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Anchors Away – history of the MS Batory – first cruise voyage, fight, migration

The MS (Motor Ship) Batory is one of the best-known Polish Transatlantic Liners and a icon of Polish emigration. It was called “Lucky Ship”, because it took part in many martialfight during World War II (e.g. it participated in the battles of Narvik) without suffering large damage. It was destroyed after thirty six years of service.

Ship on the sea
Prepared by: Mark Michaelis
The MS Batory was launched on 3 July 1935 (it was developed in Italy). On its first trip it sailed from Monfalcone to Gdynia on April 1936. This beautiful ship has on its deck lots of excellent people such as: Wojciech Kossak, Monika Żeromska or Melchior Wańkowicz. This journey was reported by Polish Radio. The MS Batory started regular duty in May 1936 on the Gdynia - New York run. The ship equipment was new and very impressive. It was powered by two sets of Burmeister and Wain diesel engines (it could reach a speed of 18 knots). The liner was 160 metres long, weight over 14,000 tonnes, had seven desks, guest cabins, dining and dance halls, a reading room, a pool and a gym. It was also decorated with big taste (including expensive porcelain and magnificent furniture). MS Batory was callednamed a floating art showroom.

The information about conflict met the ship during a journey from Canada and then The Batory became a warship and spent 652 days at sea. The most meaningful journey was a evacuation almost 500 children from Europe to Australia. After war the liner returned to Poland in 1946 and carried on civil service ( (in the 60-ties it even took a part in a few movies). On its board lots of Poles abandoned theirs homeland looking for a better life beyond the Atlantic Ocean in the USA. Then, after many years of service, in 1971 The Batory was directed into pension and go to demolition yard in Honkong. In 1969 it was replaced by a larger liner TSS Stefan Batory. Nothing, apart from photographs, memories and a few souvenirs had left from the MS Batory and its vessel equipment. That was the end of the tale of the Polish Transatlantic Liner known as a “Lucky Ship”.

New ship
Tourists can look up design of MS Batory in the Emigration Museum in Poland in the town of Gdynia. Unfortunately visitors can’t miracle interiors of the liner, but they can learn more about its fabulous tale, daredevil crew (particularly about its chef – Eustazy Borkowski). In the other halls of this museum they can also find out more about people who chose emigration, about their life (before and after they left Poland), about their motivation and future decisions.

Posted by Administrator on 2015-08-10 12:48:05
Tags: liner, vessel, ship, Transatlantic Liner