|Chandris Lines rhms Amerikanis|
The Amerikanis used to be Union Castle Line's Kenya Castle. (Union Castle Line ships used to sail from Southampton to South Africa and I was lucky enough to do a voyage there on Pendennis Castle with my parents when I was 16). She was taken over by Chandris in 1968. She did some transatlantic trips but from the 1970's until 1996 she was a cruise ship. She was taken on her last voyage by a Russian skeleton crew to Alang beach near Bhavagnar in India sometime around June 2001 where sadly she was scrapped.
1968 plans of Amerikanis very kindly sent to me by Nigel Allan, click to view but afraid you wont see crew accommodation!
When I joined we were doing weekly cruises to Bermuda. We then sailed with an empty ship, (party time!) to Boston. From there we did a couple of Caribbean cruises and it was during the second one, in September '71, that we were trying to get away from a hurricane. The sea was an amazing sight, the height of the waves was incredible. From our cabin porthole it was a bit worrying, one minute you could only see sea and the next only sky! She rolled over so far you began to wonder if she was going to recover. The last cruise from Boston was a three day cruse to nowhere. Back to New York and then, after one more Bermuda trip, started regular Caribbean cruises. I loved both Bermuda and the Caribbean and had some wonderful times ashore both shopping (gold in St Thomas & French underwear in Guadeloupe!) and enjoying the beautiful beaches. Nights out in Puerto Rico at the fabulous El San Juan hotel with it's casino, over the top decor, and famous stars in cabaret are a great memory.
In April'72 the ship had to go into dry dock in New York. Some of us did a Greyhound trip to see Niagara Falls. We only saw them from the American side, we couldn't go into Canada as our visas only allowed us to enter the States where the ship was docked. We then flew to Washington for a couple of days and then back to New York. We were so lucky to have had the chance to do a trip like that whilst we were supposed to be working! I also loved sailing from New York. Such an exciting city and being there so often we saw almost everything. The shopping compared to UK was so cheap as well!
We then carried on with Bermuda trips and I flew home from there in May'72.
As I said in my history I loved my time on Amerikanis, made great friends and saw wonderful places. Dorothy, one of the other hairdressers, made the famous remark, " these bloody passengers, they spoil our holiday every cruise"!!
Now click for the photos.