Amid cheers and ships' sirens, Dame Pattie Menzies, wife of the Australian Prime Minister, launched at Belfast Mar 16 Britain's biggest passenger liner, Canberra, since the Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth were built.
Stills of Canberra
Scenes of Canberra on slipway
Dame Pattie Menzies - with Sir William Currie and Sir Frederick Rebbeck -receives boquet
Dame Pattie names ship and performs launching ceremony
Props knocked away
Canberra down slipway
Crowds on slipway
Canberra enters water
Tug towards Canberra
Initials JRG/WS LSW/WS
Sir William Currie is Chairman and Managing Director of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company - owners of the Canberra; Sir Frederick is Chairman and Managing Director of Harland and Wolff Ltd. - the Canberra's builders
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Background: Amid cheers and ships' sirens, Dame Pattie Menzies, wife of the Australian Prime Minister, launched at Belfast Mar 16 Britain's biggest passenger liner, Canberra, since the Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth were built. The Canberra, technically one of the world's most advanced liners at 45000 tons will operate between the UK and Australia.
Although half the tonnage of the Queen Elizabeth, the Canberra will carry 2200 passengers - more than any other liner afloat. The ship's major feature is her streamline structure with a vast amount of superstructure in aluminum she is light and fast.
Another distinctive feature when the Canberra is completed will be her twin funnels, sited well aft. The turbines are also towards the stern to give a 27-knot speed. She cost GBP15M to build.
Over 25000 guests and dockers applauded as the ceremonial bottle of champagne smashed against the ship's bows for the launching. In a year's time, the Canberra, prototype for the future, will be ready to lead the British shipping challenge in the Pacific and in the words of the Queen on the occasion of the launching " a fresh link in the Commonwealth.
The air-conditioned interior, fitted with television receivers in cabins and public rooms will be able to pick up programmes in any part of the world. There are 17 lifts for passengers comfort. Many cabins are designed to receive maximum air and light. Courts or verandahs, with several windows looking out to sea, are surrounded by cabins, each of which has a window looking into the verandah. This means that cabins which otherwise would have been inside ones will have natural light and a sea view.
The Canberra's home port will be Southampton. Apart from the Australian run, she will run to Vancouver, San Francisco, Japan and Hongkong.