In our last two issues, we mentioned that a cruise ship named GALAXY is due to spend the summer of 1974 making cruise trips between Chicago and Montreal. Until only very recently, we were rather in the dark as to what this vessel named GALAXY was as we were unable to find her in any shipping register.
At long last, the story has come out in the open. The vessel is actually registered as GALAXIAS and the name GALAXY would appear to be simply an anglicized version for the purpose of drawing English-speaking passengers. Her current owners are Hellenic Cruises S.A. which seems to be part of the Kavounides Shipping Company. She is, of course, registered in Greece and, since being bought by these owners in 1970 and converted for the cruise service, she has been trading in the Aegean.
GALAXIAS was built in 1957 by Harland and Wolff Ltd. at Belfast for the Irish Sea routes of Coast Lines Ltd. and was christened SCOTTISH COAST. Her length was 342'3" overall, with a moulded breadth of 52'8" and a depth of 19'9". Her Gross Tonnage was 3817 but since the 1970 rebuild is shown as 4858. She is a twin screw vessel powered by two 10-cylinder two-stroke Burmeister and Wain diesels.
Her first operator was the Belfast Steamship Co. for whom she ran the Liverpool-Belfast route but she was later moved over to the Glasgow-Dublin line of Burns & Laird Ltd. In 1965 she was fitted for drive-on auto service and she traded on many of her owner's routes around the Irish Sea, finishing up on the Belfast-Glasgow run where she made her last sailing on August 30, 1969. She was laid up at Birkenhead and was subsequently sold to her present owners. Her refit included the extending of the passenger accommodation aft over the well deck, the fitting of a swimming pool, and the updating of all cabins.
No matter what her flag, GALAXIAS will be a welcome addition to the lake scene in April of this year. We hope that she proves a success and that an even more ambitious program may be operated after this year's experiment.
(For their help in digging up the information on GALAXIAS, our thanks to Gordon Turner, Rene Beauchamp, Lawrence Pomeroy, John Greenwood, Carl Ehrke, and Paul Clegg, editor of "Short Sea Survey" appearing in Sea Breezes.)
Reproduced for the Web with the permission of the Toronto Marine Historical Society.