S/S Ariadne – Postcard

Another postcard on ebay – soon – see the next post for an explanation…


When I was writing the description for this postcard I remembered during cruises I’ve been on we were told of a ship being assigned to other uses – a floating hotel for the Olympics in Australia, reassigned to either Atlantic or Pacific routes, or even sold. So I was interested in the history of the S/S Ariadne out of Miami shown on this postcard. Google provided a very interesting website, http://www.simplonpc.co.uk/ChandrisBonVivant.html and the author had done research on the vessel and detailed the long and useful life of the ship before it was scrapped in 1997.

I really enjoyed the website as he had postcards and images of the ship in many of it’s reincarnations, including the one that I have listed on ebay right now and shown above.

The quotes in the following are from the simplonpc.co.uk website linked above. I was wary about mentioning the website by name in ebay, but can do anything I want here!

S/S Ariadne- 7-day “Cruising Holiday”

Sailing from Miami every Saturday to Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands

Eastern Steamship Corp, Gen’l Agents

Pier 3 – Miami Florida

I realized from cruises I had taken that ships have a long and varied life, with face-lifts, redesign, and passing from corporation to corporation. The Steam Ship Ariadne began as the Patricia.

“Patricia was built in England in 1951 for Swedish Lloyd for use on the London (Tilbury)-Gothenburg services, plus winter Caribbean cruising from New York. However, she proved to be too large for the route, and was sold to Hamburg America Line in 1957. Refitted as a luxury cruise ship, she was renamed Ariadne, and used around the world. In 1961, Ariadne was sold to Eastern Steamship Line, who retained her name Ariadne and used her on Caribbean cruises.”

The next incarnation of the ship began: “In 1972, Ariadne was sold to Chandris Line as part of an exchange-sale agreement which saw the Atlantis passed to Eastern. She was chartered out as Freeport II from 1973-74. When returned to Chandris in 1974, she was renamed Bon Vivant and placed on Mediterranean cruising.”

“In 1978, she was renamed Ariane, though destined not to serve under this name according to Bill Miller’s The Chandris Liners. After a lengthy lay-up, she went to the Far East to work out of Singapore.”

“Ambrose Greenway however, in A Century of North Sea Passenger Steamers, suggests that Ariane ran short cruises out of Piraeus during the summer of 1979… She was renamed Empress Katerina in 1989, then Empress 65 in 1997, but was scrapped that year.”

During the time she was the Ariadne out of Miami the funnel was changed from the one you see in this postcard to a more “modern” and streamlined version in later images.

Since you’ve read this far, I’ll finish with a short story. I enjoy travel, and have been able to go many places because Sis is a great bargain shopper. This means we often have rooms in the lower sections of the ship (which is an advantage – really!) We had saved and were able to go to one of our favorite destinations, Alaska. Before the cruise we toured the interior portions of Alaska and heard there had been a fire aboard our ship!!! Oh, no!!! Fortunately the crew successfully fought the fire before it spread very far, and the damage was limited to some of the crew quarters. Since this was the beginning of the season the ship was not full and crew were moved into the guest rooms and those guests were bumped up several levels into the NICE staterooms! Our little, cramped room was occupied by crew and WE got the large stateroom with a REAL bed (no cot-sized bunk!), seating area, large closets, a dressing area, and a BATHTUB. This was life in the lap of luxury…Our windows looked out between the life boats, but we figured it was convenient if we were called to use them.


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