Ship Details

Rig

Twin Screw Passenger Liner of Chandris Line

Built

1940

Built In

Tonnage

26,314g 13,536n

Dimensions

723'0" x 93'6" x 32'8"

Demise

United States Line, reg. New York. 1941 July: U.S.Navy Troopship. Renamed. 1942: Disembarked Australian troops from Egypt at Singapore. 1946 July: United States Line, after an active war service. Transatlantic service. 1963: Laid up due to a strike. 1964 Nov.: Chandris Line. Renamed. 1965 Aug.: Maiden voyage Piraeus to Aust. 1970: Contract to convey migrants to Aust. 1977: Laid up at Timaru, NZ. 1978: Cruises from New York & laid up in Brooklyn. 1978 Aug.: Chandris Line. Renamed. 1979: laid up at Perama. 1984: Silver Moon Ferries. Renamed. 1994 Jan.18: Broke her tow line & smashed on rocks at Fuerteventura.

Description

Greek Steamship (ex America of US Lines);

Media

Sources

Comment

my parents came to Australia on this ship

As a four year old, my parents and i travelled from Sweden to Australia as immigrants on this ship back in 1972. My one distinct memory was climbing the balustrade to look down the side of the ship whilst out at sea, and my father was annoyed at my continual defiance of his instructions, so he proceeded to hang me over the side so i could get a better look. I was then sent to the cabin for the rest of the trip. It is a wonder that i am not scared of heights to this day.

My family came to Australia in 1977 on board the Australis from England as migrants; we were told it was the ships last voyage. My sister and I aged 10 and 12 ... who would age up a year by the end of the voyage .... would wander around the whole of the ship including off limits areas. The Greek staff on board were teaching me some Greek. When the ship pulled into Cairo all these little boats came out to greet the ship. Egyptian men would throw ropes up from the boats and then climb the side of the ship with small tables and bags attached to their backs. Before they made it to the top the Captain had warned against buying stuffed toys as they would use unsanitary bloodied rags as stuffing. When the Egyptians reached the top they set up tables with their wares. I wanted to get some of the cool Egyptian styled jewellery but no idea where my parents were at that time. So no money ... i had to think on my feet. What i did notice was that it was a really hot day with the sun beating down on everyone on the top deck. So i went inside were i was allowed to go into the kitchen and get a pitcher of water with ice and some fruit on a tray. I then went back outside with this and pointed to the jewellery that i wanted then pointed to the water and fruit; the Egyptian men agreed to the exchange. We were warned before we got of the ship to explore the port of Cairo to be careful of some men carrying knives. My parents still took us thankfully .... so we got to have the adventure of exploring Cairo and saw the pyramids before getting back on board. The ship was an exciting place for an adventurous kid. I didn't want to get off; it had movie theatres, discos for grown ups and separate ones for kids. Swimming pools above and below deck. When we got closer to Australia they started putting up these big ropes. So i asked them why they were doing that. They told me you will see. And that we did ... as we got to the Australian Bight the sea got very rough and the ship was swinging from one side to the other; so those ropes were for people to hang on to as they walked around the ship. My sister and i wandered down to the indoor pool for a swim. Nobody was there. We jumped in and as the ship moved to and fro the water would all move up to one end of the pool and then the other; which was great fun for us kids. A Greek staff member came into the pool area and nearly went white with fear seeing us in the pool. We were not aware of the danger being kids. Fantastic memories of that trip which took weeks. Costume parties and lots of fun :D

Sailed from Sydney Australia early 1970. May I think.to Southampton. Fantastic trip via Panama.anybody else on that trip?

I was on the SS. Australis bound for New Zealand in 1972. Just married and aged 18. I have some vivid memories of being very sea sick at the beginning of the journey and have just found a copy of the ships log which says very rough seas. I still have the letters I sent to my parents in the UK from the ship which bring back lots of memories of gala dinners and discos but also being bored for quite a lot of the time onboard. I think we were quite glad when we arrived in Auckland. But it was an experience I will not forget and reading the letters brings it all back. I'm glad I kept them.

Yes, april 1970 we sailed from Sydney through Auckland, Fiji, LA, Panama, New York, Southhampton

In 1975, my mother and I sailed from Sydney to Miami. I think it took close to 30 days. We had lived in Australia for 7 years and were returning home. I had a blast on the ship and still have many fond memories of our trip. Everyone was just a little older than me and I made friends with some Australians and New Zealanders. There was a lot of fun things to do onboard. My mom spent some time playing slot machines. The weather was so rough sometimes that they had to wet the tablecloths so the plates would stay on the dining tables. I still have a photo of myself and two Australian sisters I made friends with taken in front of a stage and we all look tilted from the ship leaning to one side. Lol. One of the crew members, Nikos (can’t remember last name), was particularly nice and helped my mom and I stay safe at one of the ports when we went ashore. Glad to see the videos and photos!

