On This Day

21 January


1954 Iberia

Click to enlarge

The 29,614-ton passenger and cargo ship Iberia
(Yard No. 1476) was launched today for the Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co. Ltd., London.

She was designed for service between the Port of London and Sydney, via the Suez Canal. The distinctive tapered stern with its multi-level, wide and open promenade decks were ideal for warmer climes.

The christening ceremony was performed by Lady McGrigor, wife of First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Rhoderick McGrigor. It was estimated that on completion Iberia had cost almost £7m to build.

The vessel, in service, was plagued by machinery breakdowns, electrical faults and eventually P&O laid her up pending disposal in April 1972. She was sold for breaking up after just 18 years commercial service.


1863 Persian

The 2,137-ton cargo ship Persian (Yard No. 13) was launched today for J. Bibby, Sons & Co., Liverpool.