Post World War II Migrant Ships: Castel Felice

The Castel Felice ventured to Australia as an immigrant ship on a total of 101 voyages between 1952 and 1970, carrying over 100,000 immigrants to Australia and New Zealand. She was commanded by an Italian crew and carried passengers from many different countries including Italy, Germany and Britain. Many passengers remember the rough seas and shabby state of the aged ship with apprehension and delight.

Castel Felice passing down Port Phillip Bay towards the Heads from Queenscliff to Sorrento

Castel Felice passing down Port Phillip Bay towards the Heads as a small ferry travels from Queensliff to Sorrento, Victoria, 10 Feb 1969.
Photographer: Dennis Mayor. Source: State Library of Victoria.

Facts at a Glance

Dimensions: 493 x 64 ft (150.3 x 19.6 m)
Registered Tonnage: 12,478 tons gross
Service Speed: 16 knots
Propulsion: Reduction geared steam turbines / twin screws
Shipping Line: Sitmar Line (Società Italiana Transporti Marittima)

History of the Ship

Originally named the Kenya, the immigrant ship Castel Felice began her life carrying passengers and cargo between India and Africa for the British-India Steam Navigation Co.

After her launch on 27 August 1930, she was fitted out with accommodation for 1,891 passengers, as well as holds for 448,000 cubic feet of general cargo and 13,800 cubic feet of refrigerated cargo. Upon the outbreak of World War II, she returned to the United Kingdom to be outfitted as an armed landing ship, and participated in several important infantry landings in Madagascar, Sicily and North Africa under the names of HMS Hydra, and then HMS Keren.

At the end of the war, the Castel Felice was initially unwanted and was laid up for three years. Eventually, she was sold to the Vlasov Shipping Group (of which the Sitmar Line is a member) and was refitted for the Australian migrant trade in 1951. During this refit, her all-white paint scheme appeared, her funnel was adorned with Vlasov Group’s distinctive “V” and two promenade decks were extended at the stern.

Hungarian refugees disembarking from the Castel Felice at Port Melbourne, 1957

Hungarian refugees disembarking from the Castel Felice at Port Melbourne, 1957.
Photographer: unknown. Source: Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs.

Immigrant Ship to Australia

Before departing from Genoa on 6 October 1952 for her first journey to Australia, she was christened Castel Felice. She arrived in Melbourne on 7 November.

Between 1952 and 1955, the Castel Felice made only three voyages to Australia (but many to the Americas) before again being refurbished. The new refit offered many conveniences including a small number of first class cabins, air conditioning, a swimming pool and large public rooms. But for the tourist class, things were still cramped. Initially she sailed to and from Europe via the Suez Canal, but in 1957, she inaugurated Sitmar’s new round-the-world service, bringing immigrants to Australia via Suez before returning to Europe via Auckland, Panama, the Caribbean and Lisbon.

Mrs Elisabeth Etienne and Karin on the deck of the Castel Felice, coming from Munich to Melbourne, 1956

Mrs Elisabeth Etienne and Karin on the deck of the Castel Felice, coming from Munich to Melbourne, 1956.
Photographer: unknown. Source: State Library of Victoria.

Passenger Experiences of the Journey

By the time the Castel Felice entered the Australian migrant trade at the age of 22, she was already an old ship. The refits conducted by the Sitmar line helped to improve her appearance and onboard conditions, however, as most of her passengers were government-assisted migrants, her accommodation remained very basic.

Wolfgang Kahran migrated from Germany in 1960:

'As far as we were concerned, the Castel Felice was already in the scrap yard. The crew tried their best, but the ship was unsteady. We were eight men in a double cabin – four tiered bunks! There were no luxuries for us.'

Axel Scholz migrated from Germany in 1958:

'Aboard, the fact the family was not to be together was a shock. My father and I were segregated to a lower deck. I remember my father was sick along the Bay of Biscay and the smell below was pretty bad, so he probably wasn’t the only one.'

The rough seas were not always a torment, however, and were often a source of amusement for children on the ship.

Barbara Scholz migrated from Germany in 1958:

'Sometimes at mealtimes the sea was so rough that the dishes moved on the table from side to side, this was a cause of great delight for my brother and me.'

Her Final Voyage

After such a long and colourful life, the Castel Felice was retired at the end of 1970 as the Sitmar Line’s assisted immigration contract had come to an end. The Castel Felice, too, came to her end – bound for the shipbreakers in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Further Reading

Baty, S. 1984. Ships That Passed – The Glorious Era of Travel to Australia and New Zealand. Reed Books Pty Ltd. Frenchs Forest.

Plowman, P. 1992. Emigrant Ships to Luxury Liners. New South Wales University Press. Kensington.

Plowman, P. 2004. The Sitmar Liners – Past and Present. Rosenberg Publishing Pty Ltd. NSW.

Comments (365)

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Karl Erett 31 March, 2009 21:40
I loved the time we had on the old girl
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roland jahn 14 April, 2009 14:42
i loved the trip and we are still happy in austalia
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maisie richardson 24 April, 2009 11:21
We came on the final trip with 3 children and loved it
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Bob Vincent 25 June, 2013 04:25
I also was on the final trip with my wife and four little children, coming to Perth and one of the things that really stood out for me was how the crew kept painting and freshening up the appearance of the vessel, despite it being it's last voyage, as we were aware it had been sold to be scrapped.
Mario Brothersly 5 May, 2009 11:54
It was the best thing i ever been on, lots of sexy sailer men too
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Carol Mills 10 May, 2009 21:30
We came to Australia in 1963, I was 5, still here and love it. Good move by Mum & dad. Wouldlove a passenger list for family history.
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Ian 13 August, 2012 22:37
Hi, you can get a copy of the passenge ist from the site is http://www.naa.gov.au/collection/explore/migration/passengers.aspx I went to Canberra and the lib staff helped mr to find the list
Mary Pugh 1 April, 2013 18:38
I would love a Passenger List copy when my parents and I migrated to Melbourne on the Castle Felice in 1955. I dont know where to start.
Karen 27 October, 2013 02:01
We came here on the Castel Felice in November 1963, I was nearly four years old. What month did you travel?
Sylvia 19 January, 2014 12:54
We too came on the Castle Felice in 1963. I was 17, my brother,14. Plus, of course, our parents'. I will always be grateful to our father for bringing us to this wonderful country. I didn't enjoy myself on the ship, however. Being a 17 year old female, on ship full of handsome Italian males, made my parent's very anxious.
terry smith 2 February, 2014 11:39
hi carol i came over to oz with my parents in April 1963. please get in touch happy to chat about the experience.
Discovery Centre 11 May, 2009 12:25
The National Archives of Australia is the central repository for Australian Commonwealth Government records and holds information on naturalisation, military service and immigration. The National Archives website features online indexes to records in their collection, and can be searched by name, year and/or ship's name. To search for records online go to: www.naa.gov.au
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willem m veldman 19 May, 2009 13:51
I was on the CF in May-June 1954 as a 10 year old from Holland to Quebec City, Canada. Rough seas and icebergs. Looking for a passenger list and on-deck photos.
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Discovery Centre 24 May, 2009 13:44

The National Archives of Australia is the central repository for Australian Commonwealth Government records so you can contact them for the passenger list for your voyage - their website features online indexes to records in their collection, and can be searched by name, year and/or ship's name: www.naa.gov.au. You can also find photos of your ship at www.pictureaustralia.org, by entering "Castel Felice ship" as the search term.

