Dunnottar Castle


DUNNOTTAR CASTLE was built in 1936 by Harland & Wolff at Belfast with a tonnage of 15002grt, a length of 560ft, a beam of 71ft 9in and a service speed of 17 knots.

She was built as an Intermediate steamer but entered service on the mail run while the other ships were being refurbished.

As Princess Victoria

As The Victoria

On the slipway at Harland & Wolff in 1936

Life after Union-Castle Line

Service in WW2

On 28th August 1939 she was requisitioned by the Admiralty for commission as an Armed Merchant Cruiser HMS Dunnottar Castle and served with the South Atlantic patrols.

When, in 1942, more war-built trade protection cruisers entered service, she was released and converted into a troopship carrying over 250,000 men including shuttling between Normandy and Southampton after the D-Day landings.

Port

Arrived

Sailed

Comments

Clyde


17-Jun


Lock Ewe

18-Jun



Sheerness

23-Jun



London

24-Jun

17-Oct

Converting for use as a troop ship

Clyde

20-Oct

22-Oct

Liverpool

23-Oct

25-Oct

Clyde

26-Oct

01-Nov


Algiers

08-Nov

15-Nov


Oran

15-Nov

16-Nov


Clyde

23-Nov

27-Nov


Glasgow

27-Nov

08-Dec

Engine repairs

Clyde

08-Dec

12-Dec


Bone

20-Dec

20-Dec


Algiers

21-Dec

24-Dec


Clyde

31-Dec



1942

Port

Arrived

Sailed

Comments

Clyde


10-Jan


Glasgow

10-Jan

22-Jan

Voyage repairs

Clyde

23-Jan

24-Jan


Algiers

01-Feb

02-Feb


Clyde

09-Feb

20-Feb


Glasgow

20-Feb

28-Feb

Voyage repairs

Clyde

28-Feb

01-Mar


Algiers

09-Mar

11-Mar


Clyde

18-Mar

20-Mar


Glasgow

20-Mar

14-Apr

Voyage repairs

Clyde

14-Apr

16-Apr


Gibraltar

22-Apr

25-Apr


Clyde

02-May

16-May


Glasgow

16-May

03-Jun

Voyage repairs

Clyde

03-Jun

01-Jul


Sicily

13-Jul



Malta


14-Jul


Gibraltar

19-Jul

23-Jul


Greenock

30-Jul

02-Aug


Glasgow

02-Aug

05-Sep

Engine repairs, lay shaft

Greenock

05-Sep

10-Sep


Liverpool

11-Sep

15-Sep


Gibraltar

22-Sep

22-Sep


Port Said

28-Sep

04-Oct


Alexandria

04-Oct

07-Oct


Taranto

09-Oct

09-Oct


Augusta

10-Oct

23-Oct


Algiers

25-Oct

27-Oct


Greenock

05-Nov

08-Nov


Glasgow

09-Nov

14-Nov

Air compressor repairs

Clyde

15-Nov

15-Nov


Gibraltar

24-Nov

25-Nov


Freetown

02-Dec

03-Dec


Takoradi

05-Dec

06-Dec


Lagos

07-Dec

10-Dec


Freetown

14-Dec

14-Dec


Gibraltar

21-Dec

25-Dec


Port Said

31-Dec



1943

1944

Port

Arrived

Sailed

Comments

Port Said


01-Jan


Aden

06-Jan

08-Jan


Bombay

14-Jan

29-Jan

Engine repairs

Drydocked

Aden

04-Feb

04-Feb


Suez

08-Feb

27-Feb


Port Said

27-Feb

02-Mar


Gibraltar

11-Mar

13-Mar

Repairs to layshaft

General engine repairs

Drydocked

Greenock

22-Mar

15-Jun

Lagos

01-Jul

03-Jul


Takoradi

04-Jul

06-Jul


Lagos

07-Jul

10-Jul


Freetown

14-Jul

17-Jul


Gibraltar

24-Jul

26-Jul

Engine repairs

Port Said

01-Aug

01-Aug


Suez

01-Aug

04-Aug


Aden

08-Aug

09-Aug


Bombay

14-Aug

21-Aug

Adjustment to engines

Colombo

24-Aug

25-Aug


Melbourne

10-Sep

13-Sep


Wellington

17-Sep

30-Sep

Repairs to port engine

Fremantle

09-Oct

16-Oct

Main engine repairs

Seychelles

26-Oct

26-Oct


Aden

31-Oct

31-Oct


Suez

04-Nov

06-Nov


Port Said

06-Nov

16-Nov


Gibraltar

22-Nov

26-Nov


Greenock

04-Dec

12-Dec


Belfast

13-Dec



Port

Arrived

Sailed

Comments

Belfast


18-Mar

Extensive engine overhaul

Drydocked

Liverpool

18-Mar

24-Mar

Southampton

31-Mar

25-Jun

Fractured piston rod

Engine repairs

Another fractured piston rod

Further engine repairs

Naples

05-Jul

08-Jul


Liverpool

15-Jul

21-Jul


Malta

28-Jul

28-Jul


Taranto

29-Jul

30-Jul


Alexandria

02-Aug

06-Aug


Liverpool

15-Aug

22-Aug

Repairs in troop accommodation

Bergen

25-Aug

26-Aug


Southampton

30-Aug

23-Sep

Voyage repairs

Drydocked

Haifa

03-Oct

04-Oct


Port Said

04-Oct

08-Oct


Taranto

15-Oct

16-Oct


Port Said

19-Oct

22-Oct


Toulon

27-Oct

29-Oct


Southampton

04-Nov

06-Nov


Belfast

08-Nov

19-Dec

Considerable engine repairs due to piston rod fractures and crankshaft damage

Southampton

21-Dec

22-Dec


Taranto

31-Dec



1945

1946

Port

Arrived

Sailed

Comments

Taranto


09-Jan

Repairs to port stern gland

Piraeus




Taranto

14-Jan

15-Jan


Piraeus




Taranto

21-Jan

22-Jan


Port Said

26-Jan

31-Jan


Malta

03-Feb

04-Feb

Minor repairs

Naples

05-Feb

06-Feb


Southampton

15-Feb

02-Mar

Drydocked for inspection and repair of stern gland.