Hello Ann-Marie Hammond - I may have been on the Australis with you - I was 10 - brother 12 ad sister 14. Did you leave Southampton end of June 1977.? I'm really interested in this trip as I want to write about it. I made friends with a girl around my age on that trip. I can't remember her name. If you have any inkling that it may have been you, please email. I remember we were in cabins next to each other and used to do morse code through the walls.

Married sat sailed sun on Australis 1972 sept 17 th. Still here.

Sailed from Auckland New Years eve 1972 to Southampton .The NZ passengers were treated to the last week of a cruise while returning the Australian cruise passengers to Sydney and Melbourne. The captain opened up the bars pretty much as soon as we slipped moorings in Auckland and we had a magical New Years party ,which seemed to last until the transit passengers from Australia were aboard and the ship hunkered down for the journey to England.My two friends and I shared an 8 berth cabin at the rear of the ship just above the propellers.What a wonderful unforgettable trip to start our big OE. I wish I had kept track of the other chaps in our cabin.5 of us rented a flat in Maida vale in London. Many years later one of them was rummaging about in a second hand shop in Napier and found a framed picture of the Australis he bought for $10. It hangs on my wall. Great memories. To us 26000 tons was a huge ship.Now they have these 135000 ton liners. The Greek staff and the Greek food made our 5 weeks aboard truly unforgettable. Ahhh...yes.

I came out from England in 1977I think it was in June it was such an adventure I had just spent a year in Spain came back to the uk at xmas and left for Australia in June I still have the last Menu from the Australis and the daily program I'm still here in Australia greatest country on earth and I've been to few

We boarded the ship at Southampton dock 16 th September 1974. Bound for Sydney NSW with our 3 young children to start a new life in Australia. The Suez canal was closed so we came round the Cape Of Good Hope. Spent a whole day in Las Palmas. Cape Town, Perth, Melbourne and finally got off in Sydney on 16 th of October. What an adventure. It is now some 45.5 years later and the memories are still very special.

Hi there. I left Southampton and we travelled to NZ. Does anyone know then places the ship docked to get there please?

I sailed from Melbourne on 7th May 1972 and disembarked in Southampton about five weeks later. Our ports of call were Sydney, Auckland, Fiji, Acapulco, Colon, Bilbao and Fort Lauderdale. My understanding is that Australis primarily bought immigrants from the UK to Australia and then young Australians sailed north to the UK. However in my four berth cabin (with ensuite), bunk beds and port hole were two senior Australians who were part of a tour to the UK and Europe, and a younger guy who had been travelling in Australia and disembarked in Acapulco to make his way overland to his home in the US. I cannot remember my cabin number but I still have the suitcase I had on board (the suitcase holds our Christmas decorations) that has the Chandris lines sticker attached, but I can't decipher the number. Other passengers who I remember were a young couple who had been in Australia for two years but were now on their way home to Wales and there were a number of older (they were probably only in their forties or fifties) English women who got very agitated if I put down the wrong card when we played whist in the dedicated card room. I was going to fly to London but the travel agent suggested that I would meet lots of people on board ship. As I was travelling alone the travel agent introduced me to Don from Gawler (I lived in Adelaide) so that I would know someone on board. Don and I socialised on the ship and also in London. Others that I met on board and also socialised with in London were: Gary and Ray from north coast NSW, Pru from Melbourne, Ros and Hilary from Hobart and Maxine and Angela also from Hobart, Viv and Leslie from Sydney and also their cabin mate Viv who was on her way home to Burnley in England. Others that I remember well were Glenys from Wellington NZ, Vicki and Helen (I can't remember where they came from in Australia) and also Krystina and Irene from Adelaide. Really enjoyed the ship with only a little bit of rough weather in the last couple of days. Highlights for me was the food which was more mediterranean in style, crossing the equator, sailing through the Panama canal and swimming in the pool. Often wonder what's happened to my fellow travellers?

I was half expecting to get a mention! I think we were also on that trip (May 1972). We (me, wife and two small boys - 4y and 8m). We went from Sydney to Acapulco. I had to be in London for start of academic yr and sailing all the way would have got us there too late. So flew from Acapulco. I also have a suitcase with the fading Chandis sticker but the cabin number is decipherable: #123. Such a memorable trip. Although a one-class liner at that time, our cabin was obviously a throw-back to a first class state room: hugely spacious if not so well appointed as of yore.

