the new Solarium deck and children’s pool
and aft of the cabins on Lido Deck was the main Lounge section of the ship with
six wonderful Lounges and Bars as well as the Swimming Pool and ample Deck
space located aft. Above the Swimming Pool there was an oval opening to Sports
Deck where there was also a spacious deck space!
Directly below and aft of the cabins on Lido Deck was the main Lounge section of the ship with six wonderful Lounges and Bars as well as the Swimming Pool and ample Deck space located aft. Above the Swimming Pool there was an oval opening to Sports Deck where there was also a spacious deck space!
Lido Pool with slippery slide was located aft
of the main lounges, however we do see the very popular Lido Bar
Lido Pool with slippery slide was located aft of the main lounges, however we do see the very popular Lido Bar
It is here were the author spent considerable time
during his cruise and befriended famed
and Australian Pop Star the wonderfully and talented Dinah Lee and she still is!
This is the original Album cover still in my
collection, which I obtained in
There was no doubt that the Aurelia’s appearance had vastly improved and she did become a popular ship indeed! Upon completion, she was listed as being 10,480 GRT, but amazingly her passenger capacity remained the same.
A postcard with an artist impression of the new 1959 MS Aurelia
Aurelia had now been
transferred to operate from
Above & below: these postcards clearly show the forward Solarium without any covering
Whilst in the postcard below we can clearly see that the forward section is now partially covered
However, the Aurelia
was chartered by the Council of Student Travel for a single round Trans-Atlantic
During 1964 the
Aurelia had commenced to call into
In addition throughout
her years she would be chartered to operate Trans-Atlantic student voyages from
Channel ports always sailing to
Above & below: we
see the Aurelia in
These images were sent in by a supporter without any details - Please see Photo Notes at the bottom of this page
In the meantime,
Cogedar had obtained the Cunard passenger-cargo ship the RMS Media, which was
completely rebuilt, which many call the greatest rebuild in history, for the original
ship was to say the least somewhat of an ugly duckling and the SS Flavia, well
you can see yourself in the photograph below. The SS Flavia as has been claimed
to be, by many maritime designers as being “A Beautiful, Graceful, Sleek
White Swan!” And I agree, as I sailed on this beautiful liner from
Here we see the streamlined SS Flavia, being Aurelia’s modern running mate
The Flavia joined the Aurelia on October 2, 1962 and they continued on the Australian service. Both ships sailed on with considerable success for the next five years, although in due course there was change coming that would have an effect on them both.
The first blow to all
shipping was the closure of the Suez Canal in 1967, meaning that all ships had
to sail around
MS Aurelia seen arriving in port from another voyage
Photographer unknown - *Please see photo notes at bottom of page
Thus those two events, with air travel and the slowing of the migrant trade by sea would bring about an end to a well established relationship between the Italian Cogedar Line that had operated its and Australia and New Zealand, for sadly Cogedar services were about to be cancelled. Although Cogedar did operate a number of cruises and did so with moderate success and the author joined one of these cruises on the Aurelia and had a wonderful time on this ship. However, the end for the Aurelia was in sight.
The Aurelia departed
Upon her return in
The Aurelia seen in
The Aurelia was chartered in 1969 to operate a series of Trans-Atlantic sailings once again having been chartered; by “Council on International Educational Exchange” and her schedule was as follows:
I wish to thank Mr. Charles Addington for providing the schedule above.
MS Aurelia made 34
Trans-Atlantic voyages during her career, but upon her return voyage from
wonderful MS Aurelia is seen here during her final voyage to
A wonderful old slide from my collection of the MS Romanza, just after completion
Lines/Cruises had purchased her in September 1970, and renamed her Romanza. As
soon as Chandris took possession of the ship they took her to her to
When fully completed
she had been internally beautifully appointed, as well as looking externally
like a fresh new looking ship! MS Romanza departed
Cruises MS Romanza
is seen departing
Under Chandris she
was listed as being 8,891 GRT, and proved to be a huge success in the
The delightfulChandris Cruises MS Romanza
in her later career she did have a number of mishaps. The first mishap occurred
on October 17, 1979 when The Romanza ran aground on
When completed she
returned to her Chandris Cruises weekly summer Mediterranean circuit as well as
other charters whenever they arose during the offseason, when she could be used
in South America or the Caribbean. But until 1997 she was kept as busy ship,
but there were times that she was laid up at
Romanza is seen at
Then in 1983 the MS
Romanza was chartered to Companhia de Navegacao, or Lloyd Brasileiro being
Romanza is seen arriving at
Whilst the MS Romanza was in service with Lloyd Brasileiro Cruises she proved to be a successful, as well as a profitable ship for the company and she remained with them for a good eight years to 1991, for the company decided to look for new and larger tonnage that had come available!
