RMS Ascania (II)

The Ship

Ascania was the fifth of Cunard's six "A" liners and she was built by Armstrong Whitworth Shipbuilders Ltd. Newcastle. Although she was launched late in 1923, her completion was delayed and she did not make her maiden voyage, from London to Montreal, until 22 May 1925.

She remained on that route until 1939 when, like all the "A" liners, she was requisitioned as an armed merchant cruiser. She was later converted into an infantry landing ship and took part in the invasion of Sicily and the landing at Anzio in 1943.

The only "A" liner to return to Cunard service after the war, she ran on an austerity service from Liverpool to Halifax from 1947 to 1949, and after a 1950 refitting was placed on Cunard's Liverpool-Montreal service.

But times and requirements had certainly changed. Her pre-war capacity of 500 in cabin class and 1,200 in third class had been cut down. She went on the Montreal service with a trip to New York now and then until she was broken up in 1957. Just before she went to the breakers she had one last call of official duty when she carried British Servicemen to the Eastern Mediterranean during the Suez crisis.

14,440 gross tons; 538 feet long; 65 feet wide. Steam turbines, twin screw. Service speed 15 knots. 696 passengers (after 1950, 198 in first class and 498 in tourist class.

My Postcards

R.M.S. Ascania (II)

Postally used 1948

Poste at sea - Paquebot.

Talks of seeing an iceberg!


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