THE MANY LIVES OF A GREAT SHIP
FROM AMERICA TO AUSTRALIS
Passengers carried 300,000 miles sailed 1,682,000
.In 1964 transatlantic passenger were jumping ship and jetting to Europe. The America lost $ 1 million; and United States Lines put the ship up for sale.
On the other side of the world passenger service from England to Australia and New Zealand was booming; In a move to attract immigrants the Australian and New Zealand Governments offered subsidize steamship ticket to encourage immigration. Using the Australian assisted passage program, an accepted immigrant could sail for as little as ₤10, or roughly $25. Their only obligation was a two year stay. For a slightly higher charge they could leave at any time.
On October 9 1965 The America left New York on her last round-trip crossing. On her return she was sold to Chandris Lines, a Greek shipping company. Renamed Australis, and sailed to Greece and for a refit. The ship’s capacity was increased from 1,046 to 2,258. Gone were the old class segregations replaced by one class, tourist. Air conditioning and a large outdoor pool provided relief in sub-tropical weather. Over the next 14 years the Australis would make sixty-two around the world voyages, transporting more than 300,000 passengers.