1988: Ivaran's Americana - Containership With 100 Passengers in Luxury

The Americana, which was built in South Korea for Norwegian-owned Ivaran Lines, was a pure container ship that also will carry 108 passengers. The 19,203 ton ship measures 580 Feet long; 85 feet wide and carried 1,120 20-foot containers.

At a time when most container ship operators shunned passengers in favor of cargo, Ivaran says carrying people along with cargo mades financial sense.

Ivaran, which has sailed between North and South America for 62 years, expects the additional revenue from passenger travel to make up for the added costs of building first-class accommodations on the ship.

The first voyage from New York to South America was in February, 1988 which was 46 day voyage that stopped at about 15 ports in the United States and South America, such as Rio de Janeiro, Santos and Buenos Aires.

Ivaran's Americana was the only cargo ship operating from the United States with more than 12 passengers and in luxury. The ship carried a doctor and 25-person hotel staff in addition to the crew. U.S. law requires a doctor on board if more than 12 passengers are aboard a cargo ship.

Ivaran Lines also had ulterior motives. Ships which carried more than 50 passengers received priority docking in South American ports which can cut 3 days off their normal route.  Ports in Brazil were know for having 2-3 day delays for berths to unload cargo. The 108 passengers gave them priority berthing. This also meant that the 1,120 20 foot long containers could be unloaded quicker.

The company had options in its contract with Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. of South Korea to build two more combination freighter/cruise ships but the options were never excised.

 The company also had a back-up plan. If the passenger ship operation proved unprofitable.  The steel that houses the passenger accommodations can be removed to fit 130 additional 20 foot containers.

The Americana's  last voyage with pax was 21st May 1999 out of New Orleans. The Americana was later chartered to different routes as a container vessel only.

The Americana had her left loading cranes removed and was later named the "Golden Trade". Her owner were the South-Korean company Sinokor Merchant Marine and she flew the Bahamian flag before being scrapped in China in 2010.

I found this promotional video from 1988 which shows life onboard the luxurious Americana.


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