Empresa Insulana de Navegacao S.S. Carvalho Araulho 1930 to 1973
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With Reuben Goossens
Maritime Historian, Cruise‘n’Ship Reviewer, Author and Lecturer
With almost 59 Years in the Passenger Shipping & Cruise Industry!
Carvalho Araújo was exclusively built for the
All Photographs (except those marked otherwise) are from the author’s private maritime collection
S.S. Carvalho Araújo was an outstanding small Portuguese liner, which was built in the early 1930s. She transported passengers in style as well being able to move migrants and refugees in comfort. I am well aware that she may seem to be a relatively insignificant liner in certain ways, but believe me she was a very special small passenger and cargo liner indeed. I am sorry that at this time I have no interior photographs of her, but there is a good number of her at sea, at anchor or in port, etc.
I felt strongly that she needed to be added to the list of many classic liners I have online. I trust that you will enjoy reading the fascinating maritime Portuguese history as I have a good number of ships from this great maritime nation online, such as the SS Vera Cruz, SS Santa Maria (both 1953), TS Infante Dom Henrique (1961) SS Funchal (1961) and the TS Principe Perfeito (1961). And of course there were many more I have not even covered, but at least here is one of their earlier ships from 1930.
Maritime Historian, Author, Lecturer and Cruise‘n’Ship Reviewer.
The Enduring S.S. Carvalho Araújo:
A new S.S. Carvalho Araújo is seen
at bound for the
delightful small Portuguese liner was completed in 1930 and she sailed for a
good 41 years with a purpose. The SS Carvalho Araújo was one of the ships that
Portuguese company “Empresa Insulana de Navegacao” (EIN) of
Lisbon ordered a new
ship to be constructed to replace their 2,557 Gross Ton, 1905 built liner the
S.S. Sao Miguel which was sold in 1931 to “Companhia
Colonial de Navegaceo” (or “Cia Colonial”) who renamed her
“Guine”, she was finally broken up in 1950 aged 45 years. However in 1928 plans was already
well on the way for EIN’s new liner, which would be a larger and a vastly
updated and improved version of the
A view of the S.S. Sao Miquel
Sent in by Joseph
Cantieri Navale Trieste, Italy commenced to construct the new ship in 1929 and the machinery installed onboard were two British (Kincaid) built steam triple expansion engines operating twin screws giving her an estimated service speed of 12 knots. S.S. Carvalho Araújo was considered to be a beautiful and a well balanced ship for her day.
Launched & Maiden Voyage:
her hull and part of her superstructure completed, the Carvalho Araújo was
launched on December 18, 1929, and once in the water she was towed to her
fit-out berth where she was completed and fitted out. When completed early in
March 1930, she headed out for her sea trails, which were successful and she
achieved a maximum speed of 14 knots. With her trials and final inspections
completed, she departed
However, there is a discrepancy with records available in relation to
the date of her Maiden Voyage, and this seems to be due to problems at the time
with recruitment of a respective crew. Some records state that she commenced
her first voyage to Madeira and the
A company postcard, it is said that this is a view of her arriving at one of her ports of call during her maiden Voyage
in her early days was as follows: She departed Lisbon and headed first to
Madeira, Then the Islands of the Azores; Santa Maria, Sao Miquel, Tercceira,
Graciosa, Sao Jorge,, Pico and finally Fayal. On her return voyage calls were
made to the
S.S. Carvalho Araújo Interiors:
Accommodation wise, she offered Deluxe Rooms for 10 passengers, as well as 68 passengers in First Class Accommodations, all being outside cabins with windows having twin beds, with the First Class cabins having an additional third upper bunk available if so required. The First Class Dining Saloon was located below the Bridge on Upper Deck, with all the First Class cabins directly aft. On promenade Deck, there were the Main Lounge also being Ball Room, a Grand Foyer, followed by side Galleries and the Smoke Room and a Verandah Café aft.
Second Class: Accommodations were mostly located within the superstructure on, or below the poop section far aft of the ship. There also was a Smoking Room and the Dining Saloon.
