ROYAL MAIL STEAM PACKET COMPANY

1946-1982

After the cessation of hostilities the Company's surviving passenger ships, Atlantis, Almanzora, Austurias, Alcantara and Andes commenced Trooping, Hospital and Repatriation duties. They were assisted by four Highland Class ships.

During 1947 Highland Brigade along with her three sisters, new ships Loch Avon and Loch Garth all re-entered onto the South American service. They were supplemented by four ex-US Liberty ships and a few of the Empire type standard British War tonnage. Almanzora after thirty-three years continuous service was scrapped this year.

1948 saw the introduction of Andes on the South American service and later in the year she was joined by Alcantara which had just undergone a major refit in Belfast. On the 9th of March 1949 the Magdalena made her maiden voyage to Buenos Aires, she grounded on the Tijucas Reef between Cagarras and the Palmas Islands homeward bound on the 25th of April. The following day she was refloated but broke her back with the forward section sinking immediately, the after section remained afloat and ran ashore in Imbui Bay, it was later sold for scrap.

EBRO


ŠIL

Built: 1952 by Harland & Wolff, Govan.
Tonnage: 7, 784g, 3, 621n, 12, 290 dwt.
Engine: Single Screw, 6 Cylinder Single Acting by Builder, 14 Knots.
Passengers: 12

Delivered in June of 1952, sold to Fortune Maritime of Hong Kong and renamed Fortune Victory in 1969. In 1970 she was sold to Union of Burma Five Star Line Rangoon and renamed Kalemyo and served them for eight years before arriving at Tsingtao for breaking in December of 1978.

ESSEQUIBO


ŠIL

Built: 1952 by Harland & Wolff, Govan.
Tonnage: 7, 791g, 3, 261n.
Engine : Single Screw, Single Acting Opposed Piston 6 Cylinder by Builder, 4, 500 BHP. 14 Knots.
Passengers: 12

Completed September 1952 served in the Fleet before being sold to China Navigation Co and renamed Ningpo. In 1970 sold to Union of Burma Five Star Line Corporation becoming Kalawa, after six years service she arrived at Shanghai on the 15th March for breaking by China National Metals.

Between 1952 and 1958 Royal Mail continued on its rebuilding program and in 1959 the Andes underwent conversion for use as a cruise ship, her hull was painted white. Between 1959 and 1960 the Amazon, Aragon and Arlanza all entered service also with white hulls.

DRINA


ŠIL

Built: 1953 by Harland & Wolff, Belfast.
Tonnage: 10, 961g, 6, 319n.
Engines : Twin Screw, 12 Cylinder Single Acting B & W, 14, 300 BHP. 17 Knots.
Refrigerated Space: 9, 460 cu m.

Built for Shaw Savill & Albion for their UK - Australia service and named Cretic, managed by Royal Mail from 1972 and named Drina. Transferred to Blackhall Shipping Co in 1977 retained her name. Sold to Rotna Maritime Incorporated of Singapore in 1977 and renamed United Vigour, on the 23rd December 1978 she arrived for breaking at Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

LOCH GOWAN


ŠIL

Built: 1954 by Harland & Wolff, Belfast.
Tonnage: 9, 718g, 5, 549n.
Engine : Single Screw, Steam Turbine, Double Reduction Geared. 16 Knots.
Passengers: 12. Tiled Swimming Pool.

She entered a joint service with the Holland America Line to north Pacific ports and remained as such until being broken up at Kaohsiung, Taiwan in 1970.

EDEN


ŠIL

Built: 1956 by Harland & Wolff, Govan.
Tonnage: 7, 791g, 3, 261n.
Engine : Single Screw, Single Acting Opposed Piston 6 Cylinder. 4, 500 BHP. 14 Knots.
Passengers: 12.

No information as to what service Eden served on but she was sold in 1969 to Neptune Orient Lines of Singapore, renamed Neptune Garnet. She was broken up in July of 1979 at Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

ALBANY


ŠIL

Built: 1957 by Harland & Wolff, Govan.
Tonnage: 7, 299g, 4, 026n.
Engine : Single Screw, Single Acting Opposed Piston Turbo-Charged 6 Cylinder. 4, 500 BHP. 13 Knots.

She made her maiden voyage on the 14th February 1957 from Middlesborough to the West Indies. Sold in 1971 to Union Steamship Company of Monrovia and renamed Taiwan, sold again in 1976 to Li Ta Shipping (Pte) of Singapore renamed Lido. She arrived at Kaohsiung, Taiwan for scrapping on the 29th March 1979.

LOCH LOYAL


ŠIL

Built: 1957 by Harland & Wolff, Belfast.
Tonnage: 11, 035g, 6, 447n.
Engine : Single Screw, Steam Turbine, Double Reduction Geared. 16 Knots.
Passengers: 12. Tiled Swimming Pool.

