Palmer Gate, Haifa.
The stamp features Palmer Gate Street and the port; part of a ship at the corner; and a statue of a fish with a ship on its back, Zvika Cantor's City Fish, which was erected in 2010 on the Haifa-Boston Partnership square, located on the corner of Palmer Gate and Kdoshei Baghdad Street in Haifa.
The tap shows a cruise vessel which is identified as the GOLDEN IRIS. Mr Peter Crichton has identified the warship in the background as one of the Nirit class warships of Israel.
Peter suggests that the vessel on the stamp between the buildings could be one of the Russian Ivan Franko class passenger ships. The class has been scrapped except the MARCO POLO, but the funnel colours does not match. The MARCO POLO make calls at Haifa, and the funnel could be an artist’s impression.
Holocaust survivors rose from the ashes of the crematoriums and immigrated illegally to Eretz Israel during the British Mandate period. Under terrible conditions, on crowded decks of dilapidated immigrant ships, they made their way to the Promised Land, their hearts filled with hopes and dreams.
The city of Haifa was the first thing that most Holocaust survivors saw as they approached the coastline. The bare concrete docks of the Port of Haifa were, to them, the Holy Land for which they yearned. They were part of an extremely dramatic and historic step taken by the Jewish people - the establishment of the State of Israel.
Haifa Port was the entry point into Eretz Israel. Haifa was the Jewish people's home port, both for the illegal immigrants (ma'apilim) who arrived prior to the establishment of the State and for the waves of immigrants who came after the State of Israel was established.
Gate number five, which served for years as the mythological main entrance into the Port of Haifa, was later named Palmer Gate. The road leading out from the gate is also called Palmer Gate, named for Sir Frederick Palmer, a British engineer who planned and built the Port of Haifa from 1920 to its official opening in 1933.
Palmer Gate Street is crossed by Port St. (Rehov HaNamal), which housed the administrative and commercial center of the port, and today is at the heart of the Port Campus - the academic center of Haifa's downtown area.
The Port Campus is a challenging project, which will turn an entire section of Haifa's downtown into a complex of college campuses, dormitories and modern residential buildings, as well as supporting businesses that are typical of this type of complex.
The Port Campus is very significant for the city of Haifa. The project reshapes the character and appearance of the city's downtown, rejuvenates it and restores its past glory, and constitutes a critical phase in Haifa's development.
Built as a cruise vessel under yard No 859 by Burmeister & Wain, Copenhagen for the Overseas National Airways, USA. During construction sold to Cunard Cruise Ships Ltd., Southampton.
2 December 1974 launched as the CUNARD CONQUEST, one sister the CUNARD COUNTES.
Tonnage 17,496 grt, 2,499 dwt, dim. 163,56 x 22.80 x 8.30m. (draught).
Powered by four B&W 7U50HU diesel engines, 15,447 kW, twin shafts, speed 21.5 knots.
Passenger accommodation for 947 passengers, crew 350.
30 October 1975 delivered to owners.
MS GOLDEN IRIS is a cruise ship owned and operated by the Israel-based Mano Maritime. She was built 1975 by the Burmeister & Wain shipyard in Copenhagen, Denmark for Cunard Line as MS CUNARD CONQUIST, but her interior fittings were subsequently installed at the Navali Mechaniche Affini in La Spezia, Italy. Following re-delivery from Navali Mechaniche Affini in 1977 the ship was renamed MS CUNARD PRINCESS. In 1995 the ship entered service with StarLauro Cruises (later rebranded MSC Cruises), briefly retaining her previous name before being renamed MS RHAPSODY. Later during her career with MSC Cruises the ship came to be marketed as MS MSC Rhapsody, but her official registered name remained RHAPSODY throughout her MSC career. In 2009 the ship was sold to her current owners.
Concept and construction
The ship that eventually became known as the CUNARD PRINCESS was originally one of two ships ordered by the United States-based Overseas National Airways. Unusually Hugh Hefner, the founder of Playboy, was involved in the design process of the ships, envisioning them as "floating Playboy Clubs". Order for the two ships was placed with the Burmeister & Wain shipyard in Copenhagen, Denmark. However, during construction the ships were sold to the United Kingdom-based Cunard Line. Although better known as luxury cruise operators, Cunard decided to maintain the original informal cruise concept developed for the ships by Overseas National Airways.
