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Monarch of Bermuda
Monarch of Bermuda - New Australia - Arkadia
This page is devoted to postcards and photographs of the Furness, Withy liner Monarch of Bermuda, operated by the Furness Bermuda Line. She had a lengthy career, later serving as an emigrant carrier to Australia and a transatlantic liner for the Greek Line.
Ship Names on this Page:-
Monarch of Bermuda - Furness Withy: 1931-1947
New Australia - Shaw Savill: 1947-1958
Arkadia - Greek Line: 1958-
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Monarch of Bermuda
(Furness, Withy: 1931-1947)

In 1919 Furness Bermuda Line was awarded the mail contract for the New York to Bermuda service. This service reached its zenith in the years just before the Second World War when Furness Bermuda Line ordered two luxury liners - the Monarch of Bermuda and the Queen of Bermuda. They were built by Vickers Armstrong Ltd, Walker on Tyne, England. The Monarch of Bermuda was 579 feet long with a beam of 76 feet. Completed in 1931 she was 22,424 gross tons and powered by steam turboelectric propulsion (engines by Fraser & Chalmers, Erich (turbines), and by General Electric Co Ltd, Birmingham (motors)), driving 4 screws. She was fitted with 3 funnels, had 2 masts and a cruiser stern. her service speed was 19 knots. With the two new ships the Bermuda run from New York enjoyed the ultimate in luxury and they became known as "the millionaires' ships". The two sister ships sailed on 3 week cruises from New York to Bermuda for Furness-Bermuda Line. Their three funnels gave them an impressive appearance, although they were hardly graceful compared to most Atlantic greyhounds. They were amongst the elite ships of their day and had private facilities in their cabins. The run between New York and Bermuda took only 40 hours in each direction and that allowed 4 days to be spent on the Island. 

When the Second World War broke out in 1939, the two luxury liners were requisitioned for war duties. The Monarch of Bermuda served as a troopship while the Queen of Bermuda became an Armed Merchant Cruiser and later a troopship. After the war the Monarch of Bermuda was gutted by fire while being refitted for passenger service. She was salvaged by the Ministry of Transport and converted into an emigrant liner. Renamed New Australia, she was operated by Shaw Savill. In 1958 she was sold to Greek Line and renamed Arkadia. Eventually she was retired from service in 1966 and sent to be scrapped at Valencia in Spain.

Art card of Monarch of Bermuda.

Official art postcard of Monarch of Bermuda
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Official photographic postcard of Monarch of Bermuda
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Photographic card of Monarch of Bermuda.

New Australia
(Shaw Savill: 1947-1958 )

On the 24th of May in 1947, the Monarch of Bermuda was gutted by a fire at Hebburn-on-Tyne while being refitted for a return to the Bermuda passenger service. She was declared a total loss and it seemed likely that she would go for scrap. A reprieve saw her saved from the breakers yard when the Ministry of Transport reappraised the wreck, purchased her, and rebuilt her as an emigrant ship. She was moved under her own power to Southampton and rebuilt by Thornycroft. Her three funnels were replaced by a single funnel, and a peculiar trunked mast/funnel arrangement forward of the single funnel. She was now 20,256 gross tons, was 553.2 feet long with a beam of 76.7 feet, and was fitted to accommodate 1600 passengers in one class. In 1949 she was renamed the New Australia, and the Ministry of Transport contracted the Shaw Savill Line to manage her.

E.T.W.Dennis (Scarborough) postcard of New Australia.
Under reconstruction at Thornycrofts of Southampton (serial 3239)

Shaw Savill official card of New Australia.

G.W.Hoffman postcard of New Australia.

Photographic postcard of New Australia.

Photographic postcard of New Australia.

(Greek Line: 1958- )

In late 1957, following the Torres Strait collision, the New Australia was withdrawn from service and was destined for scrapping. In January 1958 she was saved again when the Greek Line bought her and renamed her Arkadia. She was rebuilt and modernized by Blohm & Voss in Hamburg. She was now 20,259 tons, her forepeak, damaged in the collision, was extended to provide a curved stem, and she was lengthened to 590 feet. Her foremast was replaced by two king-posts. She was fitted out to carry 150 passengers in 1st class and 1150 in tourist class. On 22 May 1958 the Arkadia made her first voyage from Bremerhaven through Cherbourg, Liverpool and Greenock to Quebec-Montreal. 17 June 1958 saw her make her first voyage, Bremerhaven-Southampton- Cherbourg-Cobh-Quebec- Montreal. In 1961, the Arkadia underwent further refitting by Blohm & Voss in Hamburg; She was now 20,648 tons and fitted out to carry 50 passengers in first class and 1337 in tourist class. On 16 August 1966 the Arkadia made her last voyage, Bremerhaven-Amsterdam-London- Havre-Cobh-Quebec-Montreal from which she departed on 26 August. November 1966 saw her laid up in the River Fal, Falmouth, Cornwell, and on 8 December 1966 she arrived at Valencia, Spain, for scrapping.

Official Greek Line card of Arkadia.

Dixon card SS.100 of Arkadia.

Unidentified photographic card S20612 (Photo Precision?) of Arkadia.

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