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ADrian Fryatt 27 May, 2009 09:32
I departed the UK on this ship in January 1967....happy days although horribly sea sick in the Bay of Biscay!!
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:Paul Trangmar 9 June, 2009 17:58
Thanks for such a wonderful record of a stalwart "work-horse" of the Australian migrant service, in which I sailed in 1965. However, I don't agree that CASTEL FELICE should be described as "shabby" (line 5 above). Admittedly, the high-density CF was not in the same league as the newer, larger two-class vessels such as those of the P&O Line and Orient Line. Owners SITMAR suitably converted CF and maintained the ship well for her intended primary purpose as a migrant carrier, operating CF in a one-class configuration whilst on the Australian run. As SITMAR gained successive migrant contracts from the Australian Government, the ship's accommodation and facilities were gradually improved. The long haul from Europe with only brief port calls enroute meant that any such white-hulled ship looked weather-worn by the time of its Australian landfall. Internally, however, all SITMAR ships were known for their high standards of cleanliness, the plentiful, well-cooked food and friendly Italian hospitality.
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Arno Froese 11 June, 2009 09:23
In December 1959 I sailed from Bremer Hafen to Melbourne Victoria. From there to Bonegilla Migrant Center and later picking grapes in Mildura. Does anyone remember?
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Uwe W. Ebert (Big bad Bill) 21 January, 2013 20:58
Lieber Arno, I remember it well! Den bunten Holzzug mit dem sie uns nach Bonigilla gekarrt haben. Ich mir die Füsse verbrannt habe, als wir auf dem Bahnhof, Wasser nachtanken wollten. Denke noch an meinen ersten Milk shake in Wagga Wagga. Habe mir in Bonegilla, nach dem Baden im Lehmloch, zweimal die Ohren auswaschen lassen müssen. Bin dann über Tasmanien, in Wollongong gelandet. Vier Traum Jahre, dann Fidji und New Zealand. Späther bin ich in Süd Afrika gelandet, aber mein Herz schlägt auch heute noch für Aussi! Fliege auch gelegentlich rüber. Ich war übrigens einer von den 26 Passagieren auf der Castle F. die nicht Seekrank geworden sind. Habe nur positive Erinnerungen an die Castle F. Are you back in Germany? Give us a shout! Sweet Wilhelm
George Kammerer 11 April, 2013 14:01
Hello Arno! Ich lese mit interesse Deine Zeilen Ich muss Dir sagen ich auch nicht Seekrank, obwohl ich im Keller war . Das war die beste Fahrt meines Lebens, Ja ich bin Immernoch in Australtien. Alles gute George
Marguerite Taylor 17 June, 2009 16:36
Arrived in Australia 1963..Would love to have a passenger ship list,If anyone remembers, Alfred and Sheila taylor..@7 children i would love to hear from you..i was 8 when we came here...I remember the plates at dinner time going from one end to the other also a storm,, Kind Regards Margie
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Neville Moran 2 November, 2012 19:28
My pairs, Bernard & ivy Moran & 3yr old me. Came from England on the C F in 63 & lived in melbourne til 79 th en gold coast ever since we are all still here . Even as a 3 yr old I still remember much of the trip
Raymond Russell 14 December, 2012 04:06
I'm trying to get in touch with the Russell family who migrated to Australia on board the Castel Felice in 1963. They originated from Liverpool in the UK. Their names were Daniel Joseph Russell and Lily Russell. Their children are Ray, Linda, Norman and Daniel. If anybody knows anything please get in touch as would love for my dad to be in touch with his lost cousins. Email me at: ray.thebeatles@gmail.com
Monika 18 June, 2009 01:52
My parents and I immigrated to Australia on the 20th June 1959, arrived in Melbourne on the 27th July and lived in Australia (Adelaide) for the next 4 years, then returned to Germany. Is there anybody who travelled at the same time? Kind regards! Monika
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Andrea Whitely 17 February, 2013 11:08
My father Hans-Dieter Nill travelled on the same journey as you. He was born in Nuertingen am Neckar and was 19 years old when he made the journey.
Lilo 6 June, 2013 02:02
Greetings Monika, like you I migrated with my family on that voyage to Adelaide. I have the fondest memories of the Castel Felice with its wonderful crew. Do you remember the Talent night? I was 13, a bit cute and outgoing, so our English teacher convinced me to sing 'Che sera, sera'. The audience loved it, the Captain gave me a standing ovation complete with loud 'bravissimos' and as a consequence for the next couple of years I suffered under the delusions of becoming a singing star!!!
Arthur J. Mueller 5 November, 2013 01:23
I was on that Ship and I am currently looking for a Passenger List. I was 18 at the time and, so I am told, the youngest unaccompanied passenger. We have two Children and five Grandchildren. My Australian born Wife and I are living in Brisbane. Intending to only staying for 2 years - well the rest is History. All the best
sigi rostek 8 May, 2014 20:20
as you Monica,we arrived on the same trip down under 27th july 1959.I WAS 10 Years old when we arrived Melbourne.MY Parents my Sister and myself,. I also would like to get hold of the passenger list, as their were afew people, I'd like to try and get in touch with,,if still alive
Discovery Centre 25 June, 2009 15:56

Margie - thanks for your comment. Migration documents including shipping lists can be accessed via the website of the National Archives of Australia.

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rob humphreys 28 June, 2009 20:03
I sailed on her penultimate voyage - out of Southampton in 1970. Lovely old ship and we returned to the docks in Sydney when she came in again. Didnt know then it was then on to the breakers for her. May she Rest In Peace.
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Richard Green 2 February, 2014 11:49
Did you sail in Feb 1970? I was on that trip. RG
Herbert Schultz 1 July, 2009 16:56
I arrived in Australia Oct.1959 from Bremerhafen,Melbourne to Bonegilla,started to work in the Port-Kembla Steelworks.Had my own Business for 30 years.Iam retire now 50 years in Australia,its a great place to be. Anny one out there cam on the some trip?
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Axel 18 December, 2012 20:22
Do you remember my fried on that ship Dieter Herforth? Best regards, Axel
Sabine Schumann 26 June, 2013 02:43
Hi Herbert I was on the Castel Felice with my family of 4,we had a really nice cabin on A deck. Arrival date 20th October 1959 in Melbourne,then Bonnegilla then Melbourne.My father worked for Bosch and eventually so did I. Love this site maybe more people will respond
Heidi Cook (Bake) 19 July, 2009 12:59
My Father Alfred Eugen Bake and Family leaving Bremerhaven and migrated to Australia in June-July? 1954 on the SS Fairsea arriving at the Melbourne Port.I can not find us on a immigration list on the Fairsea.
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Discovery Centre 20 July, 2009 11:19

Hello Heidi. The Fairsea docked in Port Melbourne on June 12, 1954. Shipping lists for this and other voyages are held by the National Archives of Australia, who maintain a useful and informative website.

