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Friday, July 1, 2016

Remembering Home Lines Homeric on the 43rd Anniversary of Her Last Cruise

On July 1, 1973, Home Line's famous Homeric of 1931/1955 suffered an galley fire 90 miles off the coast of  Cape May, New Jersey. Earlier that day, the Homeric departed from Manhattan on what was to be a Caribbean Cruise.  Although the fire was quickly contained and extinguished, it did result in significant smoke damage throughout the ship.  The Homeric sailed to Genoa, Italy in hopes of having the ship repaired but the smoke damage would ultimately lead to the demise of the great liner. The cost involved in restoring the liner, combined with her age of 33 years made the repairs financially not possible.   The Homeric was sold to scrappers and on January 29, 1974, the ship arrived at Kaoshiung, Taiwan for scrapping. Meeting her in Kaoshiung was also another legendary liner, the Nieuw Amsterdam (1938) of Holland America Line.

Final Cruise Brochure for Home Line's Famous Homeric of 1955
Final Cruise Brochure for Home Line's Famous Homeric of 1955
The Homeric was originally built for Matson Line as their famous Mariposa of 1931. After sailing extensively in the Pacific between the West Coast and Hawaii, the Mariposa was laid up. In  1953, the Mariposa was purchased from Matson Line and in 1954 renamed Homeric for the famous Home Lines.

Under Home Lines ownership, the Homeric had an illustrious career sailing transatlantic from New York and/or Canada to Europe and eventually settling in on year-round cruises from New York to the Bahamas or the Caribbean.

Home Line Homeric as Depicted in a Home Lines Postcard.
Home Line Homeric as Depicted in a Home Lines Postcard.

 The Homeric was large for ships of the day offering passengers anything they could possibly need. At 18,563 tons and 632 feet long, the Homeric is dwarfed by ships like the Oasis of the Seas today. The Oasis Class ships are almost 11 times the size of the Homeric. The Homeric had a very loyal following with many current passengers frequently booking back-to-back weeks. The ship had an Italian flair, an all Italian crew providing attentive service, outstanding food and was meticulously clean. The Homeric had an extensive Lido deck and a party atmosphere. She was one of the pioneers in luxury Bahamas and Caribbean Cruises from New York.
Home Lines Homeric (1955) Aerial View Showing Deck Space and Lido Area

The Homeric was a fixture on the New York cruise circuit for 1.5 decades and one of my favorite liners. It is only right to remember the Homeric's great career on her anniversary.

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