Like her four sister ships, Cedric, Cymric, Cretic and Canopic she was fitted with a 70 ton derrick and had nearly 334,000 cu ft of refrigerated space. She was transferred to Royal Mail management in 1973 and renamed Darro. Transferred to the Ardgowan Shipping Company of Southampton, which was a subsidiary of Furness Withy in 1977. Sold in same year to the Universal River Inc., of Piraeus and renamed Litsa K, two years later sold to P. Perimenis of Piraeus and renamed Dimitra for her final voyage to the breakers yard.
The company took delivery of the first of its four ‘I’ class ships in 1959; she was the Ionic, followed over the following two years by Illyric, Icenic and Iberic. Also two of the ‘A’ class joined the combined fleet, Akaroa and Aranda, leaving the third, Arawa to be delivered the following year.
Built :1959 by Harland & Wolff, Belfast.
Tonnage: 20,368grt, 11,100nrt.
Engines: Twin screw, 2 x Burmeister Wain turbo charged by builder, 20,000 SHP, 17.5 Kts.
Passengers: 107 1st Class, 82 Cabin and 275 3rd Class.
Launched by Princess Margaret on the 7th of July 1959 and completed the same year. Her owners were registered as Welldeck Shipping of the Royal Mail Line and she made her maiden voyage as Amazon to Buenos Aires on the 22nd of January 1960. Transferred to Shaw Savill in March of 1968 and renamed Akaroa, made her maiden voyage to Australia and New Zealand on the 28th of May. She was sold to Uglands Rederi and converted for use as a car carrier in 1971 and renamed Akarita. Underwent further conversion in April of 1972 at Viktor Lenae, Rijeka upgrading her car carrying capacity to 3,000 vehicles. Became Hual Akarita in 1977 for Sagitta of Liberia. Reverted to Akarita in 1981 when she was put up for sale for breaking, she eventually arrived at Kaohsiung on the 8th of January 1982 and the Tai Sheng Steel Company carried out work.
In 1962 the company introduced Northern Star to its Round the World service though the end of passnger liners was coming to an end to be replaced by air travel also this year Megantic came into service followed by her sister Medic in 1963.
Built:1962 by Vickers-Armstrong Newcastle.
Tonnage: 24,756grt, 12,890nrt, 7,843dwt.
Engines: Twin screw, 2 x 2 Double reduction geared turbines by Parsons, 22,000 SHP, 20 Kts, Boilers also by Parsons of Wallsend.
Passengers: 1,412 Tourist, Crew 490.
Launched on the 27th of June 1961, completed 26th of June 1962.
She made her maiden voyage on the 10th of July and seven years later commenced cruising out of Southampton. Because of technical problems, which blighted her career and the fact that she fared really badly at cruising, she was sold for breaking in 1974 and arrived at Kaohsiung on the 11th of December, the Li Chong Steel & Iron Works carried out work.
Built:1962 by Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson, Newcastle.
Tonnage: 12,226grt, 6,804nrt, 13,485dwt.
Engines: Twin screw, 2 x 7 Cylinder Burmeister & Wain by builder, 16,000 BHP, 18 Kts.
Megantic had a massive 581,050 cu ft of refrigerated space and was completed in December of 1962 for its Australian-New Zealand service. She transferred to Blackhall Shipping, a subsidiary in 1978 and the following year was sold to the Ampney Shipping Corporation of Piraeus and renamed Dimitrrios Ventouris. Arrived at Kaohsiung in April of 1980 for breaking.
Built:1963 by Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson, Newcastle.
Tonnage: 12,220grt, 6,826nrt.
Engines; Twin screw, 2 x 7 Cylinder Burmeister & Wain by builder, 16,000 BHP, 18 Kts.
Joined her sister on the antipodean service and remained as such till sold out of the fleet to the Odysefs Shipping Corporation of Piraeus and renamed Odysefs in 1980. Moved to the Gold Lake Shipping Corporation of Valetta, Malta in 1985 and retained her name, still in service in 1986.
Built:1965 by Vickers Ltd., Newcastle.
Tonnage: 7,751grt, 4,223nrt, 9,520dwt.
Engine: Single screw, 8 Cylinder Sulzer by G. Clark & N.E.M., Ltd., 17,100BHP, 18 Kts.
Completed in May of 1965.