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Nicholas Fry 21 April, 2014 06:11
My parents, Gerald and Hazel Fry emigrated to Australia in 1950. My brother Stephen and I were born in Whyalla S Australia in 1953 (me) and 1954 ( Steve). We returned to the UK on the CF in April / May 1961. We departed Melbourne then via Sydney, Auckland, Singapore, Columbo, Aden, Suez, Naples and Southampton. The trip was very smooth with the only rough parts were leaving Singapore and crossing the Equator. The crossing the line ceremony, great fun, was delayed by one day. As kids! We were very upset to find that a school teacher was travelling with us and she offered to set up classes each morning. Parents thought this was a great idea!?!? I remember that the AC on board caused lots of ear infections for the children on board and that the Italian Doctor favoured suppositories as a cure all! All in all a great experience for two young lads. Nick Fry
Ann Haugsted 21 July, 2009 07:02
My mother was pregnant (with me) so my father and her could stay together Arrived nov 1958.
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Eva Churcher (nee Hickey) 17 August, 2009 16:31
My family and I set sail 26th Feb. 1968 and arrived on the 4th April. Such an exciting voyage that set the trend for my life of travel. Now living in Canada. Anyone else on that voyage? I still have fond memories and only wish I had some photos now. It was a wonderful time for me and I didn't want to get off in Sydney at the end.
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Andrew Smith 27 July, 2013 00:35
Eva, My family made that trip from Southampton in 1968 - we have some pictures of the voyage
Gill Ambridge nee Deeks 6 November, 2013 00:03
My family also came over then Jim and Hilda Deeks with Daughters Sue and me and son Brian, although I was only 9 I still rememeber it well
Derek Kurtis 29 September, 2009 07:15
Sailed from Brisbane May 1963 to Southasmpton. Went through terrible storm in the Indian Ocean. We thought we were going to roll over, but I am still here
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Peter Krutop 1 October, 2009 21:17
My Family immigrated to Australia in 1962, Mum and Dad and 5 out of 8 children. The voyage left the UK on 13 June 1962, did it sail out of southhampton?
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Discovery Centre 2 October, 2009 11:17

Hi there, Peter. Unfortunately, this index to outward passenger lists from the UK only extends to 1960, at this stage. Nevertheless, incoming passenger lists available from the National Archives of Australia almost always include both "from" and "to" ports - try their online RecordSearch tool or contact them directly to view the relevant list.

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Ernst, Ulla, Robert, Andreas Goldberg 10 October, 2009 21:07
Arrived 25/6/58 @ Fremantle great well organised trip, plenty entertainment. Family Cabin top class service, ruff see only Fremantle to Melbourne.
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margaretmckeeman 10 October, 2009 21:11
we came on the castel felice and it took us 6 weeks to get from south hampton to Australia we travelled with four children the reason it took so long the engines broke down but we are still in Australia children all grown up with their own children out fo us the McKeeman family of Mum Dad and four children we are now a family of 21
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glenn falkous 23 October, 2009 14:35
came toaustralia from england in 1970 the worst voyage that existed cramped and cockroach infested.never again will i take a ship voyage.
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Peter Boothman 28 October, 2009 11:06
The best £10 my parents ever spent. Southampton to Fremantle March - April 1966. I guess most of the teenagers on board we simply ran wild. Though I suppose that we were really pretty tame as we still responded to authority and largely did as we were told. One pastime was tormenting the stewards who very soon ran out of patience with us, but we were young and silly and thought we were the first kids to ever make such a trip. Mum and Dad were card players and participated in organised card games and soon made friends with others of their vintage. On the evening of Easter Sunday, 10 April 1966, the Castel Felice dropped anchor in Gage Roads, the area of sea just north of Fremantle and Rottnest Island. The lights of the port and of Perth’s coastal suburbs were shining brightly as I, and no doubt many others, leaned on the ship’s rail and wondered what Australia held for us. About 8.00am on Easter Monday, the ship moved slowly into the harbour and tied up alongside the Fremantle Passenger Terminal on Victoria Quay. Forever grateful.
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yvonne vegneris nee dickinson 9 January, 2013 09:03
hi i was also a passenger on the castel felice 1966 we arrived at fremantle to 7 children in tow did u know raymond and muriel dickinson on your journey lyn dianne josey jill joe or bonny age 3 would love to hear more stuff about the voyage thank u bonny vegneris now aged 50
Julian Hawkins 30 October, 2009 02:05
I travelled from Southampton to Sydney in 1968 at the age of 6. Great memories of the ship rolling through the Bay of Biscay and stopping at Cape Town. All the passengers we met became friends and visited us in Campbelltown NSW all the time we stayed in Australia.
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Ken attwood 7 February, 2013 10:11
Small world Julian we emigrated on the castle Felice in 1969 and after the first year of east hills hostel,pannia,banks town we moved to Campbelltown where we lived for 26 years,I worked at the retravision store and David Jones and Harvey Norman,cc and de angeloes tyre services
Jim Pettitt 4 November, 2009 09:07
My family went out from Southampton to Perth Nov/Dec 1966 via the suez canal and returned via the Panama canal, arriving at Southampton May 18th 1970. So shocked to learn of her demise so soon afterwards! my memories are all so good, but i was only 9 then....
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Peter Walker 5 November, 2009 20:44
Left greenock scotland 1956. 1st june to montreal Quebec great jorney on a great ship , lots off entertainment ,good company
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Lynn Taylor [ nee Brookes] 21 November, 2009 17:41
Left Southampton with mum dad and us 4 kids 16.8.1970 last trip for the ship had a great time took 6 weeks rough weather but a great experiance I was 13 at the time, would love to see some photos if anyone has any of that journey
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Isabel Wallace 30 July, 2013 11:58
we were also on the ship's last trip. 4 year old son was amongst those with measles. daughter also 13. have only just located this site. have many photos
Maxwell Price 14 October, 2013 20:39
Hi Lynne I was on the same final voyage that departed 16/08/70 aged 11. Loved every second of the trip I actually won the talent contest singing a popular song at the time " Bonnie & Clyde - you might remember! Cheers Maxwell Price
robert humphreys 14 December, 2009 02:49
Sailed on the penultimate voyage in summer of '72. great memories. Even went back to the pier in Sydney to see her come back to what I know now was her trip to the breakers.
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Michael Mckean 17 December, 2009 03:48
searching for any persons on castel felice june 1958
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klaus peter strehse 27 December, 2009 14:51
looking for a passenger list of the castle felice from 1958 arriving at port melbourne in september i was a ten year old at the time.
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Discovery Centre 28 December, 2009 13:32

Klaus - passenger lists like the one you seek are looked after by the National Archives of Australia. Try using their RecordSearch tool to locate relevant documents, or else contact them directly for further information. Hope this helps!

