History of the Merchant Navy
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PACIFIC STEAM NAVIGATION COMPANY

The Pacific Steam Navigation Company was founded by William Wheelwright, the son of a Lincolnshire master mariner who was born at Newbury Port, Massachusetts in the USA on 18th March 1798. After being educated at Phillips Academy at Andover, Massachusetts William went to sea in 1814 as a cabin boy on one of the family’s ships and after serving his apprenticeship on sailing brigs out of New Orleans he achieved his first command at the age of 19 in 1817.
After his barque, the Rising Empire owned by William Bartlett, was wrecked at the mouth of the River Plate in 1823 he joined a ship sailing out of Buenos Aires bound for Valparaiso as a seaman. He then sailed for Guayaquil in Ecuador where he set up in business as a ship broker and chandler and eventually became the US Consul at the port.

In 1828 Wheelwright married Martha Bell at Newbury Port and when the couple returned to Guayaquil via Panama William found to his dismay that his business was in ruins with debts of almost $100,000. The couple moved back to Valparaiso, a port which had always fascinated Wheelwright because of its proximity to Santiago, the capital of Chile. There William acquired his first vessel, a schooner named the Fourth of July, and traded northwards up the coast.

At the time there were no roads and building them was impracticable. Both Wheelwright and the Chilean Government recognised that the coastal seaway offered the country’s best form of communication. However, that particular coast frequently lacked wind and it was therefore necessary to introduce steam propulsion in order to maintain a regular service for the benefit of both the land based industries and the farmers.


Wm. Wheelwright 1798-1873

On 5th August 1835, the Chilean Government issued a decree granting Wheelwright the exclusive rights to operate steamships in Chilean waters for a period of 10 years. The decree also stated that steamer services should be operating within 2 years but, in reality, the project took some five years before it came to maturity. In the following year Peruvian merchants began to show an interest in the concept of steam and on 18th June the British Consul General convened a meeting at which a committee was appointed to study Wheelwrights’ proposals. On 8th November of the same year the British Consul General convened another meeting at which he recommended that a company be formed to raise capital to build the steamships. Wheelwright set off for the USA but could obtain support for the project there so he continued on to Britain.
On 4th August 1837 the Chilean degree lapsed because the operation was not up and running within the stipulated two year period but the Government was impressed with the efforts being made to promote the project and power of attorney was granted to delete the two year implementation clause.

In Britain, Wheelwright was fortunate as the British Government was also interested in expending trade to the west coast of South America. A voyage to Valparaiso by sail round Cape Horn took at least four months so a route which included an overland leg across Panama was an attractive alternative. The Hon. Peter Scarlett, son of Lord Abinger, had put forward a proposal that a railway be built between an Atlantic terminal and a Pacific distribution port capable of feeding steamers which could then sail north, south or even east. At about the same time Baron Friedrich von Humbolt (1769-1859) advocated the possibility of building ship canal across the 50 mile isthmus.

The Pacific Steam Navigation Company Limited eventually came into being on 27th September 1838 at 5 Barge Yard, Bucklesbury, London with a share capital of £250,000. Divided into 5,000 shares of £50 each 1000 were reserved for South American investors. Mr George Brown was appointed as the first chairman and as he was also a founding director of the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company the fortunes of both companies were firmly interlinked from the very beginning. The initial house flag was as shown but with the crown being replaced with Chile’s White Star. William Wheelwright himself remained in Valparaiso as resident director because of his other business interests there.

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Interest in the new company was very slow; the only initial investors being the the directors whose qualifying shares raised £5000. Outside investors were awaiting the British Government’s seal of approval through the grant of a Royal Charter which was eventually obtained some eighteen months later.
However, planning proceeded and Wheelwright proposed that three iron hulled steamers of 700 tons be built with a fourth as a reserve because of the lack of facilities in South America. On 31st August, 1839 orders were placed with Thomas Wilson & Co. of Liverpool for the first two ships but, because the Royal Charter had not been granted, the Board, in Wheelwright’s absence, cancelled the order. Wheelwright was adamant and reissued the tenders but Wilson & Co. would have nothing to do with the under capitalised Chilean based concern so on 10th October, 1839 the order went to Curling & Young in London. Despite Wheelwright’s opposition, the ships were to be wooden and not iron.

In January 1840 the Royal Charter was finally granted and the scene was set for the company to develop. To mark the event the White Star was replaced by the Crown of England. George Peacock was appointed as the company’s first captain on 17th February, 1840 and Wheelwright was appointed as Chief Superintendent with a salary of £1,400 per annum. Peacock was also appointed Second Superintendent with responsibility for operating the two ships.

During same year the wooden sailing ship Elizabeth was purchased for the purpose of carrying coal to Valparaiso for use by the coastal steamers. However, the crew considered her to be unseaworthy for a voyage round Cape Horn, a view endorsed by William Wheelwight following his inspection, and, consequently, the wooden barque Portsea was acquired to replace her. Loaded with coal she sailed for Valparaiso where she was hulked. Two other ships, the Cecilia and the Jasper, joined her in Valparaiso where they were also hulked.

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The Peru (1) was launched on 18th April 1840 followed by the Chile (1) three days later. On 27th June the Chile sailed from Falmouth bound for Valparaiso and on the following 15th July the Peru sailed from Plymouth. It was intended that both ships would rendezvous in the Straits of Magellan and then sail into Valparaiso Bay together but the historic aspect of the event was overshadowed by Cunard’s Britannia which entered service at the same time.
The ships arrived on 16th October to a tumultuous welcome after a voyage of 8,600 miles undertaken in 52 days. Nine days later the Peru inaugurated the service between Valparaiso and Callao in Peru.

A service was maintained but during 1841-2 there were problems the main one being the inability to maintain a continuous supply of coal. At one time the steamers had to be laid up for three months through lack of it. On 5th October 1843 Wheelwright returned to London and was promptly dismissed by the Board for ‘bad management’. He responded by circulating a report to the shareholders who promptly voted for the removal of his accusers with the exception of George Brown. Wheelwright returned to the Board as Joint Managing Director.

By this time the majority of the shareholders were Liverpool merchants and, consequently, the Head Office was moved to that city. As Wheelwright had to return to Valparaiso William Just of the Aberdeen & London Steam Ship Co. was appointed as a second Joint Managing Director to manage the London end of the operation. At the same time Wheelwright’s powers were extended to cover Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Panama as well as Chile. However, by this time, out of a capital of £94,000, £72,000 had been lost.

In 1846 the Ecuador (1) was based at Callao and extended the Valparaiso service via Guayaquil to Panama where there was a connection to Royal Mail’s Southampton to Colon service creating the Panama – Overland route to Valparaiso which could be achieved in 40 days instead of four months via Cape Horn. The New Granada joined the Ecuador at Callao later in the same year.

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Prosperity improved and in September 1850 the Liverpool Board were able to declare a 10% dividend. In the following year the growth of trade around the coast and the granting a mail contract enabled the company to order four ships at a cost of £140,000 to replace the wooden hulled Chile and Peru and to augment the Bolivia. By 1852 the four ships had been delivered and PSNC was able to operate a fortnightly service between Valparaiso and Panama. The company were also awarded the British Government mail contract.
However, the company’s development was not without its problems. The new smaller vessels ordered for the coastal service had first to make a hazardous ocean crossing from Britain to Valparaiso and in 1853 both the Perlita and the Osprey were lost during their delivery voyages. In the same year the Quito was wrecked on the coast and the hulk Hope was lost. In 1854 the Panama was lost after striking a rock during her maiden voyage.

During 1854 the Panama Railway across the isthmus was completed which opened up a ‘through’ route to the west coast of South America. In 1856 the compound engine was invented and the management of PSNC wasted no time installing the new economic machinery in its ships; the Valparaiso and the Inca being among the first to have the direct acting version. It was some 14 years before other shipowners followed suit on a regular basis, Alfred Holt being the foremost.

The company continued to expand and in 1859 acquired the island of Morro in Panama Bay for use as a workshop and stores which became known as the ‘North Station’. At the end of the company’s twentieth year in 1860 the company’s fleet was comprised of twelve steamships. Boliviar (1), Lima (1), Bogota (1), Inca (1), Valparaiso (1), Callao (1), Cloda, Anne, San Carlos, Guayaquil, Morro (1) and the Peruano.

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In 1865 the Charter was extended to include the establishment of steamer services between the West Coast of South America and the River Plate including the Falkland Islands and ‘such other places in North and South America and other foreign ports as the said company shall deem expedient’. At a special meeting of the shareholders in December 1867 it was agreed that a monthly service between Liverpool and Valparaiso via the Straits of Magellan be established. This decision was taken as a consequence of the Panaman Railroad Co’s continued refusal to grant the PSNC the same advantageous through rates that applied for cargo bound for ports in the USA.
The company’s share capital was increased to £2,000,000 and five screw steamships were ordered. But the company was anxious to start the new venture as quickly as possible and on 13th May 1868 the paddle steamer Pacific sailed on the inaugural voyage from Valparaiso for Liverpool with 170 passengers. Her three sisters, Santiago, Limena and Panama, quickly joined the service which was then able to undertake sailings every six weeks. These four ships had the distinction of being the only compound paddle steamers on transatlantic routes and their route was Liverpool – Bordeaux – Lisbon – Cape Verde Island – Rio de Janeiro – Montevideo – Punta Arenas – Valparaiso.

The first of the new screw steamships, the Magellan (1), came into service at the beginning of 1869 quickly followed by the Patagonia, the Araucania and the Cordillera. During the same year the famous John Elder, named by PSNC after the inventor of the compound engine, an engine which had revolutionised the economic viability of the coastal service, was delivered. Unfortunately, John Elder died before the commissioning of the ship named after him.

In 1870 the Liverpool to Valparaiso service was extended northwards to Arica, Mollendo and Callao. As the Directors had also agreed to increase the sailings to three per month and four new steamers were ordered. During 1870 orders were placed for a total of eleven ships, the largest order at that time.

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The first group of the new class of vessels, the Chimborazo, the Cuzco, the Garonne and the Lusitania, arrived for the Liverpool – Valparaiso – Callao through service in 1871. In the following year a mail subsidy of £10,000 was granted to enable a weekly service to Callao and the company’s share capital was increased to £3,000,000. At the same time the White Star Line attempted to enter the same market when, on 5th October, 1872, their Republic sailed for Valparaiso and Callao. PSNC’s new steamer Tacora was lost near Montevideo during her maiden voyage while racing against the Republic.
On 8th January 1873 the Sorata (1) commenced the first weekly sailing and operating under a new mail contract. At the age of 75, William Wheelwright died on 26th September, 1873, during a visit to London where he was planning to reside and by the end of that year the imposing trans-Atlantic fleet was complete and, if the coastal fleet was included, PSNC was the largest steamship company in the world. A fitting tribute to its founder, William Wheelwright.

However, serious problems were just around the corner as the company had over-stretched itself and both passenger income and freight fell short of expectations. To add to the problem both White Star Line and the Ryde Line had ships operating the route and the Compagnie Général Transatlantique was operating a service to Chile. Ryde Line was operating a four ship service between Antwerp – Montevideo – Buenos Aires and Valparaiso on the strength of a Belgian Government contract but after a few voyages it failed. Adding to the problems, a local company, Compania Sud Americana de Vapores, was founded with a base at Valparaiso. Their ships were distinguished by having a red funnel with a black top, a livery which is still used today.

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By 1874 the problems encountered by the company were serious as there was simply not enough trade to support a weekly service from Liverpool. Although Ryde and White Star had withdrawn, their effect on the trade was minimal. To ease the situation the directors decided to reduce the Atlantic sailings to once every fortnight and, at the same time, increase the passage time by reducing speed by one knot in order to save fuel.
During the same year the relatively new Tacna was lost following an explosion and the Limena and Oroya (1) were sold to the Peruvian Government. To make the company self sufficient in South America a dry dock was built in Glasgow, dismantled and shipped to Callao where it was re-assembled. This provided a facility for the company’s coastal fleet to be overhauled locally.

The reduction in service left the company with surplus ships and no fewer than eleven of the deep sea fleet were laid up in Birkenhead. In an attempt to find alternative employment for the vessels the company sought and obtained permission to amend the Royal Charter allowing them to deploy the surplus ships on routes other than to South America. Two of the laid up ships, the Puno and the Corcovado went to the Royal Mail Line.

In February 1877 the directors of PSNC were approached by Anderson, Anderson & Co., and F. Green & Co. with a proposal to establish a jointly operated steamship company to trade to Australia in competition with P&O. The aim was to operate a monthly service out via Cape Town returning via the Suez Canal. The Orient Steam Navigation Company was incorporated and, pending the delivery of its own newly built ships, four PSNC ships were chartered with Orient having the option to purchase if the venture turned out to be a success. The new service was inaugurated with the Chimborazo, the Cuzco (1), the Garonne and the Lusitania, four sister ships all built in 1871. The first voyage was undertaken by the Lusitania which sailed from Plymouth for Melbourne on 28th June 1877, arriving on 8th August knocking 10 days off the previous record passage time. Around the same time the Magellan (1), the Araucania and the Cordillera commenced a short lived service from Liverpool to Buenos Aires with a call at Bordeaux.

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The new service to Australia became so popular that Anderson, Anderson & Co. eventually exercised their option to purchase the ships which, having become well established, retained their original names. Demand was such that the service was increased to provide fortnightly sailings.
During 1879 the Mendoza joined the fleet and was the first liner ever to be equipped with electric lighting. In February of the same year war broke out between Bolivia, Peru and Chile. Peru and Bolivia had signed a defensive alliance in 1873 and in 1878 Bolivia imposed an export tax on nitrates. In an act of retaliation Chilean troops occupied the Bolivian nitrate port at Antofagasta and declared war on Peru on 5th April 1879. The war lasted for four years, which seriously interrupted PSNC’s trade and had internal repercussions as management at local level tended, quite naturally, to take sides. This was contrary to Head Office instructions as the company has always maintained strict neutrality in political matters. As a point of interest, the incumbent Chairman of PSNC was always appointed Honorary Consul for Chile in Liverpool regardless of which political party was in power in the country.

In April 1879 the company signed an agreement with its Australian route partners to operate a fortnightly service under the Orient Steam Navigation Co. banner with PSNC adding six more ships to the fleet making a total of ten in all. The John Elder commenced the first sailing under the new name in the May followed by the Iberia, the Aconcagua, the Sorata, the Liguria and the Cotopaxi. The final member of the fleet was the Orient, the first ship built for the Orient Line. From then on all mail passenger ships of both PSNC and Orient Line were prefixed with ‘Or’, a tradition which continued until 1931 when the Reina del Pacifico was delivered.

Despite the war the company acquired six new ships in 1881 among them being the Osorno and the tender Morro (2), the company’s first twin screwed ships. In the following year James G. Robinson replaced Lawrence R. Bailey as Chairman and the Iberia was requisitioned for troopship duties for the Arabi Pasha Egyptian Campaign. In 1885 the Lusitania and the Britannia were requisitioned for possible use as Armed Merchant Cruisers during the ‘Russian Scare’ when their troops invaded Afghanistan on 30th March. War was averted when the troops later withdrew.

PSNC

In 1886 the Oroya (2) and the Orizaba were built for the Australia service and introduced an inbound call at Brindisi in Italy. Here the mail was landed and transshipped overland by rail to London knocking six days off the normal Bay of Biscay service. At the same time ships operating the South America routes off loaded the mails by tender at Milford Haven enabling London bound letters and parcels to be delivered a day early. The South America services also carried bullion and, consequently, the company had its own bullion trucks on the Great Western and London Midland Railways. Because of the war in South America the coastal services there were badly affected, the trans-Atlantic passengers services were down so the Australia service was the company’s life blood. In 1889 the Orotava and the Oruba (1) were commissioned for the Australian service and, in the same year, the Chimborazo undertook PSNC’s first cruise to the Northern Capitals.
By 1893 the pattern of trade between South America and the UK had changed. As the communities in South America became more prosperous their buying power increased with a corresponding growth in export trade out of Liverpool. Cargoes carried to the UK also increased substantially and to cater for the growth PSNC ordered their first cargo vessels to supplement the passenger fleet which was not showing any significant increases in numbers. PSNC were not alone in experiencing the changing pattern of trade. World trade was expanding and the carriage of cargo was increasing at a tremendous rate. Up until around 1890 the carriage of passengers was considered to be more important than the carriage of freight but after that date the importance switched to cargo on every worldwide route expect, possibly, that between Europe and New York. PSNC’s first cargo ship to enter service was the Magellan (2)

William Just, who had been Managing Director from 1843 until 1875 died in 1895 at the age of 83 and was still serving as a director at the time of his death. By 1898 economic depression had hit Australia and the Orient Line suffered as a result. This led to closer cooperation with PSNC. The company’s name was changed to Orient Pacific Line and PSNC allocated its premier steamships to the operation. In 1899 the 7949grt Ortona, the largest ship built for PSNC at the time, joined the fleet.

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As there was still no alternative means of transport along the 4000 miles of coastline from Valparaiso to Callao travel between the two ports on a luxurious PSNC coastal passenger ship was a necessity. The weekly service continued to be operated by substantial ocean going ships but their profile differed from the conventional transoceanic passenger ships. The main deck was mainly open for both deck passengers and cattle while the upper deck had staterooms for overnight and week long journeys.
During the Boer War between 1899 and 1903 the Orcana was deployed as a hospital ship and the Orissa, the Orotava, the Ortona and the Victoria were requisitioned as troopships. In 1900 the Potosi (2) was delivered and immediately sold to the Russians for use during the Russo-Japanese war. The small coastal steamer Taboga was seized by the Colombian Government for use as a warship but released when the Royal Navy intervened.

In 1902 PSNC’s Royal Charter was extended for a further 21 years and the crown on the house flag changed from the Royal Crown to the St Edward’s Crown. Between 1890 and 1904 an number of iron hulled ships were converted into coal storage hulks at the major South American ports as it was considered cheaper to bring ships alongside for coaling and storing rather than to undertake the operation using local lighters. At some ports larger ships did not go alongside a quay but used PSNC’s pier-like jetties or tenders. In the UK the Merseyside ‘naval yard’ was closed down, the stores, maintenance and engineering staff being dispersed, and their berth was moved across the river to the Alexandra Dock in Liverpool.

PSNC sold their interests in the Australian route to Royal Mail Line in 1905 together with their share in the Orient Pacific Line and the Oroya (2), the Oruba (1), the Orotava and the Ortona. With these vessels the Royal Mail incorporated the Orient-Royal Mail Line in February 1906 and gave the ships distinctive buff-yellow funnels. The Orellana and the Orcana became surplus to requirements and were sold to the Hamburg America Line. Investment in new ships continued and during 1906 four new cargo ships were delivered demonstrating the company’s propensity for ordering in bulk. In 1908 the Orcoma (1) was delivered. Referred to as the ‘all-electric’ ship she was the first of the company’s vessels to exceed 10,000grt.

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In May 1909 Royal Mail withdrew from the Australian routes and absorbed the four ex-PSNC ships into their own fleet. However, in the following year PSNC was acquired by Royal Mail and although Thomas Rome remained as Chairman control of the company was transferred to London. PSNC’s black funnel livery was replaced by Royal Mail’s buff-yellow and a reduction in the passenger fleet was effected.
Again, trading patterns were beginning to change in the South Americas. Royal Mail were very strong in the Caribbean and the east coast of South America, an area comprising Brazil and Argentine, which were becoming increasingly richer than Chile. The Panama Canal was under construction which would pose a threat to PSNC’s coastal routes and the trans-isthmus railway was already siphoning off trade to Peru. In 1910 the Argentine – Chile railway was completed opening up a cross continent land route. Consequently, Royal Mail benefited from the onset of PSNC’s less profitable trade and PSNC’s fleet began to decrease.

