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Owner   Australian National Line

1965 Built in Sydney by the Cockatoo Docks & Engineering Co Pty Ltd for the Australian National Line and named Empress of Australia. She was put on a fortnightly service between Sydney and Hobart and Sydney to Burnie on alternate weeks.

Length 445ft Beam 70ft 7ins Draft 20ft 1in 12037 GRT 6657 Net 2880 DW

Powered by Twin Screws two ten cylinder two stroke cycle single acting oil engines by Maschinenfabrik Augsburg Nuremberg A.G of Hamburg. She was also fitted with bow thrusters.

1972 She was modified for the Bass Strait service at Newcastle by the New South Wales Engineering and Shipbuilding Undertaking ( State Dockyard Newcastle). Her passenger capacity was increased from 250 to 440 by the addition of extra seating in the former loungers and solarium. She was put on an overnight run between Melbourne and Devonport replacing the smaller Princess of Tasmania.

1985 She was replaced by the Tasmanian Governments by the much larger and luxurious ex Baltic Ferry Abel Tasman and put up for sale.
She was sold to Phineas Navigation Ltd of Cyprus and renamed Empress.

Later she was controlled by Sun Cruisers Maritime of Greece and renamed Royal Pacific.

1991 Sold to Anchor of the Seas Ltd of the Bahamas.

1992 on the 23rd August she sank twelve miles off Port Dickson in a position 02.27 north 101.36 east after being struck on her port side by the Taiwanese factory trawler Terfu 51 with the loss of nine passengers and crew.

Source:    SHIPAHOLICS OZ                                       Photo Source: The late Don Ross collection