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robert 29 December, 2009 07:15
Did anyone sail on her from Southampton to Brisbane 1957 We are the Williams Family and were on that £10 passage love to hear from anyone sailing that date
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Stephen Matthew 4 January, 2010 13:27
I sailed from Southampton on its last voyage in 1970.Highlights were teaching in the school each morning, playing bridge each day before lunch, and relaxing evenings. Lowlights were the dining menu (anyone remember "2468, what's the veg that we all hate? CAULIFLOWER"), and being assaulted by a fellow migrant for allegedly sipping from his beer glass.
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jim and jean o'range 6 January, 2010 00:06
we came out on the last trip from southhampton took 6 weeks we had a great time meeting new friends that we still have to this day it will be 40 years come august is there a reunion happening in adelaide love to know would love to hear from anyone who was on that last voyage
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Dean Bennett. 7 September, 2012 04:23
We came out from manchester to adelaide,1970.Still live in adelaide.Came with mum and dad(cyril and june and brother john.
Wolfgang Kahrau 9 January, 2010 20:42
Hello ARNO FROESE - Yes I remember, was on the same trip and the same train from Station Pier. Also in Bonegilla for 2 weeks, section 15. Got out under our own steam as fruit picking was not on. I was 15 then, now retired and still living in Melbourne. Still hate the heat.
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Suzanne Stirrat(nee fleckney) 29 January, 2010 06:03
My mum Carol Fleckney left Southampton to go to Australia in 1967 and was born nine months later, would be grateful if anyone could let me know how to go about finding out how to get the crew list, as i believe im looking for a Terry Smith but not rightly sure.My mum lived in Perth W Australia til 1969 and came to Scotland
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Discovery Centre 29 January, 2010 16:32

Hi Carol and thanks for your query. The National Archives of Australia is the central repository for Australian Commonwealth Government records and holds information on naturalisation, military service and immigration, including passenger and crew lists. The National Archives website features online indexes to records in their collection, and can be searched by name, year and/or ship's name. To search for records online go to: www.naa.gov.au. If you cannot find the information you are after online, only 10 percent is digitised so far, I then suggest you contact the National Archives directly. 

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jean and jean o'range norman and anne weedall 31 January, 2010 19:08
have been speaking with a few of our friends that came out to australia on the last trip on the castle felice and we are going to get a reunion together if possable for around august september when it will be our 40 years here is anyone intrested in getting together see if you can round up some pasengers wh was on that last trip we think it will be great to catch up and see how everyone's life has progressed over the years please get in touch if intrested
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Peter Denschel 2 February, 2010 15:46
My father Horst Denschel arrived in Melbourne May 1959 from West Berlin and settled in Brisbane Queensland. I would love to hear from anyone who had contact with him on his journey or any photos or stories of the trip.Thank you.
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Cristina Gómez 4 February, 2010 03:32
Mi padre Salomón Gómez Contreras fue desde Bilbao(España) hasta Australia el 19 de diciembre en 1959 en el barco Monte Udala y mi madre Nieves Rey Rey fue en avión desde Madrid en 1960. Estuvieron allí hasta 1969 y volvieron con sus cuatro hijas en el barco Castel Felice. Me gustaría contactar con cualquiera que los haya conocido o haya coincidido con ellos. Gracias
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Cecilia Phillips (Uribarri Gila) 4 September, 2013 11:28
Hola Cristina, mis padres, Jose Luis Uribarri Herran y mi madre Pilar Gila Lopezosa y mi hermano mayor Jose Ignacio, y yo fuimos en el mismo barco que tu padre. Donde fuistes a vivir despues de Bonegilla? Saludos.
Liam 11 February, 2010 22:11
G'day Robert: In response to your query below. Yes. The Rooney family ex Edinburgh. "robert Did anyone sail on her from Southampton to Brisbane 1957 We are the Williams Family and were on that £10 passage love to hear from anyone sailing that date 29/12/2009 07:15 AM "
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alan mv guinness 17 February, 2010 04:44
i set sail from southhamton on 23dec 1965 on castle felice would love to hear from anyone abord (big brother movement)
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Theresa Anderson (nee Ryan) 16 March, 2014 12:15
Hi Alan, my family arrived on the Castel Felice in Jan / Feb 1966. After watching our Christmas dinner plates fall from the sideboard as the sea was so rough, we still got a Santa visit and presents. I was 7 and one of 5 kids. My Dad won the hat competition as he used my Mums girdle, suspenders and stockings. Very funny. Best ten pounds ever spent. Love Australia, love my life. Cheers.
ROBERT GREY 20 February, 2010 09:00
WE SAILED ON HER IN 1962 SYDNEY TO LONDON A GREAT SHIP HAD A BALL
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Hart Sturm 21 February, 2010 13:30
Today 50 years ago, we were informed that we would be travelling to Australia on the Castel Felice, departing Germany on March 13, 1960. I was separated from my wife and two children, I was accommodated in a 8-double bunk cabin on E-Deck, my wife shared a cabin with another lady on D-Deck. On the ship I taught English to migrants under the tutelage of Lionel Lobstein. The trip to Melbourne took 5 1/2 weeks, apparently one of the screws had been damaged whilst passing through the Suez Canal. It was a rough trip, there were no stabilizers, and there was a lot of sea sickness. We ran short of fresh water and milk for the children before reaching Perth. All the same, the journey was enjoyable, and the Italian crew was marvelous.
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Konrad Querengasser 25 April, 2014 13:18
I too travelled on this trip, had a great time. My brother Horst also taught english on the ship. We ended up in Bonegilla for a short while then moved to Brisbane. It was a good time in my life.
Janet Gorman nee Pryde 25 February, 2010 22:40
I sailed on Castel Felice from Southampton 24th June 1963 with my parents & grandmother -I was 12 years old. We came to Australian family in Melbourne. I have fond memories of my voyage/adventure. I loved the crew & the rough seas. I love this lucky country & have been back to Scotland to holiday.Will seek more info now.Would like to hear of anyone on same voyage.
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Douglas Lees 6 August, 2012 21:58
Janet what an adventure at the age when you left Kelty. This was a very bold move by your parents
Gordon Smillie 27 September, 2012 11:58
Hello Janet - I was 9 and my brother Stewart 5 when we sailed with you (and our parent Bill and Jean), in 1963.. I remember the Suez canal best - all the arabs and markets... We have visited Scotland too - and also love it here..
Hanna Katz 1 March, 2010 03:05
My name was Chana Laks. I my brother Leo and my parents Israel and Rosa Laks came to Australia on the Castle Felice from Bremen Haven in 1958. We were refugees from poland. I myself remember where we slept in a tiny cabin on the lowest deck. we children slep on the top bunk beds and my parents on the bottom. it took 3 weeks sailing to Melbourne. I do remember how we were tought to sing " My Bonnie lies over the ocen, my bonnie lies over the sea". I was sick only when we pssed the Biscayne Bay. Yes the dishes sometimes went from one end of the table to the other end. As children of 9 and 10 we had a great time especially when we were at the Equator and had a party with the King of the seas. We settled in Melbourne. I presently live in US but i visit Australia every few Years. Next time when visiting Melbourne I will visit the Museum. If you have any information or paperwork on my family's history I would appreciate some information. I will be grateful . Hanna( Laks ) Katz.
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Susan de Barre 1 March, 2010 06:51
Hi, My family travelled from Southampton on 8th January 1969 on the Castel Felice, arriving in Sydney on a boiling hot day on 14th February. I have memories and photos of the 'Crossing the Line' ceremony and wonder if anyone else was on that journey. If so, I would love to hear your stories.
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Christine Lawton 11 April, 2014 09:18
Hi Susan. My family and I travelled on the same journey. I have photos of the Crossing the Line ceremony and a crossing the equator certificate as well, it has a picture of Poseidon on it. I also remember the talent quests which my brother and I entered. Then there was the swimming pool, which had seen better days. Lot's of things for kids to do, but man that was a long 5 weeks!
Discovery Centre 2 March, 2010 11:31

Hi Hanna – Thank you for sharing your personal migration story with us. Immigration records and documentation relating migration to Australia in the twentieth century are held by the National Archives of Australia (NAA). You can search for such documents using the NAA's online RecordSearch tool and request copies of certain items. You can also contact the NAA directly for further assistance in searching for your own and your family’s records. If you do visit Melbourne in the next few years it would be lovely to see you here at the Immigration Museum!