Royal Mail brought into PSNC some of its operating methods including the means of raising capital for new buildings through the issue of debentures. By this means existing shareholders provided additional capital, receiving interest until the debentures were redeemed out of revenue. The effect was to minimise the number of shareholders and to control the group’s financial policies through a small but powerful Board of Directors. This policy, however, sowed the seeds for later discontent as the directors could raise and use money without having to explain their actions to the ordinary, risk bearing, shareholders.

In 1913 the company’s first Andes was built for PSNC but after the maiden voyage to Valparaiso was transferred to Royal Mails routes. In the same year the company introduced a pension scheme for its staff.

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In 1914 the Orduna (1) was launched and immediately chartered to Cunard for deployment on their Liverpool to New York service. The management of Cunard were obviously pleased with her as several of their ships built in the late 1920’s reflected her design. On the 15th August 1915 the Panama Canal opened with a profound effect on PSNC’s trade. The balance of commercial activity in the western side of the Atlantic changed inasmuch that the industrial North East of the USA was as close to Valparaiso via the canal as was Rio Janeiro. The sensible route to Valparaiso from Liverpool was through the Panama Canal and PSNC’s investment in developing the service via the Straits of Magellan at the tip of South America became obsolete. At the same time the Americans, not being involved in the war in Europe, increased commercial activity at a time when PSNC was unable to compete. The farsightedness of the directors in joining PSNC with Royal Mail in 1910 was the company’s salvation.
After the Panama was opened two ships, the Acajutla and the Salvador, were purchased from the Salvador Railway Company to operate a feeder service to Panama. In the same year the Panama (3) was requisitioned as a hospital ship. During the First World War eight ships were lost and in 1918 the Orca was completed as a cargo carrier, operated by PSNC, but after she returned to her builder for refitting as a passenger ship she emerged in the Royal Mail livery. The Ballena and the Bogota (3), wartime standard ships, joined the fleet in 1919 as war loss replacements together with three smaller vessels the Arana, the Almagro and the Alvarado. In 1920 the former German ship Alda was allocated to PSNC and renamed Magellan (3) but the Panama (3) was retained by the Admiralty as a permanent hospital ship and never returned to company ownership.

Also in 1920 the first post war custom built ship for PSNC, the La Paz, joined the fleet and Thomas Rome retired as Chairman being replaced by Sir Owen Philipps, (later Lord Kylsant). The company opened services between New York – Valparaiso and New York – Cartagena – Callao but with concerted American competition the new routes were not successful.

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In 1921two further post war buildings joined the fleet and plans to gradually dispose of the older ships was instituted. Contributing factors to the company’s plans were the effect on the opening of the Panama canal on the Straits of Magellan route and the fact that Valparaiso had become the terminal port rather than the first port of call. The Corcovado (2) was scrapped and the Orduna (2), the Orbita (1) and the Orpesa (2) were transferred to Royal Mail for their new North Atlantic service.
On 4th January 1922 the ninth extension to the company’s Royal Charter was granted but this time in perpetuity for as long as ‘the company shall think fit’. The only condition imposed was that the company’s name and its Liverpool head office should remain. Later in 1922 the company received a symbolic ‘kick in the teeth’ when Chile passed its ‘Cabotaje’ Law. Cabotage is a term which refers to routes operated totally within a nation’s coastline and which are therefore outside the International regulations. Special advantages are given to local shipowners; advantages which are denied to foreign flagged vessels. PSNC were badly hit by the new law which denied them the services that the company was originally formed to provide. The coastal cargo and passenger services had always been the mainstay of the business especially when competition from European shipowners increased and the opening of the Panama canal dramatically changed the emphasis of trade to Chile and Peru.

PSNC’s South American based coastal passenger services came to an end in 1923 when the Inca (2), the Chile (2), the Peru (3), the Guatemala, the Victoria and the Quillota were all sold. Some of them were sold to local operators and continued to operate the coastal routes for some time. The company, however, continued to provide a service in the area with their passenger liners, having transited the Panama Canal, calling at the ports. In 1924 the Oroya (3) joined the passenger fleet and three ex-Glen Line motorships were acquired being renamed Lagarto, Loreto and Loriga. In the same year the European, South Pacific and Magellan Conference, which had lapsed during WW1, was reintroduced in order to stabilise freight and passenger rates. Between 1925 and 1929 the disposal programme continued with seven ships being sold.

In 1931, although the effect of the depression was beginning to be felt, the company built their largest ship at that time, the Reina del Pacifico. Operating on the Valparaiso route she reduced the passage time by 18 days to 60 and, to support her, the Oropesa (2) was refurbished and had her speed increased to match but, because of the economic situation, spent a lot of time between 1931 – 1934 laid up. The depression hit PSNC hard. Ships were laid up and the Board advocated the disposal of the surplus tonnage.

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While all this was going on Royal Mail themselves were in serious trouble as the shipping empire of Lord Kylsant collapsed. Kylsant himself spent a term in prison for making false statements in a financial prospectus aimed at raising additional capital for the group. Fortunately for PSNC a special Act of Parliament was enacted enabling the company to continue operating under the control of its creditors which included Martins Bank. A number of creditors were appointed to the Board and continued in that capacity until the company was safely out of trouble.
During 1932 and 1933 the fleet slim down continued during which time eight ships were either sold or scrapped. In 1934 the New York services were discontinued and a further three ships were sold for continued service elsewhere. Passenger trade to Cuba was seriously affected as a consequence of the Spanish Civil War in 1936 and in the following year the Falkland Islands Company cancelled its contract with PSNC and began operating its own supply vessels.

In 1938 financial stability had been restored and Royal Mail acquired the shares of PSNC once again. The two companies continued as separate entities but the directors of both served on one Board. By 1939 the fleet had been reduced to fourteen ships and plans were made to replace the older vessels but the Second World War commenced before a single keel was laid. During the entire period of the war PSNC were fortunate in only losing two ships and in 1943 saw the delivery of the first two replacement ships, the Samanco and the Sarmiento (2). Also in 1943 the company acquired a shareholding in British South American Airways but had to relinquish the investment when the British Government formed the British Overseas Airways Corporation.

After the war, in 1946, the Santander and the Salaverry joined the fleet but the feeder ships Acajutla and Salvador were sold when the transit service through the Panama canal ceased. During the post war years the company continued with its programme of replacement and renewal

In 1952 the design of the house flag was amended when the Royal Crown replaced the St. Edwards Crown, reverting back to the original design.

In 1937 the Furness Withy Group had acquired a substantial shareholding in Royal Mail and in 1955 two of their ships, the Albemarle and the Walsingham, were transferred to PSNC management for a two year period operating a Bermuda to Panama service. The Reina del Mar replaced the Reina del Pacifico in 1955 and the fleet then comprised 13 ships.
The fleet expanded in 1959 when three small cargo motor ships joined the fleet to replace the Albemarle and Walsingham, who had returned to Furness Withy, on the Bermuda – Caribbean ports – Panama service. In the same year H. Leslie Bowes was appointed Chairman of PSNC and in 1960 became Chairman of Royal Mail. Also in 1960 the company acquired its first oil tanker which was named after the founder, William Wheelwright. The acquisition was purely an investment and the ship was placed on a long term charter to Shell.

In 1961 a second oil tanker was similarly acquired as an investment. Named after the company’s first captain, George Peacock, she was chartered to British Petroleum on a long term basis. Another trading area was denied to PSNC in 1961 when Fidel Castro became the President of Cuba.

The Board undertook a lengthy appraisal of passenger ship operations during 1963 and concluded that they were no longer a viable proposition. Consequently, the Reina del Mar was chartered to the Travel Savings Association, in which the company had a 25% share, for cruising operations. The company also decided that they longer wished to employ passenger ship staff and the management of the ship was handed over to Union-Castle, a partner in the TSA, who had the necessary skills and infrastructure. Union-Castle eventually purchased the ship in 1973.

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In 1965 Furness Withy, who already held a substantial shareholding in Royal Mail, made an offer to purchase the remaining equity. Accepted in the June of that year Royal Mail and its subsidiary PSNC were integrated into the Furness Withy Group who began an appraisal of the group’s overall tonnage. A policy of inter-group switching was adopted together with the disposal of older, less efficient ships. PSNC, because of the heavy competition to the west coast of South America and unsettled commercial and political conditions in that area, was a prime candidate for this treatment.
During 1967-8 the remaining five “S” Class vessels were disposed of but three Shaw, Saville & Albion motorships came under PSNC management to replace them. Painted in the PSNC livery they were given the traditional names Orita (2), Oropesa (2) and Oroya (4).

John Gawne, an employee of PSNC since 1934, became Chairman in 1970 and further inter-company changes took place. Ships continued to be transferred between companies and ,as technology evolved, new vessels were acquired which could do the work of several of the older types. The new self unloaders, high capacity and faster ships, the Orbita (2), the Orduna (2) and the Ortega (2) joined the fleet in 1973. With some vessels chartered from Furness Withy they maintained a three weekly service from South Huskisson Dock at Liverpool.

By the beginning of 1980 the PSNC fleet was comprised of only five ships, the two years old Oropesa and Oroya together with the seven years old Orbita (2),) the Orduna (2) and the Ortega (2). Lloyds Registered identified the ships as being owned by subsidiary companies of PSNC. In the April Compania Sud Americana de Vapores purchased the Orbita and renamed her Andalien. The Ortega was renamed Andes by PSNC and the two ships operated in tandem each chartering space from the other to maximise cargo efficiency.

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Containerisation was rapidly expanding and eliminating the need for conventional cargo carriers. By 1983 PSNC was only operating three ships, the Oroya (5), the Oropesa (4) and the Andes (2) and in the following year circumstances dictated that the independent name Pacific Steam Navigation Company should finally disappear into Furness Withy Shipping. In 1984 a full container ship, the Andes (3), joined the seven member Europe South America Line (Eurosal) consortium. Feasibility studies had shown that seven faster, larger and specialised ships could replace the twenty eight members ships operating the route.
Later in 1984 Wheelwright House in Liverpool was closed with the management operations being integrated with Furness Withy’s in Manchester. By 1985 the only visible remains of the former PSNC were the Oroya (5) and the Andes (3) who were operating within the Furness Shipping Group with traditional names.

Another great shipping name which figured so prominently in the development and history of the South American continent had finally faded into obscurity – but, hopefully, not forgotten.

At the time when the Pacific Steam Navigation Company ceased to exist in 1985 the British Merchant Navy was reduced to 920 ship of which only 689 were over 500grt. This represented a mere 3% of the world tonnage whereas in 1900 it comprised 48%.

The history of PSNC and its’ ships has been extracted from
Merchant Fleets 8: Pacific Steam Navigation Co. by Duncan Haws
to whom we extend our grateful thanks.
Available from TCL PUBLICATIONS

PSNC

ELIZABETH was a 445 ton sailing ship built at Bristol in 1832 for Miles & Co. She was acquired by PSNC in January 1840 to transport coal to Valparaiso where she was to be converted into a coal hulk. However, the crew deemed here unseaworthy for a voyage round Cape Horn and she was subsequently sold in the February.

PORTSEA was a 451 ton sailing barque built at Calcutta in 1808 for the London – Calcutta trade. She was acquired by PSNC in February 1840 as a replacement for the Elizabeth. After completing the voyage to Valparaiso she had her topmasts and yards removed and was used as a coal hulk. Her subsequent disposal is not recorded.

CECILIA was a 325 ton sailing barque built at Dunbar in 1815 for Alexander & Co. of Glasgow for their Clyde – Australia service. She was acquired by PSNC in 1841 for a voyage to Valparaiso where her topmasts and yards were removed prior to being used as a coal hulk. Her subsequent disposal is not recorded.

JASPER, of which no details are known, sailed to Valparaiso with a cargo of coal and was converted into a coal hulk at one of the South American stations. Details of her disposal are not known.

CHILE (1) was built in 1840 by Curling & Young at Limehouse, London with a tonnage of 682grt, a length of 198ft, a beam of 29ft and a service speed of 8 knots. Launched on 18th April 1840 at a cost of £11935 she was a paddle steamer with sails on two masts. The funnel was hinged so that when she was under sail only it could be stowed in the horizontal position on chocks. She had accommodation for 116 passengers and 64 crew members. Under the command of Capt. Glover she commenced her maiden voyage on 24th June 1840 from Gravesend to Valparaiso via Falmouth, Rio de Janeiro, and the Straits of Magellan. When she arrived at Point Famine she rendezvoused with her sister, the Peru, so that they could sail into Valparaiso at the same time on 16th October. In 1841 she struck a reef and had to return to Valparaiso in a sinking condition where she was repaired and returned to service with the funnel forward of the paddle boxes. She was replaced by the Santiago in 1852 and sold to the Chilean Government. Her subsequent history is unknown.

PERU (1) was built in 1840 by Curling & Young at Limehouse, London with a tonnage of 690grt, a length of 198ft, a beam of 29ft and a service speed of 8 knots. Sister of the Chile she commenced her maiden voyage under the command of Capt. George Peacock on 10th July 1840 from Gravesend to Valparaiso via Falmouth and the Straits of Magellan. She then made the first coastal sailing between Valparaiso and Callao which took eight days. She was due to be sold in 1852 after being replaced by the Lima but before that could happen she stranded and was lost.

BOLIVIA (1) was built in 1849 by Robert Napier at Govan, Glasgow with a tonnage of 773grt, a length of 197ft 6in, a beam of 26ft and a service speed of 8 knots. Similar to the Chile she commenced her maiden voyage under command of Capt. Brown on 23rd October 1849 from Liverpool to Valparaiso via Madeira and Rio de Janeiro. On arrival she was deployed on the Valparaiso – Antofagasta – Callao service. She was reduced to a coal hulk at Valparaiso in 1870 and nine years later was towed out to sea and scuttled.

ECUADOR (1) was built in 1845 by Tod & MacGregor at Glasgow with a tonnage of 323grt, a length of 120ft 8in, a beam of 21ft 6in and a service speed of 8 knots. A simple side wheel paddle steamer she was the company’s first iron hulled ship and commenced her maiden voyage in January 1846 under the command of Capt. N. Glover from Liverpool to Callao via Valparaiso. She was then deployed on the Callao – Guayaquil – Panama coastal service which linked with Royal Mail’s Panama overland route. In 1850 she was deemed too small for the service and was sold to Pacific Mail Steamship Corp. of America. After three further years service she was wrecked at Coquimbo.

NEW GRANADA (1) was built in 1846 by Smith & Rodgers at Glasgow with a tonnage of 694grt, a length of 177ft 5in, a beam of 24ft 7in and a service speed of 8 knots. A schooner rigged side wheel paddle steamer she commenced her maiden voyage in August 1846 under the command of Capt. John Williams from Liverpool to Callao via Madeira, Rio de Janeiro and Valparaiso. She was placed with the Ecuador on the Callao – Guayaquil – Panama service. She was disposed of in 1850 but details of the sale and subsequent history are not recorded. As a point of interest, New Granada was the former name of the Republic of Colombia.

SANTIAGO (1) was built in 1851 by Robert Napier at Govan, Glasgow with a tonnage of 961grt, a length of 246ft 4in, a beam of 28ft and a service speed of 10 knots. The first of four paddle steamers, which together cost £140,000, were built to replace the Chile, the Peru, the Ecuador and the New Granada. She was delivered for the Liverpool – Valparaiso service under the command of Captain Hind. In 1857 she was sold to the Peruvian Government and converted, initially, into a frigate and then a non-seagoing training ship.

LIMA (1) was built in 1851 by Robert Napier at Govan, Glasgow with a tonnage of 1461grt, a length of 249ft 6in, a beam of 29ft 2in and a service speed of 10 knots. She commenced her maiden voyage on 2nd October 1851 and completed the voyage from Liverpool to Valparaiso at an average speed of 9.75 knots consuming 2 tons of coal per hour. In 1852 she was fired upon by shore batteries when she called to deliver the mails at Guayaquil. She was the company’s first ship to return to Liverpool in 1854 where she was lengthened and a compound engine installed. This gave her a new speed of 10.5 knots on 1 ton of coal per hour. On 11th July 1863 she was wrecked off Lagartija Island in Southern Chile.
QUITO (1) was built in 1852 by Robert Napier at Govan, Glasgow with a tonnage of 1461grt, a length of 248ft 8in, a beam of 28ft and a service speed of 10 knots. a slightly larger sister of the Santiago she commenced her maiden voyage from Liverpool to Valparaiso on 25th January 1852. In August of the following year during a voyage from Panama to Valparaiso she was lost on a reef 12 miles from Huasco..

BOGOTA (1) was built in 1852 by Robert Napier at Govan, Glasgow with a tonnage of 1461grt, a length of 248ft 8in, a beam of 28ft and a service speed of 10 knots. The last of the quartet she commenced her maiden voyage on 25th February 1852 from Liverpool to Valparaiso and in 1856 returned to Liverpool where she was equipped with a compound engine. In 1871 she struck a reef off Tarada Point but was salvaged and reduced to a coal hulk. Seven years later, in 1878, she was towed out to sea and scuttled.

LA PERLITA was built in 1853 by Bank Quay Foundry Co. at Warrington with a tonnage of 140grt, a length of 106ft, a beam of 17ft 5in and a service speed of 9 knots. A simple side wheel paddle steamer she was built for the Buenaventura (Colombia – Panama service but on 17th June she left Liverpool on her delivery voyage under the command of Capt. Maughan and disappeared without trace. The journey, via the Straits of Magellan, was over 11,000 miles and an incredible undertaking for a vessel so small.

OSPREY was built in 1852 at Glasgow with a tonnage of 609grt, a length of 169ft 7in, a beam of 18ft 6in and a service speed of 9 knots. A simple side wheel paddle steamer she was built as the Osprey for the City of Cork Steam Ship Co. She was acquired in the following year for the Callao – Pisco – Huacho service but was lost during the voyage out to Peru.

VALDIVIA (1) was built in 1853 by Caird & Co. at Cartsdyke, Greenock with a tonnage of 573grt, a length of 128ft 6in, a beam of 21ft 2in and a service speed of 9 knots. She was the company’s first screw propelled ship and the only one with a wooden hull. The intention was to use her as a coastal feeder ship but she proved to be too small. She completed her delivery voyage from Liverpool to Valparaiso in 1853 and four years later she stranded and was lost near Valparaiso.

PANAMA (1) was built in 1854 by John Reid & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 270grt, a length of 128ft 6in, a beam of 21ft 2in and a service speed of 9 knots. Iron hulled, she was built as a replacement for the La Perlita but after commencing her maiden voyage from Liverpool in April 1854 she struck a rock and sank near Point Tamar.

INCA (1) was built in 1856 by Caird & Co. at Cartsdyke, Greenock with a tonnage of 290grt, a length of 130ft 8in, a beam of 20ft 9in and a service speed of 9 knots. Sister of the Valdivia she was , with the Valparaiso, the first ship to be fitted with the compound inverted engine. In 1852 John Elder went into partnership with Charles Randolph as Randolph & Elder. On 24th January 1853 they secured the patent for the vertical direct acting compound engine. A high pressure cylinder and a low pressure cylinder moved in opposite directions to drive two diametrically opposed crankshafts. The compound engine reduced coal consumption by 30% and the first ship to be fitted with such an engine was the Brandon. On 15th March 1856 Randolf & Elder took out a patent for an improved compound engine in the form of a “V” which saved space and which was described as compound inverted. In 1858 the two partners acquired the old yard of James Napier & Hoey and added shipbuilding to their activities. Charles Randolf retired in 1868 and the company became John Elder & Co., a name which, in 1885, was changed to Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. Ltd. The Inca was delivered in 1856 for deployment on the Callao to Chala mail service. She was sold in 1874, renamed Union and later in the same year was wrecked at Puerto Bueno in Chile.

