Bianca C

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john sefton
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Joined: Sun Mar 22, 2009 1:59 pm

Bianca C

Post by john sefton » Thu Nov 19, 2009 5:01 pm

This ship was originally the Indrapoera of Rotterdam Lloyd. She was acquired by Costa in 1957 and named Bianca C, but soon went to Messageries Maritime on charter, where she was named Melanesian. She was scrapped in 1963

There can have been few ships as popular amongst European travellers to the East Indies as the exotically named Indrapoera , a "twin-screw motormailship" of the Rotterdam Lloyd (RL) company. Her evocative name, with its mysterious, oriental overtones, had a seductive charm, a charm that passengers found mirrored both in the luxury of her appointments and her ever-attentive crew. Her charms remained undiminished as she sailed to and from the Dutch East Indies for fifteen years before the war and were even enhanced after the war when, in 1948/49, the Indrapoera was completely refitted as an 'intimate' ship with 'first-class accommodation' for some 100 passengers. She sailed under the Dutch flag from 1926 until 1956 both as a cruise ship, carrying passengers to exotic places, and as a troopship carrying soldiers to less happy destinations. In an active life, spanning more than three decades, she fulfilled a variety of maritime roles and won widespread international respect and acclaim. Indrapoera the ship with the memorable name.
On Friday June 15th 1923 the firm of Wm. Ruys and Sons (as management of the RL company) signed the contract for the construction of the Indrapoera. The honour of building the ship went to the famous yard in Vlissingen (Flushing) called the Royal Company of "De Schelde" (Koninklijke Maatschappij "De Schelde" or KMS).

The main particulars were reported as follows:
Length overall: 500 ft.
Maximum beam 60 ft.
Depth to upper deck 38 ft.
Draught, loaded 29 ft. 9 ins.
Displacement 17,825 tons
Gross register 11,500 tons
Net register 6,460 tons
Deadweight capacity 8,500 tons
No. of decks 6
No. of passengers 437
Crew 222
Speed 15 knots
Propulsion 2 main engines each of 3,500 s.h.p.

As was usual at the time, work commenced well before formal signature of the contract, and the keel had already been laid in early February 1923. The launch took place two years later at the end of March 1925. The wife of the yard's director named the ship after the 4,000 meter high volcano on the island of Sumatra.
On July 6th 1956, it was announced that a contract had been signed with the Providencia Shipping Co. S.A. belonging to the Genoan firm of Rizzuto Fratelli. The agreed purchase price was £ 202,500. A week later the KRL management received a message from Italy informing them that the Indrapoera was to be renamed Asuncion and would be registered in Panama.

With her sale to the Rizzuto Brothers the Indrapoera had not yet arrived at her final destination. On November 15th 1956, Salvatore Rizutto, together with Giacomo Costa, signed a declaration to the effect that the Asuncion (ex Indrapoera) would be sold on by the Providenzia Shipping Company to Costa's Genoese Linea "C". She was to be modified to operate as packet boat, sailing between Italy and Central/South America. In 1957 the refitted ship entered service under yet another name, the Bianca C. In November of the same year the KRL was notified that the Compagnie des Messageries Maritimes had chartered the ship for a voyage from Marseille to Australia. A month later it became known that the ship, now with a capacity of 180 passengers, sailed under the name Melanesien. Under this last name the ship spent another four years at sea, until, May 1963, she sailed back to Genoa for the last time. In October of the same year the Costa Company sold her for scrap to Ariberto Bianchi in Cesa, Italy.

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Grenada Grenadines SG2209

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Re: Bianca C

Post by aukepalmhof » Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:59 pm

The passenger ship depict on this sheet Great Ocean Liners by Grenada Grenadines $1 depict not the BIANCA C, which ship is depict till so far not found out..
Most probably they would put the BIANCA C on the sheet which sank off the island, see URL below.
The Dutch INDRAPOERA looks not exact as given on the stamp. She carried the name BIANCA C in 1957 but already the next year renamed in MELANESIEN. But Mr. David Asprey gives that he think she is depict on the stamp.

The first photo is of the INDRAPOERA, the second of the BIANCA C

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