Russian liner-1970s-which one? | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Russian liner-1970s-which one?

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Russian liner-1970s-which one?

This Russian liner I photographed from a harbour ferry in the 1970s. It is ex British Cunard line, but its name is not quite readable, not helped by the Russian way of presenting names. I’m presuming the image has not been posted the wrong way around!

Russian merchant ships often visited the dockyards at Hung Hom for maintenance and repair. The local newspapers claimed these were an excuse for spying missions in the colony as there were major dockyards in the Soviet Far East they could have used.

An internet search offers the choice of two Cunard vessels:-

“Carmania and Franconia eventually began new careers under the “Hammer & Sickle” as the Leonid Sobinov and Fedor Shalyapin. The sisters received very few interior changes before beginning careers as Soviet cruise ships, travelling all over the world. Following the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1989, the vessels became owned by the Ukraine, although nominally belonging to Maltese holding companies. Their condition deteriorated over the next few years and they were both laid up in the Black Sea in 1995.”

Date picture taken (may be approximate): 
Sunday, June 15, 1975


No, the photographed ship is not one of the two former Cunarders bought by the Soviets in the 1960's. The ship is the "Sovetskiy Soyuz" an old German ship, "Albert Ballin" built in 1922, renamed "Hansa" by the Nazis in 1935. It was sunk in 1945, raised by the Soviets in 1949 & rebuilt. It was eventually scrapped in 1982. The Cunarders were built in the early 1950's & had a main mast above the bridge.

Thank you for putting this myth that it was a Cunarder to bed.

A friend of mine who sailed on her as a passenger had convinced me it was originally British.

For anyone further interested, a picture exists here that shows the same ship's name as it is my image.