Anchors Away – story of the MS Batory – virgin cruise voyage, war, emigration

The MS (Motor Ship) Batory is one of the best-known Polish Transatlantic Liners and a symbol of Polish exile. It was nicknamed “Lucky Ship”, because it took part in lots of militaryaction during Second World war (e.g. it participated in the battles of Narvik) without taking serious damage. It was destroyed after thirty six years of action.

Ship on the sea

Autor: Mark Michaelis
The MS Batory was launched on 3 July 1935 (it was constructed in Italy). On its first voyage it sailed from Monfalcone to Gdynia on April 1936. This wonderful liner has on its board lots of splendid passangers such as: Wojciech Kossak, Monika Żeromska or Melchior Wańkowicz. This trip was reported by Polish Radio. The MS Batory began regular service in May 1936 on the Gdynia – New York run. The ship equipment was new and very noble. It was powered by two sets of Burmeister and Wain diesel engines (it could reach a speed of 18 knots). The vessel 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 ornamented with magnificiant taste (including pricey porcelain and amazing furniture). MS Batory was callednamed a floating art showroom.

The information about conflict met the liner during a trip from Canada and then The Batory was converted to a battleship and spent 652 days at sea. The most memorable trip was a evacuation almost 500 young ones from Europe to Australia. After war the vessel returned to Poland in 1946 and continued civil duty (in the 60-ties it even took a part in a few movies). On its desk many Poles abandoned theirs homeland looking for a better life beyond the Atlantic Ocean in the USA. Then, after many years of duty, in 1971 The Batory was sent into pension and go to demolition yard in Honkong. In 1969 it was replaced by a bigger vessel TSS Stefan Batory. Nothing, apart from photo, recollections and a few memorials had left from the MS Batory and its ship accessory.

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That was the end of the story of the Polish Transatlantic Liner known as a “Lucky Ship”.

New ship

Tourists can miracle design of MS Batory in the Emigration Museum in Poland in the city of Gdynia. Unfortunately visitors can’t marvel interiors of the liner, but they can find out more about its fabulous history, courageous team (particularly about its Capitan – Eustazy Borkowski). In the other halls of this museum they can also learn more about people who opted emigration, about their life (before and after they left Poland), about their motivation and future choices.

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