One of the finest sea-going treasures to be recently discarded was Mercy Ships' MV ANASTASIS, a well-preserved, largely original remnant from Italy's golden ocean liner era.
Not to be confused with the Incres VICTORIA (ex DUNNOTTAR CASTLE) of 1959 (originally 1936), which is, sadly, also included on this site, Lloyd Triestino's VICTORIA was one of two nearly identical 11,700 gt twin sisters built for the Genoa/Naples run to Hong Kong via Port Said, Suez, Aden, Bombay, Djakarta, Singapore, Manila, and Karachi.
Like her latter day Incres namesake, Lloyd Triestino's VICTORIA was designed by the iconic Gustavo Pulitzer-Finale. Her first class, accommodating 290 passengers, was especially opulent with a beautiful forward-facing lounge paneled in burled woods, a three deck stairtower with Murano crystal balustrade insets, heavy brass and acid-etched glass doors, Arteluce lighting and specially-commissioned artworks, including painted murals, bronze sculptures and wood carvings. Even the tourist class public spaces were richly paneled and pleasantly appointed to accommodate 141 lucky voyagers.
VICTORIA and her twin, ASIA, were also fully air-conditioned and had large pools and lido spaces that would help extend VICTORIA's career as Lloyd Triestino began its withdrawal from line voyage services. In 1974, VICTORIA was transferred to Adriatica Lines and began local Mediterranean services from Venice, until being laid up in 1977.
At the same time, the Christian organization, Youth With A Mission was seeking a second hand ship for its newly-formed Mercy Ships division. The plan was to use the ship to bring relief and medical care to needly regions of the world. The well-built VICTORIA, although "down in the tooth", was a perfect candidate with her large, comfortable cabins and cargo spaces that could be used for supplies and also be converted for use as a hospital. VICTORIA was renamed ANASTASIS, and, instead of sailing off to the breakers or becoming a livestock carrier like her sister, ASIA, she was gradually revived for a long career bringing help to the world's needy.
Over the years, ANASTASIS concentrated on different regions and also made pilgrimages to the U.S. and Northern Europe with "open houses" in key ports where visitors were invited to come and inspect the ship and learn more about her duties. In her final years, the ship was based in West Africa and was ultimately replaced in early 2007 with a converted Baltic ferry, the AFRICAN MERCY (ex DRONNING INGRID). Although there were hopes of seeing ANASTASIS preserved as a museum ship, she sailed off to Alang in the summer of 2007.
Many of her original fittings were removed prior to her departure for Alang but I was surprised to find a trove of treasures still on board when I visited the ship shortly after her arrival.
VICTORIA/ANASTASIS Items For Sale (Updated August 6. 2010):
EMPRESS OF CANADA ENCHANTED ISLE EUGENIO C FEDOR SHALYAPIN FESTIVALE FIESTA MARINA FRANCONIA ISLANDBREEZE IVERNIA IVORY JEAN MERMOZ LURLINE MADAGASCAR MARDI GRAS MARGARITA L MARIANNA VI MARIANNA 9 MAYAN EMPRESS MERMOZ MONARCH STAR MONTEREY MS PHILIPPINES OLYMPIA OLYMPIC PRINCIPE PERFEITO PRINCESA VICTORIA REGAL EMPRESS RENAISSANCE RHAPSODY REGENT STAR S. A. VAAL SAPPHO SERENADE SHOTA RUSTAVELI SPERO STATENDAM STELLA MARIS II STELLA OCEANIS STELLA SOLARIS TAHITIEN THE BIG RED BOAT II