The last of the Saxonia class of ships, Sylvania was built by John Brown & Co., Clydebank – entering service in 1957.
The ship was used alongside her sisters on the Liverpool to Eastern Canada service; however within a year of her entering service the Boeing 707 had rendered the service onsolete and as such her time with Cunard was short lived.
In an attempt to maintain their finances, Cunard sent Sylvania cruising. After an overhaul which included the vessel being painted white, and the Cunard brand attached to her aft superstructure, Sylvania begun her new life as a cruise vessel. However this was not overly successful and by 1968 her career with Cunard was drawing to a close.
Sylvania was sold to Sitmar Cruise Line later that year and renamed Fairwind.
She remained in Southampton for a short time, along side her sister Fairland (ex Carinthia), until she was later extensively rebuilt for the American Cruise market. She was briefly named Sitmar Fairwind before the Sitmar Group was sold to P&O in 1988, and the ship was renamed Dawn Princess for P&O’s Princess division.
In 1993 the ship was sold to the V Group of Monte Carlo, where she was renamed Albatros (pictured – image supplied); named after the seabirds. For years she sailed under the V Group flag, and specialized in charter cruises for German tourists, until she was retired in 2003.
This Sylvania information submitted in 2004 by a reader of Chris’ Cunard Page.
Image source: Simplon Post Cards