TIP | Titanic Related Ships | Virginian | Allan Line


Allan Line

Image of ss Virginian (Allan Line)

Length: 520.4 ft.
Breadth: 60.3 ft.
Draft (or Depth): 38.0 ft. (depth)
Tonnage: 10,750 (gross); 8,522 (underdeck); 6,827 (net)
Engines: Three steam turbines
Speed: 18 knots
Builder: A. Stephen & Sons, Glasgow (yard no. 405)
Launched: December 22, 1904
Maiden Voyage: April 6, 1905
Disposition: 1954 - removed from service

Port of Registry: Glasgow, Scotland
Flag of Registry: British
Funnel color: Red; white band below black top
Company flag: Blue-white-red vertical stripes, blue at hoist, red at fly; long red pennant above flag
Signal Letters: H C J G
Wireless call letters: M G N
Details: Steel hull; one funnel, two masts; triple screw; 3 decks; Accommodation: First 426; second 286; third 1,000


Relationship to Titanic disaster / inquiries.

April 15, 1912

Eastbound, Halifax to Liverpool. At 12:40 a.m., picked up distress call from Titanic by way of Cape Race (MCE). Immediately tuned in to Titanic and passed on details of the disaster to other ships. Although she was 178 miles to the north, was erroneously reported to have Titanic in tow.


Virginian had a long and industrious career. She performed faithfully for several employers, serving as a troop carrier in the Great War and as a Red Cross repatriation vessel during the Second World War.

The maiden voyage of her sister ship Victorian in March 1905 marked the entry of turbine power to the North Atlantic. And while Victorian was scrapped in 1929, Virginian was in active service until 1954.

December 22, 1904


April 6, 1905

Maiden voyage, Liverpool-St. John, New Brunswick. Subsequent trips between Liverpool and Montreal.

August 1914

Troop ship for Canadian Expeditionary Force.

November 13, 1914

Requisitioned as armed merchant cruiser, 10th Cruiser Squadron.

July 16, 1917

Allan Line absorbed by Canadian Pacific Ocean Services. Virginian remained in service as an armed merchant cruiser.

December 1917

Paid off by British Admiralty; taken up by the Liner Requisition Scheme.

December 23, 1918

Taken to Glasgow for complete refitting.

January 31, 1920

Released to Canadian Pacific Line, but did not sail for them.

February 14, 1920

Sold to Swedish American Line; renamed Drottningholm.

May 1920

First voyage for Swedish American Line, Gothenburg-New York.


Engines refitted: new single-reduction geared turbines, oil fuel. Accommodation: cabin 532; third 854.


Gothenburg-New York service.


Used by International Red Cross in prisoner-of-war and refugee repatriation.

March 1946

Resumed Sweden-New York passenger service, the first of any post-war commercial service.

March 1948

440th and last crossing for Swedish American Line. Transferred to Home Lines under Panamanian flag; renamed Brasil.

Spring 1950

First voyage, Naples-New York (Five return voyages).

June 16, 1951

Renamed Homeland. First voyage Hamburg-Southampton-Halifax-New York. Accommodation: First 96; tourist 846.

Spring 1952

Genoa-Naples-New York.


Courtesy: John P. Eaton. Used with permission.
Image Courtesy: Jeff Newman and Greatships.net