Purser's Office

Cunard's Caronia

The Green Goddess After World Ward 2, Cunard planned to build a new liner of similar proportions to RMS Mauretania of 1939. She was to be intended for the North Atlantic, but Cunard's board of directors re-purposed her for cruising. The new ship - soon to be named Caronia by Princess Elizabeth - received many different features from her Cunard White Star fleetmates. An outdoor swimming pool was a new thing, as was having a bathroom in every cabin. Unlike the Queens with three classes, Caronia would offer two classes of accommodation except during cruises when she was a one class ship.

Caronia was also painted different shades of green - a unique livery which made her recognizable in ports all around the world. The people of Liverpool nicknamed her the Green Goddess. Also her large funnel, which caught the wind easily, was one of the largest ever installed aboard a ship.

1949: on the 4th of January Caronia set on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York. Over the years she became famous among the wealthy. Often they would book her for months at a time. It was not uncommon for them to bring, along with their trunks, their favourite furnishings, etc.The passenger list was a constant of the who's who of the society register. Indeed she would become known as the "Tiffany's of Cruising."

1966 saw continuous financial losses throughout the fleet due to increased competition from the air and labour problems, also trouble in the Middle East was seriously effecting the cost of oil fuel. Cunard was faced with some heavy choices. The following year in 1967, Cunard's famous Queen Mary made it's last voyage. Offices around the world were closed. Thousands of employees made redundant. And Caronia was sold. From 1968 - 1974 She underwent different changes and identities. Finally as the Caribia, she made her way to the breakers accross the Pacific. However it was an appointment she would not keep. While being towed, she encountered a fierce storm near Guam. After the tug's generators failed the crew were forced to cut the Caribia loose. The storm winds pushed her against Apra Harbour's breakwater, where the ship was wrecked.

One of the most comprehensive sources on the internet for Caronia can be found here.