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Empress of Scotland
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Since the end of the war, Canadian Pacific had envisaged replacing its ageing passenger fleet. No doubt prompted by the emergence of Cunard's new ships, this finally began in 1956 with the introduction of the 25,000-ton Empress of Britain (III). This ship replaced Empress of Australia (II) (which herself had been a stop-gap replacement following the destruction by fire of Empress of Canada (II) in 1953). The following year a near identical sister ship, Empress of England, was introduced ostensibly to replace Empress of France. It was thought that Empress of Scotland would be replaced by a new larger ship around 1960 (which turned out to be Empress of Canada, 1961). However, somewhat surprisingly Empress of Scotland was put up for sale in September 1957, and Empress of France was the ship retained until 1960. Empress of Scotland was a top end ship with an emphasis on first-class facilities. By this time the needs of passenger shipping were more oriented towards large numbers of tourist class passengers. During seven years of Atlantic service Empress of Scotland had made 90 round trips to Canada. She also made 26 Caribbean cruises out of New York, plus three cruises from Southampton.Empress of Scotland as Hanseatic

After a short period laid-up, Empress of Scotland was granted a new lease of life, when purchased by the Hamburg-Atlantic Line in January 1958 for transatlantic service. A major rebuild was carried out at Hamburg, during which she was converted to a 30,000-ton liner more suited to the late fifties market. Passenger capacity was almost doubled to 1350, of which 1165 would be Tourist Class. The three funnels were replaced by two modern ones, and together with other substantial re-designs, her appearance changed significantly. On July 2, 1958, she sailed for the first time as Hanseatic from Cuxhaven to New York, via Le Havre, Southampton and Cobh. For the next eight years this would be her regular route, together with winter Caribbean cruises out of New York.

The ship's good fortune finally deserted her on September 6, 1966 in New York harbour, when she was burnt out by a fire that started in the engine room. Fortunately there were no casualties, but the ship was damaged beyond economic repair. It was fitting that at the age of 37, this fine ship -- the epitome of the traditional, pre-war luxury liner -- should go out in a blaze of glory whilst still in active service. Having been towed back to Germany by two tugs (appropriately named Atlantic and Pacific), she was sold for scrap and sent for breaking up at Hamburg in December 1968.

Canadian Pacific blotter depicting Empress of Scotland


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