VALPARAISO (1) was built in 1856 by Randolph & Elder at Glasgow with a tonnage of 1060grt, a length of 234ft 1in, a beam of 29ft 1in and a service speed of 13 knots. On completion she sailed from Liverpool to Valparaiso where she was deployed on the Valparaiso – Chileo service with nine ports of call. On 20th February 1871 she was wrecked on Lagartiga Island, Chile during a voyage from Calbuco to Ancud. Although known about locally the wreck wasn’t identified and some relics removed until 1976.

CALLAO (1) was built in 1858 by John Reid & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 700grt, a length of 235ft, a beam of 29ft and a service speed of 13 knots. Similar to the Valparaiso she was built for the Valparaiso – Pacific ports – Panama service and remained there until she was converted into a coal hulk at Valparaiso.

CLODA was built in 1857 at Glasgow with a tonnage of 699grt, a length of 214ft 5in, a beam of 30ft 5in and a service speed of 9 knots. She was built for an Irish company, supposedly by Randolph & Elder although, at the time, all newbuildings were compounded at John Elder’s yard. Purchased by PSNC in 1858 for the South American Pacific Coast services she remained with the company until 25th January 1865 when she was lost off Huacho in Peru without any loss of life.

PRINCE OF WALES was built in 1854 by W Simons & Co. at Whiteinch with a tonnage of 700grt, a length of 195ft 5in, a beam of 26ft 4in and a service speed of 10 knots. She was built as the Prince of Wales with a funnel, red with a black top, whose rake great than that of the masts, but not acquired by PSNC until 1858 to replace the Valdivia. In the following year she was wrecked on the coast of Chile.

ANNE was built in 1854 by Chas Rennoldson at South Shields with a tonnage of 344grt, a length of 153ft 4in, a beam of 22ft and a service speed of 9 knots. She was built for the South American Mining Co. of London for trading between Valparaiso and Puerto Montt. Acquired by PSNC in 1859 to replace the Prince of Wales she was deemed too small and sold in 1864. Her career thereafter is unknown.
SAN CARLOS was built in 1860 at Renfrew with a tonnage of 652grt, a length of 199ft 9in, a beam of 30ft 2in and a service speed of 9 knots. She was built for the Callao – Guayaquil – Panama service and sold in 1874 to unspecified buyers.

GUAYAQUIL was built in 1860 at Renfrew with a tonnage of 661grt, a length of 208ft 8in, a beam of 30ft 2in and a service speed of 9 knots. Sister of the San Carlos she was built for the Callao – Guayaquil – Panama service where she remained until 1870 when she was sold locally for use on a Callao – Galapagos Island service. She was broken up at Callao in 1880.

MORRO (1) was built in 1860 at Glasgow with a tonnage of 132grt, a length of 119ft 7in, and a beam of 20ft 1in. A simple side wheel paddle steamer she was the company’s first ship to be built with a steel hull as a passenger tender based at Panama. She was replaced by the Morro (2) in 1881 and her subsequent career is unknown.

PERUANO was built in 1860 at New York with a tonnage of 639grt, a length of 181ft 6in, and a beam of 29ft 6in. A side wheel paddle steamer she was based at Guayaquil until she was sold in 1874 to Schuber & Co. of Guayaquil. Ten years later her engine was removed and she was converted into a hulk and was possibly used as a warehouse and office.

PERU (2) was built in 1861 by John Reid & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 1307grt, a length of 260ft 5in, a beam of 32ft 1in and a service speed of 10 knots. A side wheel paddle steamer she commenced her maiden voyage on 1st January 1862 from Liverpool to Valparaiso, where she was based, via St. Vincent in the West Indies and Rio de Janeiro. As the American Civil War was in progress she carried three cannon manned by Royal Naval gun crews. Converted to a hulk in 1881 she was supposedly wrecked near Layerto in 1863 but remained in Lloyds Register until 1879/80.

CHILE (2) was built in 1863 by Randolph & Elder at Glasgow with a tonnage of 1672grt, a length of 274ft 10in, a beam of 36ft 1in and a service speed of 10 knots. Built to a similar specification as the Peru at a cost pf £53,650 she was delivered to Valparaiso. In 1878 she was sold to the Chilean Government without a change of name and was removed from the registry in 1883.

TALCA (1) was built in 1862 by Randolph & Elder at Glasgow with a tonnage of 708grt, a length of 194ft 1in, a beam of 30ft 1in and a service speed of 10 knots. A side wheel paddle steamer she was the first PSNC ship to be built with a straight stem as opposed to the clipper bow and entered service on the Chilean coast. In 1865, whilst under the command of Capt. George Chambers, she was requisitioned by President Moreno of Ecuador to quell a local rebellion. When the Talca arrived on the scene flying several battle ensigns the rebels fled and the ship continued on her voyage as if nothing had happened. Her engines were removed in 1874 prior to being converted into a hulk and in 1880 she was taken out to sea and scuttled.

QUITO (2) was built in 1863 by Randolph & Elder at Glasgow with a tonnage of 1388grt, a length of 271ft, a beam of 32ft 10in and a service speed of 13.5 knots. A side wheel paddle steamer she was designed by Thomas Smith and built at a cost of £48,750. She was the first of several classes of ship built for the coastal passenger trade and carried deck and cabin passengers as well as deck cargo which could include cattle. Because of a bowsprit and in order to make a hasty departure should the fierce westerly winds threaten, they tended to berth stern first at most ports. She commenced her maiden voyage from Liverpool to Valparaiso on 27th January 1864 and was sold in the following year. Her subsequent career is not recorded.

PAYTA was built in 1864 by Randolph & Elder at Glasgow with a tonnage of 1344grt, a length of 263ft 8in, a beam of 38ft 5in and a service speed of 13.5 knots. Sister of the Quito she entered service on the Pacific coast of South America in 1864 and was sold to the Chilean Government in 1878.

ECUADOR (2) was built in Glasgow during 1864 with a tonnage of 500grt and propelled with a single screw. No other career details are available except that she was lost in 1870.

PACIFIC was built in 1865 by Randolph & Elder at Glasgow with a tonnage of 1631grt, a length of 267ft 5in, a beam of 40ft 2in and a service speed of 10 knots. Launched on 28th January 1865 she was delivered in the April and sailed to South America where she operated on the Pacific coast routes. The first of a class of four ships she was , with her sisters, placed temporarily on the Trans – South Atlantic in 1868 and became the only compound engined paddle steamers to be deployed on a transatlantic service. On 13th May 1868 she inaugurated the South America to UK service from Valparaison to Liverpool with calls at Sandy Point (Argentina), Montevideo, Re de Janeiro, St Vincent, Lisbon and St Nazaire. On the first departure under the command of Captain George Conlan she carried 170 passengers and gold and bullion valued at £65,000. The passage time was 43 days. She was eventually hulked in 1880.

SANTIAGO (2) was built in 1865 by Randolph & Elder at Glasgow with a tonnage of 1619grt, a length of 267ft 5in, a beam of 40ft 2in and a service speed of 10 knots. Sister of the Pacific she was launched on 27th May 1865 for service on the South American Pacific coast service. On 13th January 1869 she sailed from Valparaiso with 172 passengers and eight days later entered the Straits of Magellan and anchored off Mercy Harbour to await better weather conditions. On 23rd January she weighed anchor and after sailing for some 2.5 miles was wrecked on an uncharted rock with the loss of 2 seamen and a child.

LIMENA was built in 1865 by Randolph & Elder at Glasgow with a tonnage of 1622grt, a length of 267ft 5in, a beam of 40ft 2in and a service speed of 10 knots. Sister of the Pacific she was built at a cost of £59,000 for the Pacific coast of South America service. In 1868 she was transferred to the Valparaiso to Liverpool service and in 1880 was converted to a hulk at Callao.

PANAMA (2) was built in 1866 by Randolph & Elder at Glasgow with a tonnage of 1642grt, a length of 267ft 5in, a beam of 40ft 2in and a service speed of 10 knots. The last of the quartet, she was delivered for the Pacific coast service in 1866. Two years later she was transferred temporarily to the Valparaiso – Liverpool route to supplement the Pacific. In 1869 she was replaced by the Magellan class of vessel and was converted into a hulk in 1870.

FAVORITA was built in 1865 in New York with a tonnage of 837grt, a length of 197ft 1in, a beam of 30ft 4in and a service speed of 9 knots. Built as a U. S. style riverboat for calm coastal water work she was PSNC’s last wooden ship. In February 1871 she caught fire and was gutted in Callao Bay.

COLON was built in 1861 by Randolph & Elder at Glasgow with a tonnage of 1995grt, a length of 286ft 1in, a beam of 39ft and a service speed of 8 knots. Built in 1861 she was not acquired by PSNC until 1866 to replace the lost Cloda. She was sold in 1872 at Valparaiso and her subsequent career is unknown.

ARICA (1) was built in 1867 by Randolph & Elder at Glasgow with a tonnage of 740grt, a length of 204ft, a beam of 30ft and a service speed of 10 knots. She was built for the South coast of South America service. On 13th January 1869 during a voyage from Lambayeque to Callao she stranded off Pacsmayo Point in Peru whilst entering port because the lighthouse was not operating.

QUITO (3) was built in 1867 by Randolph & Elder at Glasgow with a tonnage of 743grt, a length of 204ft, a beam of 30ft and a service speed of 10 knots. Sister of the Arica she operated a similar service. In 1882 she was converted into a coal hulk at Arica.

SUPE was built in 1867 by Randolph & Elder at Glasgow with a tonnage of 298grt, a length of 145ft 7in, and a beam of 25ft 1in. Costing £7,500 she entered service in 1867 as, in PSNC’s terminology, a ‘pig launch’. She was sold in 1882 at Puerto Montt and her subsequent career is unrecorded.

ATLAS was built in 1867 at Paisley in Scotland with a tonnage of 56grt, a length of 70ft 2in, a beam of 17ft 4in and a service speed of 9 knots. Built as a tug for service at Valparaiso she was towed there by the Supe. In 1890 she ran ashore and became a derelict.

CALDERA was built in 1868 by Wm. Denny & Bros. at Dumbarton with a tonnage of 1741grt, a length of 282ft 2in, a beam of 34ft 4in and a service speed of 10 knots. She was launched on 28th June 1868 as the Assam as a speculative build for P & O who did not want her and remained at the yard until 1870 when Denny’s undertook their first compound conversion which increased her speed to 11 knots. Purchased by PSNC for £37,000 in August 1870 she was not a success and was subsequently sold to J. Laird Jrn. in 1876. She was lengthened to 333ft 6in, given a straight stem and had new compound engines installed. In 1879 she was sold to Compagnie Général Transatlantique without a change of name and deployed on their Marseilles to New York service. She was sold to F. Stumore & Co. of London in 1886 and in May 1887 was abandoned at sea off Suakin, Sudan.

MAGELLAN (1) was built in 1868 by Randolph & Elder at Glasgow with a tonnage of 2856grt, a length of 359ft 7in, a beam of 41ft and a service speed of 13.5 knots. The first of four ships costing £74,550 each she was launched on 30th December 1868 and commenced her maiden voyage on 13th March 1869. Under the command of Capt. C. H. Sivell she commenced the monthly advertised service from Liverpool to Valparaiso. On 29th March 1870 the sailings were increased to twice monthly at a service speed of 12 knots. She continued in service until 1893 when she was broken up in the River Thames.

PATAGONIA was built in 1869 by John Elder & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 2866grt, a length of 353ft, a beam of 41ft and a service speed of 13.5 knots. Sister of the Magellan she commenced her maiden voyage from Liverpool to Valparaiso on 13th May 1869. In March 1877 she was transferred to the River Plate service and on 4th May 1880 was chartered to the White Star Line for one voyage between Liverpool and New York. On 1st October 1895, during a voyage from Liverpool to Valparaiso, she grounded 7 miles north of Tomé at Lingueral without any loss of life.

ARAUCANIA was built in 1869 by John Elder & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 2877grt, a length of 354ft 8in, a beam of 41ft and a service speed of 13.5 knots. Sister of the Magellan she commenced her maiden voyage on 13th July 1896 from Liverpool to Valparaiso. She was transferred to the River Plate service in July 1877 and remained for a further twenty years before being sold to Macbeth & Gray of Liverpool in 1897 and her subsequent career is unrecorded.

CORDILLERA was built in 186 by John Elder & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 2860grt, a length of 353ft 2in, a beam of 41ft and a service speed of 13.5 knots. Sister of the Magellan she was launched on 26th June 1869 and commenced her maiden voyage to Valparaiso on 13th August. She was transferred to the River Plate service in August 1877. On 20th September 1882 she was lost in the Straits of Magellan.

JOHN ELDER was built in 1869 by John Elder & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 3832grt, a length of 381ft 10in, a beam of 41ft 7in and a service speed of 12.5 knots. She was launched on 29th August 1869 with her intended name, Sarmiento, but as John Elder died before completion, the name was changed as a tribute to the man invented the compound engine; an engine which revolutionised maritime transportation. She was PSNC’s largest vessel at the time and the first of 11 similar ships. Comparing favourably with the transatlantic liners of the day she was well advanced of other ships but under-powered. On 2nd February 1872,after completing four round voyages, she returned to the shipyard where she was rebuilt at a cost of £17,000. Her length was increased to 406ft 5in and new boilers and a second funnel were installed. In 1877 she was placed on the joint Orient – PSNC service to Australia and after the mizzen mast was removed commenced her first sailing on 19th April 1877 from Adelaide to Liverpool via the Suez Canal. She reverted to the Liverpool to Valparaiso service on 3rd November 1886. On 17th January 1892 during a voyage from Valparaiso to Talcuhuanco with 139 passenger she stranded on Cape Carranza Rocks in fog without any loss of life.

ATACAMA was built in 1870 by John Elder & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 1821grt, a length of 290ft, a beam of 38ft 2in and a service speed of 11 knots. One of a class of four ships she was built for the Chilean coastal service and was wrecked in 1877.

COQUIMBO was built in 1871 by John Elder & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 1821grt, a length of 290ft 7in, a beam of 38ft 2in and a service speed of 11 knots. Sister of the Atacama she was built for the South American coastal service at a cost of £42,495 and launched 7th December 1869. After twenty one years service she was hulked in 1901.

VALDIVIA (2) was built in 1870 by John Elder & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 1821grt, a length of 287ft, a beam of 38ft 2in and a service speed of 11 knots. Sister of the Atacama she was built for the South American Pacific coastal services. In 1882 she was wrecked off Huacho with the loss of 1 life.

ETEN was built in 1871 by Laird Bros. at Birkenhead with a tonnage of 1853grt, a length of 292ft, a beam of 38ft 2in and a service speed of 11 knots. Sister of the Atacama she was built for the South American Pacific coastal services. In 1877 she was wrecked of Ventura Point with the loss of 120 lives. The cause of the accident was put down to a change of current following an earthquake.

AREQUIPA (1) was built in 1870 by John Elder & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 1065grt, a length of 231ft 9in, a beam of 35ft 2in and a service speed of 11 knots. A side wheel paddle steamer she was ordered as the Casma and built for the South American services at a cost of £38,750. She was hulked in 1883 and sold in 1887.

HUACHO was built in 1870 by Thos. Royden & Sons at Liverpool with a tonnage of 329grt, a length of 149ft 5in, a beam of 25ft 6in and a service speed of 9 knots. One of a pair she was built for the Callao – Arica – Iquique service on the Peruvian coast. In 1882 she was sold to the Governor of Ecuador and in 1894 the registers showed her as being owned by M. J. Kelly of Guayaquil. She was finally deleted from the Register in 1914.

IQUIQUE was built in 1871 by Thos. Royden & Sons at Liverpool with a tonnage of 323grt, a length of 149ft 5in, a beam of 25ft 6in and a service speed of 9 knots. Sister of the Huacho and costing £9,350 she was built for the Peruvian coastal service and based at Callao. She was wrecked in 1877.

CHIMBORAZO was built in 1871 by John Elder & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 3847grt, a length of 384ft, a beam of 41ft 4in and a service speed of 13 knots. At a cost of £91,010 she was built for the Liverpool to Valparaiso service, was launched on 21st June 1871 and commenced her maiden voyage on the following 13th October. This class of ship undertook the voyage to Callao in 56.5 days calling at nine ports. Steaming time was 40.5 days at an average speed of 11.4 knots with a coal consumption of 47 tons per day. In 1877 she was chartered to Anderson & Anderson for the Orient – Pacific service and in the following year was purchased by the Orient Steam Navigation Co. without a change of name. On 12th May 1887 she commenced her final voyage from London to Sydney via the Suez Canal and in 1889 was cruising to the Norwegian Fjords. She was sold to P. J. Pitcher of Liverpool in 1894 and renamed Cleopatra for use a a cruise ship by the Polytechnic Touring Association. By 1895 she was owned by the Ocean Cruising & Yachting Co. of London and was broken up at Preston, Lancashire in 1897.

CUZCO (1) was built in 1871 by John Elder & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 3898grt, a length of 384ft, a beam of 41ft 4in and a service speed of 13 knots. Sister of the Chimborazo she cost £90,990 and was built for the Liverpool to Valparaiso service commencing her maiden voyage on 13th January 1872. In 1877 she was chartered to Anderson & Anderson for the Orient – Pacific Line and commenced her first voyage from London to Sydney via the Suez Canal on 29th September. The passage time to Adelaide took 40 days 12 hours which was a record. In the following year she was sold to the Orient Steam Navigation Co. without a change of name. In 1888 she was fitted with a triple expansion engine by her builder who had now become the Fairfield Ship Building Co. She was broken up at Genoa in 1905.

GARONNE was built in 1871 by John Elder & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 3871grt, a length of 382ft 1in, a beam of 41ft 4in and a service speed of 13 knots. Sister of the Chimborazo she commenced her maiden voyage on the Liverpool to Valparaiso on 29th June 1871. In June 1877 she was sold to the Orient Pacific Line for service to Australia via the Cape and commenced her first sailing to Australia on 17th April 1878. On 6th July 1889 she made her last voyage to Australia before operating as a cruise ship. She was sold to F. Waterhouse of Seattle in 1897 for use during Alaska gold rush and two years later was used by the U. S. Government for trooping during the Spanish – American war. In 1905 she was broken up at Genoa.

LUSITANIA was built in 1871 by Laird Bros. at Birkenhead with a tonnage of 3825grt, a length of 384ft, a beam of 41ft 4in and a service speed of 13 knots. Sister of the Chimborazo she was built at a cost of £91,852 and commenced her maiden voyage to Valparaiso on 29th September 1871. A few hours into her return voyage she shed three of her four propeller blades. There wasn’t a dock big enough to take her at Valparaiso and it wasn’t feasible to beach the ship for repairs. Consequently a wooden caisson 24ft x 26ft was built around the stern and when pumped dry the spare propeller was fitted. In February 1877 she was chartered to Orient Line for the Australia service and on 28th June was sold to the Orient Pacific Line. She completed her first voyage from Plymouth to Melbourne via the Cape of Good Hope in 40 days 6 hours at an average speed of 13 knots beating the previous record by 10 days. He return voyage through the Suez Canal took 41 days. In 1878 she came under the ownership of Orient Line and in 1886 was fitted with a triple expansion engine. On 31st March 1900 she was acquired by Elder Dempster’s Beaver Line for their Liverpool – Halifax – St John (New Brunswick) service. In July of the same year she returned to PSNC for six months before returning to Elder Dempster in February 1901 and chartered to Allan Line. On 26th June 1901 she was wrecked on Cape Race during the charter which was only for the summer months.

