NORTHERN STAR

Daily Echo: Northern Star Northern Star

The 24,700-ton Northern Star, was only 13 years old when she was withdrawn for breaking up.

She was victim of dramatic changes which also greatly reduced most other passenger shipping fleets, namely the sharp rise in fuel and operating costs and the increased popularity of air travel.

During her brief life she was used on Shaw Savill's round-the-world service from Southampton, and in the last few years of her life a programme of cruises.

Built at the Walker-on-Tyne shipyard of Vickers Armstrongs, Northern Star followed the same revolutionary design as her sister ship, Southern Cross, with engines aft and no cargo holds.

This meant designers could create a fine range of public rooms for use by the passengers.

With an overall length of 650 feet and width of 82 feet, Northern Star was slightly bigger than Southern Cross and could carry 1,400 passengers compared with 1,160 by the older liner.

Northern Star was fully booked for her maiden departure from Southampton on July 10, 1962 and a farewell message of good wishes was received from the Queen Mother, who had launched the vessel a year earlier.

The liner was scheduled to sail around the world in 77 days, but the programme had to be revised because of mechanical trouble.

Engineers made some repairs at sea, more maintenance was carried out in Australia, but further work was needed when the ship arrived, nine days late, back in Southampton.

Initial problems were sorted out and Northern Star settled down on her route which took her one way round the world while Southern Cross went the other way, providing a unique passenger service.

In the early 1970s Northern Star was used increasingly for cruising, with only the occasional line voyage for positioning purposes.

In May, 1975 Shaw Savill decided to pull out of the passenger business entirely and concentrate on cargo carrying.

Northern Star, their last liner, was put up for sale but no real interest was shown in her so she was sold to breakers in Taiwan.

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