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john mckay and Irene Mckay 14 March, 2010 18:31
my wife and I sailed on her from Frematle to the uk in 1970 this would have been her last voyage to the uk. The ship was an old tub and kept breaking down but the crew were fantastick and the food and entertainment was very good. We made some good friends on that ship. My wife was pregnant during the voyage and the crew could not do enough for her.
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Angie 17 March, 2010 18:36
Hello, Could you get me a copy of the "Castel Felice's" passenger list which left Bremerhaven on the 13/3/1960 & arrived in Melbourne on 15/4/1960. It's coming up to our 50 years anniversary living in Australia & I would like to get my father some information. If you can't provide this information perhaps there is something else with our names on it, 3 of us migrated from Germany, Horst, Siglinde & Angelika Kirchner. Can you help me please. Thank you for your time, regards Angie
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Discovery Centre 18 March, 2010 13:31

Angie - see above for links to the website of the National Archives of Australia, which holds the shipping list you mention, and can provide a copy for you on request. They may also be able to provide other documents relating to your family's immigration, like migrant selection documents and/or naturalisation papers.

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Bernd Otto Hoffmann 27 March, 2010 13:19
Hi my Father,Mother and seven children left on 23rd Dec 1959 Bremenhaven Germany arriving in Melbourne on Australia Day 26th Jan 1960 on good ship Castel felice train to Bonegilla now live in Brisbane just had our 50th reunion with 59 members of our Family
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Paul Lewenhoff 11 April, 2010 19:00
Departed Southampton one dreary evening in June '63 after arriving by train from London, aged 13,on the greatest adventure of my life as I was crazy about all things maritime. I remember staying on deck below the bridge as we went through the Bay of Biscay as it was stormy & I felt ill down below. My family was lucky as we were all together in a 4 berth cabin, the last one port side toward the stern. I was disappointed we did not stop at Gibraltar, Genoa, & Colombo like the P & O ships did but was fascinated by the sights of Port Said harbour & culture shocked at Aden with beggars sleeping in the streets next to open sewers. Slept on deck in a deck chair while crossing Indian ocean as we crossed the path of a cyclone only venturing inside once to try some spaghetti. The dining room was deserted for two days.Feeling crook I tried to get out on deck only to find the waiters had tied the handles of the swinging doors together to stop them banging in the rough seas. It was a sprint through the library to get outside & throw up over the railing with no time (mouth full & oozing!) to warn those on the deck below to look out. Finally Fremantle. So,not the most glamorous of ships but fondly remembered and I have happy memories of my time on her.
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grace mc sorley 13 April, 2010 11:13
i came to australia in 1966 from nth ireland i travelled via ship which was the castel felice i was only 5 my memories of it are fantastic
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Una Mc Sorley 6 June, 2014 07:43
Hi Grace, wondering if you are related to Austin Mc Sorley who is married to Lynn. They emigrated to Australia. I am his first cousin.
Kevan 13 April, 2010 17:21
Hi Everyone. We, Me being only 8yrs old, immigrated to Australia leaving Southampton at the begining of April 1963 and arrived in OZ on the 7 May 1963. During the voyage we had Schooling and Religious Services, and my Mother and Father took some of the Classes as Teachers. A few events happened during the voyage of which I remember fondly one was my Baptism on the 28th April 1963 and an other was the "King Neptune" Ceremony which was enacted on Crossing the Equator (this was a 'Traditional Ceremony'). I am particulary interested in the log of our voyage as I would like to pinpoint our location at the time of these events. Iam hoping also that the event of the Baptisms/Confirmations conducted by "The Church Of England On The Seas" is registered in the Ships Log for the Voyage as I would like to obtain a copy of the page for My 'Family History' records. One other event was the Fancy Dress Ball/Dance, I know My parents attended as I remember the Photo which was lost. I would like to know if ther is a repository for these pictorial history of the Voyages. Are there any others out there that sailed on this voyage and/or part of the baptism/Confirmation Service.
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Bruce 25 August, 2014 14:36
Hi Kevan, I was also on your voyage with my parents and older brother, I was 5 and my brother 10. I recall the crossing of the equator with King Neptune and the fancy dress ball. My mum has some photo's somewhere, I think I was dreessed as a cowboy lol. I do remeber it was a fun trip at that age.
Discovery Centre 14 April, 2010 11:19

Hi Kevan - The National Archives of Australia is the central repository for Australian Commonwealth Government records so you can contact them for the passenger list and log for your voyage - their website features online indexes to records in their collection, and can be searched by name, year and/or ship's name. You can also find photos of your ship at Picture Australia by entering "Castel Felice ship" as the search term.

