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With Reuben Goossens

Maritime Historian, Cruise‘n’Ship Reviewer & Author


Chandris Cruises

My Cruise on the SS Britanis


With Francois Tremblay


SS Britanis at anchor

I received the following story and accompanying photographs from Mr. Francois Tremblay who is a French Canadian from Montreal, Quebec. Due to French being his first language, I have somewhat rephrased his story, but remained true to the details in every respect. Please Note that photographs on this page, except for the one at the bottom of the page and marked otherwise, were taken and provided by Mr. Francois Tremblay during his cruise on the SS Britanis. We are grateful to him for both his story and images.

Reuben Goossens.

Let’s go on a Cruise!

Hello, first of all thank you for your very nice website and the excellent story about the SS Britanis. I certainly did not know all her history when I cruised on her in 1979.

I was 21 years old, single and still living at home with my Mother and having just worked my first complete year at work I decided to take one weeks vacation.

My best friend was Sylvain Leger and we had been friends whilst in the Sea Cadet’s in Montreal at the H.M.S.C. Donnacona from the age of 14 years, until we were in our 18’s. Thus we decided to take a cruise together. Though a small travel company called “Skylark” we purchased a 7 day Caribbean cruise from San Juan Puerto Rico for $611.00 (Canadian) and that included the airfare flying with an airline that is now long gone, but it had a rather nice name as it was called “Wardair.”

The 1979 itinerary was as follows: April 16 - Puerto Rico, 17 - St Marten, 18 - La Martinique, 19 - Grenada, 20 - Caracas (La Guera), 21 - Curacao, 22 - Puerto Rico.

We had an inside two berth cabin, but without a private bathroom, thus we came prepared with a dressing gown, so we would go just down the hallway for a shower, but for us that was certainly no problem. The cabin did have a basin with hot and cold water of course.

This is our two berth cabin, certainly not huge, but comfortable!

Sadly I cannot recall which deck we were on. The Britanis was great and the food was simply excellent and the midnight buffet, now that was simply unbelievable!

But we all got dressed up nicely at night to go to Dinner, but we did laugh for some people dressed like Movie Stars, it was all so glamorous. At night the aft decks of the ship was always beautifully light and seemed very classy and romantic, with all the lights and the teak decks.

The buffet was usually at 11 PM to Midnight and it was a wonderful experience, picking up your plate of food and then going out on deck to eat your collection of goodies in a delightful sea breeze. The hot food was always followed by those unbelievable cakes!

One night I decided to sleep out up on deck on one of the deck chairs on promenade deck, I slept well and recall waking up with the sun rising over the horizon, it was simply wonderful!

Like all ships, there always has to be a casino and slots

In the Dinning Room we were at First Sitting and at our table there were six persons in total. There were two delightful ladies who were both teachers at a School in Quebec, as well as a married couple on their Honeymoon. We felt sorry for them, as they sun baked far too much on their very first day at sea and then they had to stay in their room until the Thursday. Or could it have been an excuse?

Bom Alaska Parade in the Dinning Room a wonderful event at the Farewell Captain’s Dinner

On the last night of the cruise, my friend Sylvain ate some shrimps (prawns) and it turned out that he was allergic to it, however at the time he was not aware of it! So our last night on board was spent in the Medical Centre with the ships doctor having to take care of him. They looked after him very well, and all ended OK, and our cruise in spite of that one incident was a great success. We loved the SS Britanis as she was our first ship.

Since then myself and my wife have cruised again, mostly with Princess Cruises, as well as one cruise each with Crystal Cruises and that was perfection, and once with Carnival. Soon we will be going on a longer cruise with Princess again, but my very first cruise on the Britanis will always be special, as it started my love for ships and let’s face it she was a real ship!

Francois Tremblay.

A delightful night time view of the cruise ship SS Britanis that is now long gone and but a memory!

Photograph by & Nikos-Tzerefos


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Also visit the following Chandris liners


SS Patris - SS Ellinis - SS Australis


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Commenced in the passenger Shipping Industry in May 1960 &

Where the ships of the past make history & the 1914 built MV Doulos Story


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Photographs on ssmaritime and associate pages are by the author or from the author’s private collection. In addition there are some images that have been provided by Shipping Companies and private photographers or collectors. Credit is given to all contributors. However, there are some photographs provided to me without details regarding the photographer/owner concerned. I hereby invite if owners of these images would be so kind to make them-selves known to me (my email address may be found on only), in order that due credit may be given. I know what it is like, I have seen a multitude of my own photographs on other sites, yet these individuals either refuse to provide credit or remove them when asked, knowing full well that there is no legal comeback when it comes to the net. However, let us show these charlatans up and do the right thing at all times and give credit where credit is due!

This notice covers all pages, although, and I have done my best to ensure that all photographs are duly credited and that this notice is displaced on each page, that is, when a page is updated!




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