Served with her sister ship Zealandic until both ships were sold out of the fleet in 1980. Laurentic went to the National Integrity Naveira S.A. of Piraeus and became Spartan Reefer and was broken in 1984 at Karachi.
Built:1967 by Alex Stephen & Sons, Linthouse, Glasgow.
Tonnage: 12,277grt, 6,957nrt, 14,336dwt.
Engine: Single screw, 8 x Cylinder Sulzer by builder, 17,600 BHP, 19 Kts.
Delivered in the February of 1967.
In 1974 along with her sister Brtannic she went to the New Zealand Shipping Corporation with Shaw Savill named as managing agents, initially they were to be named N.Z.1 and 2 respectively, common sense prevailed and they became Aorangi and Waitangi. Aorangi went to Criomar Inc of Piraeus in 1978 becoming Mykonos and in 1984 was managed by Societe Gestion Evge S.A. retaining her name; she was still in service in 1987.
In 1968 Shaw Savill took over the running of Royal Mail’s three ‘A’ class ships to replace their aging ‘Corinthic’ class vessels, the company soon realised their mistake and over the following two years disposed of the ships for further use as car transporters to Heogh-Ugland Autoliners. By 1969 Shaw Savill wholly owned 29 ships and its fleet increased further when Furness Withy transferred 10 Cairn Line ships to its management, in this year also Shaw Savill along with four other members of Overseas Containers Ltd formed Dolphin Line Limited.
Built: 1957 by Vickers-Armstrong, Walker on Tyne.
Tonnage: 25,585grt, 13,725nrt.
Engines: Triple screw, 3 x 2 Steam turbines, double reduction geared by builder, 30,000SHP, 20Kts.
They bought Canadian Pacific’s Empress of England in 1969, renamed her Ocean Monarch and after one round trip to Australia had her converted for cruising at Cammell Laird of Birkenhead. Due to industrial problems at the Birkenhead yard she was delivered six months late and consequently lost twelve of her scheduled summer cruises, not an auspicious start to her new career. She finally sailed from the yard on the 17th of September 1971 and commenced cruising in the October, her trading left a lot to be desired and she was withdrawn from service in the June of 1975 and arrived at Kaohsiung for breaking in the July. Also in 1971 Furness Withy announced its intentions to dispose of 23 of its ships, Shaw Savills three ‘A’ class ships were amongst those sold. In 1972 the control of Prince Line passed to Shaw Savill but the size fleet continued to decline and by the following year it was down to 27 ships of which only 22 were Shaw Savill, by 1976 the number of ships under management had fallen to 20.
1977 saw the reorganisation of the Furness Withy group with the founding of the General Shipping Division, P&O had gone through the same exercise in 1971/72. Placed under the care of Shaw Savill were Cairn Line, Dee Navigation, Prince Line and Houlder Brothers. On the 1st of January 1978 along with Bank Line Shaw Savill commenced a new service from New Zealand-Australia-Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico, they also put out tenders for three new container ships, two for Bank Line and one for Shaw Savill.
Built:1980 by Swan Hunter Shipbuilders, Walkers Yard, Newcastle.
Tonnage: 18,140grt, 10,080nrt, 16,378dwt.
Engine: Single screw,6 Cylinder 2S.SA B&W by Harland & Wolff of Belfast, 20,500BHP, 19Kts.
Completed in July 1980.
Entered service on the Australia-Central America-Caribbean-United States-Gulf Ports route. Furness Withy became registered owners with Shaw Savill as managers in 1984 and two years later she was sold to Hamburg Sud-Amerika Line becoming Monte Pascoal.
Furness Withy lost control to C.Y.Tung’s Orient Overseas Container’s in 1980 when its board accepted an offer of £4.20 a share, the subsidiary of Eurocanadian Shipholdings was also purchased with control going to Dolphin Investments, Helix Investments and the Canadian National Railways, CNR also acquired Eurocandians holdings in Manchester Liners.
By 1981 only nine ships remained under Shaw Savill management, Laurentic and Zealandic had both been sold the previous year, by 1982 its ships under management diminished even further.By 1985 Shaw Savill was only managing Dunedin out of the fleet of three remaining ships the others being Clerk-Maxwell and Oroya and by 1987 Dunedin was the only ship sailing under the once famous Shaw Savill funnel. I would be most appreciative if anyone could finish the story, sad as it might well be.