ACONGAGUA was built in 1872 by John Elder & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 4105grt, a length of 404ft 9in, a beam of 41ft 5in and a service speed of 13 knots. Sister of the Chimborazo she was lengthened during construction at a cost of £5,685. Costing £90,970 she was virtually a single funnelled version of the rebuilt John Elder and commenced her maiden voyage to Valparaiso on 28th September 1872. In 1878 she was used by the Orient-Pacific Line as a standby vessel and made her first sailing to Australia via the Cape in 1880. On 24th October 1883 she returned to the Liverpool – Valparaiso service where she remained until 1895 when she was sold to Verdeau et Cie of Bordeaux and renamed Egypte for their Levant routes. She was scrapped in 1896.

SANTIAGO (3) was built in 1871 by John Elder & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 1451grt, a length of 251ft 7in, a beam of 35ft 6in and a service speed of 11 knots. A side wheel paddle steamer she was built at a cost of £44,000 for the west coast of South America services. She was sold in 1882 and her subsequent career is unknown.

TABOGUILLA was built in 1871 by Bowdler Chaffer & Co. at Liverpool with a tonnage of 154grt, a length of 115ft 4in, a beam of 21ft 1in and a service speed of 9 knots. She was built as a tender based at Callao and was disposed of in 1893.

SORATA (1) was built in 1872 by John Elder & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 4014grt, a length of 401ft 4in, a beam of 42ft 9in and a service speed of 12.5 knots. At a cost of £106,725 she was launched three months late on 2nd October 1872 and on 8th January 1872 commenced her maiden voyage, inaugurating the weekly Liverpool – Bordeaux – Vigo – Lisbon – Rio de Janeiro Sandy Point – Valparaiso – Callao service. She was transferred to Orient Line management in 1879 and on 13th February 1880 made her first voyage for them from London to Australia via Cape Town. After completing her last voyage for Orient Line on 29th April 1886 she reverted back to PSNC and sailed on the Liverpool – Valparaiso service on 22nd September 1886. She was broken up at Tranmere in Cheshire during 1895.

PSNC

CORCOVADO (1) was built in 1872 by Laird Bros. at Birkenhead with a tonnage of 3805grt, a length of 387ft 6in, a beam of 43ft in and a service speed of 13 knots. She was built for the Liverpool – South America – Valparaiso service and sailed on her maiden voyage on 19th February 1873. She was sold to Royal Mail Line in 1875, who purchased her to replace the lost Shannon, and renamed her Don. Under the command of Captain Woolward, who remained with the ship for 18 years and 81 round voyages, she commenced her first sailing for Royal Mail on 17th January 1876 from Southampton to the West Indies. She was modernised in 1889 when she was equipped with a triple expansion engine and broken up in 1901.

PUNO (1) was built in 1873 by Laird Bros. at Birkenhead with a tonnage of 3805grt, a length of 387ft 6in, a beam of 43ft 1in and a service speed of 13 knots. Sister of the Corcovado she was built for the Liverpool – South America – Valparaiso service and commenced her maiden voyage on 14th May 1873. In 1875 she was sold to Royal Mail Line as a replacement for their lost Boyne, and renamed Para. She was placed on the Southampton – West Indies service in June 1876 and during the second voyage, on 16th October 1876, an explosion in the after hold tore a large hole in the saloon killing three persons. The hold had been temporarily converted to carry bananas in carbon dioxide at a low temperature. She was refurbished and modernised in 1890 and finally broken up in 1901.

SANTA ROSA was built in 1872 by Laird Bros. at Birkenhead with a tonnage of 1817grt, a length of 308ft, a beam of 38ft 2in and a service speed of 11 knots. She was built for the Valparaiso – Callao – Panama service. Sold, initially, to Lota Coal Co. in 1890 she was, a few months later, transferred to Cousina Cia of Valparaiso, renamed Luis Cousino and operated by Compania Esplotadora de Lota y Coronel. She was broken up in 1902.

COLOMBIA (1) was built in 1873 by Laird Bros. at Birkenhead with a tonnage of 1823grt, a length of 308ft, a beam of 38ft 2in and a service speed of 11 knots. Sister of the Santa Rosa she was built for the Valparaiso – Callao – Panama service and sold for breaking up in 1890.

RIMAC was built in 1872 by Evans & Co. at Liverpool with a tonnage of 1805grt, a length of 291ft 9in, a beam of 40ft and a service speed of 11 knots. One of two similar vessels she was built for the services starting at Valparaiso. She was sold to Valparaiso Steamship Co. at Valparaiso with out a change of name and her subsequent career is unrecorded.

ILO was built in 1872 by John Elder & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 1794grt, a length of 289ft 8in, a beam of 38ft 2in and a service speed of 11 knots. Similar to the Rimac and costing £47,728 she entered service in January 1872 and was converted into a hulk in 1882.

TRUXILLO was built in 1872 by John Elder & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 1449grt, a length of 251ft 4in, a beam of 35ft 7in and a service speed of 11 knots. A side wheel paddle steamer she cost £44,000 and was launched for the Pacific coast service on 14th November 1871, entering service in the following January. Built as a replacement for the Santiago which was lost in 1869 she was converted into a hulk in 1882.

TACORA was built in 1872 by John Elder & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 3525grt, a length of 375ft 7in, a beam of 41ft 4in and a service speed of 13 knots. Launched on 23rd May 1872 she cost £103,475 and was equipped with engines built for the Acongagua after it was decided to improve the performance of that vessel with alternative engines. She sailed on her maiden voyage under the command of Capt. C. M. Stewart on 4th October 1872 with the intention of beating the White Star Line’s Republic, which was due to sail on the following day, on the Liverpool – Rio de Janeiro – Valparaiso – Callao route. On 28th October the Tacora was wrecked off Cape Santa Maria near Montevideo with the loss of 3 crew members and 10 passengers. Although she came off the rocks she had to be run ashore to avoid sinking.

GALICIA (1) was built in 1873 by Robert Napier & Sons at Glasgow with a tonnage of 3829grt, a length of 383ft 5in, a beam of 43ft and a service speed of 13 knots. Slightly larger than the Tacora she commenced her maiden voyage to Valparaiso on 23rd April 1873. In 1898 she was sold to the Canadian Steam Navigation Co. of Liverpool and renamed Gaspasia. She was broken up at Genoa in 1900

VALPARAISO (2) was built in 1873 by John Elder & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 3575grt, a length of 379ft 2in, a beam of 41ft 9in and a service speed of 12 knots. Costing £129,850 she was similar to the Tacora and entered the Birkenhead – Valparaiso service on 8th October 1873. On 28th February she was lost at Vigo in Spain.

BAJA was built in 1872 by John Elder & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 74grt, a length of 81ft 2in, and a beam of 16ft. All that is known of her is that she was a tug built for service at Callao..

IBERIA was built in 1873 by John Elder & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 4671grt, a length of 433ft 6in, a beam of 45ft and a service speed of 14 knots. She cost £151,600 to built and when launched, on 6th December 1873, was the world’s largest ship with the exception of the Great Eastern. Because of strikes which delayed her completion she did not commence her maiden voyage until 21st October 1874. On 12th May 1880 she made her first voyage to Australia for the joint PSNC – Orient Line service and in the following year replaced the Acongagua as a standby ship on the London – Suez – Melbourne – Sydney service. During the Egyptian Arabi Pasha Campaigns in 1882 she was used by the Government for trooping duties. On 25th January 1883 she began to operate a regular service to Australia which continued until 11th June 1890 when she returned to the Liverpool – Valparaiso route. She was fitted with a triple expansion engine in 1893 and, at the same time, had the yards removed from the masts. In 1895 she undertook a positioning voyage to Australia to replace a disabled ship and completed the non-stop voyage via the Cape in 32 days at an average speed of 14 knots. She was broken up at Genoa in 1903.

LIGURIA was built in 1874 by John Elder & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 4666grt, a length of 433ft 6in, a beam of 45ft and a service speed of 14 knots. Sister of the Iberia she cost £150,350 to build and made her first sailing from Birkenhead to Valparaiso on 9th September 1874. In 1880 she was one of four vessels transferred to Orient Line management and commenced her first sailing from London – Suez – Melbourne – Sydney on 12th May. She commenced her final voyage to Australia on 9th May 1890 before reverting to the Valparaiso service on 17th September. Like her sister she was equipped with a triple expansion engine and had her yards removed in 1893 and was sold for breaking up at Genoa in 1903.

POTOSI (1) was built in 1873 by John Elder & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 4218grt, a length of 421ft 7in, a beam of 43ft 9in and a service speed of 13 knots. During construction she had 25ft added to her length at a cost of £10,000. She was launched for the Birkenhead – Valparaiso service on 14th May 1873 and remained on that run until 1880 when she was transferred to Orient Line management commencing her first voyage to Australia on 7th July of that year. On 26th May 1887 she commenced her final voyage to Australia before reverting to the Valparaiso service and was broken up at Genoa in 1897.

COTOPAXI (1) was built in 1873 by John Elder & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 4022grt, a length of 402ft 2in, a beam of 42ft 9in and a service speed of 13 knots. Costing £105,750 she was launched on 15th March 1873 and commenced her maiden voyage on the Birkenhead – Valparaiso service on 18th June. In 1879 she was transferred to Orient Line management for operation on the Australia service. On 14th April 1880 she made her final voyage to Australia before reverting to the Valparaiso service. She collided with the German steamship Olympia on 8th April 1889 in the Straits of Magellan and was beach, careened and repaired in situ. She was refloated on 15th April 1889 but struck another rock and sank. The 202 passengers and crew on board were all rescued by the Setos which was owned by Kosmos Line of Germany.

ILLIMANI was built in 1873 by John Elder & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 4022grt, a length of 402ft 2in, a beam of 42ft 9in and a service speed of 13 knots. Sister of the Cotopaxi and costing £106,725 she commenced her maiden voyage on the Birkenhead – Valparaiso service on 26th March 1873. On 18th July 1879 she ran aground and was lost on Mocha Island on the Yemen coast whilst undertaking a voyage on the Australia service.

BRITANNIA was built in 1873 by Laird Bros. at Birkenhead with a tonnage of 4129grt, a length of 411ft 5in, a beam of 32ft 9in and a service speed of 12.75 knots. Costing £140,450 she was launched on 27th May 1873 and commenced her maiden voyage on the 2nd August. On 30th March 1885 the threat of war became imminent when Russian troops crossed the Afghan border and were confronted by British troops. Together with 15 other ships she was taken over as an auxiliary cruiser, requisitioned at Valparaiso on 22nd April and sent to Coquimbo for conversion. Following the Russian withdrawal she was decommissioned at Coquimbo from where she sailed to the UK and resumed commercial service. On 4th September 1895 she grounded whilst leaving Rio de Janeiro, was sold locally for £1000, salvaged, repaired and sold to Camuyrano y Cia of Buenos Aires. In 1900 she was sold to Nogueira, Vives y Cia of Valparaiso and was broken up during the following year at Preston, Lancashire, still as the Britannia.

AYACUCHO was built in 1873 by T Wingate & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 1916grt, a length of 311ft 9in, a beam of 38ft 2in and a service speed of 12 knots. One of three ships built for the coastal service out of Callao she remained in service until 1890 when she was converted into a hulk.

LIMA (2) was built in 1873 by T Wingate & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 1804grt, a length of 310ft 7in, a beam of 38ft 2in and a service speed of 12 knots. Sister of the Ayacucho she was the second of the trio built for the coastal service out of Callao. In 1880 during the war between Peru and Chile she towed a ship full of contraband into Peru. The company was not impressed with this action and the master, Captain Steadman, was dismissed.

BOLIVIA (2) was built in 1874 by T Wingate & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 1925grt, a length of 311ft 9in, a beam of 38ft 2in and a service speed of 12 knots. The last of the trio she entered service in 1874 and had an uneventful career until 1895 when she was converted into a hulk.

OROYA (1) was built in 1873 by John Elder & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 1577grt, a length of 270ft 11in, a beam of 25ft 6in and a service speed of 12 knots. One of two ships built at a cost of £4,875 for the Pacific coastal service. Her subsequent career and disposal is not recorded.

ISLAY was built in 1873 by John Elder & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 1588grt, a length of 271ft, a beam of 25ft 6in and a service speed of 12 knots. Sister of the Oroya she was the last paddle steamer built for PSNC’s Pacific coastal services and delivered on 27th April 1873. In 1881 she carried rifles from Panama to Peru during the war between Chile and Peru during and was captured by Chilean warships. Although the Islay was released her master, Captain Petrice, was sacked. She was converted into a hulk in 1883.

TACNA was built in 1873 by Laird Bros. at Birkenhead with a tonnage of 612grt, a length of 219ft, a beam of 26ft and a service speed of 11 knots. She was delivered for the Pacific coastal services in 1873. On 7th March 1874 she sailed from Valparaiso bound for Port de Azucar with a full cargo and with 10 head of cattle and 250 bales of hay on deck. When the wind increased suddenly the ship listed sharply and an explosion blew out the deck causing the ship to sink with the loss of 19 lives. Her master, Captain Hyde, was imprisoned by the Chileans but later released following a protest from the British.

AMAZONAS was built in 1874 by J Reid & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 2019grt, a length of 301ft 8in, a beam of 38ft 11in and a service speed of 11 knots. She was built for Compania Sud Americana der Vapores of Valparaiso and acquired by PSNC in 1877. In 1879 she was repurchased by Chilean decree for trooping duties during the Peruvian war. Two years later, having been replaced by PSNC, she was sold back to Sud Americana and by 1886 she was no longer in Lloyds Register.

LONTUE was built in 1873 by J Reid & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 1648grt, a length of 299ft, a beam of 40ft 11in and a service speed of 11 knots. She was built for Compania Sud Americana der Vapores of Valparaiso and acquired by PSNC in 1877. In 1879 she was chartered to the Chilean Government for use as a coastal supply vessel but on condition that she wasn’t used in the war. Two years later, having been replaced by PSNC, she was sold back to Sud Americana. In 1888 she reverted to PSNC under the Chilean flag and was converted into a hulk at a later date.

LOBO was built in 1874 by John Elder & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 106grt, a length of 89ft 7in, and a beam of 18ft 4in. Built as a water launch for service at Callao at a cost of £4,950 her subsequent career is not recorded.

CASMA (2) was built in 1878 by Laird Bros. at Birkenhead with a tonnage of 592grt, a length of 180ft 5in, a beam of 30ft 1in and a service speed of 10 knots. Completed in November 1878 she was the company’s first steel hulled ship and built for the coastal trade. In 1899 she was sold to J. J. McAuliffe & Co. of Valparaiso and based at Coquimbo with the same name. She was sold to the Costa Rican Government in the following year and broken up in 1910.

CHALA was built in 1878 by Laird Bros. at Birkenhead with a tonnage of 598grt, a length of 180ft 5in, a beam of 30ft 1in and a service speed of 10 knots. Sister of the Casma she was built for the west coast service and converted into a hulk for 1897.

ARAUCO was built in 1879 by Gourlay Bros. at Dundee with a tonnage of 801grt, a length of 200ft, a beam of 29ft 2in and a service speed of 10 knots. She was built for the South American services and completed in April 1879. She was sold to J. J. McAuliffe & Co. of Valparaiso who supposedly renamed her Almirante Latorre although Lloyds listed her as the Arauco until 1909 when she was out of service.

PUCHOCO was built in 1879 by Gourlay Bros. at Dundee with a tonnage of 804grt, a length of 200ft, a beam of 29ft 2in and a service speed of 10 knots. Sister of the Arauco she entered service in 1879. She was sold to J. J. McAuliffe & Co. of Valparaiso in 1899 and renamed Isidora. In the following year she was transferred to Cia Esplotadora de Lota y Coronel of Valparaiso and in 1906 was wrecked.

MENDOZA was built in 1879 by Robert Napier & Sons at Glasgow with a tonnage of 2160grt, a length of 320ft, a beam of 40ft 4in and a service speed of 11 knots. She was the first British ship to use electricity from a Gramme generator following experiments in HMS Minotaur. Built for the South American coastal service on the Valparaiso – Callao route and was converted into a hulk in 1904.

PIZARRO was built in 1879 by Robert Napier & Sons at Glasgow with a tonnage of 2160grt, a length of 320ft, a beam of 40ft 4in and a service speed of 11 knots. Sister of the Mendoza she joined the coastal passenger service in 1879 and was converted into a hulk in 1907.

PUNO (2) was built in 1881 by Robert Napier & Sons at Glasgow with a tonnage of 2398grt, a length of 320ft, a beam of 40ft 4in and a service speed of 11 knots. Sister of the Mendoza she joined the coastal passenger service in 1881 and was converted into a hulk in 1904.

SERENA was built in 1881 by Robert Napier & Sons at Glasgow with a tonnage of 2394grt, a length of 320ft, a beam of 40ft 4in and a service speed of 11 knots. Sister of the Mendoza she joined the coastal passenger service in 1881 and was converted into a hulk in 1903.

RONACHAN , with a tonnage of 1156grt, was a former sailing purchased from Rankin Gilmour for hulking at Diego Garcia when PSNC began a service to that port in 1881. PSNC acquired a number of coal storage hulks over the years but little if anything is known about these ex-sailing ships.

ARRAN with a tonnage of 962grt, was a former sailing purchased from Rankin Gilmour, with the Ronachan, for hulking at Diego Garcia when PSNC began a service to that port in 1881.

ARICA (2) was built in 1881 by Laird Bros. at Birkenhead with a tonnage of 1771grt, a length of 300ft, a beam of 36ft 2in and a service speed of 11 knots. Built for the coastal service in 1881 she was converted into a hulk during the 1890’s.

ECUADOR (3) was built in 1881 by Laird Bros. at Birkenhead with a tonnage of 1768grt, a length of 300ft, a beam of 36ft 2in and a service speed of 11 knots. Built for the Pacific coastal routes she foundered 14 miles off Constitucion in Chile on 4th July 1916.

OSORNO was built in 1881 by Scott & Co. at Greenock with a tonnage of 532grt, a length of 176ft 2in, a beam of 27ft 1in and a service speed of 11 knots. She entered service on the Valparaiso to South Chilean ports in October 1881 and in November 1899 was sold to the Nicaraguan Government for use as an armed transport.

MORRO (2) was built in 1881 by Scott & Co. at Greenock with a tonnage of 170grt, a length of 125ft 9in, a beam of 23ft and a service speed of 11 knots. She was built to replace the first Morro for service as the tender at Panama. In 1902 she was sold to J. J. McAuliffe of Valparaiso and was renamed Araucancita in 1906. Three years later her name was changed to Aramac. In 1911 she was sold to Sociedad Lobitos Oilfield Ltda of Callao, a C.T. Bowring subsidiary, without a change of name. She was broken up in 1922.

CHILOE was built in 1882 by John Elder & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 2309grt, a length of 321ft, a beam of 37ft 4in and a service speed of 11 knots. She joined the Pacific coastal service in 1882 and, in July, 1892, was lost at Talcahuano during a voyage from Valparaiso to Puerto Montt.

MANAVI was built in 1885 by Robert Napier & Sons at Glasgow with a tonnage of 1041grt, a length of 216ft, a beam of 35ft 1in and a service speed of 10 knots. Completed in May 1885 for the Pacific coastal services she remained in service until 1920 when, it is assumed, that she was scrapped due to her age.