During her career right up to 1991 the Aurelia, Romanza had proved to be and excellent and a most reliable ship, considering she was now aged a good 37 years, from when she rebuilt from a humble cargo ship into a full scale Passenger Liner, the MS Aurelia, or 52 years since the ship was originally built as the German MS Huascaran! At all times she had remained in excellent condition, for she was meticulously maintained throughout her days and she had been constantly updated with the latest safety and navigation equipment, facilities and officers and crew received ongoing training. MS Romanza was classified as being A1 by Lloyds of London and all her certifications were up to date. There is a very good reason I mention this at this stage, the reason is that things are about to change for this amazing ship as she was about to leave the Chandris stable as she was sold to a new owner in 1991!
In 1991, she was sold to ‘New Ambassador Leisure Cruises’ of Cyprus who renamed her, Romantica
and she was to operate on the company’s new Limassol-based short cruise
program to Egypt and Israel. At first the Romantica was a resounding success,
but then a new Cypriot based Company came on the scene they with an aggressive
programme simply overtook New Ambassador Cruises as Louis Cruise Line offered
considerable competition. In addition, Louis Cruises had also obtained the
luxurious ex Chandris ship The Victoria and renamed her; Princesa
However, MS Romantica was sold early in 1997 to the Cyprus-based
‘Paradise Cruises,’ and she was again refurbished. The company
owned the very popular cruise ship the rather budged style MS Atalante and they
intended that both she and the Romantica would operate their popular two and
This is a postcard of the very short-lived ‘Paradise Cruises’ MS Romantica
I wish to thank Mr. Alexandros
However, tragically the Romantica would have a very short life with
Paradise Cruises, because for her passengers one particular cruise was not
going to be
Thankfully, it was MS Romantica’s ex Chandris fleet mate the MV The Victoria that came to her aid and rescued the vast majority of her passengers and crewmembers. At first, the fire could not be contained, but soon she began to list 20 degrees to starboard, and thus water was pumped into her tanks from the exterior to keep her level in order for her not to capsize! Finally, this massive fire was contained on October 8, and with this wonderful old ship being completely burned out and gutted, this once proud liner was officially declared a; “total constructive loss.”
tragic sight of the fire ravaged MS Romantica
A tragic sight of the fire ravaged MS Romantica
The burnt out
hulk of the MS Romantica
The burnt out hulk of the MS Romanticawas towed to
we see burned out Romantica as she is ready to be towed to
Built: Blohm & Voss
Built: Blohm & Voss
Yard #: 518
Launched: December 15, 1938
Hamburg-America Line: April 27, 1939
Tonnage: 10,480 GRT - Aurelia
Length: 148.7m - 487 feet
Width: 18.4m - 60 feet
Draft: 6.7m – 21 feet
Engine: Diesel-electric (3 MAN type diesels)
Speed: 17 knots
Passengers: 32 First Class
Crew Aurelia: 28
Three photographs of Aurelia & Romanza in her better days
MSAurelia seen arriving at Station Pier Melbourne on November 18, 1962
Photograph was kindly provided by Yvette Meijer, daughter of the late Jacoba Meijer, nee Ris & is © Copyright.
Read Jacoba’s story on her own page via the link below!
A fine aerial photograph of the Chandris cruise ship MS Romanza
MS Romanza passing through
MS Aurelia & Cogedar Line INDEX:
Page One: MS Aurelia – history page - This page.
Page Two: The Bulthuis Family Story.
Page Three: .
Page Four: Jacoba Ris-Török Story.
Also read: Other Cogedar Line ships …
MS Flaminia - The Old Cogedar Liner.
RMS Media / SS Flavia - The last of the Cogedar Ships.
“Blue Water Liners sailing to the distant shores.
I watched them come, I watched them go and I watched them die.”
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Please Note: ssmaritime and associated sites are 100% non-commercial and the author does not seek funding or favours and never have and never will.
Photographs on ssmaritime and associate pages are either by the author or from the author’s private collection. In addition there are some images and photographs that have been provided by Shipping Companies or private photographers or collectors. Credit is given to all contributors, however, there are some photographs provided to me without details regarding the photographer or owner concerned. Therefore, I hereby invite if owners of these images would be so kind to make them-selves known to me (my email address can be found at the bottom of the page on www.ssmaritime.com), in order that due credit may be given.
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