Builders: William Denny & Bros Dumbarton 1930
Propulsion type: Turbine
Owners: The Caledonian Steam Packet Co Ltd
Service dates: 1930 - 1964
Tonnage: Net 314 Gross 806
Comments: Duchess of Montrose was built for the Caledonian Steam Packet Co in 1930. The CSP had been losing trade to the Turbine Steamers Ltd fleet and wished to give their passengers an up to date, fast ship which would regain some of the lost business. The Duchess of Montrose achieved 20 knots on her trials and when introduced became the first one class ship in the CSP fleet, carrying saloon class passengers only. She was similar to King George V in appearance and design and proved to be as popular with those who travelled on her.
She had an "Old English" style bar, modern tea room in bright colours and a large dining room which had space for 100 diners at each sitting. In service she sailed from her home berth at Gourock on the Round the Lochs cruises, via Ayr, Arran and Ailsa Craig. During the Second World War she served briefly as a troop ship in 1940 but maintained the Weymss Bay -Rothesay service during the rest of the war.
After the war she continued in service and in October 1946 she ran aground at Kirn in fog. The Clyde had experienced an Indian summer and the fog made her miss the pier and embed herself on the rocks. The grounding was very gentle (most passengers did not realize what had happened) but she had to get tugs to pull her off after the combined efforts of the Duchess of Hamilton, King Edward and Marchioness of Lorne failed to pull her clear!
She continued in service until August 1964 and was laid up when the Clyde services were scaled down. She did not return to service and was sadly taken in tow and broken up in Ghent in the following year.
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