The RHMS Ellinis was a Chandris Shipping Line ship, well known for transporting migrants to Australia from Southampton, England from 1963 to 1977.
The Ellinis entered service with Chandris Lines as a replacement for the company's second passenger ship Brittany, which caught fire in April 1963 during repairs in a Greek dry-dock and became a total loss.
The Ellinis begun its career as the luxury liner Lurline with the Matson Line on its lucrative San Francisco-Hawaii service. Built by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation of Quincy, Massachusetts, the Lurline was launched in July 1932 and entered service in January 1933. Powered by twin geared steam turbines, the Lurline had a top speed of 22.26 knots, with a regular service speed of 20.5 knots and superb accommodation for 475 first-class and 240 cabin class passengers.
When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour in December 1941, the Lurline has a narrow escape being just two days out of Honolulu bound for San Francisco. She was quickly requisitioned by the US Navy and converted to a troop ship to serve in the Pacific war, making several trips to Australia over the next few years, including one in April 1944, when she took Prime Minister John Curtin to America to meet with President Roosevelt. After the war the Lurline underwent an extensive two-year refit before re-entering service on her original route in April 1948 and later added South Pacific cruises to her regular itinerary.
With declining patronage, the Lurline suffered a serious engine failure in February 1963 and was acquired by the Chandris Line who renamed the ship Ellinis and had her engines repaired before being sent to Smith's Dock, North Shields for a refit. The Ellinis emerged with a new more streamlined look complete with two smart tapered funnels and expanded accommodation for 1668 single-class passengers, making her first departure for Australia from Piraeus on 30 December 1963.
Subsequently, the Ellinis was put on the Southampton-Australia route, making 50 voyages to Australia over the next ten years, including several round-the-world voyages and occasional cruises. In 1970 Chandris Lines secured the government contract to transport British migrants to Australia, but over the next few years the number of immigrants carried declined as more and more choose to fly out to Australia. On 30 August 1977, the Ellinis departed Southampton on its final voyage to Australia and then spent six months cruising out of Sydney, before departing Australia for the last time to return to Europe where she spend the next decade cruising the Mediterranean before finally being broken up in 1987.