Union-Castle Line

The Last Ocean Liners


 

Union-Castle Line This famous British shipping company traditionally linked England and South Africa via the "Cape Mail Express" service, with a sailing every Thursday at 4:00 pm from Southampton. In July 1965, a faster schedule was introduced with sailings from Southampton every Friday, overall saving two days in each direction.

Union-Castle Line Only seven ships were required instead of eight, which included Windsor Castle, Pendennis Castle, Edinburgh Castle, S.A. Vaal and S.A. Oranje. The last two were built as Transvaal Castle and Pretoria Castle respectively and were transferred to Safmarine South Africa while still managed by Union-Castle Line. Two new fast freighters were also required.

In addition to First and Tourist class passengers, freight and mail had a very important role in the economics of the express service. Southbound holds were filled with general cargo, but gold, copper and fruit prevailed on the northbound run.

Union-Castle Line First class accommodations on Union-Castle Line ocean liners were extremely spacious, delighting thousands of British travelers on extended South African holidays. Tourist class attracted immigrants, students and budget tourists. The typical deck plan included a separate lounge, smoking room, veranda cafe, dining room and swimming pool for each class.

"The 6000 mile journey to or from South Africa can be a leisurely, refreshing holiday in itself. You sail, in the main, through warm, sunlit seas. It's relaxation and enjoyment all the way, backed up, of course, by the traditional, friendly Union-Castle service."

The last sailing on this historic route was completed in 1977.


Continue to the ships below ...



Go to Union-Castle Line sailing schedules or select schedules by ship:


Windsor Castle - 1960 - Union-Castle Line
Windsor Castle Union-Castle Line
Built: 1960 by Cammell Laird, Birkenhead, England Gross tons: 37640 Length: 783ft (239m) Width: 92ft (28m) Depth: 32ft (10m) Speed: 23kn Power: 49000 shp Propulsion: Steam turbines twin screw Passengers: 237 First 585 Tourist End of service: Sold 1977
 

Pendennis Castle - 1958 - Union-Castle Line
Pendennis Castle Union-Castle Line
Built: 1958 by Harland & Wolff, Belfast, N Ireland Gross tons: 28582 Length: 763ft (233m) Width: 84ft (26m) Depth: 32ft (10m) Speed: 22.5kn Power: 46000 shp Propulsion: Steam turbines twin screw Passengers: 197 First 539 Tourist End of service: Sold 1976
 

Edinburgh Castle - 1948 - Union-Castle Line
Edinburgh Castle Union-Castle Line
Built: 1948 by Harland & Wolff, Belfast, N Ireland Gross tons: 28705 Length: 747ft (228m) Width: 84ft (26m) Depth: 32ft (10m) Speed: 22kn Power: 35000 shp Propulsion: Steam turbines twin screw Passengers: 214 First 541 Tourist End of service: Scrapped 1976
 

S.A. Vaal - 1961 - Union-Castle Line
S.A. Vaal Union-Castle Line
Built: 1961 by John Brown & Co, Clydebank, Scotland Gross tons: 32697 Length: 760ft (232m) Width: 90ft (27m) Depth: 32ft (10m) Speed: 22.5kn Power: 44000 shp Propulsion: Steam turbines twin screw Passengers: 736 One-class End of service: Sold 1977
 

S.A. Oranje - 1948 - Union-Castle Line
S.A. Oranje Union-Castle Line
Built: 1948 by Harland & Wolff, Belfast, N Ireland Gross tons: 28705 Length: 747ft (228m) Width: 84ft (26m) Depth: 32ft (10m) Speed: 22kn Power: 35000 shp Propulsion: Steam turbines twin screw Passengers: 214 First 541 Tourist End of service: Scrapped 1975