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Greek Line
These pages are devoted to postcards and photographs of the Greek Line fleet. This page shows company and commercial cards of ships in Greek Line service. An alphabetical index of ships on this page follows. The table below links to career histories of selected ships, some of which are still in preparation. Beneath the table is a fleet history of the Greek Line in chronological order.
The General Steam Navigation Company of Greece (marketed as the Greek Line) was formed in 1939 to run transatlantic sailings from Greece. As air travel hit passenger figures in the 1960s, the vessels devoted more time to cruising. The Company began to fall on hard times in the early 1970s, following the death of Basil Goulandris, owner and chairman of Greek Line. It collapsed finally in 1975, although their two final ships, Olympia and Queen Anna Maria, sail on (in 2002) as the Regal Empress and Topaz.
Ships on this Page:-
Nea Hellas
New York
Queen Anna Maria
Associated Pages:-
Canadian Pacific Line
Nederland Line
Shaw Savill Line
Cruise Ship Postcards
Ocean Liner Postcards
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Table of Ship Histories
Name Other Names  Built
 Arkadia  Monarch Of Bermuda, New Australia  1931
 Lakonia  Johan Van Oldenbarnevelt  1930
 Nea Hellas  Tuscania (2), Nea Hellas

 Neptunia  Johann de Witt 1920
 New York  Tuscania (2), New York

 Olympia  Caribe I, Regal Empress 1953
 Queen Anna Maria  Empress of Britain, Carnivale, Olympic, Topaz 1955
Greek Line Fleet List
Nea Hellas - New York
(Greek Line: 1939-59)
The General Steam Navigation of Greece, known as the Greek Line, began operations with this ship, originally the Anchor Line's Tuscania of 1922. She was acquired in 1939, although returned to Anchor Line management as a British troopship during WW2. Originally named Nea Hellas, she was renamed New York on 1955, and was withdrawn in 1959.
This card as Nea Hellas was published by F.Cali of Genova.
A Greek Line official as Nea Hellas, given a broader funnel by the artist, to look more modern.
The same Greek Line official image as the card above, re-issued as New York.
Two variations on the same painting, issued as Greek Line officials of New York.
A modern card by CT Publishing of New York, serial number 017.
Photograph by John Blake showing an arrival at Boston in 1956.
Katoomba - Columbia
(Greek Line: 1946-57)
Columbia was built in 1913 for McIlwraith McEachen's Sydney-Melbourne-Fremantle services as the Katoomba. On delivery, Katoomba was the second largest Australian coastal steamer. She served as a troopship from 1918-1920, and made a number of transatlantic crossings, before returning to her previous service. Katoomba also operated one-class Pacific cruises. During WW2, she again acted as a troopship, but remained in Australian waters. Katoomba was not considered worth refurbishing by her owners after the war, and was sold to the Greek Line for transatlantic services between Piraeus-Genoa-Oran-New York. She also did charters with the French Line from Le Havre and the West Indies. In 1949, Katoomba was converted to oil firing, and renamed Columbia, and was then used for a while on the Genoa-Australia run. She was damaged by fire in Bremerhaven in 1952. In 1957 Columbia was placed on a Liverpool-Quebec service, but again suffered a fire in August, plus she collided with the Homeric in fog. Columbia was withdrawn in December 1957, and scrapped in Japan in 1959.
The following Greek Line official was printed in Italy.
The same Greek Line official as shown above.
Greek Line official card of Columbia.
Superb photographic card of Columbia.
Published: K.Eden, Bremerhaven.
Photographic postcard of Columbia .
Superb aerial view of Columbia.
(Greek Line: 1948-57)
Neptunia was built in 1920 for Nederland Line as the Johan de Witt. She entered service for Greek Lines in 1948, and was renamed Neptunia. She was withdrawn in 1957 after running aground near Cobh.
Postcard of Neptunia.
Scan: Lisa Grimsey, whose mother emigrated from Germany with her family aboard the Neptunia in December of 1952.
Greek Line official postcard of Neptunia.
Greek Line official postcard of Neptunia, printed in Italy.
Photographic card E157 of Neptunia.
Published: K.Eden, Bremerhaven.