QUITO (4) was built in 1888 by Laird Bros. at Birkenhead with a tonnage of 1089grt, a length of 216ft, a beam of 35ft 1in and a service speed of 10 knots. Sister of the Manavi she entered service in 1888. According to the records of PSNC she was sold to Royal Mail Line in 1915 but a purchase in that company is not recorded. Lloyds Register gave the owner as Etchegaray Onfray & Co. of Valparaiso. She was broken up in 1925.

OROYA (2) was built in 1886 by Barrow Shipbuilding Co. at Barrow with a tonnage of 6057grt, a length of 474ft, a beam of 49ft 4in and a service speed of 12.5 knots. Designed for the Australian service she was launched on 31st August 1886, was PSNC’s first straight stemmed ocean liner and their largest ship at that time. She commenced her maiden voyage on 17th February 1887 from London to Melbourne and Sydney via the Suez Canal. On 4th March 1895 she went aground and was severely damaged in the Bay of Naples. She was refitted in 1905 and in February 1906 was sold to Royal Mail Line for the Orient – Royal Mail service. Renamed Oro for her final voyage she was broken up in Italy during 1909.

ORIZABA was built in 1886 by Barrow Shipbuilding Co. at Barrow with a tonnage of 6077grt, a length of 474ft, a beam of 49ft 4in and a service speed of 12.5 knots. Sister of the Oroya she was built for PSNC but on completion was placed under Orient Line management and deployed on the Australia run via the Suez Canal. Her maiden voyage commenced on 30th September 1886 from Southampton to Melbourne and Sydney via the Suez Canal. On 17th February 1905, whilst in dense smoke haze caused by bush fires, she ran aground and was wrecked off Cape Peron, Garden Island near Fremantle, Western Australia. The wreck was eventually sold for £3750.

OROTAVA was built in 1889 by Barrow Shipbuilding Co. at Barrow with a tonnage of 5857grt, a length of 430ft, a beam of 49ft 3in and a service speed of 14.5 knots. She was built for the Liverpool to Valparaiso service and made two voyages before being transferred to Orient Line management and deployment on the Australian service via the Suez Canal. She commenced her first voyage to Sydney via Suez and Melbourne on 6th June 1890.In 1896, whilst coaling at Tilbury, she capsized with the loss of 4 lives. She was raised and refurbished and resumed service to Australia in 1897. During the Boer War from 1899 to 1903 she was used as War Transport No. 91 but retaining her PSNC livery. She returned to the Australia service on 13th March 1903. In February 1906 ownership was transferred to Royal Mail Line but remained on the Australia service. On 5th March 1909 she commenced her last voyage to Australia before transferring to the West Indies routes. In 1914 she joined the “B” Line of the 10th Cruiser Squadron and in 1919 was sold and broken up.

ORUBA (1) was built in 1889 by Barrow Shipbuilding Co. at Barrow with a tonnage of 5852grt, a length of 430ft, a beam of 49ft 3in and a service speed of 14.5 knots. Sister of the Orotava she was built for the Liverpool – Valparaiso service. In the following year she was transferred to the Orient Line service and commenced her first sailing to Australia on 4th July 1890. In February 1906 she was transferred to the Royal Mail Line and continued sailings to Australia until 16th October 1908 when she made her final sailing before being transferred to Royal Mail’s South American service to Buenos Aires. She was purchased by the British Admiralty in 1914 and rebuilt to represent the battleship HMS Orion. In 1915 she was scuttled at Mudros Harbour in the Agean Sea to act as a breakwater.

SANTIAGO (4) was built in 1889 by Barrow Shipbuilding Co. at Barrow with a tonnage of 2953grt, a length of 350ft, a beam of 45ft 2in and a service speed of 12 knots. She was built for the coastal Valparaiso – Callao service where she remained until 18th June 1907 when she was lost near Corral.

AREQUIPA (2) was built in 1889 by Barrow Shipbuilding Co. at Barrow with a tonnage of 2953grt, a length of 350ft, a beam of 45ft 2in and a service speed of 12 knots. She was built for the Valparaiso – Callao coastal service. On 2nd June 1903, while handling cargo at the Valparaiso buoys, she was caught by a sudden ‘Northerner’ gale. Although the crew and shore staff fought to hold the ship she suddenly keeled over and sank during an intensely violent series of gusts with the loss of over 80 lives.

ASSISTANCE was built in 1891 by Gourlay Bros. & Co. at Dundee with a tonnage of 214grt, a length of 105ft, and a beam of 22ft 7in. She was a tug built initially for service at Liverpool and later in Chile. In 1926 she was sold to Oelckers Hermanos of Chile and renamed Tautil. She was wrecked near Lota in July 1929.

MAGELLAN (2) was built in 1893 by Harland & Wolff at Belfast with a tonnage of 3590grt, a length of 360ft 7in, a beam of 43ft 2in and a service speed of 12 knots. She was one of four cargo ships built for the UK – west coast of South America services. With a cargo capacity of 234,000 cubic feet she also had accommodation for 12 Second Class passengers. On 25th July 1918 she was torpedoed and sunk 53 miles north east of Cape Serrat with the loss of 1life.

INCA (2) was built in 1893 by Harland & Wolff at Belfast with a tonnage of 3593grt, a length of 360ft 7in, a beam of 43ft 2in and a service speed of 12 knots. Sister of the Magellan she was built for the cargo services to South America. She was sold to Soc. Anon y Comercial Braun y Blanchard of Punta Arenas, Argentine in 1923 and renamed Llanquihue. After a further six years service she was broken up in 1929.

SARMIENTO (1) was built in 1893 by Harland & Wolff at Belfast with a tonnage of 3603grt, a length of 361ft, a beam of 43ft 2in and a service speed of 12 knots. Sister of the Magellan she was the third cargo ship built for the UK – west coast of South America service. In 1910 she was sold to Messageries Maritimes of Marseilles and renamed Normand. She was used to establish a UK – French channel ports – Black Sea service for the French Government and was eventually broken up in 1923.

ANTISANA was built in 1893 by Harland & Wolff at Belfast with a tonnage of 3584grt, a length of 361ft, a beam of 43ft 2in and a service speed of 12 knots. Sister of the Magellan she was built for the South American cargo services. In 1910 she was sold to Messageries Maritimes of Marseilles who renamed her Basque and operated her on the same service as the Normand. At 11.00hrs on 18th February 1918 she was torpedoed by UB-52at Marsa Sirocco. A fire broke out on board and the second engineer Achille Vidal was burnt to death attempting to quell the flames, an heroic act for which he was posthumously awarded the Legion d’Honneur. The ship was eventually beached at Malta on 20th February. In December 1920 she resumed service to the Black Sea and was finally broken up in Italy during November 1923.

ORELLANA was built in 1893 by Harland & Wolff at Belfast with a tonnage of 4821grt, a length of 401ft, a beam of 47ft 7in and a service speed of 11 knots. Launched on 7th December 1892 she was built mainly for cargo services but had accommodation for up to 675 emigrants which were carried seasonally from Spain and Portugal. In 1904 she was sold to the Hamburg America Line and renamed Allemania. Two years later she was sold to the Russian Government as a replacement for ships lost during Russo – Japanese war and renamed Kowno. In 1907 she returned to Hamburg America Line ownership and reverted to her former name, Allemania. In April 1917 she was seized by the United States, operated by the United States Shipping Board and renamed Owasco. On 10th December 1917 she was torpedoed by a German submarine off Alicante in Spain, was beached and being beyond commercial repair was broken up in the following year.

ORCANA (1) was built in 1893 by Harland & Wolff at Belfast with a tonnage of 4803grt, a length of 401ft, a beam of 47ft 7in and a service speed of 11 knots. Sister of the Orellana she commenced her maiden voyage on 19th July 1893 undertaking similar cargo and emigrant duties. During the Boer War (1899 – 1903) she became Transport No. 40 and operated as a hospital ship with a yellow funnel and a white hull. In 1904 she was sold to the Hamburg America Line and renamed Albingia. She was transferred to the Russian Government for collier duties in 1906 and renamed Grodno. Under the Treaty of Portsmouth, USA, 29th August 1905 and as the war was over she was returned to the Hamburg America Line in 1907 as the Albingia. In April 1917 she was seized by the United States, operated by the United States Shipping Board and renamed Argonaut. On 5th June 1918 she was sunk by U-82 off Bishop Rock.

ORISSA was built in 1895 by Harland & Wolff at Belfast with a tonnage of 5317grt, a length of 421ft, a beam of 48ft 9in and a service speed of 15 knots. Launched on the 15th December 1894 she commenced her maiden voyage to Valparaiso on 11th April 1895. During the Boer War she became War Transport No.18 and at the end of the war carried Lord Kitchener, Sir John French and Sir Ian Hamilton from Cape Town to the UK. In August 1906 she was berthed at Valparaiso during the earthquake and acted as a refugee accommodation ship. On 25th June 1918 she was torpedoed and sunk 21 miles southwest of Skerryvore with the loss of 6 lives.

OROPESA (1) was built in 1895 by Harland & Wolff at Belfast with a tonnage of 5303grt, a length of 421ft, a beam of 48ft 9in and a service speed of 15 knots. Sister of the Orissa she was launched on 29th November 1894 and commenced her maiden voyage to Valparaiso under the command of Capt. Hayes on 28th February 1895. In November 1914 she was requisitioned and converted into an Armed Merchant Cruiser for deployment within the 10th Cruiser Squadron under the command of Capt. Percy Brown. She sank a U-boat off Skerryvore in Scotland during March 1915. In December 1915 she was transferred to the French Navy but operated by her British crew and renamed Champagne. On 15th October 1917 she was torpedoed and sunk in the Irish Sea with the loss of 56 lives.

ORAVIA was built in 1897 by Harland & Wolff at Belfast with a tonnage of 5321grt, a length of 421ft, a beam of 48ft 9in and a service speed of 15 knots. Sister of the Orissa she was launched on 5th December 1896 and commenced her maiden voyage to Valparaiso on 1st July 1897. On 12th November 1912 ,during an occasional call at the Falkland Islands whilst on a voyage from Liverpool to Callao, she ran aground on Billy Rock, Seal Rocks, Port Stanley and was abandoned four days later.

CHIRIQUI was built in 1896 by Wigham Richardson & Co. at Newcastle with a tonnage of 643grt, a length of 185ft, a beam of 31ft 1in and a service speed of 11 knots. Built for the coastal services she remained with the company until 1910 when she was sunk by and explosion.

TABOGA was built in 1896 by Wigham Richardson & Co. at Newcastle with a tonnage of 649grt, a length of 185ft, a beam of 31ft 1in and a service speed of 11 knots. Sister of the Chiriqui she was built for the coastal service. She was seized by the Colombian Government for war duties in 1901 but released after the intervention of a British gun-boat. In 1909 she was sold to Pinel Bros. of Panama and wrecked in May 1911.

PERLITA was built in 1896 by Laird Bros. at Birkenhead with a tonnage of 49grt, a length of 62ft, and a beam of 15ft 4in. She was a steam launch built for PSNC to service ships lying at anchor in the Valparaiso roadstead. With a permanent wooden awning over the stern and midships deckhouse she may have had a brass funnel instead of the customary black. Her career and subsequent disposal is not recorded.

CHILE (3) was built in 1896 by Caird & Co. at Greenock with a tonnage of 3225grt, a length of 350ft 4in, a beam of 43ft 1in and a service speed of 12.5 knots. One of a pair she was built for the Valparaiso – Callao service where she remained until 1921 when she was transferred to the Valparaiso – Cristobal service. In 1923 she was sold to Soc. Maritima y Comercial R. W. James y Cia of Valparaiso and renamed Flora. After a further eleven years service she was finally broken up.

PERU (3) was built in 1896 by Caird & Co. at Greenock with a tonnage of 3225grt, a length of 350ft 4in, a beam of 43ft 1in and a service speed of 12.5 knots. Sister of the Chile she mirrored her career until 1923 when she was sold to Soc. Anon. Gonzalez Soffia y Cia retaining her name. A large white ‘S’ was painted on the funnel. In 1928 she was sold to Soc. Anon. Maritima Chilena without a change of name and was eventually broken up in 1944.

CORCOVADO (2) was built in 1896 by C. S. Swan & Hunter at Newcastle with a tonnage of 4568grt, a length of 390ft, a beam of 47ft 2in and a service speed of 10.75 knots. Built for the cargo services out of the UK to most west coast South American ports these ships had the wheelhouse on the poop, reminiscent of the old sailing ships. She remained in service until 1921 when she was broken up.

SORATA (2) was built in 1897 by C. S. Swan & Hunter at Newcastle with a tonnage of 4581grt, a length of 390ft, a beam of 47ft 2in and a service speed of 10.75 knots. Sister of the Corcovado she entered service in 1897 and during the First World War was requisitioned for government duties. She was sold in 1922 to Schroder, Holken und Fischer of Hamburg and renamed Otto Fischer for use as a cargo ship only. She remained in service until 1934 when it is believed that she was broken up.

ORTONA was built in 1899 by Vickers, Sons and Maxim at Barrow with a tonnage of 7945grt, a length of 515ft, a beam of 55ft 4in and a service speed of 14 knots. A ‘one off’ she commenced her maiden voyage to Australia under the joint Orient – PSNC service on 24th November 1899. In June 1902 she was requisitioned as Transport No.12 for troop ship duties to South Africa during the Boer War. She returned to commercial service on the Australia run on 9th October 1903. In February 1906 she was acquired by the Royal Line with the remainder of the fleet and on 30th April 1909 made her last voyage to Australia. She was converted into a one class cruise ship with accommodation for 320 passengers in 1910 and renamed Arcadian. During the First World War she was used as a troopship and also acted as Headquarters ship to Sir Ian Hamilton. On 15th April 1917 she was torpedoed and sunk in the Eastern Mediterranean, during a voyage from Salonika to Alexandria, with the loss of 279 lives out of a total complement of 1335 persons.

COLOMBIA (2) was built in 1899 by Caird & Co. at Greenock with a tonnage of 3335grt, a length of 359ft 4in, a beam of 43ft 2in and a service speed of 12.5 knots. She was built for the Pacific coast express service and remained on that route until 9th August 1907 when she was lost off Lobos de Tierra in Peru.

GUATEMALA was built in 1899 by Caird & Co. at Greenock with a tonnage of 3227grt, a length of 359ft 4in, a beam of 43ft 2in and a service speed of 12.5 knots. Although the hull and engines were similar to the Colombia her finished profile differed substantially from that of her ‘sister’. She was built for the South American coastal service and operated the Valparaiso – Arica – Mollendo – Callao route. She was transferred to the Valparaiso – Cristobal service in 1921 and was sold to James y Cia of Valparaiso in 1923 who renamed her Fresia. She was taken over by Soc. Anon. Maritima Chilena of Valparaiso in 1935 and finally broken up in 1914.

TALCA (2) was built in 1900 by Robert Napier & Sons at Glasgow with a tonnage of 1081grt, a length of 209ft 11in, a beam of 35ft 1in and a service speed of 10 knots. She started on the local Pacific coastal services in 1900 and on 12th July 1901 was wrecked off Puchoco Point in Chile.

POTOSI (2) was built in 1900 by Wigham Richardson & Co. at Newcastle with a tonnage of 5300grt, a length of 400ft 6in, a beam of 50ft and a service speed of 13 knots. Although built for the Valparaiso service, due to lack of trade, she was sold immediately on completion to the Russian Volunteer Fleet and renamed Kazan. In 1904 she was captured by the Japanese Navy Department and renamed Kasato Maru. She was acquired by Osaka Shosen K. K. in 1918 who retained her name but later amended it to Kasado Maru. In 1930 she was broken up in Japan.

GALICIA (2) was built in 1901 by Wigham Richardson & Co. at Newcastle with a tonnage of 5896grt, a length of 400ft 6in, a beam of 50ft and a service speed of 13 knots. Sister of the Potosi she was built for the Liverpool – Valparaiso service but was completed without any passenger accommodation. On 31st July 1915 she struck a mine in the English Channel in the Downs but managed to reach port safely. Two years later, on 12th May 1917, she sank after hitting a mine off Teignmouth.

PERICO was built in 1901 by J. Jones & Sons at Birkenhead with a tonnage of 268grt, a length of 125ft 6in, a beam of 23ft 1in and a service speed of 9 knots. She was built as a replacement for Morro, the tender at Panama. By 1924 she was out of service.

PANAMA (3) was built in 1902 by Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 5981grt, a length of 401ft 2in, a beam of 52ft 4in and a service speed of 13.5 knots. The first of a class of four ships she was launched on 8th March 1902 and sailed on her maiden voyage from Liverpool to Valparaiso in the following May. With her sisters she was later transferred to the coastal service. During the First World War she was requisitioned for use as a hospital ship and November 1918 repatriated German POW’s. I 1919 she repatriated wounded troops from the eastern Mediterranean and in 1920 became the Admiralty’s permanent hospital ship and renamed Maine. On 24th May 1922 she took up her station ay Malta and in 1924 was based at Constantinople. Between January and November 1927 she was based on the China station. In 1935 she acted as a hotel ship for 500 Government guests at King George V’s Silver Jubilee. During 1936 she was based at Alexandria for the Abyssinian War and later at Haifa when trouble blew up in Palestine. When the Spanish Civil War was being fought she steamed some 20,996 miles in the process of evacuating 6574 refugees of 41 nationalities. As the oldest hospital ship afloat she was given the number ‘1’ when the Second World War was declared in 1939. On 6th September 1941 she was bombed at Alexandria with the loss of 4 lives. In 1945 she was based at Piraeus during the Greek Civil War. On 22nd October 1946 the Maine went to the assist the British destroyers HMS Saumarez and HMS Volage after they had struck mines laid by the Albanians in the Corfu Channel with the loss of 45 lives. During the rescue she severely grounded herself. She was finally decommissioned at Rosyth on 21st February 1947 and arrived at Barrow on 8th July 1948 where she was broken up.
VICTORIA was built in 1902 by Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 5967grt, a length of 401ft 2in, a beam of 52ft 4in and a service speed of 13.5 knots. Sister of the Panama she was launched on 21st June 1902 and commenced her maiden voyage to Valparaiso on 5th March 1903. On arrival at Valparaiso she was immediately put on the Callao run. During the First World War she was requisitioned for government service and finally broken up in Holland in 1923.

MEXICO was built in 1902 by Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 5549grt, a length of 401ft 2in, a beam of 52ft 4in and a service speed of 13.5 knots. Sister of the Panama she was launched on 22nd March 1902 and on 2nd July operated PSNC’s first cruise to the Norwegian fjords with 114 passengers. At the end of that voyage she was transferred to the South American routes. On 23rd March 1917 she was either torpedoed or hit a mine in the bow when passing through the English Channel. Flooding was minimised by plugging the hole with cotton bales and she avoided sinking by steaming stern first to the nearest port. She was broken up in 1922.

CALIFORNIA was built in 1902 by Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 5547grt, a length of 401ft 2in, a beam of 52ft 4in and a service speed of 13.5 knots. Sister of the Panama she was launched on the same day as the Victoria, 21st June 1902. She commenced her maiden voyage on 2nd October from Liverpool to Valparaiso whereupon she maintained the Valparaiso – Callao service. On 17th October 1917 she was torpedoed off Cape Vilano with the loss of 4 lives.

RUPANCO was built in 1895 by Howaldtswerke at Kiel with a tonnage of 818grt, a length of 182ft, a beam of 32ft and a service speed of 9 knots. She was built for Ferdinand Prehn of Keil and acquired by PSNC in 1902 to replace the lost Talca and making sailings out of Valparaiso. She sank at Valparaiso in 1914.