Tja eben erst gesehen im Netz, mein SS Australis Schiff. Ich bin 1971 im Mai ausgewandert, genau mit diesem Schiff. Die lange Anreise mit dem Zug nach Bremen zum Columbus Kay war schon ein Erlebnis. Man musste in Bremen umsteigen und war dann im Zug der zu den Schiffen ging. Schon hier konnte man sehen,(auf den Kofferaufklebern) wer nach Australien wollte. Ich kam an und wir hielten uns in einer Riesenhalle auf. (Wir: ein Bayer den ich im Zug kennenlernte) In der riesen Halle stand ein sehr langer Tisch, hier saßen die „Eincheck Menschen“, vom Kapitän (?) bis zu den Offizieren, sowie die Auswanderungsbehörde. Als die Formalitäten erledigt waren, ging es aufs Schiff. Mein Gott was ein großes Gerät. Die Aufregung war nicht zu übertreffen. Ich wurde dann mit noch 5 Auswanderern in eine Kabine gesteckt (6 Klappbetten) die ganz unten (denke C oder D Deck) sich befand, dazu noch ganz vorne am Bug. Es war sehr Dunkel und neben mir und auch nach vorne gab es keine Kabine mehr. Das letzte Loch… Sorry Ich konnte kein Englisch und die Schweden die mit in der Kabine waren kein Deutsch. Ich musste raus hier und ging (Kabinennummer und Stockwerk hatte ich mir aufgeschrieben) nach oben. Das Schiff legte ab und ich durfte zugucken. Es ging nach Southamton, weiter nach Las Palmas, Kapstadt, Perth (Fremantle) und nach 4 Wochen Melbourne. Wollte ja eigentlich in Perth aussteigen aber man sagte uns hier findet ihr keine Arbeit besser nach Melbourne. O.K. Nun zum Schiff, es war ja ein Schiff, dass auch 1971 schon sein alter hatte. Keine Wulst vorne am Bug und keine Klappen seitlich zur Stabilität. Das Schiff schwankte ganz schön. Von Las Palmas bis Kapstadt ging es (nur) vorne und hinten bissel Hoch und runter. Von Kapstadt in den Indischen Ozean Taumelte nun das Schiff. In den Gangways wurden Tüten aufgehängt, ahha ein Sturm. Alles war zu, man konnte nicht raus. Die Hälfte der Passagiere war SEESICK. Ich kenne das Schiff von oben bis unten, war überall drin, Maschinenraum, Wäscherei, Küche, Ankerwinden ganz vorne, da bin ich aber runter gejagt worden… Nur auf die Brücke kam ich nicht, 3 mal angeschi… worden. Das 3te mal sagte man mir, noch einmal und ich kann aussteigen im nächsten Hafen. Es ist ein schönes Schiff die SS Australis. Wenn einer zur selben Zeit, Jahr auch unterwegs war, schreibe mir mal…. Tschüss Heinz