Normal voyage repairs

Naples

09-Mar

10-Mar


Port Said

14-Mar

20-Mar


Toulon

22-Mar

23-Mar


Port Said

28-Mar

30-Mar


Malta

02-Apr

02-Apr


Toulon

04-Apr

06-Apr


Port Said

11-Apr

13-Apr


Malta

16-Apr

17-Apr


Toulon

19-Apr

20-Apr


Port Said

26-Apr

30-Apr

Examination and survey

of port engine

Malta

03-May

03-May


Toulon

06-May

06-May


Alexandria

11-May

11-May


Malta

17-May

17-May


Toulon

19-May

20-May


Port Said

25-May

28-May


Toulon

02-Jun

03-Jun


Alexandria

08-Jun

14-Jun


Toulon

18-Jun

19-Jun


Alexandria

24-Jun

29-Jun


Toulon

04-Jul

05-Jul


Port Said

10-Jul

13-Jul


Toulon

18-Jul

19-Jul


Port Said

24-Jul

29-Jul


Malta

01-Aug

02-Aug


Toulon

04-Aug

05-Aug


Alexandria

09-Aug

13-Aug


Toulon

18-Aug

20-Aug


Port Said

25-Aug

28-Aug


Malta

31-Aug

01-Sep


Toulon

03-Sep

04-Sep


Port Said

09-Sep

12-Sep


Naples

16-Sep

16-Sep


Southampton

23-Sep

19-Oct

Both tailshafts drawn for survey

Engine, hull and

accommodation repairs

Drydocked

Gibraltar

23-Oct

23-Oct


Malta

26-Oct

27-Oct


Haifa

31-Oct

31-Oct


Port Said

01-Nov

11-Nov

Compressor repairs

Toulon

15-Nov

16-Nov


Port Said

21-Nov

30-Nov


Toulon

06-Dec

07-Dec


Port Said

13-Dec

14-Dec


Toulon

21-Dec

23-Dec


Malta

26-Dec

26-Dec


Port Said

29-Dec



1947

Port

Arrived

Sailed

Comments

Port Said


04-Jan

Engine repairs

Malta

07-Jan

09-Jan


Toulon

11-Jan

13-Jan


Port Said

18-Jan

20-Jan


Toulon

26-Jan

28-Jan


Port Said

01-Feb

08-Feb


Piraeus

10-Feb

11-Feb


Liverpool

20-Feb

21-Feb


Belfast

22-Feb

29-Mar

General machinery overhaul

Liverpool

30-Mar

30-Mar


Malta

06-Apr

06-Apr


Port Said

09-Apr

10-Apr


Malta

13-Apr

13-Apr


Gibraltar

16-Apr

16-Apr


Southampton

20-Apr

29-Apr

Voyage repairs

Malta

05-May

05-May


Port Said

08-May

10-May


Gibraltar

16-May

16-May


Southampton

20-May

29-May

General voyage repairs

Malta

04-Jun

04-Jun


Port Said

07-Jun

09-Jun


Gibraltar

15-Jun

15-Jun


Southampton

18-Jun

28-Jun

Voyage repairs

Malta

04-Jul

04-Jul


Port Said

07-Jul

09-Jul


Malta

12-Jul

12-Jul


Gibraltar

15-Jul

15-Jul


Southampton

18-Jul

29-Jul

Voyage repairs

Gibraltar

01-Aug

01-Aug


Malta

04-Aug

04-Aug


Port Said

07-Aug

09-Aug


Malta

12-Aug

12-Aug


Gibraltar




Southampton

19-Aug

28-Aug

Voyage repairs

Malta

03-Sep

03-Sep


Port Said

06-Sep

06-Sep


Malta

11-Sep

11-Sep


Gibraltar

14-Sep



Southampton

18-Sep

26-Sep

Voyage repairs

Malta

02-Oct

02-Oct


Port Said

05-Oct

08-Oct


Malta

10-Oct

10-Oct


Southampton

17-Oct

26-Oct

Voyage repairs

Drydocking for cleaning

and painting

Malta

01-Nov

01-Nov


Port Said

04-Nov

06-Nov


Malta

09-Nov

09-Nov


Gibraltar

12-Nov

12-Nov


Southampton

15-Nov

29-Nov

Voyage repairs

Malta

05-Dec

05-Dec


Port Said

08-Dec

10-Dec


Tobruk

12-Dec

12-Dec


Malta

14-Dec

14-Dec


Southampton

20-Dec


Voyage repairs

1948

Port

Arrived

Sailed

Comments

Southampton


08-Jan

Voyage repairs

Malta

15-Jan

16-Jan

Engine defects

Port Said

21-Jan

24-Jan

Minor repairs

Malta

29-Jan

09-Mar

Engine repairs