GALLITO was built in 1902 by J. Shearer & Son at Glasgow with a tonnage of 130grt, a length of 86ft, a beam of 19ft and a service speed of 9 knots. With a name meaning ‘Little Rooster’ she was a tug built for deployment in South American waters. She was sold and broken up in 1931.

ORITA (1) was built in 1903 by Harland & Wolff at Belfast with a tonnage of 9266grt, a length of 485ft 5in, a beam of 58ft and a service speed of 14 knots. She was launched on 15th November 1902 and, at the time, was the largest liner on the route. Her maiden voyage from Liverpool to Callao via Valparaiso commenced on 8th April 1903. On 10th February 1919 she undertook PSNC’s second sailing from Liverpool to Valparaiso via the Panama Canal and Callao but the more profitable east coast route via Montevideo predominated. She was laid up in the United Kingdom after making her final sailing via Montevideo on 22nd September 1927 and was broken up at Morecambe in Lancashire during 1931.

PSNC

POTOSI (3) was built in 1905 by W. Pickersgill & Sons at Sunderland with a tonnage of 4375grt, a length of 381ft 5in, a beam of 49ft and a service speed of 12 knots. She was built for the general cargo service and in 1914 was the first British ship to transit the newly opened Panama Canal. In 1925 she was sold to N. Kulukundis of Syra, Greece and renamed Georgios M. Her owners were E. G. Culucundis and S.C. Costomeni of Syra in 1927 and in 1929 she was acquired by S. G. Lyras and M. G. Lemos. On 9th November 1931 during a voyage from Varna to Antwerp with grain her cargo shifted during a storm. PLM 22 managed to rescue 5 men but was then driven off. The Georgios M was never seen again and 18 crew members lost their lives.

DUENDES was built in 1906 by Sir James Laing & Sons at Sunderland with a tonnage of 4602grt, a length of 381ft 5in, a beam of 49ft and a service speed of 12 knots. She was the first of a class of four cargo ships built to a similar specification to that of the Potosi. During the First World War she was requisitioned as a munitions transport. On 25th March 1925 she was shelled by a U-boat when 70 miles west of the Scilly Isles but survived the attack. In 1927 she was sold to G. Lykiardopulo of Greece and renamed Zachariosa. After a further five years service she was broken up in 1932.

ESMERALDAS was built in 1906 by Sir James Laing & Sons at Sunderland with a tonnage of 4491grt, a length of 381ft 5in, a beam of 49ft and a service speed of 12 knots. Sister of the Duendes she joined the cargo service in 1906. In 1916 she transported 600 mules from Buenos Aires to Mombasa for use during the East African campaign. She was captured and sunk by the German Armed Merchant Cruiser Möewe in 1917.

BOGOTA (2) was built in 1906 by Sir James Laing & Sons at Sunderland with a tonnage of 4603grt, a length of 390ft, a beam of 50ft and a service speed of 12 knots. Sister of the Duendes she joined the cargo service in 1906. On 10th November 1916 she was torpedoed and sunk in the North Atlantic.

FLAMENCO (1) was built in 1906 by Sir James Laing & Sons at Sunderland with a tonnage of 4540grt, a length of 381ft 5in, a beam of 49ft and a service speed of 12 knots. Sister of the Duendes she joined the cargo services in 1906. On 6th February 1916 she was stopped by the German Armed Merchant Cruiser Möewe when 310 miles north west of Pernambuco and sunk with a time bomb with the loss of 1 life.

ORTEGA (1) was built in 1906 by Harland & Wolff at Belfast with a tonnage of 7970grt, a length of 465ft 4in, a beam of 56ft 4in and a service speed of 15.5 knots. Launched on 22nd March 1906 she commenced her maiden voyage to Callao on 19th July and introduced to the route the Bibby tandem cabin whereby all passengers had a porthole. When the First World War was declared on 4th August 1914 she was at Montevideo en route to Callao under the command of Capt. Douglas Kinnier. On 16th September she sailed from Valpariaso, bound for Liverpool, and was immediately chased by the German cruiser Dresden. When she was ordered to stop on 19th September the master took the Ortega into the uncharted Nelson Strait near Cape Horn. While the Dresden waited for her to re-appear the liner, led by two lifeboats taking soundings, traversed 100 miles via the landward side of the Queen Adelaide Archipeligo, the Smyth Channel and the Straits of Magellan where she was met by the Chilean warship Admiral Lynch which was searching for survivors. In 1918 she was used to Transport American troops to France and in the following year, on 31st January 1919, made the first voyage through the Panama Canal to Valparaiso. She reverted to the southern route to Chile on 4th December 1924 and in 1927 was sold for £19,500 prior to be broken up at Briton Ferry.

ORIANA was built in 1906 by Barclay Curle & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 8086grt, a length of 465ft 4in, a beam of 56ft 4in and a service speed of 15.5 knots. Sister of the Ortega she was launched on 26th April 1906 and commenced her maiden voyage to Callao via Cape Horn on 21st June. During the First World War she was requisitioned by the Government for use mainly as a troopship. On 8th May 1918 whilst in convoy she went aground in dense fog on Torcor Head by Rathlin Island, off Northern Island. When the fog lifted it became apparent that the escorting destroyers Martial and Nicator were also aground as were Blue Star’s Aeneas and British India’s Manora but fortunately on shelving rocks. All the ships were refloated within two weeks. She resumed commercial service on 17th October 1919 and in November 1922 was transferred to the Panama Canal route. She was eventually broken up in 1927.

ORONSA was built in 1906 by Harland & Wolff Ltd (Yard No. 377) at Belfast with a tonnage of 7989grt, a length of 465ft 4in, a beam of 56ft 4in and a service speed of 15.5 knots. The second sister of the Ortega she was launched on 26th May 1906 and entered service on 13th September with an additional call at Pernambuco. On 28th April 1918, a bright moonlit night, she was torpedoed off Bardsey Island, North Wales whilst travelling in convoy. Her boilers exploded and the ship sank with the loss of 3 lives.

CALLAO (2) was built in 1885 by Harland & Wolff at Belfast with a tonnage of 4206grt, a length of 420ft 4in, a beam of 42ft 5in and a service speed of 14 knots. She was launched 0n 28th February 1885 as the Gaelic for operation in the Pacific by the White Star Line. Her maiden voyage started on 18th July from Liverpool to New York from where she sailed to San Francisco on a charter to Occidental & Oriental Steamship Co. of San Francisco. She made her first voyage from San Francisco on 10th November to Yokohama and Hong Kong. Her final sailing from San Francisco commenced on 13th December 1904 and in March of the following year she was sold to PSNC and renamed Callao. Employed on the Pacific coast route on a temporary basis pending the arrival of the Quillota she was broken up at Briton Ferry , South Wales in September 1907.

HUANCHACO was built in 1907 by W Beardmore & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 4524grt, a length of 390ft 7in, a beam of 50ft 2in and a service speed of 10 knots. She was built for the cargo service and joined the fleet in August 1907. In August 1914 she was requisitioned by the government and used mainly to transport horses and stores. She returned to PSNC in 1919 and remained for a further 6 years before being sold to unknown buyers and renamed Frank Sutton. In 1926 she was sold to Aktiebolaget Bore of Abo in Finland and renamed Bore VIII. After a further three years service she was broken up in 1929.

JUNIN was built in 1907 by W Beardmore & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 4536grt, a length of 391ft 6in, a beam of 50ft 2in and a service speed of 10 knots. She joined the cargo fleet in September 1907 where she remained until 1926 when she was sold to William Thomas Shipping Co. of Liverpool and renamed Cambrian Idylle. After a further three years service she was broken up.

KENUTA (1) was built in 1907 by John Brown & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 4953grt, a length of 401ft 4in, a beam of 52ft 2in and a service speed of 10 knots. In addition to passenger accommodation she was fitted with dormitories fore and aft capable of holding 693 emigrants. She entered service in October 1907 and remained until 1926 when she was sold to Pandelis Bros. and renamed Vasilios Pandelis. By 1930 she was being managed Constants (South Wales ) Ltd of Cardiff and in 1933 she was broken up in Italy.

LIMA (3) was built in 1907 by John Brown & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 4946grt, a length of 401ft 4in, a beam of 52ft 2in and a service speed of 10 knots. Sister of the Kenuta she was delivered in December 1907. On 10th February she was wrecked on Huamblin Island in the Straits of Magellan during a severe storm. The Hatumet, owned by Hathor Steam Ship Co. of London and commanded by Capt. Percy Jacob, stood bay and rescued 188 passenger and 17 crew members. Six lives were lost during that operation when a lifeboat capsized. The Hatumet, which was severely overloaded, steamed into Ancud and the Chilean cruiser Blanca Encalada raced back to the scene of the accident and took off the remaining 88 survivors.

QUILLOTA was built in 1907 by W Beardmore & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 3674grt, a length of 361ft 5in, a beam of 46ft 2in and a service speed of 14 knots. She was built for the Valparaiso to Callao service. In 1915 she was chartered to Royal Mail Lines to replace the Berbice which had been requisitioned for war service. She was transferred to the New York – Panama Canal – Guayaquil in 1921 and in 1923 she was sold to Soc. Anon. Maritima Chilena and renamed Chile. During the same year she was rebuilt with raised lifeboats and the superstructure increases to resemble the Peru. In 1928 she was joined by the Peru on the Chilean coastal routes a sported a yellow funnel with a black top and broad black band. By 1931 she was no longer operating.

QUILPUE was built in 1907 by W Beardmore & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 3669grt, a length of 361ft 5in, a beam of 46ft 2in and a service speed of 14 knots. Sister of the Quillota she was built for the Valparaiso – Callao route and entered service in May 1907. In 1915 she was chartered to Royal Mail Lines to replace the Balantia which had been requisitioned for war service. On 12th June 1917 she was attacked by a surfaced U-boat but managed to drive her off with an accurate counter attack. In 1921 she was transferred to the New York – Panama Canal – Guayaquil service where she remained until the following year when she was sold to West Australian Steam Navigation Co. and renamed Gascoyne under the management of Bethell Gwyn & Co. of Liverpool. After a further eight years service she was broken up in 1930.

EXPLORER was built in 1873 at Liverpool with a tonnage of 2066grt, a length of 300ft 4in, a beam of 34ft 8in and a service speed of 9 knots. She was built as the Crocus and renamed Explorer by T & J Harrison. Acquired by PSNC in 1907 she was the last iron hulled ship to join the fleet. She was converted into a hulk in 1914.

ORCOMA (1) was built in 1908 by W Beardmore & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 11546grt, a length of 511ft 7in, a beam of 62ft 2in and a service speed of 14.5 knots. Launched on 2nd April 1908 she commenced her maiden voyage from Liverpool to the west coast of South America via the Straits of Magellan on 27th August and was the largest and fastest vessel on the South American Pacific route. In 1909 she took the first conducted tour to South America for Thomas Cook at a cost of £300 per person. She broke the Liverpool to Callao record, which included ports of call, in 1914 when she completed the voyage in 32 days 22 hour 40 mins. In the October she returned to the UK in a faster time and missed the holocaust of the German victory at Coronel by a few hours. She was converted into an Armed Merchant Cruiser in March 1915 and served on the Northern patrol with the 10th Cruiser Squadron. On 7th November 1919 she was returned to PSNC and her first commercial voyage was back to the UK via the Panama Canal and New York. She was modernised and converted to burn oil in 1923. In 1933 she was replaced by the Reina del Pacifico and realised £14580 when she was sold for scrap and broken up by Hughes Bolckow at Blyth in June of the same year.

PONDEROSO was built in 1911 by H & C Grayson at Liverpool with a tonnage of 285grt, a length of 115ft 4in, a beam of 25ft 1in and a service speed of 9 knots. She was a tug and served a various South American stations. At the time the Buenos Aires & Pacific Railway Co. operated a tug with the same name and which attended PSNC ships at Buenos Aires which caused a lot of confusion. She was sold to Chile during 1938/39 and her subsequent disposal is unknown.

ANDES (1) was built in 1913 by Harland & Wolff at Belfast with a tonnage of 15620grt, a length of 570ft, a beam of 67ft 3in and a service speed of 17 knots. Laid down for PSNC she was transferred to Royal Mail and launched on 8th May 1913. However, she commenced her maiden voyage from Liverpool to Valparaiso for PSNC on 26th May before joining the Southampton to River Plate service for Royal Mail. In April 1915 she was converted into an Armed Merchant Cruiser. On 29th February 1916, with her sister the Alcantara, she engaged the German raider Greif which was masquerading as the Norwegian ship, Rena. Both the Alcantara and the Grief were sunk and the Andes picked up the survivors including 115 Germans. During 1917 she was initially deployed in the Atlantic with convoys before repatriating submarine crews, who had been trapped by the Russian Revolution, from Murmansk. After the war she returned to commercial service and after a refit at Belfast during January 1919 resumed the River Plate run. In 1929 she was converted into a cruise liner at the Gladstone Dock in Liverpool and renamed Atlantis. She was present at the Spithead Review which was part of King George V’s Silver Jubilee celebrations in 1935. In August 1939, when she was at Danzig during a cruise, she was recalled to Southampton where she arrived on 25th August and was converted into hospital ship No.33 with 400 beds. With 130 medical staff she was initially based at Alexandria. In April 1940 she returned to Norwegian waters to assist with the evacuation during which time she was bombed twice. Later in the same year she moved to the Indian Ocean where she remained for two years. In 1942 she was based at Diego Suarez and took part in the Madagasgar operation. During 1943 she was used to repatriate prisoners of war including the transportation of Italians to Lisbon and Germans to Gothenburg. Between 1944 and 1946 she was used as a hospital ship and for repatriation duties during which time she steamed some 280,000 miles and carried 35,000 wounded servicemen. In 1948 she was chartered for 4 years to carry emigrants from Southampton to Australia and New Zealand. On completion of the charter in 1952 she was laid up in the Clyde prior to being sold for scrapping at Faslane.

CALBUCO was built in 1913 by Lytham Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. at Lytham, Lancashire with a tonnage of 55grt, a length of 62ft 2in, a beam of 15ft 1in and a service speed of 9 knots. She was a steam tug built to tow the barges used to replenish the coal hulks and was subsequently sold in 1925.

ORMEDA/ORDUNA (1) was built in 1914 by Harland & Wolff at Belfast with a tonnage of 15507grt, a length of 570ft, a beam of 67ft 4in and a service speed of 15 knots. She was laid down with the intention of being named Ormeda but was launched on 2nd October 1913 as the Orduna. She commenced her maiden voyage to Valparaiso on 19th February 1914 and in the following October was chartered to Cunard for their Liverpool to New York service, standing in for vessels requisitioned for trooping. On 28th June 1915 she was chased by a U-boat but managed to outrun her attacker some 20 miles from the Smalls. Twelve days later , on 9th July, she was missed by a torpedo when 30 miles south of Queenstown in Southern Ireland. During December 1915, she carried Canadian troops from Canada to England. In June 1918 she sank a German submarine by gunfire and on 1st December of the same year was in collision with and sank Elder Dempster’s Konakry off Galley Head, Ireland. She returned to PSNC on 31st December 1919 and resumed service to Montevideo on 1st April 1920. In 1921 she was transferred to Royal Mail’s Hamburg – Southampton – New York service, to cater for a lack of German berths, making her first sailing on 28th May. In the autumn of 1922 she returned to her builders for a refit and resumed the South American service on 1st January 1923. Converted to oil in 1926 she reverted to PSNC ownership on 7th April 1927, operating the Panama route. In 1941 she was requisitioned as a troopship and continued in that role until November 1950 when she was decommissioned and laid up. She was broken up at Dalmuir in 1951 after 37 years of exemplary service.

ORBITA (1) was built in 1914 by Harland & Wolff at Belfast with a tonnage of 15495grt, a length of 570ft, a beam of 67ft 4in and a service speed of 15 knots. Sister of the Orduna she was launched on 7th July 1914 and entered service in 1915 as an auxiliary cruiser and also as a short crossing troopship. In March 1919 she was completed as a commercial vessel and commenced her southbound maiden voyage on 26th September. On 30th April 1921 she was chartered to Royal Mail Lines for deployment on their Hamburg – Southampton – New York service and two years later, together with her sister, was transferred to Royal Mail ownership. Three years later and after being converted to oil burning she returned to PSNC and on 4th November 1926 resumed the Liverpool – Panama Canal – Callao – Valparaiso service. In 1941 she was requisitioned for troopship duties for the duration of the Second World War and in 1946 was used to carry emigrants to Australia and New Zealand. She was broken up by Thos. W. Ward at Newport, Monmouthshire in 1950.

JAMAICA was built in 1908 by W Harkness & Son at Middlesbrough with a tonnage of 1138grt, a length of 220ft, a beam of 34ft and a service speed of 11 knots. She was launched on 11th August 1908 for Elder Line Ltd and completed as a passenger feeder for the Caribbean operating out of Kingston, Jamaica, connecting with the Imperial Direct West India services. In 1911 she was laid up at Kingston when the service was discontinued. She was sold to the Royal Mail Steam Packet Co. in 1912 for use on their Central America services out of Colon and transferred to PSNC in 1914. During 1915 she was requisitioned for Government service locally. In 1918 ownership was shown to be Royal Mail but she continued to operate for PSNC. She was sold to Soc. Industrial del Aysen of Valparaiso in 1929 for their Valparaiso – Punta Arenas ports and renamed Coyhaique. After a further fourteen years service she was broken up locally.

ACAJUTLA was built in 1911 by Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson at Wallsend with a tonnage of 1170grt, a length of 215ft 8in, a beam of 33ft 6in and a service speed of 11 knots. She was built for the Salvador Railway Company of London and acquired by PSNC, together with the Salvador, in 1915 for their Central American services operating a fortnightly service through the Panama Canal. During the 1920’s she was rebuilt and modernised. She was sold to Pandelis Line of Greece in 1946, renamed Marathon, and operated by Neil and Pandelis of London on a Greek Island service.

SALVADOR was built in 1909 by Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson at Wallsend with a tonnage of 1128grt, a length of 215ft 8in, a beam of 33ft 6in and a service speed of 11 knots. Sister of the Acajutla she was built for the Salvador Railway Company of London and acquired by PSNC in 1915 for their Central America services. Like her sister she was rebuilt and modernised during the 1920’s. She was sold to Pandelis Line of Greece for operation by Neil & Pandelis of London on their Greek Island service and renamed Salamis. At the time of her sale the Salvador had transited the Panama Canal on 779 occasions; the greatest number by any commercial ship. The Panama Canal Co. recognised the achievement by issuing a certificate of honour. The Acajutla also received one.

CAUCA was built in 1915 by Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson at Wallsend with a tonnage of 1448grt, a length of 226ft, a beam of 35ft 2in and a service speed of 11 knots. She entered service in 1915 and was based at Panama. Sold in 1923 she was renamed Tonkin by Indo-Chinoise de Navigation of Haiphong in Indo-China. She was sold on again during the 1930’s and all trace of her was lost.

LAUTARO was built in 1915 by Harland & Wolff at Glasgow with a tonnage of 6240grt, a length of 399ft 1in, a beam of 52ft 2in and a service speed of 12 knots. Completed in 1915 she was built as the Bostonian for Leyland Line and sold to Glen Line in the following year and renamed Glengyle. On 10th June 1917 she was chased by a submarine in the Mediterranean and escaped after returning gunfire. She became the Lautaro in 1923 when she was acquired by PSNC. In 1947 she was sold to Jenny Steam Ship Co. of London and renamed River Swift. In the following year she caught fire at Rio de Janeiro and was damaged beyond repair resulting in her being broken up in South America during 1949.