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Rita Walsh 17 April, 2010 22:57
Hi to Angie (above)I sailed on that same voyage (13/3/60 - 15/4/60)with my mum, dad & sister. Happy 50th Anniversary Angie!!!
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Richard Kurtis 18 April, 2010 03:25
I remember the terrible storm during our passage through the Indian Ocean in 1960 on our return from Australia.My brother Derek was at the bow of the ship and I went to fetch him.A huge wave washed me from the bow to the bridge.Richard Kurtis
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Ryan Felicity 21 April, 2010 21:21
I believe that my father John Michael Wills and Janet Ann Wills (nee Dyer) travelled with their two boys James and Gegory departing Southhampton on 25/08/1966 i was born on arrival in Aust in late 1967 and was given up for adoption if anyone has any information on them I would be grateful. Regards (Nee Lynette Dyer)
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Paul Trangmar 27 April, 2010 22:40
Further to Kevan's remarks (of 13 Apr 2010) re: Official Log of "Castel Felice" for ship's positional records for date of your Baptism, also that for your crossing of the Equator. In 1963 "Castel Felice" was registered at Roma/Rome, Italy, which is where I expect such records are kept. So, if you can't source the information you require in Australia, then you might try the archives of the Italian Merchant Marine (Registrar of Ships), in Rome. Also, I believe that the Church Missonary Society (or CMS - Australia) supplied Chaplains to migrant ships, so their archives might also be able to help re: your Baptismal records. I hope this helps.
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Eva Daschil 30 April, 2010 15:44
I have some great memories of our trip on the Castle Felice -full of excitement and adventure as well as some sickness as we travelled through the Bay of Biscay(my family chose the boat over plane travel so as to have a holiday before confronting the many challenges awaiting us in Australia)The pool, the children's centre, the writing room, the Equator baptism, the general deck space and the friendly and helpful staff all ensured that our 4 week journey helped to alleviate some of the apprehension we all felt. My memories of Port Said and the Suez Canal, the Indian Ocean and the flying fish are still with me but most vivid of all is our arrival in the early hours of the morning in Aden. From the ship you could perceive the hills in the darkness - dotted with lights. It just seemed magical and any similar scene now evokes the feeling I experienced then. My family came out in late 1960 and was confronted with a very different landscape and environment as well as a new language and culture. There were some initial hiccups but we have since made some wonderful memories in this country.
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Richard Harris 1 May, 2010 07:09
My family travelled from Auckland, New Zealand on the Castel Felice in 1961 to return to UK. My main recollection is that of being terribly seasick in the mediterranean,on the night before we arrived at the Italian port of... Naples(?). I was 13 years old, and the whole voyage was continual excitement. 35 years later in 1996, I returned with my own family to NZ. My wife became friendly with a workmate and her English partner Colin. We all remain close friends. It was only sometime later during a discussion of our early years that it transpired that Colin, as a young man, and I had both been on the Castel Felice at the same time! He had also been travelling back to Britain to visit relatives. An amazing coincidence. My memories of the ship are good and it's great to read of its history. Whangarei New Zealand
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Paul Edgecumbe, late mother Sheena 11 November, 2013 21:08
As a 10 year old, (oldest of 4 kids),traveled from Auckland to Naples, then train and ferry to UK. I am now 62trs old and have lived in Australia since 1988. Would love to meet folks from that actual voyage. Although only a kid, I remember really enjoying it. I have to say why did he he leave NZ to live in UK. I am more than content with Australia. Whoever you are Richard Harris, I wish you all the best. Paul.
Colin Sinclair 27 June, 2014 09:03
I also was on the Castel Felice leaving Auckland on 27th September 1961 and I ende up in the hospital the day after we left Sydney as I had got the mumps they called it parrotitis I had a german nurse I was in isolation till the day before Singapore , as the ship went from Suez to Port Said we did a day trip to Cairo and the Pyramids I wish I could remember the hotel in Cairo we stopped for dinner we had our meal outside and there were vultures sitting on a bannister watching us eating . as the ship had a steering problem we had to go to genoa and take a train to London .
Richard Harris 1 May, 2010 07:18
PS: Ref my last comment: Further coincidences... Colin was born in 1930, the year of the Castel Felice launch. And also, I've just noticed that the ship once sailed under the name HMS Keren. This is also the name of our daughter...
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Jesper Andersen 1 May, 2010 09:19
Frode and Lizzie Andersen and all my siblings came out on the Castel Felice 21 April 1960. I could not be fitted in the same cabin as my family and had to be placed in another cabin with a whole lot of bachelors, on a different deck.
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Ludwig Schmitz 21 October, 2013 00:10
I am writing for my friend Ludwig who is now 80. He was one of the bachelors on the Castle Felice arrived Sydney about 20/04/1960. He remembers the journey very well.
Heather Hall 13 May, 2010 16:42
I have a photo of the school for children. The voyage from the Uk 8th January 1969 on the Castel Felice, arriving in Sydney on 14th February. I would like to know how I can add it to the photos you have.
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Alan France 14 May, 2010 20:56
Left the U.K. winter in Feb 1970 to start a new life . The Castel Felice was great , food , entertainment , new friends . Was only a small boat but it got us to Australia -- now live in Brisbane
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Discovery Centre 15 May, 2010 12:10

Hi Heather - You are most welcome to send your photo to us here at the Discovery Centre. Please read our donation guidelines before submitting your images. Thanks!

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Stephen Taylor 18 May, 2010 12:38
Left the U.K in june 67 as a 12 year old, & arrived in Fremantle on August 8th after sailing around the Cape of Good Hope,as the Suez was closed due to the 7 day war. would love to hear from others from that cruise
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Christine 24 May, 2010 23:14
My husband and his parents came from Germany to Australia on the 'Castel Felice' 23 Dec 1960. We are doing a family history story on the trip and would like to know the name of the hostel in Bremerhaven where the German immigrants stayed the night before the ship left and the ports they stopped in on the way. They also stayed in Bonegilla where they said lamb was in every meal.
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Sabine Schumann 24 August, 2013 10:49
I believe the hostel you are referring to was Bremen-Lesum, I am not positive but that's where we stayed.
Mark Agars 25 May, 2010 09:02
My Dad, Geoffrey Agars, travelled to Italy from Australia on the Castel Felice in 1955. He had fond memories of the voyage up until his recent passing 21/05/10
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Discovery Centre 25 May, 2010 13:27

Hi Christine, the information we have in the Immigration Discovery Centre tends to focus on the migrant experience in Australia.  Perhaps consider contacting the Museum in Bremerhaven, they may be able to provide you with further details about the hostel. http://www.historisches-museum-bremerhaven.de/index.php?id=37