With her slightly smaller sister Loch Gowan she was built for the joint North Pacific service with Holland America Line. In October of 1969 she was disabled by a fire in the Engine Room and in 1971 she was sold to the Aegis Group of Piraeus and renamed Aegis Loyal. She was broken up at Shanghai in October of 1974.

THESSALY


Šmpl

Built: 1957 by Harland & Wolff, Govan.
Tonnage: 7, 299g, 4, 036n.
Engine : Single Screw, Single Acting Opposed Piston Turbo-Charged 6 Cylinder. 4, 500 BHP. 13 Knots.

Entered service in 1957 routes unknown, sold to the Union Steamship Company of Monrovia renamed Japan in 1971. In 1976 sold to the Lina Shipping Company of Singapore renamed Liho, in March of 1979 she was broken by Chi I Enterprise at Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

LOCH RYAN


ŠIL

Built: 1958 by Vickers Armstrong (SB) Ltd, Newcastle.
Tonnage: 9, 439g, 5, 572n.
Engine : Single Screw, Twin Double Reduction Geared Turbines by Parsons. 14 Knots.

Entered service as Pacific Envoy in April of 1958 for Furness Withy & Co, became Loch Ryan in 1967. Reverted to Pacific Envoy in 1970 and sold the following year to Ammon Shipping Co of Famagusta , Cyprus renamed Aegis Strength, sold for scrap in 1974 and broken at Whampoa.

LOMBARDY


ŠIL

Built: 1958 by Burntisland Shipbuilding Co, Burntisland.
Tonnage: 8, 105g, 3, 858n.
Engine : Single Screw, 4 Cylinder Doxford, 4, 400 BHP. 14 Knots.

Built originally for Cairns, Noble & Co of Newcastle and called Cairnforth, transferred to Manchester Liners in 1965 renamed Manchester freighter. Transferred to Royal Mail in 1969 renamed Lombardy, the following year she was laid up at Falmouth. In September of 1971 she was sold to Maldivan Nationwide Trading Corporation (Ceylon) Ltd of Singapore renamed Premier Pacific. Renamed Tara Sea in 1975 and in 1976 became Georgios for Sergeant Shipping Company of Piraeus. She became Mastro Giorgis for Belcore Maritime, Greek owners and on the 15th of September1979 she ran aground at Libraville inbound from Santos. She was refloated on the 10th October the same year and went to breakers.

ARAGON


ŠIL

Built: 1960 by Harland & Wolff, Belfast.
Tonnage: 20, 362g, 11, 100n.
Engines : Twin Screw, 2 x 6 Cylinder Opposed Piston B & W Type. 17, 000 BHP. 18 Knots.
Passengers: 107 First Class, 82 Cabin, 275 Third Class.
Launched on the 20th October 1959, completed April 1960.

She made her maiden voyage on the 29th of April from London to Buenos Aires. In 1969 she transferred to Shaw Savill & Albion, renamed Aranda for service on their Australia-New Zealand route. In 1971 she was converted for use as an auto-carrier for Hoegh-Ugland Autoliners her tonnage reduced to 10, 912g renamed Hoegh Traveller. She was sold to Ace Navigation Company of Liberia in 1977, renamed Hual Traveller, renamed Traveller for Ace Autoline of Monrovia in 1980, finally broken at Kaohsiung, Taiwan in November of 1981.

ARLANZA


ŠIL

Built: 1960 by Harland & Wolff, Belfast.
Tonnage: 20, 362g, 11, 470n.
Engines : Twin Screw, 2 x 6 Cylinder Opposed Piston B & W Type. 17, 000 BHP. 18 Knots.
Passengers: 107 First Class, 82 Cabin, 275 Third Class.
Launched on the 13th April, completed 7th October 1960.

Again as her sister for service on the South American route she transferred to Shaw Savill & Albion for their Australia-New Zealand service and renamed Arawa. In 1971 she too was converted for use as an auto-carrier for Leif Hoegh & Co, renamed Hoegh Transit. Renamed Hoegh Trotter in June of 1972 her weight changed to 10, 895 gross, she was sold after five years service to Ace Transportation of Liberia renamed Hual Trotter. In 1980 she was renamed Trotter for Ace Autoline Co, Monrovia and was broken at Kaohsiung, Taiwan in December of 1981.

In 1965 Furness Withy acquired the share capital of Royal Mail they already owned Shaw Savill & Albion, forming one of the largest shipping groups on the British Register.

The three new 'A' Class ships proved unprofitable on the South American service and transferred to Shaw Savill for its Australasia service in 1968, also in the same year Royal Mail and Furness Withy merged their North Pacific routes. In 1972 Royal Mail virtually disappeared within the Furness Withy Group with just a few of the famous names remaining in service, as late as 1981 Orduna, Orbita and Orotega were still registered as being Royal Mail but really just for technical purposes. The last known Royal Mail ship in service was the Tweed in 1982 and this ends yet another famous British Merchant Navy Company which spanned just over one hundred and forty years.