Tja eben erst gesehen im Netz, mein SS Australis Schiff. Ich bin 1971 im Mai ausgewandert, genau mit diesem Schiff. Die lange Anreise mit dem Zug nach Bremen zum Columbus Kay war schon ein Erlebnis. Man musste in Bremen umsteigen und war dann im Zug der zu den Schiffen ging. Schon hier konnte man sehen,(auf den Kofferaufklebern) wer nach Australien wollte. Ich kam an und wir hielten uns in einer Riesenhalle auf. (Wir: ein Bayer den ich im Zug kennenlernte) In der riesen Halle stand ein sehr langer Tisch, hier saßen die „Eincheck Menschen“, vom Kapitän (?) bis zu den Offizieren, sowie die Auswanderungsbehörde. Als die Formalitäten erledigt waren, ging es aufs Schiff. Mein Gott was ein großes Gerät. Die Aufregung war nicht zu übertreffen. Ich wurde dann mit noch 5 Auswanderern in eine Kabine gesteckt (6 Klappbetten) die ganz unten (denke C oder D Deck) sich befand, dazu noch ganz vorne am Bug. Es war sehr Dunkel und neben mir und auch nach vorne gab es keine Kabine mehr. Das letzte Loch… Sorry Ich konnte kein Englisch und die Schweden die mit in der Kabine waren kein Deutsch. Ich musste raus hier und ging (Kabinennummer und Stockwerk hatte ich mir aufgeschrieben) nach oben. Das Schiff legte ab und ich durfte zugucken. Es ging nach Southamton, weiter nach Las Palmas, Kapstadt, Perth (Fremantle) und nach 4 Wochen Melbourne. Wollte ja eigentlich in Perth aussteigen aber man sagte uns hier findet ihr keine Arbeit besser nach Melbourne. O.K. Nun zum Schiff, es war ja ein Schiff, dass auch 1971 schon sein alter hatte. Keine Wulst vorne am Bug und keine Klappen seitlich zur Stabilität. Das Schiff schwankte ganz schön. Von Las Palmas bis Kapstadt ging es (nur) vorne und hinten bissel Hoch und runter. Von Kapstadt in den Indischen Ozean Taumelte nun das Schiff. In den Gangways wurden Tüten aufgehängt, ahha ein Sturm. Alles war zu, man konnte nicht raus. Die Hälfte der Passagiere war SEESICK. Ich kenne das Schiff von oben bis unten, war überall drin, Maschinenraum, Wäscherei, Küche, Ankerwinden ganz vorne, da bin ich aber runter gejagt worden… Nur auf die Brücke kam ich nicht, 3 mal angeschi… worden. Das 3te mal sagte man mir, noch einmal und ich kann aussteigen im nächsten Hafen. Es ist ein schönes Schiff die SS Australis. Wenn einer zur selben Zeit, Jahr auch unterwegs war, schreibe mir mal…. Tschüss Heinz

Went to Australië in march 1977 on the Australis, was a fun trip. I was 15 years old 4 unforgetable weeks

My late husband Bob and I boarded the Australis in December 1975 in Cape Town. We were heading for Auckland NZ. Had an amazing trip and loads of fun with Kiwis, Australians, South Africans and UK travellers. Would love to be in contact with anyone on that trip and pictures would be a bonus!! Regards Pat

We were on this ship bound for Australia early70s, parents and six children took us a month to get there

I am a merchant seaman who finds himself in the Port of Melbourne today.It made me Google to find which berth the Elinis docked at in March/April 1977.As a 15 yr old with 2brothers 2sisters and our parents we left the turbulence of Cape Town South Africa and immigrated to Melbourne Australia. Recall the voyage with fond memories.Us kids virtually had the run of the vessel.So exciting.Also went into the pool during heavy seas to be bounced about.Crew eventually ordered us out.This was a "holiday " like no other.Thankyou to all the crew for giving us this experience.

I was on the Australis Journey 53 Southbound to Freemantle Feb. 1976 then Sydney to Auckland for five weeks in NZ as it did an island cruise then Northbound Auckland to Southampton September 1976. Also on the Ellinis Northbound Auckland to Southampton April 1977. Some fun times.

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Left Southampton on a return trip on the Australis on February 5th to Melbourne arriving early March. Myself (Graham), wife (Sheila) & 2 little girls. Our cabin boy was called "Kuldip". Great trip & plenty of fun.

Edit.....Left Southampton on a return trip on the Australis on February 5th 1975 to Melbourne arriving early March. Myself (Graham), wife (Sheila) & 2 little girls. Our cabin boy was called "Kuldip". Great trip & plenty of fun.

my Family and I Immigranten in July 1970 from Germany (Bremerhafen to Perth) it Was a great expirience.

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I sailed from Auckland to Southhampton in February 1973 as a 20-year-old. I remember it was Chandris Lines but the ship name eludes me. The ports of call were Fiji, the Panama Canal, Acapulco, and New York (did I forget one?!) What an adventure!

Mid 1974 Sydney to Southampton. 13 years old at the time heading for France. Sailed via nz Tahiti panama curacao and one other stop ? I remember myself and one other kid being banned tennis balls as we used to see how many we could hit down the chimminy lost a lot overboard LOL. Good times sadly missed .

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Terry and Jean still here all good. Australis 1972. Now. 3 boys 4 gran kids all healthy by the beach.

My family emigrated as ten pound Poms to Australia in 1967 from the UK. I was just 16 at the time. We were supposed to leave Southampton on the SS Australis on April 4th, but there was a dispute concerning the crew and sailing was delayed until the next day, the 5th April. It was the most beautiful ship and I remember our cabin had two portholes and an ensuite. I remember stopping at Port Said but the military were everywhere carrying huge guns so we didn't stay ashore for very long. Egypt was also confronting. My two brothers and I had very blonde hair and strangers kept approaching us wanting to touch it. Several families that boarded from these countries started to cook their meals up on deck. Many didn't speak English and didn't understand that meals were included in their passage. Difficult to believe these days. I just loved the ship and it has been so sad to follow its demise. My family settled in Queensland and my brothers and I all did the getting married and having children thing, so our pioneering family has increased significantly. Eighteen years ago I resettled in Perth and I am loving it here. The Australis gave me my first taste of cruising and in the past ten years I have enjoyed many cruises, but the Australis was something quite elegant and special.