Broken layshafts on both main engines

Port Said

12-Mar

15-Mar


Haifa

16-Mar

16-Mar


Malta

20-Mar

20-Mar


Bone

21-Mar

21-Mar


Gibraltar

23-Mar

23-Mar


Southampton

27-Mar



Resumption of Intermediate Service after WW2 - 1948

She returned to commercial service in 1948 and, after a refurbishment by Harland & Wolff, resumed deployment on the clockwise Round Africa Service, London-Suez-South Africa-London.

In 1958 she was, after 94 voyages, replaced by the Rhodesia Castle and sold to Incres S.S. Co. of Monrovia and renamed Victoria. On 16th January 1959 she was towed to Holland where she was rebuilt and re-engined, her tonnage being reduced to 14917grt but her length increased to 572ft, and commenced cruising in the Mediterranean on 14th December 1959.

From 1960 until 1964 she cruised between New York and the West Indies. In October 1964 she was sold to to Victoria S.S. Co. of Monrovia and a subsidiary of the Swedish Einar Hansen's Rederi A/B Clipper, Malmo with Incres as managers and on the same itinerary.

She was sold to the Chandris subsidiary Phaidon Navigation Co. (Chandris Inc) London in November 1975 and transferred Greek to registry although briefly registered as being owned by the National American Hellenic Line with the intention of resuming a service across the Atlantic.

On 11th December 1975 she arrived in Piraeus in tow of Moran's Heidi Moran where the engine was overhauled and the cabins refurbished before resuming cruising on 6th June 1976 as The Victoria but under the Panamanian flag. In 1981 she was sold to Victoria Maritime S.A. of Piraeus for cruising and without a change of name.

After 64 years she was still cruising in the Mediterranean as the Princesa Victoria under the ownership of Louis Cruise Lines of Cyprus.

She was finally broken up at Alang in 2004 after 68 years of service.

On 31 May 2015 Rosalind Fountain posted on Facebook

I sent my 90 yr old father pics of Dunnottar Castle as he'd sailed from Port Said just after the war (1946).

Here is his reply: "Dunnottar Castle pics were fascinating. For war service they retained a deck of cabins for officers and civil officials, etc. The rest of the decks were totally cleared,so that one went down into a vast arena with few partitions but furnished with tables jutting out from walls.

Each table seated twelve men on two fixed benches. In the walls and intervening rafters were hooks for hammocks and one had quickly to learn how to sleep in a hammock or find oneself sleeping on the bare steel plates of the floor. No carpets, tiles, decorations, etc. One man of each twelve went, on schedule, to the kitchen to fetch a large tray of whatever meal was due.

Twice a day groups were called to the open decks for physical training. After that it was impossible to arrange any diversions and one either sat on the bench at the table or went upstairs and leaned on any bit of vacant rail. But after experiencing the Normandy battlefields it was a real holiday jaunt.

Very few of that generation ever went on cruises either before or for years after the war."

Dunnottar Castle Interior

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