CUNARD CONQUEST, the second of the two sisters, was launched from dry-dock in December 1974. Instead of having the ships completed at Burmeister & Wain, Cunard decided that once the hulls of the ships were complete they would sail to the Navali Mechaniche Affini in La Spezia, Italy, where interior fittings would be installed. Therefore, following delivery to Cunard on 30 October 1975 the CUNARD CONQUEST sailed to La Spezia, where she arrived on 6 November 1975. While the ship was being fitted out Cunard decided to change her name to CUNARD PRINCESS. Following delivery to Cunard in early 1977 the ship sailed to New York City, where she was renamed by Princess Grace of Monaco.
1977-1995: CUNARD RINCESS
CUNARD PRINCESS set on her first cruise from New York City to Bermuda in April 1977, joining her elder sister MS CUNARD COUNTESS in the Caribbean cruise service after the Bermuda run. CUNARD PRINCESS sailed out of Ft Lauderdale, then after a charter to Lauro Line in 1979 she sailed a Caribbean run out of San Juan. (Ref Cunard Line Ltd written brochures.) At the time the CUNARD PRINCESS was registered in Southampton, but in 1980 she was moved to the Bahamian registry, with Nassau as her homeport. Later during her career with Cunard the ship started cruising around Europe, while the CUNARD COUNTESS remained in Caribbean service.
During the Gulf War the CUNARD PRINCESS was chartered to the United States Armed Forces Recreation Centre as a recreational facility for troops involved in the conflict. The ship arrived in Bahrain on 24 December 1990. Initially the plan was to operate the ship on three-day cruises around the Persian Gulf, but for economical reasons she was permanently moored in Bahrain instead. Following the end of her service in the Gulf War, the ship was docked at Valletta, Malta on 23 September 1991. She re-entered normal service with Cunard on 19 October 1991.
In 1993 the CUNARD PRINCESS was moved to the fleet of Cunard's newly created mid-market subsidiary Cunard Crown Cruises, joining her sister CUNARD COUNTESS and three ships chartered from EffJohn. Cunard Crown Cruises proved to be short-lived, and in 1995 the CUNARD PRINCESS was chartered to StarLauro Cruises, who were in need of a replacement for their MS ACHILLE LAURO that had sunk following a fire in 1994. Initially the CUNARD PRINCESS kept her older name in StarLauro service.
After a short time under charter to StarLauro, the company acquired the CUNARD PRINCESS. Initially the ship was planned to be renamed HARMONY, but in the end she was renamed RHAPSODY. Coinciding with the change of ownership the ship was re-registered in Panama. Initially she was used for cruising around the Mediterranean out of Italy. Shortly after acquisition of the RHAPSODY StarLauro was rebranded as Mediterranean Shipping Cruises on 1 October 1995. Subsequently the company further rebranded themselves into MSC Cruises.
In 2001 the RHAPSODY was re-registered to Naples. On 9 April 2009 MSC Cruises sold the RHAPSODY to the Israel-based cruise operator Mano Maritime.
13th August 1936 the two Osborne brothers, who had earlier absconded from Britain with the fishing vessel GIRL PAT, were placed in custody by the master of Inanda and transferred to the authorities in London.
21st June 1940 she sailed on the final voyage of Harrison passenger service to West Indies.
27th Aug 1940. On return requisitioned by Admiralty as an Ocean Boarding Vessel. In September she was struck by bombs from German aircraft whilst fitting out in Royal Albert Dock, London.
She was refloated and taken over by UK government and rebuilt as a cargo vessel.
11th Feb 1942 registered under the ownership of the Ministry of War Transport and renamed EMPIRE EXPLORER.
8yh July 1942 torpedoed by German submarine U575 on passage from Demerara to Barbados. Hit by a second torpedo and then the Uboat shelled her until she sank.
Only 3 of the 71 crew were reported missing.