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Maritime Historian, Cruise‘n’Ship Reviewer & Author
decided to replace the aging 1921 built *
She was to become the best mail-ship to be built for Union-Castle and she was the fastest of the fleet, due to the decision by the company to upgrade her machinery. She was also the first mail-ship to have stabilizers, which required a lengthening of the hull from 748 to 764 feet whilst on the stocks.
Above and below: The Pendennis Castle is seen just having been launched on November 4, 1958
She departed on her maiden voyage on January 1,
1959, under the command of Commodore George Mayhew. Ports of call were as
fine stern view of the ship whilst berthed at
With the introduction in 1961 of the new Union Castle liner it was the RMS Transvaal Castle that became famed for being the *first British liner to carry waitresses, known as *“stewardettes” in the dinning rooms, eventually the Pendennis Castle also carried some “stewardettes.”
*Please see a Note regarding *“stewardettes” at the bottom of the page.
An early Union-CASTLE Line postcard
Union-Castle Line announced in July 1964 that air-conditioning would be extended to include all first class cabins. In addition a further 21 cabins had showers fitted. She became known as the fun-ship of the Union-Castle fleet, as the company introduced additional amusements and upgraded all recreational facilities, thus, she became a more attractive proposition to younger passengers.
Then in May 1968, whilst berthed in Southampton, a fire broke out, damaging some accommodations amidships, however, she was able to sail on with Harland and Wolf workers onboard who continued to repair the damage.
Due to the ever changing
conditions, it was decided in 1976 to withdraw her and place her on the market.
She made her final sailing from
Builder: Harland and
Builder: Harland and
Length: 764 ft
Breadth 83ft 6in Draft: 84ft
Service speed: 22.5 knots
Passengers: 670 total - 197 first class - 473 tourist class
Her Final few years:
She was sold to Filipino owned
“Ocean Queen Navigation Corp.” She parted for
The spotless SS Sinbad I - is seen here still in lay up
She remained laid up in
This fine liner saw 17 years of dignified service as a mail-ship, after which she was laid up for four years. However, to see a passenger liner, still in top condition, being broken up being just 21 years old seemed to be a crime.
A fine view of a magnificent ship!
Enter our Pendennis Castle Photo Album
*In my original
article I wrote, as did Laurence Dunn in his books “Passengers
Liners” volumes One & Two, that Pendennis Castle was the first ship
of the fleet to have waitresses, but, I have received many emails from ex crew
members and one “Stewardette” saying this is wrong and that the
Transvaal Castle was actually the first ship to have them. If there are any
further comments re this I would appreciate them, for originally I took the
said information from a
However, it seems that there is much dispute regarding this from the folk in S/Africa, and whatever the case, well she at least had Stewardettes! The English folk have never written re this, and let’s remember that thankfully they were English ships and certainly not S/African! It has only been S/African writers, and I need to say this, have attacked me in a most VILE WAY, and have been extremely rude to say the least! They certainly do their country and reputation no favours whatsoever for I do not tolerate extreme rudeness! Thankfully I do know some delightful South African’s from Europeans and Black African background and they are the backbone of the land, not these hideous foul mouthed cretins! I am sorry, but this statement needed to be made.
Memories of this fine Liner will long remain!
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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 www.ssmaritime.com 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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