(Greek Line: 1948-54)
Canberra was built for Howard Smith in 1913 for the coastal trade from Melbourne to north Queensland ports via Sydney and Brisbane. She held the record for the fastest passage between Melbourne and Sydney. She served as a troopship during both wars, but was not considered to be worth refurbishing by Howard Smith after the second conflict. She was sold to Singapore-based Chinese interests in 1947, but resold within months to the Greek Line, retaining the name Canberra throughout. She was initially used on emigrant services to South America and Australia from Mediterranean ports. In 1949, Canberra was given a major refit, including conversion to oil firing, and began a service from Piraeus to New York. In 1950 she was moved to the Canadian service, with a single trip from Piraeus to Montreal, returning to Bremerhaven which became her regular European terminal. Calls were made at Southampton, Cherbourg and Cobh. Canberra was retired by the Greek Line in October 1954, and sold to the Dominican Republic, where she received her first name change to Espana. She carried sugar and migrants to Spain until broken up in 1959.
Photograph of Canberra in Australian service
Scan: Chris Tyrer
Click to open larger image in new window
Greek Line company card of Canberra.
Scan: Ralph O'Hara.
Greek Line company card of Canberra.
Different copy of the card above.
Alex Becquemin postcard 130 of Canberra at Cherbourg.
(Greek Line: 1953-75)
The first and only ship built for the Greek Line was the Olympia. Olympia was completed by Alexander Stephen & Sons, on the River Clyde, in 1953. She was initially measured at 22979 GRT, and carried 138 First Class, and 1169 Tourist Class passengers. She was registered in Liberia. Parsons turbines of 25000shp drove her at a service speed of 21 knots (23 knots maximum). The maiden voyage left Glasgow for Liverpool and New York on April 16th 1953. Her first voyage on the intended route from Piraeus to New York did not take place until March 1955. In 1961, the route was extended to Haifa. In 1968, Olympia was registered in Greece, and spent more time cruising, this becoming her exclusive occupation in 1970. By this time she had been re-measured at 17400 GRT. She was laid up at Piraeus in 1974, and the Greek Line suffered financial collapse the following year.
In 1981, the Olympia was bought by Sally Shipping and refitted, with diesels replacing the steam turbines. She returned to cruising as the Caribe I in 1983, in the Commodore Cruise Line fleet. The elegant funnel had been replaced by exhaust pipes and a ludicrous framework design. Happily, this was later replaced by a more traditional funnel, though lacking the style of the original. In 1993 she was sold to Regal Cruises and renamed Regal Empress. She is now described as being only 14500 GRT.
A complete history of this ship is available on this link.
This is a typically excellent photographic card by W.Ralston of Glasgow, presumably on trials in the Firth of Clyde.
Greek Line official art card of the Olympia.
Greek Line official art card of the Olympia.
Greek Line official art card of the Olympia.
Greek Line official card of the Olympia.
An excellent aerial Greek Line official card of the Olympia. printed in Greece.
It is a tragedy that the stylish funnel was lost when she was sold in 1982, after being
laid up since 1974. She has subsequently sailed as the Caribe I and the Regal Empress.
(Greek Line: 1958-66)
Built by Vickers-Armstrongs in 1931 as the Monarch of Bermuda. She was gutted by fire during her post-WW2 refit, and rebuilt as the emigrant carrier New Australia, managed by Shaw Savill. The former three funnels were replaced by one proper funnel, and a trunked mast/funnel arrangement forward. She was bought by the Greek Line in 1958 and renamed Arkadia. She was broken up in 1966.
This is the official Greek Line card.
Dixon card SS.100 of Arkadia.
Unidentified photographic card S20612 (Photo Precision?) of Arkadia.
(Greek Line: 1963)
Built for the Nederland Line in 1930 as Johan Van Oldenbarnevelt. she was bought by the Greek Line in March 1963 and renamed Lakonia. In December of the same year she caught fire on a cruise from Southampton, and was abandoned with the loss of 128 lives. She later capsized and sank.
Complete postcards history of this ship.
Greek Line official postcard of Lakonia.
Queen Anna Maria
(Greek Line: 1965-75)
Built in 1956 as the Canadian Pacific liner Empress of Britain, she was sold to the Greek Line in 1965 and renamed Queen Anna Maria. This official Greek Line card shows her with the Olympia, the complete Greek Line fleet towards the end, which came with the financial collapse of the line in 1975. Queen Anna Maria was sold to become the Carnivale, and still operates on charter as the Topaz for Thomson Cruises.
Link to complete postcard history
Attractive company postcard of Queen Anna Maria, scan supplied by Ralph O'Hara.
This official Greek Line card shows Queen Anna Maria with the Olympia.
This was the complete Greek Line fleet at the time of the financial collapse of the line in 1975.
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