ORCA was built in 1918 by Harland & Wolff at Belfast with a tonnage of 15120grt, a length of 574ft, a beam of 67ft 4in and a service speed of 15 knots. She was launched on 15th January 1918 and completed as a cargo ship but returned to the builder’s yard on 18th February 1921 where she was remodelled as per her design as a passenger liner. Her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York via Hamburg on 18th December 1922. She was transferred to Royal Mail Line ownership in 1923 and sold to White Star Line in January 1927 and was renamed Calgaric. In 1931 she was laid up at Milford Haven and during the year made just one voyage to the Baltic with Boy Scouts. On 9th June 1933 she started a summer season of voyages from Liverpool to Montreal before being laid up again at Milford Haven. After only 16 years service she was sold for £31,000 and scrapped at Rosyth during 1935.

BALLENA was built in 1919 by W Dobson & Co. at Newcastle with a tonnage of 5210grt, a length of 400ft 1in, a beam of 52ft 4in and a service speed of 11 knots. She was launched on 7th November 1919 as a standard “B” type vessel and entered service with PSNC in 1920. She was sold to Rethymnis & Kulukundis of Panama and renamed Mount Ida. Four years later, in March 1937, she became the Mendoza and owned by Hamburg Sud Amerika Line of Hamburg. On 8th December 1940 she collided with Hamburg America’s Adalia off Flushing and on 22nd March 1945 she was sunk by Russian bombers off Pillau.

BOGOTA (3) was built in 1919 by Cammell Laird & Co. at Birkenhead with a tonnage of 5167grt, a length of 400ft 1in, a beam of 52ft 4in and a service speed of 11 knots. Sister of the Ballena she was launched on 18th March 1919 as the War Lapwing but renamed Bogota before completion. After thirteen years service she was sold to Fratelli G & F Bozzo of Genoa in 1932 and renamed Madda. On 17th June 1937 she was damaged while serving in the Spanish Civil War and in June 1940 she was chased by British warships and, consequently, beached at Teneriffe. She was later refloated and survived WW2 before being sold to Cia Nav. Sota y Aznar (Sir Ramon de la Sota) of Bilbao, Spain who renamed her Monte Nafarrate in 1945. In 1956 she was sold to Angel Riva Suardiaz of Bilbao and renamed Riva de Luna. Two years later her owners changed her name to Rivadeluna and in 1972 ownership was recorded as being Naviera Rivadeluna. She was broken up in 1974.

MAGELLAN (3) was built in 1913 by J C Tecklenborg at Geestemunde with a tonnage of 6553grt, a length of 462ft 4in, a beam of 59ft 2in and a service speed of 12 knots. She was built as the Alda for Roland Linie A. G. of Bremen. In 1919 she surrendered to the British Shipping Controller and was placed under the management of PSNC who purchased her in 1920 and renamed her Magellan. After fourteen years further service she was broken up in 1934.

OROPESA (2) was built in 1920 by Cammell Laird at Birkenhead with a tonnage of 14118grt, a length of 530ft, a beam of 66ft 4in and a service speed of 14.5 knots. She was launched on 9th December 1919 and commenced her maiden voyage on 4th September 1920 on the Liverpool – Rio de Janeiro – Buenos Aires service. On 14th May 1921 she was chartered to Royal Mail for their Hamburg – Southampton – New York service but reverted to PSNC on 22nd November 1922 and deployed on the Valparaiso run via the Cape. She was converted to oil during 1924 and in February 1927 began operating to Valparaiso via the Panama Canal. In 1931 she carried the Prince of Wales and Prince George to South America. Later in the year she was laid up at Dartmouth where she remained for over six years. She resumed service in 1937 and was requisitioned as a troopship in September 1939. On 16th January 1941 she was torpedoed three times by U-96 off the coast of Ireland with the loss of 113 lives.

LA PAZ was built in 1920 by Harland & Wolff at Glasgow with a tonnage of 6548grt, a length of 406ft, a beam of 54ft 2in and a service speed of 12 knots. One of a class of three cargo ships she entered service in 1920. On 1st May 1942 she was torpedoed by U-109 off Florida and subsequently beached. She was later sold, with her cargo of export whisky, to U.S. agents and eventually passed to the War Shipping Administration. In 1945 she was sold to Construction Aggregates Corp. of Chicago, Illinois and no longer engaged in deep sea trading. By 1954 she no longer appeared in Lloyds Registry of Shipping.

LOBOS was built in 1921 by Harland & Wolff at Glasgow with a tonnage of 6479grt, a length of 406ft, a beam of 54ft 2in and a service speed of 12 knots. Sister of the La Paz she entered service in 1921 and broken up in 1952.

LOSADA was built in 1921 by Harland & Wolff at Glasgow with a tonnage of 6520grt, a length of 406ft, a beam of 54ft 2in and a service speed of 12 knots. Sister of the La Paz she entered service in 1921 and was broken up in 1952.

ALVARADO was built in 1920 by A & J Inglis at Glasgow with a tonnage of 2434grt, a length of 303ft 5in, a beam of 43ft and a service speed of 10.5 knots. The first of three similar ships she was launched as the War Raisin and acquired by MacAndrews & Co. who renamed her Alvarado for their Mediterranean services. She proved to be too large for their operation and was consequently acquired by PSNC for collier duties in 1922. In 1933 she was sold to Cia. Carbonifera Rio-Grandense of Rio de Janeiro who renamed her Herval. She was broken up at Rio de Janeiro during 1965.

ALMAGRO was built in 1920 by A & J Inglis at Glasgow with a tonnage of 2434grt, a length of 303ft 5in, a beam of 43ft and a service speed of 10.5 knots. Launched on 23rd April 1920 she was completed as the Almagro for MacAndrews & Co. Proving to be too large for MacAndrews Mediterranean services she was acquired by PSNC in 1922 for the New York to Valparaiso service. After eleven years service she was sold to Cia. Carbonifera Rio-Grandense of Rio de Janeiro in 1933 and renamed Itaquy. Her owners renamed her Tuquy in 1934 and she continued to trade with them until 1963 when she was sold to undisclosed buyers and renamed Artico. Two years later she was sold to Comissario Maritima Modesta Roma of Rio de Janeiro who renamed her Roma Um. In February 1967 she caught fire during a voyage from Manaus to Areia Branca in the River Amazon and was beached at Belem On 30th October 1967 she capsized and became a total loss.

ARANA was built in 1920 by A & J Inglis at Glasgow with a tonnage of 2434grt, a length of 303ft 5in, a beam of 43ft and a service speed of 10.5 knots. Sister of the Alvarado she was launched on 17th September 1919 as the War Date and completed in January 1920 as the Arana for MacAndrews & Co. She was acquired by PSNC in 1922 for collier work between New York and Valparaiso. Sold in 1933 she became the Chay under the ownership of Cia. Carbonifera Rio-Grandense of Rio de Janeiro. Ten years later she was sold to Cia. Commercio y Navegazione of Rio de Janeiro, retaining her name. In 1958 she was sold to Nav. Mercantil S. A. of Rio de Janeiro, again, without a change of name and was finally broken up at Rio in May 1961.

EBRO was built in 1915 by Workman Clark & Co. at Belfast with a tonnage of 8489grt, a length of 450ft 4in, a beam of 57ft 9in and a service speed of 13 knots. She was launched on 8th September 1914 for Royal Mail Line and commenced her maiden voyage to South America where she joined the 10th Cruiser Squadron on 28th April 1915. Acquired by PSNC in 1922 she was placed on the New York – Panama Canal – Callao – Valparaiso service. In December 1930 she was laid up in the River Dart where she remained until February 1935 when she was sold to Jugoslavenska Lloyd for £21,000 and renamed Princess Olga. She was sold to Cia. Colonial of Lisbon for their Lisbon – New York and Central American service to Rio de Janeiro and renamed Serpa Pinto. In 1955 she was sold for scrapping in Belgium and realised £115,000.

ESSEQUIBO was built in 1914 by Workman Clark & Co. at Belfast with a tonnage of 8489grt, a length of 450ft 4in, a beam of 57ft 9in and a service speed of 13 knots. Sister of the Ebro she was launched on 6th July for Royal Mail Line and commenced her maiden voyage to South America on 18th November under the command of Capt. J. C. Chevet. In 1915 she was acquisitioned as a hospital ship and on 15 March in 1917 she was stopped and inspected by U-54, then allowed to continue her voyage. The passengers aboard Essequibo gave three cheers and U54 sent the flag signal “God speed you”. Essequibo replied “Thank you” according to the U54 war diary (see photographs on www.u54.suedholland-ferienhaus.de/html/im_gefecht__1_.html ). She was acquired by PSNC in 1922 and placed on the New York – Panama Canal – Callao – Valparaiso service. In 1930 she was laid up until Mar 1935 when she was sold to Arcos Ltd for £21,000, transferred to the USSR and renamed Neva. She was taken out of Lloyds Register at the owner’s request in 1957.

ORCANA (2) was built in 1903 by Alex Stephen & Sons at Glasgow with a tonnage of 6793grt, a length of 454ft 10in, a beam of 55ft and a service speed of 15 knots. She was built as the Miltiades for the Aberdeen Line and commenced her maiden voyage from London – to Sydney via Cape Town and Melbourne on 3rd November 1903. In 1913 she was lengthened to 504ft 4in, which increased her tonnage to 7814grt, and given a second dummy funnel. She was requisitioned as a troopship in 1915 and returned to commercial service to Australia on 4th June 1920. At the end of 1920 she was purchased by Royal Mail and renamed Orcana. She was transferred to PSNC in 1922 as a replacement for the three ‘O’s which were transferred to the North Atlantic. On 11th August 1922 she commenced the intended ‘Round South America’ service, Liverpool – Montevideo – Valparaiso – Panama Canal – Liverpool but as she was expensive to operate after one voyage she was laid up, firstly at Liverpool and then at Dartmouth. In 1924 she was towed to Holland and broken up at Hendrik-ido-Ambracht.

ORUBA (2) was built in 1904 by Alex Stephen & Sons at Glasgow with a tonnage of 6795grt, a length of 454ft 10in, a beam of 55ft and a service speed of 15 knots. She was launched as the Marathon for the Aberdeen Line on 18th November 1903 and commenced her maiden voyage from London to Sydney via Cape Town and Melbourne on 27th January 1904. In 1912 she was lengthened in the same manner as her sister, the Orcana, which increased her tonnage to 7848grt. In 1915 she was requisitioned for troopship duties. She returned to Aberdeen Line’s Australia service on 21st October 1920 but only made one voyage before she was sold to Royal Mail Line and renamed Oruba. In the following year she was transferred to PSNC and on 26th May 1921 commenced the South American ‘Round America Service’. Being expensive to operate she was laid up in 1922, firstly at Liverpool and then at Dartmouth and was broken up in Germany during 1924.

LAGUNA was built in 1923 by Harland & Wolff at Glasgow with a tonnage of 6466grt, a length of 420ft 6in, a beam of 54ft 2in and a service speed of 12 knots. She began operating in 1923 via the Panama Canal and after an uneventful career was broken up at Barrow-in-Furness in 1952.

OROYA (3) was built in 1923 by Harland & Wolff at Glasgow with a tonnage of 12257grt, a length of 525ft 4in, a beam of 62ft 9in and a service speed of 14 knots. Although launched on 16th December 1920 she was immediately laid up in an incomplete state due to a lack of South American passenger traffic. She eventually commenced her maiden voyage on 22nd March 1923 from Liverpool to Valparaiso via the Panama Canal. On 8th September 1931 she was laid up at Dartmouth and remained there until December 1938 when she was sold for breaking up. She left Dartmouth on 1st February 1939 under tow of Smit’s tug Rode See bound for La Spezia in Italy where she was scrapped.

LORETO was built in 1919 by Harland & Wolff at Glasgow with a tonnage of 6682grt, a length of 406ft 2in, a beam of 54ft 2in and a service speed of 12 knots. She was built as the Glenade for Glen Line in 1919 and acquired by PSNC in 1924. On 22nd February 1941, under the command of Capt. Philip Hockey, she avoided a confrontation with the German cruisers Scharnhorst and the Gneisenau by steaming into a fog bank when 400 miles off Newfoundland. She was the only ship out of a convoy of six to avoid destruction. In 1951 she was sold to Motor Lines Ltd of Greenock and renamed Barbeta. She was broken up at Briton Ferry in November 1952.

LORIGA was built in 1919 by Harland & Wolff at Glasgow with a tonnage of 6665grt, a length of 406ft 2in, a beam of 54ft 2in and a service speed of 12 knots. She was built as the Glenariffe for Glen Line and purchased by PSNC in 1924 and renamed Loriga. In 1951 she was sold to Ocean Transportation Co. of Panama, renamed Oceanus Venus and broken up in Japan during 1953.

LAGARTO was built in 1915 by Harland & Wolff at Glasgow with a tonnage of 5075grt, a length of 385ft 1in, a beam of 52ft 2in and a service speed of 12 knots. She was built as the Glenavy for Glen Line in 1915 and acquired by PSNC in 1924 who renamed her Lagarto. After an uneventful career she was broken up at Troon in 1948.

TEMUCO was built in 1925 by Harland & Wolff at Glasgow with a tonnage of 110grt, a length of 86ft, and a beam of 19ft. She was built as a tug and water tender at Valparaiso and sold locally in 1942.

CHAMPERICO was built in 1911 by Caledon Shipbuilding Co. at Dundee with a tonnage of 2548grt, a length of 290ft 1in, a beam of 41ft 8in and a service speed of 12 knots. She was built as the Andorinha for Yeoward Bros. of Liverpool for their Liverpool – Madeira – Canary Island service. Acquired by PSNC and renamed Champerico in 1917 she was placed on coastal passenger services along the Peruvian and Central American coasts. She was sold to Torres y Ward Cia. of Valparaiso in 1934 and renamed Vina del Mar after a local holiday resort. During the 1930’s she was transferred to the Chilean State Railways and in 1950 was transferred with the entire fleet into Empresa Maritima del Estado de Chilena, the State Marine. It is believed that she was broken up in 1966 although only classified by Lloyds until 1960.

REINA DEL PACIFICO was built in 1931 by Harland & Wolff at Glasgow with a tonnage of 17702grt, a length of 551ft 4in, a beam of 76ft 4in and a service speed of 18 knots. When launched on 23rd September 1930 she was PSNC’s largest ship, the first with a white hull and the first passenger ship with a name which didn’t begin with ‘O’. After a 3 day shake down cruise in the North Sea she commenced her maiden voyage on 9th April 1931 from Liverpool – La Rochelle – Vigo – Bermuda – Bahamas – Havana – Jamaica – Panama Canal – Guayaquil – Callao – Antofagasta – Valparaiso. The total passage time was 25.5 days. On 19th January 1932 she recommenced a ‘Round South America’ which was undertaken once annually. In 1936 she completed the voyage to Valparaiso in a record 25 days. On 3rd August 1939, after arriving at Liverpool, she was despatched to the Clyde where she was put on standby pending the outbreak of war. When war was declared on 3rd September she left the Clyde as part of a 17 ship convoy bound for the Far East. After one voyage to Halifax in December 1939 she returned to Liverpool where she was converted into a troopship. On 11th April she sailed from the Clyde with four other troopships bound for Harstad in Norway and the Bygden Fjord where they steamed in circles for two hours while the Fjord was depth charged by the escorts. She was bombed during the embarkation but suffered no damage. In the following May she returned to Norway to evacuate troops and then proceeded to West Africa. On 24th July 1940 she sailed for Suez via Cape Town with RAF personnel, their Spitfires being carried by the accompanying aircraft carrier Argus. She repeated the same voyage on 14th November. In January 1941 she carried the 4th Indian Division from Suez to Port Sudan from where the troops proceeded to Ethopia. Back in Avonmouth by the March she was bombed for three successive nights but suffered no damage. Moved to the Clyde she was bombed again but incurred no damage. On 22nd March 1941 and loaded with troops she struck a submerged object in the Bristol Channel and shed a propeller forcing her to return to Liverpool for repairs. Whilst in Liverpool she was subjected to air attacks on 15th April but although a delayed action bomb exploded in the water alongside she suffered no damage and left on time with troops bound for Cape Town. After a second voyage to South Africa she undertook North Atlantic crossings out of Halifax before commencing a voyage from Liverpool – Cape Town – Bombay – Colombo – Liverpool. On 12th April 1942 she repeated the voyage to Colombo. She made one trip to North America on 6th August to fetch US and Canadian troops and when she returned to Liverpool she was dry docked, repainted and the lifeboats replaced with landing craft. On 13th September she proceeded to the Clyde and, together with other troopships, commenced practice landing operations. These continued until 17th October when a full rehearsal for the North Africa landings were undertaken at Loch Linne. On 21st October she embarked troops for the ‘Z’ landing at Oran and as flagship to Senior Naval Officer Landing proceeded to the Mediterranean. As the Algiers force had to be 24 hours ahead of the Oran force the Reina del Pacifico, at one stage, had to steam on a reverse course for 8 hours so that she could sail through the Straits of Gibraltar in darkness. At 15.30hrs on 7th November she met up with the equipment ships and then, at 20.00hrs, rendez-voused with the marker submarine. By 23.30hrs she was in position, one of 102 ships assembled for the landing operation. At 07.00hrs on the following morning her landing craft were disembarked and went to the assembly area where they proceeded ashore. The Reina del Pacifico later berthed in Oran harbour. By 24th November she was back in the Clyde embarking reinforcements for Algiers. On 5th January 1943 she took reinforcements to Oran and later in the year, on 5th May, arrived at Suez to begin practicing for the Sicily landings. On 29th June she embarked the 51st Highland Division landing them at Avola Beach, Sicily on 10th July. She then sailed to Malta before proceeding to Oran where she evacuated 500 German prisoners of war. During this time she was twice attacked by the Luftwaffe. On 23rd July she arrived back in the Clyde. In the following August she carried King Peter of Jugoslavia, together with his entourage, from Liverpool to Suez from where she proceeded to Taranto and Port Augustus with troops. When she was in Sicily she embarked the U. S. First Division H. Q. Staff for passage to Britain where they began preparations for the Normandy landings. On 15th November 1943 she sailed form Liverpool to Bombay in a convoy of 20 ships carrying troops. The convoy was attacked on 26th November by 60 aircraft and Lamport and Holt’s Delius was the only loss. Three days later the convoy was again attacked by 24 JU 88’s but although they scored several hits no ships were lost. In January 1944 she sailed on a trooping voyage to East Africa and then spent ten months ferrying troops in the Mediterranean. In December of 1944 she sailed from Liverpool to New York with a call in Iceland before going to the Pacific where she continued trooping duties until the end of hostilities. During 1946 she was deployed as a Repatriation ship sailing some 350,000 miles and returning some 150,000 men and women of over 20 nationalities to their homelands. In January 1947 she returned to her builders where she was refurbished. As her fittings, removed when she was converted for war duties, had been destroyed during the bombing new furniture was installed. Her sea trials commenced on 10th September and on the following day the outer No.2 engine overheated and blew up killing 28 engine room personnel. She returned to service in 1948 on the Liverpool – Valparaiso service, a year later than anticipated. On 8th July 1957 she went aground on Devil’s Flat, Bermuda and came off two days later without incurring any damage. In the following November she lost a propeller in Havana and a new one was delivered by the Salinas. On 27th April 1958 she sailed on her last voyage before being withdrawn from service and subsequent scrapping at the BISCO yard of John Cashmore at Newport in Monmouthshire. One of the shi’s anchors is exhibited at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.

