The ShipWatcher Blog

Monday, September 21, 2009

New Ship: Carnival Dream

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Carnival Dream

I’ve added Carnival’s latest ship, Carnival Dream to ShipWatcher.

At over 1000 feet in length, Dream is the largest ship in Carnival’s fleet.

She was built by Fincatieri in Italy, and leaves on her maiden voyage today, from Civitavecchia near Rome.

Even though you might not be able to be there on her maiden voyage, you can still enjoy the view from your computer screen and follow the voyage of Carnival Dream via ShipWatcher.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Schütte-Lanz Airship Over Warsaw

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Schütte-Lanz Airship Bombing Warsaw


An old WWI propaganda postcard I bought recently which shows Schütte-Lanz Airship SL2 bombing Warsaw in 1914.

The SL2 was 144 metres in length, but she was later extended to 156 meters, with a beam of 18 metres.

She could carry a payload of 8 to 10 tonnes at about 88km/h (47 knots).

“What’s an airship doing in a ShipWatcher blog” you may ask? Especially in a wartime setting. The Schütte-Lanz Airships were the precursors of the more well-known Zeppelins of the 1920’s and 30’s. The ship in this picture (and it IS a ship – even if it does fly) is about the same length as a small to medium sized cruise ship.

In fact, later designs of the Schütte-Lanz Airship reached a length of 275 metres – about the same size as a modern ocean liner, although these later designs were never actually built.

The most famous relative of these flying ships was the ill-fated Hindenburg. A Zeppelin measuring 245 metres in length, capable of carrying 70 passengers at speeds over 130km/h (70 knots). On one flight in 1936, the Hindenberg carried a specially designed aluminium grand piano – the first ever piano to be carried in flight.

Airship technology is now over a century old. Who knows? Perhaps soon we’ll have modern safer airships conducting cruises similar to those of the 1930’s.

Queen Mary 2 in Hamburg

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A postcrossing post card from Claus in Hamburg.

Claus says that when QM2 is in town, people go crazy, and over a million people may watch her.

She looks beautiful, Claus.

Thanks for the postcard!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

NYK Kamo Maru

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smh 13 Nov 1931

nyk ad sydney Mail 11 Jul 1934

Kamo Maru  Leaving Pinkenba 04.06.1934

An old photo from fellow cruising adict and friend, Jo.

Kamo Maru was built in 1908 for Nippon Yusen Kaisha line, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi.

Although there is no official record available, she was probably built in the shipyards of Mitsubishi Heavy Industry, Ltd, in Nagasaki.

At just over 8,500 GRT and 470 feet long, she operated as a passenger, cargo and mail ship, regularly visiting Australia, China and other Asian ports.  In fact, as you can see from the ad from the Sydney Mail, NYK offered regular cruises out of Melbourne and Sydney via Queensland, Thursday Island, Phillippines and Hong Kong to Japan.

In 1931 The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Kamo Maru had to drop off a passenger from Shanghai who had been diagnosed with Smallpox. The ship was then quarrantined for several weeks at North Head in Sydney while the passengers were monitored to see if anyone else contracted the disease.

In 1936 she was involved in a collision at sea with another vessel while sailing to Sydney.

She continued to visit Australia until the outbreak of war with Japan in 1941.

In July 1944, the submarine USS Tinosa torpedoed and sank Kamo Maru in the East China Sea west of Kyushu. 

Thanks for the fascinating photo, Jo!