Anchors Away – story of the MS Batory – first journey voyage, fight, emigration

The MS (Motor Ship) Batory is one of the best-known Polish Transatlantic Liners and a symbol of Polish exile. It was nicknamed “Lucky Ship”, because it took part in lots of martialfight during World War II (e.g. it participated in the battles of Narvik) without suffering heavy harm. It was destroyed after thirty six years of duty.

Ship on the sea

Autor: Mark Michaelis
The MS Batory was launched on 3 July 1935 (it was built in Italy). On its first cruise it set off from Monfalcone to Gdynia on April 1936. This wonderful liner has on its board lots of prominent gests such as: Wojciech Kossak, Monika Żeromska or Melchior Wańkowicz. This trip was commented by Polish Radio. The MS Batory began frequent service in May 1936 on the Gdynia – New York run. The ship equipment was new and very impressive. It was powered by two sets of Burmeister and Wain diesel engines (it could reach a speed of 18 knots). The vessel was 160 metres long, weight over 14,000 tonnes, had seven desks, guest cabins, dining and dance halls, a reading room, a pool and a gym. It was also decorated with big taste (including pricey crockery and beautiful furniture). MS Batory was callednamed a floating art showroom.

The information about war met the liner during a trip from Canada and then The Batory became a battleship and spent 652 days at wather. The most unforgettable trip was a evacuation almost 500 young ones from Europe to Australia. After war the ship returned to Poland in 1946 and continued civil service (in the 60-ties it even took a part in a few films). On its board many Poles left theirs country looking for a better existence beyond the Atlantic Ocean in the USA. Then, after many years of duty, in 1971 The Batory was directed into pension and go to demolition yard in Honkong. In 1969 it was superseded by a bigger ship TSS Stefan Batory. Nothing, apart from photographs, recollections and a few memorials had left from the MS Batory and its ship accessory. That was the end of the history of the Polish Transatlantic Liner known as a “Lucky Ship”.

New ship

Tourists can admire design of MS Batory in the Emigration Museum in Poland in the town of Gdynia. Unfortunately guests can’t miracle interiors of the ship, but they can find out more about its amazing tale, daredevil man (especially about its chef – Eustazy Borkowski). In the other halls of this museum they can also learn more about man who opted emigration, about their life (before and after they left homeland), about their motivation and future plans.