I was working on this ship 1968 - 69 as a Steward, it was super nice, now I am old and have good memories from this big ship.

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Mum and Dad 1st arrived on the Ellinis in 1967, Mum wasn't happy so on the 1st December 1970 we boarded the Orcades in Adelaide and returned to the UK only to return again leaving Southampton on the 16th Sept 1977. I was the little girl who ran away... I was told recently on the FB friends of Australis page that there was an urgent announcement that they thought I'd fallen overboard while we were docked in Heraklion. No, I'd ran away when my parents weren't watching. Purposely I'd gone in the other direction back to the Famous Greek family's leather goods business in the main street. I had pasta with my new family. Mamma gave me a green leather Greek bag as a gift. i didn't want to leave. The next Port was Port Said.... I wasn't allowed out of the cabin!

NAA: K269, 8 OCT 1977 AUSTRALIS Series number: K269 Control symbol: 8 OCT 1977 AUSTRALIS Barcode: 9874495 Number of pages: 34 Title: Incoming passenger list to Fremantle "Australis" arrived 8 October 1977 Worrall John Mr Worrall Linda Mrs Worrall John jnr Worrall Julie

We left the UK in 1966 when I was 12 to go to New Zealand. We weren't very well off (money wise) so as we were coming in to Port Said we couldn't afford the Egypt trip :( As luck would have it, Dad & I played the Bingo the night before arriving at Port Said and we won the big one :) So that meant that Mum & I could do the Egypt trip (see the Pyramids, Cairo museum and the Cairo market, plus other bits I can't remember). It was a very strange atmosphere in Cairo! There was fog in the canal which actually delayed the Australis by a whole day, and this seemed to be causing great concern to the Egyptian guides on the tour. At one point the Egyptian guide and a passenger got into a punch-up over nothing!! We only found out what the problem was when we rejoined the Australis in Port Tewfik. War was about to break out between Egypt and Israel and the Australis was the last big ship to get through the canal for the next 5 years!! A big passenger ship behind us got stuck and they had missiles going overhead apparently - we had a very near miss. We stayed in New Zealand for 2 years and much to my disgust my parents decided to return to the UK in 1968. I tried to go missing in NZ by staying at a friend's place but his Dad got me onto the ship just before it was ready to sail. I hated the trip back simply because I didn't want to return to the UK, but I had a great time going through the Panama Canal, seeing Panama City, Acapulco, Jamaica (although that was a very dodgy place, even worse than the walk to Panama City from the ship), the Azores were spectacular. Then it was back to the UK. Shit!! Been here ever since and it's now 2021 and I have been retired from my job as a Professor at Southampton University for 11 years now. I still think I might go back to New Zealand, even now.

Travelled from Southampton in Australis September 16 1974 for NZ. I was 9, my sister was 11 and my brother was 14. Had an amazing trip but completely oblivious to the fact that we were not returning to UK.. Not sure what date we arrived in Auckland but I think it was about Oct 8th. Settled in Wellington. Grew up in Wellington, moved to US late 80’s then back to NZ until moved to Melbourne 2009. Looking to get PR in Aus now so need to know the dates that Australia docked in Perth Sept 1974. If you know can you please get in touch. Much appreciated. Thanks

I travelled from Melbourne April 1976 and at Auckland, which is the official start of the voyage, we picked up the usual I suppose you could say but there was one very special lady and her friend. I cannot remember either of their names but the fore mentioned lady had a partial amputation of her lower leg while her friend had a degenerative vision disease. It was marvellous really as they were both going to see the world and the first one was chaperoning, it would seem, the other lady. They were such a wonderful pair full of grace, endeavour and kindness; I wonder if anyone knows anything more about them please as I would love to know how their lives panned out.

I travelled on the Australis from Melbourne to Southampton from January 5 1975 via Suva, Acapulco , Panama Canal, Port Everglades Florida , arriving in the UK on Feb 4 1975. A fantastic journey , so many great memories. There is a Facebook group for Australis ex passengers. People wanting to connect with others from their sailings may have luck on that . Sailing schedules can also be found via the group.

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