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Sue de Barre 27 May, 2010 03:02
Hi Heather Hall, would be interested to contact you to reminisce about our journey to Australia from Southampton on 8th January, 1969 arriving in Sydney on 14th February. I was 13 at the time and it was all very exciting for me, my sister and 2 brothers. Would love to hear from you.
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Gerd Kilimann 29 May, 2010 10:44
Hi, I left Bremerhafen early Jan.59 and arrived in Melbourne early Feb.59. Had a great trip didn't get sick and live now in Queensland.
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Theresa Blackford (Zwickl) 13 May, 2014 23:23
Hi Gerd. I also left Bremerhafen in early January 1959 with my parents and two sisters. We arrived in Fremantle on February 7th and my older sister had to start school on February 9th. I was just 4 years old at the time. I still live in Collie, Western Australia and would love it if you made contact with me.
Rita Keller 1 June, 2010 20:04
Departed Southampton February, 1970 with 2 friends, Lynda and Jackie. We were all 22yrs-had a great time on the ship. The plan was to stay in Australia 2yrs (ten pound poms) and then go home to UK. We will be having our 40yr reunion this coming Saturday, along with 2 other girls who came out. Its wonderful that we are all still here and still friends.
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MAURA HALLIGAN 2 June, 2010 00:49
I arrived in Perth in September 1968 with my mum Pat ,dad John and my older brothers Steven and Kieron. I was three years old so I don't remember alot. I won a tiny tears doll in the fancy dress competition. I loved that doll.
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Dermot Kelly 2 June, 2010 22:00
I remember January 8th 1969 very well, I was 9 years old and the eldest of four children at the time, (two were born in 'OZ)I had tears in my eyes at the realisation that I was leaving the family behind for good.However as children do all so often I forgot about that and settled into the trip to Australia. What an adventure it was and I must admit I loved the whole journey.I remember that we drifted off course to let the engines cool down and ended drifting towards India and waking up to the site of whales.We finally arrived at our destination of Adelaide at 10.30pm February 10th 1969 and it was raining before being bussed to the hostel. My parents are still alive and well and have kept in touch with the Donnelly's family all these years 41 to be precise.I am very grateful to my parents for having the foresight to come to this great country.
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Anna Maria Kerkes 10 June, 2010 10:06
I have search almost a lifetime for my Father,Spas Videnski. He sailed on the Castel Felice from Italy to Melbourne Au. I found this in formation by searching NAA.Au I am so greatful for this site. I wondered if anyone that visits this site might have known him that visits this site. He is deceased and lived in Newport and then in Altonia North Au at time of death. He arrived in Jan. 1955 to Melbourne.
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Jacqui 15 June, 2010 15:42
Sailed from Southampton at the age of 4 with family on the MS Oranje. Arrived in Melbourne 7 September 1959. Would welcome contact from any other child of the time.
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Chris Dowling 18 June, 2010 04:16
Sailed on the CF from Melbourne to Southampton September to October 1968. Fond memories as a twelve year old, making friends with the stewards and the funnel catching fire mid Pacific! Strange to think I traveled half way round the world on a ship a quarter the size of the car ferry that I was on recently that took me to France from the UK. I have a passenger list from my voyage if anyone is interested in a copy (complete with my drawing of a spider in the top corner, well I was 12!!)
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Catherine Brook 21 June, 2010 10:05
I came to australia on the Castel Felice leaving South Hampton on August 25th 1966. My mum was Kathleen and my dad Arthur Brook. I was 2 years old. I am trying to locate a passenger list can any one help.
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Discovery Centre 21 June, 2010 14:30
Hi Catherine, this is a common question that's been answered above a few times. Immigration records and documentation relating migration to Australia after 1923 are held by the National Archives of Australia (NAA). You can search for such documents using the NAA's online RecordSearch tool and request copies of certain items. Be aware that only about 10% of the records have been put online so far and if you can't find the records, you should contact the NAA directly for further assistance in searching your family’s records.
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Horst Bardorf 21 June, 2010 15:22
My wife and I came to Australia in the Castel Felice in 1961. We left Cuxhaven on 15/02/1961 and after short stop-overs in Port Said, Aden and Fremantle arrived in Mebourne on 21/03/1961 (?). My wife and I had one of the two cabins on A-Deck. My wife was pregnant. So was the woman who with her husband was in the other cabin. She had a confinement on board but unfortunately the baby was still-born.
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Mandy Johnson 22 June, 2010 21:31
The Johnson family from Wales sailed from Southhampton in 1968 and arrived in Melbourne on 25 November 1968. I was 8 years old and remember going to school on the ship and had a really nice Australian teacher named Miss Beard. We learned to sing 'Waltzing Matilda', it was a big adventure for a young child.
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gary cooper 23 June, 2010 19:16
i also came on the last voyage in 1970 with mum dad and us seven kids.i was 17 at the time and can remember just about every song on the jukebox.bob walker was on the ship too and we still keep in touch. i rember norman and anne weedall they where fiends of my brother steve.we still live in adelaide.keep me in touch about a reunion you can find me on face book or friends reunited any body who remembers me or the walkers.
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bob walker 24 June, 2010 22:30
i also came on her last voyage as gary cooper said we still keep in touch .i remember several friends we hang out with but have been unable to find them ,in particular elizabeth now living in the christie downs area.
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Jane Fitzpatrick 4 July, 2010 19:36
I went back to Scotland on the Castel Felice in 1968
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teddy brown 6 July, 2010 04:57
i left southampton on 26 feb 1968 and arrived in sydney on 4 april. i travelled with my friend john maloney (still friends to this day)we went to play football, eventually for manly,and for the adventure.we met some lads from coventry, again we are still friends today. i remember spending lots of time in the bar at the back of the ship. the day we landed in freemantle was my 21st birthday. we were in a 4 berth cabin with an older man named george and another chap on the promenade deck, by the sound of some of the other comments it was a bit posh! after a couple of weeks we entered every competition going to relieve the boredom. the ship did roll a bit but i wasn't sea sick and we went through a few storms. our waiter was called julio, italian, as most of the crew was. it was a long voyage and the start of a great adventure. so if anyone remembers two cockney boys, ted and john, get in touch.
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Gill Ambridge nee Deeks 6 November, 2013 00:14
Hi Teddy my family also came out then you may have met my sister Sue she was 17 at the time
Ian Richardson 7 July, 2010 08:12
My parents and I migrated to Australia on an enjoyable Oct '57 post-refit voyage, disembarking in Sydney and travelling to Brisbane by train. In April 1968 we returned to Southampton from Sydney on an equally unforgettable Fairstar passage via the Panama Canal.
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Donald Birks 7 July, 2010 14:04
We arrived mid 68 from the Potteries UK. I was 12 years old, I remember a great time that I had on board I was at a good age to enjoy 12. we arrived at Port Melbourne Mum Dad 2 bothers & a sister. our cabin was at the bottom of the boat, I remember a pastor on board that was very entertaining, also my mother sang a few songs. My Dad is still with us, he has a few great grand children now. we all live in Victoria. fond memorys.
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Ian Richardson 8 July, 2010 21:09
My parents and I migrated to Australia on an enjoyable Oct '57 post-refit voyage, disembarking in Sydney and travelling to Brisbane by train. In April 1968 we returned to Southampton from Sydney on an equally unforgettable Fairstar passage via the Panama Canal.
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Richard Brunken 13 July, 2010 08:13
Journied from MONTREAL,CANADA July 1956. I was 12 years of age and headed to meet my grandmother in Wilhelmshaven. My dad and I saw icebergs in the North Atlantic and I vomited all the way over to England. The ship behaved like a cork in a tub. We then sailed to Calais and then on to Bremerhaven. I spent a wonderful summer with my grandmother. The Andrea Doria sank just after we arrived. On the return trip it took 9 days to get to new York as the ship had engine problems which were repaired in the Azores. When the ship rolled the water in the pool would rise and fall. Needless to say it was not filled too often. Great memories....
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Richard Brunken 13 July, 2010 12:10
Do passenger manifests exist for the year 1956?
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Livia York 15 March, 2014 22:57
Hi Richard would you know in what month of 1956 did the Castel Felice arrived in Melbourne? I thank you in advance. Regards, Livia
Discovery Centre 14 July, 2010 11:08

Yes, Richard, lists of passengers were collected by the Australian government for all arrivals in this period. You can request copies of such documents from the National Archives of Australia.

