She was built in Clydebank, England by John Brown & Company Ltd. for the P&O Steam Navigation Company. She entered service early in 1954 as Arcadia. She was fitted with 6 steam turbine engines that were connected through reduction gearing to 2 propeller shafts. They produced up to 42,500 horsepower and were capable of pushing the 721'4" x 90'8" x 31'0" ship along at speeds in excess of 22 knots.
By the 1970s Arcadia was acting as P&O's deep sea cruiseship in Australian waters and made voyages between North America and Australia. In 1978 her owners felt that she was approaching the limit of her usefullness and her retirement was planned. On January 29th, 1979 Arcadia departed from Sydney, Austraila for Singapore with a full compliment of passengers. Upon arrival at Singapore roughly three weeks later on February 21st her passengers disembarked and were taken to Southampton, England where they boarded Arcadia's completely refurbished replacement the 1966-built Sea Princess (Formerly Kungsholm).
Arcadia's sale for scrap was completed quickly and on February 22nd she sailed from Singapore for Kaohsiung, Taiwan. She arrived there on the 28th and secured alongside the 1969-built, 99,460-grt tanker Andros Apollon which had arrived only days before and run herself aground on the scrapping beach. Dismantling of Andros Apollon began on March 5th and cutting aboard Arcadia began on April 30th. In the short weeks that followed workers of Lee Chong Steel & Iron Works ripped the once proud cruise ship into thousands of pieces that were subsequently shipped off to Chinese steel mills for recycling.
Information courtesy Marine News (The World Ship Society) and Lloyds Registers
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