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The Fleets

Australasian Pacific Mail Steam Packet Company 1852-1854

In April 1852 members of the Royal Mail Steam Packet Co. and Pacific Steam Navigation Co. founded the Australasian Pacific Mail Steam Packet Company to provide a monthly trans Pacific service and a fleet of five iron screw passenger cargo steamers was ordered and a monthly service from Panama to Tahiti, Wellington and Sydney was started and worked in connection with the Royal Mail Steam Packet Co. service between Southampton and Chagres. In addition to the five steamers a smaller vessel the PELICAN was ordered for a feeder service between Sydney and Port Philip.

The Pacific Steam Navigation Co. was appointed to manage the new company. Already in 1854 when the first ship was delivered the whole service scheme was abandoned due the high coal prices in the Pacific and the PELICAN was cancelled. Two ships were temporarily chartered to the British Government in 1854. Due the start of the Crimean War the decision was made to wound up the company and the ships were sold.

Many thanks to Henk Jungerius and Ted Finch for their assistance in collecting this data. The following list was extracted from various sources. This is not an all inclusive list but should only be used as a guide. If you would like to know more about a vessel, visit the Ship Descriptions (onsite) or Immigrant Ship web site.

Vessel Built Years in Service Tons
Black Swan 1854 built by R. Napier, Govan | 1854 sold to Messageries Imperiales renamed Gange, 1887 scrapped. 1,483
Dinornis 1854 built by Wood & Reid Port Glasgow | 1854 sold to Messageries Imperiales renamed Indus, 1884 scrapped. 1,625
Emeu 1854 built by R. Napier, Govan | 1854 chartered to the Admiralty for Crimean War transport work at the rate of 100 per day, 1854 sold to British and North American Royal Mail Steam Packet Co. (Cunard Line), Liverpool, continued on Crimea War service as Transport No 74, 1857 chartered to European and Australian Royal Mail Steam Packet Co. which had taken over mail services to Australia from P&O, to replace their ONEIDA on the Suez-Sydney leg of the route, 1858 purchased by The Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company, 1859 delivered at Sydney and put on Sydney-Mauritius-Suez route, 1860 Bombay-Hong Kong service, 1873 sold for 6,509 at auction to William McArthur, London, 1875 sold to John Smith, Millwall, 1875 sold to M B Pearson, London, 1875 sold to G. Crowshaw, London, 1876 resold to William McArthur, reduced to a sailing vessel and renamed WINCHESTER, 1879 sold to G. Crowshaw and Co., London, 14th July 1880 lost in the Macassar Strait when on a voyage from Manila to Montreal with a cargo of sugar. 1,666
Kangaroo 1854 built by Hill, Bristol | 1854 chartered to the Admiralty for Crimean War transport work at the rate of 100 per day, 1854 sold to Inman Line, continued on Crimea War service, 1856 entered Inman service, 1870 chartered to H. E. Bates & Co., 1876 sold to Telegraph Construction & Maintenance Co., converted into a cable ship, 1888 sold to Turkey renamed Selamet, 1901 scrapped. 1,773
Menura 1854 built by Miller Ravenhill, London | 1854 sold to Messageries Imperiales renamed Euphrate, 1887 scrapped. 1,643

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Last updated: June 02, 2009 and maintained by and M. Kohli