TALCA (3) was built in 1943 by Bethlehem Fairfield Shipyard Inc. at Baltimore, Maryland with a tonnage of 7219grt, a length of 42ft 9in, a beam of 57ft and a service speed of 14 knots. She was laid down as the Orville P. Taylor and completed as the Samothrace for management by Royal Mail Lines. Acquired by PSNC in 1947 she was renamed Talca. In 1953 she was sold to Cia. Naviera Aris S. A. of Puerto Limon, Costa Rica and renamed Popi. Eight years later she was sold to Atlas Maritime Finance Corp of Beirut and renamed Lydia. After a further six years service she was broken up at Whampoa, China in July 1967.

SAMANCO was built in 1943 by Harland & Wolff at Belfast with a tonnage of 6413grt, a length of 466ft 4in, a beam of 62ft 9in and a service speed of 15 knots. On 17th October 1951 she collided with Prudential Steam Ship Co’s George Uhler off Dungeness. She was sold to Deutsche Dampschiff “Hansa” and renamed Reichenfels in 1956. In 1962 she was finally broken up in Spain.

SARMIENTO (2) was built in October 1943 by Harland & Wolff at Belfast with a tonnage of 8335grt, a length of 466ft 4in, a beam of 62ft 9in and a service speed of 15 knots. Sister of the Samanco she remained with the company until 1967 when she was sold to Eagle Ocean Shipping Co. of Famagusta,Cyprus and was renamed Monomachos. In 1969 she was renamed the Gladiator under the same ownership. On 28th February 1971 she sailed from Havana bound for Shanghai where she was broken up.
(Photo: John Clarkson Collection)

SALAMANCA was built in 1948 by Harland & Wolff at Belfast with a tonnage of 6704grt, a length of 467ft, a beam of 62ft and a service speed of 13 knots. An “S” class ship she entered service on the UK – Bermuda – Bahamas – Cuba – Colombia – Panama – Colombia (Pacific) – Ecuador – Peru – Chile run. She was sold to El Chaco Cia. Nav. S. A. of Piraeus and renamed Kronos. On 17th October 1972 she sailed from Singapore bound for Shanghai where she was broken up.

SALINAS was built in 1947 by Harland & Wolff at Belfast with a tonnage of 6705grt, a length of 466ft 4in, a beam of 62ft 9in and a service speed of 15 knots. Similar to the Samanco she was completed in November 1947. During the Suez crisis in 1956 she carried troops and stores to Cyprus and was lead ship on the convoy that entered Port Said on 6 November 1956. In 1968 she was sold for £160,000 to Polyfimos Cia. Nav. of Greece and renamed Polyfimos. On 6th December 1972 she sailed from Singapore bound for Shanghai where she was broken up. (Photo: Fotoflite)

SALAVERRY was built in 1946 by Harland & Wolff at Belfast with a tonnage of 6647grt, a length of 466ft 4in, a beam of 62ft 9in and a service speed of 15 knots. Sister of the Salinas she was sold in 1967 for £150,000 to Detabi Cia. Nav. of Piraeus, Greece and renamed Pelias. On 12th december 1972 she sprang a leak in the engine room and sank some 250 miles south of Durban without any loss of life. (Photo: John Clarkson Collection)

SANTANDER was built in 1946 by Harland & Wolff at Belfast with a tonnage of 6648grt, a length of 466ft 4in, a beam of 62ft 9in and a service speed of 15 knots. Sister of the Salinas she was sold to Navmachos Steam Ship Co. of Famagusta for £147,500 in 1967 and renamed Navmachos. On 9th December 1971 she was sold for $166,000 and broken up in Spain by Villaneuva y Geltru. (Photo; John Clarkson Collection)

REINA DEL MAR was built in 1956 by Harland & Wolff at Belfast with a tonnage of 20263grt, a length of 600ft 10in, a beam of 78ft 5in and a service speed of 17 knots. Launched on 7th June 1955 and costing £5,000,000 she commenced her maiden voyage from Liverpool to Valparaiso via the Panama Canal on 3rd may 1956. At the time she was the largest, fastest and only fully air-conditioned passenger liner operating a regular service between the UK, France, Spain and the west coast of South America. On 5th March 1964 she completed her final South American voyage and was chartered to the South African Max Wilson’s Travel Savings Association for cruising and transatlantic summer sailings. The shareholders of TSA became Canadian Pacific, Union-Castle and Royal Mail. During 1964 she was refurbished for her new role and equipped with a cinema and extra lido decks as it was also the intention to use the ship as a hotel at its ports of call. Under Union-Castle management the ship commenced her first sailing to New York on 10th June 1964. In the October Union-Castle became the sole owner of TSA but not the ship. However, in the November the ship was painted in Union-Castle livery and operated winter cruises from South Africa to South America; Union-Castles only venture into the cruise business. In 1969 Royal Mail became the registered owner of all PSNC ships but the Reina del Mar never traded under the Royal Mail umbrella and was chartered to Union-Castle for five years. In 1973 she was acquired by Union-Castle before the charter expired and traded for a further two years before being broken up at Kaohsiung in Taiwan by Tung Cheng Steel Co. in late 1975.

KENUTA (2) was built in 1950 by Greenock Dockyard Co. at Greenock with a tonnage of 8494grt, a length of 512ft 7in, a beam of 66ft 4in and a service speed of 16 knots. She was originally laid down for Clan Line but, together with the Flamenco, was purchased on the stocks in August 1950. After 21 years service with the company she was towed by the tug Mumbles to Antwerp where she was broken up. (Photo: Jim Pottinger)

FLAMENCO (2) was built in 1950 by Greenock Dockyard Co. at Greenock with a tonnage of 8491grt, a length of 512ft 7in, a beam of 66ft 4in and a service speed of 16 knots. Sister of the Kenuta she entered service in December 1950 on the South American PSNC service. She was sold to Cia. de Nav. Abeto S.A. and renamed Pacific Abeto. After a further sixteen years service she was broken up at Chittagong during 1982. (Photo: John Clarkson Collection)

POTOSI (4) was built in 1955 by Greenock Dockyard Co. at Greenock with a tonnage of 8494grt, a length of 512ft 7in, a beam of 66ft 4in and a service speed of 16 knots. She was launched on 23rd February 1955 for the South American cargo services. In 1972 she was sold to Granvias Oceanicos Armadora S.A. of Piraeus and renamed Kavo Pieratis. For years later, in October 1976, she was sold to W. H. Arnott Young & Co and broken up at Dalmuir.

PIZARRO (2) was built in 1955 by Greenock Dockyard Co. at Greenock with a tonnage of 8564grt, a length of 512ft 7in, a beam of 66ft 4in and a service speed of 16 knots. Sister of the Kenuta she entered service on the round South America cargo service on 14th October 1955. She was sold to Navieros Progresivos S.A. of Piraeus and renamed Kavo Maleas. In November 1974 she was broken up by Chin Ho Fa Steel and Iron Works at Kaohsiung. (Photo: Jim Pottinger)

COTOPAXI (2) was built in 1954 by Wm Denny & Co. at Dumbarton with a tonnage of 8559grt, a length of 512ft 6in, a beam of 66ft 4in and a service speed of 16 knots. Completed in April 1954 she was sold in 1973 to Transportes Mundiales Armadora S. A. of Piraeus and renamed Kavo Longos. Two years later, in November 1975, she was broken up in China.

CUZCO (2) was built in 1951 by Blyth Dry Docks & Shipbuilding Co. at Blyth with a tonnage of 8038grt, a length of 501ft, a beam of 64ft 2in and a service speed of 15.5 knots. She was laid down as the Thurland Castle for James Chambers & Co. of Liverpool but acquired by PSNC who renamed her Cuzco. After fourteen years service she was sold to Wm. Thomson’s Benlarig Shipping Co., with Ben Line as managers and renamed Benattow. On 25th September 1977 she arrived at Kaohsiung where she was broken up by Sing Ching Yung Steel Co.

ELEUTHERA was built in 1959 by Hall Russell & Co. at Aberdeen with a tonnage of 5407grt, a length of 386ft 2in, a beam of 54ft 3in and a service speed of 13.5 knots. She entered service in May 1959 and continued with the company until 1970 when she was laid up in the River Fal and put up for sale. In the following year she was sold to Seahunter Shipping Co. of Famagusta and renamed Mimi-M. Three years later she was sold to Valient Bay Shipping Co. of Piraeus and renamed Maria. After a further ten years service she arrived at Gadani Beach in Pakistan on 1st November 1984 where she was broken up.

SOMERS ISLE was built in 1959 by Harland & Wolff at Belfast with a tonnage of 5684grt, a length of 396ft, a beam of 54ft 3in and a service speed of 13.5 knots. Sister of the Eleuthera she entered service on the Bermuda – Caribbean ports – Panama run. In 1970 she was laid up in the River Fal and put up for sale. Sold to Sealord Shipping Co.of Famagusta in 1971 she was renamed Eldina. Four years later she was sold to Commencement Compania Naviera S. A. of Famagusta and renamed Commencement. In 1982 her owners renamed her Caribbean and a year later she became the Melpol under the ownership of Commencement Maritime Enterprises of Jersey. In December 1983, during a voyage from Lisbon to Bremen, she was damaged by fire in the English Channel with the loss of one life. In the following year she was laid up and eventually scrapped. (Photo: Jim Pottinger)

CIENFUEGOS/CHANDELEUR was built in 1959 by Hall Russell & Co. at Aberdeen with a tonnage of 5554grt, a length of 386ft 2in, a beam of 54ft 3in and a service speed of 13.5 knots. Sister of the Eleuthera she entered service as the Cienfuegos in 1959. In 1968 she was renamed Chandeleur and chartered to Royal Mail Line. She was taken out of service in 1970, laid up in the River Fal and put up for sale. In 1971 she was sold to Seacomber Shipping Co. of Famagusta and renamed Emma-M. Three years later she was sold to Green Bay Shipping Co. of Piraeus who renamed her Lela. In 1981 she was sold to the West Asia Shipping Co. of Singapore and renamed Jetpur Viceroy. On 2nd November 1982 she made her final voyage to Chittagong and on 25th April 1983 she was decommissioned and broken up.

OROYA (4) was built in 1956 by Bremer Vulcan at Vegesack with a tonnage of 6311grt, a length of 475ft, a beam of 44ft 4in and a service speed of 17 knots. Built as the Arabic for Shaw, Savill & Albion she was transferred to PSNC in 1968. In 1970 she was managed by Furness Withy as the Pacific Ranger but in the following year reverted to PSNC as the Oroya. She was sold to the Hong Kong Ocean Shipping Co. of Panama in 1972 who renamed her Lamma Island. After a further eleven years service she arrived at Inchon in Korea on 28th May 1983 where she was broken up by Inchon Iron & Steel Co.

ORITA (3) was built in 1957 by Bremer Vulcan at Vegesack with a tonnage of 6311grt, a length of 475ft, a beam of 44ft 4in and a service speed of 17 knots. Sister of the Oroya she was built as the Afric for Shaw Savill & Albion of London. She was transferred to PSNC in 1968 and renamed Orita. In 1972 she was sold to Hong Kong Islands Shipping Co. of Panama and renamed Hong Kong Island. On 1st May 1983 she arrived at Inchon Iron & Steel Co. at Inchon in Korea where she was being broken up.

OROPESA (3) was built in 1957 by Bremer Vulcan at Hamburg with a tonnage of 6553grt, a length of 475ft, a beam of 44ft 4in and a service speed of 17 knots. Sister of the Oroya she was completed for Shaw Savill & Albion as the Aramaic and transferred to PSNC in 1968 who renamed her Oropesa. In 1970 she was briefly renamed Pacific Exporter for operation by Furness Withy before reverting to her former name. She was sold to Hong Kong Atlantic Shipping Co. of Panama in 1972 and renamed Lantao Island. After a further ten years trading she arrived at Kaohsiung on 29th September 1982 where she was broken up.

WILLIAM WHEELWRIGHT was built in 1960 by Harland & Wolff at Belfast with a tonnage of 31320grt, a length of 753ft 6in, a beam of 98ft 5in and a service speed of 16 knots. An oil tanker her registered owner was Pacific Maritime Services Ltd and she was chartered on a long term contract to Shell. On 26th December 1975 she ran aground off Sinoe, south of Monrovia in Liberia whilst in ballast. She was refloated three days later and towed to Lisbon where examination revealed that she was beyond repair. Returning to PSNC ownership she was towed to Santander in October 1976 where she was broken up by Recuperaciones Submarines S.A.

COLOSO was built in 1961 by A Hall & Co. at Aberdeen with a tonnage of 293grt, a length of 101ft, a beam of 26ft 1in and a service speed of 11 knots. She was a tug based at Antofagasta flying the Chilean flag and with ownership registered as Servicios Maritimos S.A. of Antofagasta. In she was sold to Ultramar Agencia Maritima of Valparaiso in 1976 and renamed Ultramar IV. She now appears to be out of service.

GEORGE PEACOCK was built in 1961 by Harland & Wolff at Belfast with a tonnage of 19153grt, a length of 643ft39in, a beam of 80ft 11in and a service speed of 15.75 knots. She was an oil tanker registered as being owned by Pacific Maritime Services Ltd. In 1969 she was sold to V. J. Vardinoyannis of Piraeus and renamed Georgis V. Twelve years later, in 1981,she was sold to Varnicos (Varnima Corp) of Piraeus who retained her name. In 1985 she appeared to be laid up but it now seems that she is out of service. (Photo: Dave Edge)

ORCOMA (2) was built in 1966 by Harland & Wolff at Belfast with a tonnage of 10300grt, a length of 508ft 9in, a beam of 70ft 2in and a service speed of 18 knots. She was built for the Furness Withy subsidiary company Nile Steamship Co. and chartered to PSNC for 20 years. In 1970 she was used as a British Exhibition ship reverting to her normal South American services in the following year. She was sold to P. T. Samudera of Indonesi in October 1979 and renamed Ek Daya Samudera. On 31st March 1984 she arrived at Kaohsiung where she was broken up by Tai Yuan Steel & Iron Co.

ORBITA (2) was built in 1972 by Cammell Laird & Co. at Birkenhead with a tonnage of 12321grt, a length of 529ft 8in, a beam of 73ft 4in and a service speed of 18 knots. She was built for PSNC who, by 1972 ,was part of the Royal Mail Division of Furness Withy and operated out of Liverpool. In April 1980 she was sold to Cia. Sud Americana de Vapores of Valparaiso and renamed Andalien. Later in the same year she was sold to Wallem & Co. of Hong Kong and renamed Morning Sun but before the year was out she had returned to Sud Americana with the name Rubens. Although still trading in 1990 she appears to have been broken up in subsequent years.

ORDUNA (2) was built in 1973 by Cammell Laird & Co. at Birkenhead with a tonnage of 12321grt, a length of 529ft 8in, a beam of 73ft 4in and a service speed of 18 knots. Sister of the Orbita she was completed for the South American services and in 1980 she registered as owned by Royal Mail Line with PSNC as managers. On 30th September 1982 she was transferred to Furness Withy Shipping who changed her name to Beacon Grange. In 1984 she was sold to Cenargo Ltd. and renamed Merchant Pioneer. As Cenargo Ltd where the building contractors for the airport on the Falkland Islands she was used to carry materials from the UK to Port Stanley. Although still trading in 1990 she appears to have been broken up in subsequent years.

ORTEGA (2)/ANDES (2) was built in 1973 by Cammell Laird & Co. at Birkenhead with a tonnage of 12321grt, a length of 529ft 8in, a beam of 73ft 4in and a service speed of 18 knots. Sister of the Orbita she was completed as to Ortega in July 1973. In April 1980 she was renamed Andes when ownership was transferred to Royal Mail Line but she continued to operate for PSNC. She was sold to Blue Haven Co. Ltd of Hong Kong in August 1982 and renamed Oceanhaven. Five years later, in 1987, she was renamed Kota Akbar by her new owner Pacific International Lines (Pte) Ltd. Current shipping directories indicate that she appears to have been broken up in subsequent years.

OROYA (5) was built in 1978 by Lithgows Ltd at Port Glasgow with a tonnage of 9015grt, a length of 535ft 3in, a beam of 75ft 4in and a service speed of 16.25 knots. Registered as owned by Ardgowan Shipping Co. of London with Furness Withy Shipping as managers she entered service with PSNC in April 1978. In 1985 she was transferred to Shaw, Savill & Albion without a change of name and in 1986 was sold to Nigerian Green Lines of Lagos and renamed Yinka Folawiyo. She was purchased by Cenargo Ltd in 1989 and renamed Merchant Premier and managed by V Ships (UK) Ltd. At the present time it appears that she is owned by John McRink & Co. Ltd of Hong Kong with the name Lady Aryette.

OROPESA (4) was built in 1978 by Lithgows Ltd at Port Glasgow with a tonnage of 9015grt, a length of 535ft 3in, a beam of 75ft 4in and a service speed of 16.25 knots. Sister of the Oroya she was registered as being owned by Blackhall Shipping Co. and entered service for PSNC in April 1978. In 1982 she was operated by Shaw, Saville & Albion out of Liverpool. On 25th May 1984 she was sold with the Orduna to Cenargo Ltd for deployment on their Falkland Island service. At the present time it appears that she is owned by John McRink & Co. Ltd of Hong Kong with the name Lady Danielle.

ANDES (3) was built in 1984 by Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. at Ulsan, South Korea with a tonnage of 32150grt, a length of 662ft 10in, a beam of 105ft 7in and a service speed of 18.5 knots. She was launched on 16th November 1983 for Furness Withy but for operation by PSNC as one of seven ships on the Eurosal (Europe South America Line). The seven container ships, the Andes was Furness Withy’s member ship, replaced 28 conventional cargo ships and were equipped with a self unloading gantry for use at ports without container facilities. Still in service in 1990 with Furness Withy she has subsequently been either sold on on several occasions or broken up.

ALBEMARLE was built in 1950 by Burntisland Shipbuilding Co. at Port Burntisland with a tonnage of 3364grt, a length of 364ft 9in, a beam of 51ft 2in and a service speed of 14 knots. She was built as the Afric for Prince Line but for charter to Shaw Savill & Albion another Furness Withy subsidiary company. In 1955 she was chartered to PSNC and renamed Albemarle for deployment on an experimental service between Bermuda – Caribbean ports – Panama. The routing proved to be successful and three further ships, the Cienfuegos, the Eleuthera and the Somer’s Isle were ordered. In 1957 she was transferred back to Prince Line and renamed Scottish Prince. After eleven years service with Prince Line she was sold to Klimnos Shipping Co. of Cyprus and renamed Grigorios. In 1972 she was acquired by Milos Steam Ship Co. of Cyprus who renamed her Milos. The same owner renamed her Nestor II in 1975 and on 23rd December 1977 she arrived at Gadani Beach, Karachi where she was broken up.

WALSINGHAM was built in 1950 by Burntisland Shipbuilding Co. at Port Burntisland with a tonnage of 3343grt, a length of 363ft, a beam of 51ft 2in and a service speed of 14 knots. Sister of the Albemarle she was built as the Sycamore for Furness Withy’s Johnston Warren Lines. In 1950 she was chartered to PSNC for operation on the same route as the Albemarle and renamed Walsingham. She reverted back to Johnston Warren and Sycamore in 1957 and in 1966 was transferred to Prince Line and renamed Merchant Prince. Two years later she was sold to Kaldelion Shipping Co. of Limassol and renamed Elias L. She was sold to Melteco Navigation Ltd of Limassol in 1975 and renamed Meltemi, a name which was shortened to Temi when she was sold on to Green Spirit Inc. of Limassol in 1978. On 10th May 1979 she arrived at Gadani Beach, Karachi where she was broken up.

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