Folded accommodation and berthing plan for Chandris Lines, SS Australis. There plans feature a photographic image of the ship in blue and show the floor plans of the different decks of the ship. They also note that the ship was fully Air Conditioned.

Built in 1939 as the America to accommodate 516 first class, 371 cabin class and 159 tourist class passengers for the United States Lines, she was used as a US troop ship between 1941 and 1946. Used on the North Atlantic passenger service until 1964 when she was sold to Chandris Lines and renamed SS Australis. Rebuilt to accommodate 2,300 single class passengers, she sailed from Southampton around the world, including Australia. She often brought migrants from Europe to Australia as Chandris Lines had the Australian Government's migrant contract, bringing scores of new settlers to Freemantle, Melbourne and Sydney. The increase in air travel saw a decline in passengers on the Europe to Australia route and in 1978 the Australis was sold to Venture Cruise Line and renamed America. This venture was unsuccessful and later that year she was repurchased by Chandris Line and renamed Italis.

Physical Description

Folded plan printed on white stock in dark blue lettering and lining. Features photographic image of the ship in blue and floor plans of the different decks of the ship.


This collection of shipping memorabilia relating to the Europe & U.K. - Australia and Pacific Cruising voyages of the Greek-owned Chandris Lines passenger ships was collected by Paul Carman who joined the company's Melbourne office as a bookings officer in 1975. Mr Carman was responsible for allocating berths to passengers boarding Chandris Lines ships in Melbourne for cruises or voyages back to Europe. He continued to work for Chandris Lines until the company folded and still works in the cruise industry as Business Development Manager for Victoria, Tasmania & South Australia for the company Creative Cruising.
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 had 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 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. 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.

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. By 1976, the Australis was the only ship maintaining a regular schedule between Britain and Australia and on 18 November 1977, she left Southampton for the final time, carrying among her passengers 650 assisted immigrants - the last to be transported to Australia by any vessel.

More Information