Third Class: We need to remember that this class was mostly used by
locals within the
Again the S.S. Carvalho Araújo is seen at sea
Dignitaries Carried on the Carvalho Araújo:
her many voyages she carried a good number of Dignitaries, such as the
President of Portugal, General Antonio Óscar Fragoso Carmona who visited the
then Adjacent Islands, the archipelagos of Madeira and the
An excellent photograph of this
fine ship seen at anchor whilst she is in the
President General Francisco Higino Craveiro Lopes
Prime Minister António de Oliveira Salazar
“Salazar” had chosen General Lopes as the regime’s presidential candidate back in 1951 to succeed the late Óscar Carmona. But considering at that time the electoral system was completely rigged in favour of Salazar’s ‘National Union’, this made Craveiro Lopes’ election a foregone conclusion. He was elected unopposed after the only other candidate withdrew even before the Election Day. As I do not know a great deal regarding Portuguese political history, but I do know that the President Lopes was gone by early in 1958 and that thereafter he made various attempts’ to overthrow Salazar, but always failed. Ex President, General Francisco Higino Craveiro Lopes passed away in 1964.
Here we see her turn to port (left) as she heads for her anchorage
In July 1962, S.S. Carvalho Araújo also accommodated the new President Vice Admiral Americo de Deus Rodrigues Tomás as well as his entourage, and he visited the Horta District.
Cover of a 1950’s schedule and fares for the Carvalho Araújo
we must not forget that during this wonderful ship’s distinguished career
WW2 and Financial Difficulties:
As war came about the S.S. Carvalho Araújo was emblazoned on both sides of her hull stating clearly that she was a Portuguese ship in large white lettering.
Special voyages to
On November 30, 1941 a British merchant ship the SS Ashby who had become a straggler from the main Convoy OS-12”, was suddenly hit at 19.26 hours aft by one of two G7e torpedoes from the U-Boat 43 and she rapidly sank by the stern within 4 minutes some 170 miles south-southeast of Flores, Azores.
The master Tom
Valentine Frank OBE, and eleven crew members and five gunners were lost.
Thankfully 28 crew members and five gunners having been rescued by the
Portuguese destroyer the
She is seen here in choppy seas
When in August 1945 when a document known as “Dispatch 100” was issued by the Portuguese Government to reorganize the Portuguese shipping industry they decided to update the merchant fleet, and therefore six new ships were planned for EIN. But the S.S. Carvalho Araújo continued to sail on for a further 26 years.
S.S. Carvalho Araújo Final Days:
the time came that the now much loved and most reliable S.S. Carvalho Araújo
completed her very last round voyage to the Azores, when she returned home to
MV Funchal is seen having just been painted all white for her new cruising role in 1973
although the S.S. Carvalho Araújo had concluded her regular services, she
quickly commanded for a new temporary role that would last for around seven
months, and she officially became a Portuguese troop ship transporting troops
The Carvalho Araújo is seen here
as a Portuguese troop ship to
S.S. Carvalho Araújo seen departing port
However, considering that she was such a well and a strongly constructed ship it took the breakers almost 12 months to demolish her, being one of their most costly jobs on record at the time!
There is no doubt at all, that during the twentieth century, there has never been a liner that has served the Azoreans with such efficiency, with amazing regularity and length of time such as the S.S. Carvalho Araújo, and she did this also throughout World War II, with just the odd exceptions, but this was only because she was transporting Jewish and other WW2 refugees from the horrors of the Holocaust, and she departed Lisbon and headed to Baltimore in the USA. S.S. Carvalho Araújo proved to be an amazing and a greatly loved ship and although not well known around the world, but I felt that it was time, that you came to know this gem of a ship!
SS Carvalho Araújo Dimensions - 1961 to 1972:
Launched: December 18, 1929.
Maiden Voyage: April 23, 1930 the (most likely date).
Tonnage: 9,824 GRT (Gross Registered Tons).
Length: 370 ft - 112.77 m.
Breadth: 50 ft – 15.24 m.
Draught: 23.9 ft – 7.3 m.
Engines: Two Steam British (Kincaid) built steam triple expansion engines.
Service speed: 12 knots service speed, 14 knots maximum.
Passengers: 10 Deluxe, 68 First, 76 Second & 78 Third Class.
Remembering a Fine Small, but Enduring Liner
An artist’s impression of the S.S. Carvalho Araújo
A watercolour by J.M.M Pimenta
There are features online on ssMaritime.com of the following Portuguese liners:
And the delightful TS Infante Dom Henrique
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