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Christmas dinner menu onboard TSMV EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA

Date: 1979
Height: 204 mm, width: 127 mm
Medium: Ink on card
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Captain Sidney Authur Chamberlain
Object Name: Menu
Object No: ANMS0333[014]

User Terms

    Christmas dinner menu onboard The Australian National Line (ANL) ship EMPRESS OF AUSTALIA. The cover reads 'The Australian National Line / TSMV / EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA / Christmas Dinner / 1979 / Captain S Chamberlain' and features the ANL pennant, and images of a Christmas tree and Santa Claus. Inside contains the menu and the message 'A Merry Christmas to all'.
    SignificanceShipboard menus such as these were often printed to be souvenirs and were collected as mementos of their travels by crew and passengers. Many shipping companies produced their own series of collectable menus with themes such as exotic destinations or historic events.
    HistoryEMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA was built at Cockatoo Island Dockyard, Sydney, and launched in 1964. The liner joined the fleet of the Australian National Line the following year and provided the first regular passenger service between Sydney and Tasmania since 1940. The vessel was the largest passenger ship built in Australia at the time and possibly the only passenger ship, as distinct from cargo and naval ships, built at Cockatoo Island Dockyard.

    EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA made three round trips a fortnight between Sydney, and alternating between Hobart and northern Tasmanian ports. The service was launched with high hopes of stimulating the Tasmanian tourist trade, however industrial issues and an unsuccessful booking system impeded the popularity of the run. In 1972 EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA was sent to the NSW State Dockyard at Newcastle and rebuilt for the Bass Strait service. In 1985 the liner was sold to overseas owners and converted into a cruise ship before being renamed ROYAL PACIFIC. In 1992, in a collision with a Taiwanese fishing vessel in the Straits of Malacca, the ship sank.

    The Australian Shipping Commission, or the Australian National Line, was established as the Australian Coastal Shipping Commission by an Act of Parliament on October 1 1956. The organisation gathered a fleet of around 40 vessels, mainly from the Australian Shipping Board, and operated under the registered name Australia National Line. The company ran coastal cargo and passenger services.

    In 1974 Australian Coastal Shipping Commission was replaced by the Australian Shipping Commission, and then renamed Australian National Line Ltd in 1989. In 1998 the naming rights of the company were bought by the French CMA CGM.

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