RMS Arundel Castle Archival Collection


The Turbine Liner "Arundel Castle" (1921) is the Latest Addition to the Union-Castle Fleet and has a Registry of 19,000 Tons.

The Turbine Liner "Arundel Castle" (1921) is the Latest Addition to the Union-Castle Fleet and has a Registry of 19,000 Tons. GGA Image ID # 141cad1ce4



Arundel Castle (1894) (a) Castle Line, (b) Union-Castle Line

Built by Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Co., Glasgow, Scotland. Tonnage: 4,588. Dimensions: 4157 x 45'. Propulsion: Single screw, 13 1/2 knots. Triple expansion engines. Masts and Funnels: Four masts and one funnel. Comments: Intermediate type of steamer. Ownership Change: Vessel sold to Danish East Asiatic Company in 1905. Renamed: (a) Birma (1905), (b) Mitau (1913), (c) Joszef Pilsudski (1920), (d) Wilbo (1922). Fate: Scrapped in 1924.


Arundel Castle (1921) Union-Castle Line

Built by Harland & Wolff, Ltd., Belfast, Ireland. Tonnage: 19,023. Dimensions: 630' x 75'. Propulsion: Twin-screw, 18 knots. Steam turbines. Masts and Funnels: Two masts and four funnels. Service: Southampton-Cape Town. Passengers: 760. Crew: 440. Modifications: Lengthened to 661 feet (19,118 tons) in 1938, and also, altered by replacing her original funnels with two of the new streamlined type. Fate: Scrapped in Hong Kong, 1959. Sister ship: Windsor Castle.


The Counterpart of Passenger's Contract Ticket No. 48799, SS Arundel Castle of the Union-Castle Line, Southampton to Cape Town, 8 October 1904.

SS Arundel Castle Contract Ticket - 8 October 1904

A detached counterpart to a Steerage Passenger's Contract Ticket for passage on the RMS Arundel Castle of the Union-Castle Mail Steamship Company, Limited. Voyage was from Southampton to Cape Town departing on 1904-10-08.


The Arundel Castle of the Union-Castle Line - 1921


As a result of the rapid progress that South Africa has made since the Boer War, the Indian nabob has been replaced, to a great extent, by the South African multi-millionaires—the diamond kings, gold mining magnates and others.

For the purpose of catering to passengers of this class, as well as to the prosperous rank and file, the Union-Castle Mail Steamship Company has recently added a new steamer, the Arundel Castle, to its fleet, which is claimed to be the most luxurious vessel in the South African trade.

This powerful turbine liner, which was built by Harland & Wolff of Belfast, has a registry of 18,980 tons, her straight stem and cruiser stern being a novelty that distinguishes her from earlier vessels in the service.


The Dining Room of the "Arundel Castle" is Paneled in Georgian Fashion.

The Dining Room of the "Arundel Castle" is Paneled in Georgian Fashion. GGA Image ID # 141d2fbd6b


Cabin accommodations are provided for 234 first-class, 300 second-class and 300 third-class passengers, while, if necessary, 300 third-class open berths can be supplied. The first-class state rooms, with the exception of 26 rooms on the upper and main decks, are all port-hole cabins.

In the fittings of private suites, consisting of sitting room, bedroom, bathroom and maid's room, no expense has been spared. Some are furnished in the ornate Louis XVI style, others in Empire designs. The public rooms have been equipped in the same sumptuous manner.

Several novel features have been employed in the fittings of the first-class dining-room, which has seating accommodations for 254 passengers. This is paneled in Georgian fashion, with a note of richness in a few prominent positions, and also in the fine oil paintings by Maurice Randall, which adorn the walls.

These show various scenes in and about Arundel Castle, the famous estate of the Duke of Norfolk in Sussex. The seats are reversible, so that in hot climates a cane seat replaces the stuffed morocco. The floor is covered with rose colored inlaid linoleum, and the electric light shines through milky glass and pink shades.

Elevators connect the various decks. A swimming pool has been built on the boat deck. This, with the gymnasium for seniors and juniors, forms an attraction much appreciated.

The furnishing and equipment of the second and third-class rooms have been carried out on an unusually elaborate scale. Third class state rooms are arranged for two and four passengers. On an upper deck are the third-class dining saloon, lounge, and smoking room.


First Class Stateroom on the Arundel Castle is the "Acme" of Comfort.

First Class Stateroom on the Arundel Castle is the "Acme" of Comfort. GGA Image ID # 141d464ad2


A thorough system of ventilation is arranged throughout the ship by forty electric fans, absorbing from 3 to 30 horsepower each, according to their size. The air in all parts of the passenger and cargo accommodation can be changed by these fans in periods varying from one to five minutes.

Powerful fans above the galley draw air from the saloons, discharging it above the top deck, so that the saloons are freed from the odor of cooking. Similarly, in passenger accommodation, warm or cold air is supplied to the various cabins.

The vessel is propelled by twin screws driven by two sets of geared turbines, each set consisting of a high and low pressure turbine. Submarine signaling equipment, wireless telegraphy and other devices have been installed. The watertight doors are electrically operated and controlled from the bridge as well as locally.

About 1,700 tons of fresh water are carried by the ship, which also has capacity for 1,950 tons of salt water ballast. In addition to the ship’s provisions, space is provided for the carriage of 980 tons of frozen and 890 tons of cooled cargo. These spaces are cooled by two CO2 machines, either of which has a sufficient capacity to maintain the required temperature throughout the provisions and cargo in the tropics.


"The Union Castle Line, (Excerpt)" in Shipping, Marine Transportation, Construction, Equipment, and Sales, New York: Shipping Publishing Company, Inc., Vol. XIV, No. 5, 10 September 1921, p. 14+


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