A product of the John Brown and Company yard at Clydebank (number 728), the 27,670 gt KUNGSHOLM's keel was laid down in 1964. In April of the following year, she was launched, and in April of 1966, she entered Swedish American Line transatlantic and cruise service.
The fourth SAL ship to carry the name, KUNGSHOLM was named for the Kungsholmen (Kings Isle) sector of Stockholm where the City Hall is located. The twin screw 660 by 87 foot liner was built with two Gotaverken direct drive, slow speed diesels capable of 25,200 BHP for a service speed of 21 knots. On transatlantic voyages, her capacity was divided among 108 in first and 605 in tourist class with 37 interchangeable berths. However, for cruising, she carried a mere 450 passengers in one class. Her crew numbered 450.
Within her strikingly modern yet aestheticlly magnificent hull were many features that raised the bar for luxury, comfort, and safety. The fully air conditioned, stabilized KUNGSHOLM was the first SAL liner with a bulbous forefoot, sported twin five-bladed bronze and nickel screws (the first to utilize this alloy), and push-button controls of all essential safety and navigation equipment, including watertight doors.
Her 62 foot radio mast was telescopic, the top half of which could be hydraulically lowered to allow passage underneath low bridges. Her four tenders had two-way telephone links with the bridge and most of her lifeboats featured motor-powered two-way radio equipment. The ship also had shallow and deep water echo sounders and no less than three separate telegraphs to communicate with the engine room.
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