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Cocktail bar on board RMS CARONIA February 1951

Date: 1951
Dimensions:
Overall: 165 mm
Medium: Silver gelatin print on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Henry Gawthorpe
Classification:Photographs
Object Name: Photograph
Object No: 00018044
Place Manufactured:Woolloomooloo

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    Description
    This photograph depicts the cocktail bar on board RMS CARONIA during its February 1951 visit to Sydney. The image shows five men sitting on bar stools with a bartender making a cocktail. This photograph offers a glimpse into the ship's lavish interior which was considered to be one of the most modern and luxurious ever built at the time.
    SignificanceThis photograph documents one of the largest and most luxurious cruise ships to be built after World War II. It depicts the vessel during its first world cruise in 1951.
    HistoryRMS CARONIA was built by John Brown and Company in Clydebank, Scotland in 1947 for Cunard White Star Line. The passenger ship was launched on 30 October 1947 and christened by Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth. Nicknamed the ‘Green Goddess’, it was painted four shades of green and was one of the largest vessels to be built after World War II. The vessel is often credited as being the first ‘dual-purpose’ ship to be built, that is, it was suited to both cruising and transatlantic crossings. It was also equipped with amenities not seen in cruise ships before, including a swimming pool and private bathrooms.

    CARONIA undertook its maiden voyage on 4 January 1949 from Southampton, England to New York, United States of America. In January 1951, CARONIA made its first world cruise. Over the 1950s, CARONIA underwent various refits including installing air-conditioning in 1956, in order to compete with other European cruise ships. As demand in the cruise ship market declined and operating costs increased, Cunard decided to withdraw the vessel from service in 1967.

    CARONIA was sold the following year to Star Shipping, Panama and renamed SS COLUMBIA and then SS CARIBIA. It was, however, plagued by disaster on its first and second voyages. En route to the Caribbean the waste system malfunctioned and on its second voyage an explosion in the engine room killed one crew member and severely injured another. This signalled the end of the ship’s career as a cruise liner. In 1974, CARIBIA was sold for scrap, however, as it was towed to the ship breakers in Taiwan it encountered severe weather conditions and was wrecked near Guam.
    Additional Titles

    Primary title: Cocktail bar on board RMS CARONIA February 1951

    Web title: Cocktail bar on board RMS CARONIA

    Related People
    Photographer: Henry Gawthorpe

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