Home Lines’ Oceanic (1965) was launched on 15 January 1963 at Italy’s Cantieri Riuniti dell’ Adriatico shipyard. When shipfans talk about “the greatest cruise ship ever,” it’s rare not to hear the name Oceanic mentioned.
Not to be confused with White Star Line’s Oceanic (1871) or Oceanic (1899), Oceanic (1965) was designed to operate as a state-of-the-art, two-class transatlantic liner. But with the liner market rapidly succumbing to airline competitors in the mid-1960s, Oceanic was sent directly into cruising.
Flagship of the Home Lines fleet, the 39,241-GRT Oceanic was 782 feet long with a 96.5-foot beam. Passenger capacity was 1,600. She had a rated service speed of 26.5 knots and a maximum speed of 27.25 knots (not that either really matter very much during cruise service). Oceanic typically spent winter months cruising Caribbean ports and followed a New York-Nassau-New York and New York-Nassau-Freeport-New York route during the rest of the year. Oceanic was a popular holiday choice for many families in the New York area’s large Italian-American community.
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