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With Reuben Goossens

Maritime Historian, Author, Lecturer

& Cruise’n’Ship Reviewer


Part One

Chandris Lines

RHMS Ellinis

Above: Postcard of RHMS Ellinis

Chandris issued many postcards of the Ellinis

Images on this page, unless marked otherwise they are from the Author’s private collection



This artist impression was the first Chandris Lines postcard of the RHMS Ellinis

SS Lurline was purchased by Chandris Lines on September 3, 1963, and was refitted in North Shields. Her exterior modernised, however, most of her Hawaiian decor and furniture remained, proving Matson Lines classic styling was exotic and modern. Her interior beauty was renowned. Her engines were repaired whilst she was still in the United States. Her capacity was greatly increased to accommodate 1,668 as a one-class liner.

Ellinis with her new sleek look

There was no doubt, but Ellinis looked smart in her new Chandris livery. With her modernised superstructure and new funnels, she embarked on her maiden voyage from Piraeus to Sydney on December 30, 1963. Her homeward voyages were alternately routed via the Panama Canal to Southampton from 1964.

It was during these very days the author was with the GSA of Chandris Lines in Australia and spent a great deal of time onboard all of the Chandris ships, as the company arranged around the world tours, where the ship would have up to 1,000 passengers who would sail to Britain, from there tae a tour of Great Britain, whilst others take their tours of Europe. And these had to be in a rotational system, for obviously with these huge numbers it was quite a logistical operation! When everyone had their pre-arranged tours, they had time to do their own thing, and then return per a Chandris liner.

For the next 10 years, Ellinis made regular line voyages to Australia, as well as operating sdeasonal cruises. For several years in the late sixties early seventies she was employed on an eastward round-the-world service sailing via the Suez, or South Africa, to Australia, New Zealand via the Panama to New York to Britain or directly to Rotterdam or Bremerhaven.

Australian Express was the Queensland General Sales Agents for Chandris

And we placed these advertisements

In August 1970 Richard Zechiel sailed on the Ellinis from New York and she sailed directly to Rotterdam. His eleven-year-old brother Tim and family went to see him off and the following two photographs were taken on the day of departure. It was Tim who sent me the photographs.

The Ellinis is seen in New York’s Hudson River in August 1970 and is due to sail for Rotterdam with Richard Zechiel on board

Photo provided by Tim ZechielPhiladelphia USA


At the stern of the Ellins, standing under the flag is 11-year-old Tim Zechiel, his oldest brother Richard would sail away that day on this Big Ship that day!

Photo provided by Tim ZechielPhiladelphia USA


A fine aerial view of the Ellinis

Simplon - Visit

In April 1974, the Ellinis was on a cruise to Japan when once again major problems developed in one of her engines, which, we were told, was out of alignment. Ellinis returned to Europe. At the same time, her former sister-ship the Mariposa, then named Homeric, had been sold to be broken up in Taiwan. Chandris lines purchased one of her engines which were transported to Rotterdam, which fitted into the Ellinis. She returned to service in March 1975 and commenced Mediterranean cruises until early 1977.

Line Voyage Brochures

Brochures below from the author’s private collection






Line voyage schedules


Cruise brochures





RHMS Ellinis seen in Sydney around 1978


Ellinis Mini Photo Album

Photographs are soured from brochures and other media from the author’s private collection or as stated


Outrigger Lounge and Bar


The Cinema


Waikiki Dinning Room


Good old fashioned Greek Service


Buffet, starboard on Promenade deck


Heavy sea crossing on the way to Australia


The Ellinis is seen at anchor whilst on a Pacific cruise


A busy promenade deck, something not seen these days

Photograph by & Stan Evans 


The forward funnel

Photograph by & Stan Evans 


Ellinis in Southampton towards the end of her days

Photographer unknown – *Please see photo notes at bottom of page


Ellinis seen in Sydney once again

Photographer unknown – *Please see photo notes at bottom of page


Ellinis’ last days


Ellinis is seen her close to her being laid up

Having been in service for some fifty years, it was in October 1981 when RHMS Ellinis was laid up in Greece. There were thoughts of returning this fine ship to service, even turning her into floating hotel in San Francisco, however these plans never eventuated. She remained laid up for another five years when she was finally sold to Taiwanese breakers in 1986. On December 3, 1986 she departed Perma undertow bound for the breakers, however she commenced taking on water not far from Singapore on March 11, 1987 and slowly developed a 15-degree list to starboard. However they managed to rectify the problem and the tow continued and she arrived in Kaohsiung on April 15, 1987 and it is said that breaking up commenced about two months later.

However, many of her fittings had been transferred to other ships within the Chandris fleet and engine parts were kept in storage in case they were needed for her sister, the RHMS Britanis.

Ellinis seen laid up in Piraeus. The ship just on her left is the Noga, being the ex SS Australis

The Ariadne (Bon Vivant) is seen on the right


Page Three will be online in the near future

It will feature the Manfred Bail story




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Photographs on ssmaritime and its associate pages are by the author or from the author’s private collection; be they taken by him, from his private collection such as postcards, images purchased or Photographs on ssmaritime and associate pages are by the author or from the author’s private collection. In addition there are some images that have been provided by Shipping Companies and private photographers or collectors. Credit is given to all contributors. However, there are some photographs provided to me without details regarding the photographer/owner concerned. I hereby invite if owners of these images would be so kind to make them-selves known to me (my email address may be found on only), in order that due credit may be given.

This notice covers all pages, although, and I have done my best to ensure that all photographs are duly credited and that this notice is displaced on each page, that is, when a page is updated!


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