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David 17 July, 2010 22:22
My Dad came over on her in 1962. Saunders still here many years later.
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Tracy Gundry (nee Parham) 18 July, 2010 14:46
My parents Barry Parnham and Margaret (nee Routledge) and myself Tracy Parnham travelled to Australia on the Castel Felice departing 25/08/66. I was only 2 years old so i dont remember much at all.I would love to hear from anyone that shared the same journey all those years ago. Catherine Brook I believe you were also 2 at the time.
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Doris Kisch 26 July, 2010 22:50
My uncle and my aunt, Günter and Irmgard Probst, went to Melbourne in 2-1959 by Castel Felice. I read the comment from Gerd Kilimann, 29.5.2010, who arrived Melbourne at the same thim as the Probst's. Do you remember them. they came from Osnabrück.
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Julia Kurtis 27 July, 2010 07:41
I came back to Enland on the ship from Brisbane in 1963. I was only five but I have very vivd memories of the ship. I can still remember the smell of the restaurent, I was an unwell child and spent much time in the cabin, I can remember sticking dairylea cheese labels to the wall, falling face first into the swimming pool and poking my tongue out at the men selling camel saddles and the like by the side of the ship and them telling me off and saying 'no poke tongue out little girl. Anyone else sail at the same time, we arrived in Southhampton I think in April 1964
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michael welch 4 August, 2010 18:24
i sailed from southampton to sydney june 24th 1963 on the castel felice with my mother and father,brother and sister,i was 7 and have nothing but happy memories,i recall rough seas in the bay of biscay,but to me it was exciting i loved being on deck with the sea spray hitting me ,i recall my dad purchasing a small transistor radio in aden from the many small boat,s that came alongside,that little radio went with me everywhere i went on the ship,great memories.
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Barbara Shaw (nee Hensley) 8 August, 2010 17:03
I arrived in June 1963 as a 23 year old,I arrived at Southampton and expected the Queen Mary!! was I disappionted. But it was a great adventure and I remember well going through the Suez Canal, it was magic, and that trip across the harbour really won me over, and I am still here,my regret would only be that I have lost contact with the friends, I made on that trip.
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bente soelberg hansen 18 August, 2010 01:56
It was a wonderfull journey - I went on board the 2.april 1959. I have never meet any passenger from the ship. I live in Denmark.
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bente soelberg thomsen (hansen) 25 March, 2013 03:28
I had 18 years birthday on board CASTEL fELICE. We lived in St. Kilda road. Melbourne. I work at Rockmann. My brother was manager in the Danich Club,Melboune. Hoping some remember us?
Gerd Kilimann 21 August, 2010 15:45
Hi Doris,I was 22 at the time, there were many people. Cheers Gerd
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Joseph Orford 23 August, 2010 16:22
Castle Felece. Just a conduet to a new life. Many carefree miles to a new world. No regrets. Australia lived up to all our expectations. I think we did the same. All a long time ago.
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Hermann Brockelt 12 September, 2010 01:33
am 1.9.1960 mit der Castel Felice von Cuxhaven nach Perth. Wer wohnte mit mir die erste Zeit in Greylandshostel, wir nannten unsere Unterkunft "SPUTNIK"
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john cates 28 September, 2010 04:21
i went from southampton on april 1st 1969,bound for brisbane australia. i arrived in brisbane 11th may 1969,at the tender age of 20. the castel felice was a bit of a tub,but it got me there,and i saw the world first hand,it was an experence i will never forget. i returned back to the uk in 1972 on the fairsky,another sitmar line ship. i went back to australia 3 times after that for holidays,but by plane then. i never really settled there,but it was great for a young man who wanted to see the world for only £10.
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Ted Barker 2 October, 2010 19:48
I came over to Australia on this ship, arriving in Melbourne in July 1963. I met my wife in July 1964, married in May 1966, and still living and loving Melbourne...
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Inge Mackie nee Ruhland 11 October, 2010 12:26
I was 8 years old when my family arrived in Port Melbourne. We came with the Castle Felice from Bremerhaven Sept 1960 and arrived Oct 1960. Desperately trying to find out the exact date of arrival.
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Fox Family 11 October, 2010 14:47
Hi Monika, I notice your post is old, but thought I would reply, just in case you see this. My Father-in-law and his parents travelled leaving 20 June 1959. They lived in Perth for some time before my father-in-law moved to Adelaide. His parents lived in NSW and then QLD before returning to SA.
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Discovery Centre 11 October, 2010 16:30
Inge, our records indicate that the Castel Felice docked in Melbourne on October 5, 1960.
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Kirsty Bunyan 28 October, 2010 23:08
My Grandfather was on the 1960 voyage to Australia. a Danish man named Kjeld Danielsen Moller. If anyone remembers him and has a story to tell or any information please do tell. I never really knew him and he died in his 50's.
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Ib Moller 10 August, 2012 19:13
Kjeld Danielsen Moller was my cuisin. After militaryservice he left Denmark. He sent few letter from down under to his morher.But it seems he disappeared later. Now I try search him.
Klaus Villwock 4 November, 2010 18:31
I arrived in Melbourne on 5 Oct. 1960, aged 29, and have never regretted coming here.
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Paul Brush 5 November, 2010 21:06
Mum Dad & I left Southhampton on the 25th April 1964, I had my 11th birthday on the trip. We arrived in Brisbane about 4 weeks later. Brisbane at that time was so in the 50s and we drove to Melbourne and have been here 46 years, The voyage was very exciting for an 11 year old. Schools were organised but I avoided them at all costs. I often wonder how the other 1000 passengers fared in Australia. It seems such a long and special era that we all experienced.
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Elaine Hamilton 7 November, 2010 15:05
We sailed on the Castel Felice in 1963. I am trying to find out the arrival date in Sydney I am sure it was early Oct. can you help? I have also looked on the website to find the passenger list but cannot find it. can you help please.
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Doug Lambert 8 November, 2010 18:36
I sailed on the" Castel Felice" from Auckland to Southampton, leaving Auckland around the 31st Jan 1966 arriving Sth Hampton around the 9th March. I travelled on my own and had a wonderful time aboard this ship. The captain of the ship died as we were leaving Naples. The ship turned around and we returned to Naples so his body coud be taken ashore. We then sailed on to England to pick up a new captain at Gibralter. I was young, 22 years old setting out on my big O.E. adventure. I enjoyed travelling on this ship.
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Discovery Centre 9 November, 2010 15:16
Elaine, according to our records the Castel Felice arrived in Melbourne on October 10th, 1963. Based on the standard route from Europe (Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney), we can assume that it travelled to Sydney after this date. For confirmation of the date of its exact arrival in Sydney, contact the National Archives of Australia, who keep all passenger lists from this period. Hope this helps!
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peter sutton 10 November, 2010 13:25
i left England in 1964 with other Big Brothers the first time aboard a ship we had a great time I now live here in western australia a little older and just up the road from Fairbridge another Big Brother Movement farm best wishes
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Susan Spinks (now Whyte) 12 November, 2010 12:38
I left England in 1969 arrvinging in Melb in May. I was 6 years old. I travelled with my Mum, two brothers David and John and my sister Ann. My fondest memories was my waiter Antonio who used to give me chips....and the crossing of the Equator... Amazing memories even though I was so young
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j binnie 16 November, 2010 11:46
Kevan 13 April 2010. My wife and I travelled on the CF to Brisbane on the same dates as you indicate. I too remember the fancy dress ball and ,being one of the prize winners along with a very good Hunchback of Notre Dame, have a photo somewhere being paraded round the dance floor with the ship's doctor on my arm.(Wearing a tartan travelling rug as a makeshift kilt in my "highland rigout" I think he mistook me for a "lassie" and was trying to do his Don Juan. Great memories.
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Lesley Thomas (nee Craven) 17 November, 2010 23:59
My family arrived in Fremantle on 20 September 1966 on the Castel Felice, settling in the Landall's development in High Wycombe with many other Castel Felice passengers. Bushfires, bob tails, racehorse goannas and flies were a challenge in the early years. Our family tales (both parents, Pat and Tom Craven, sadly now deceased) suggest that our trip spent longer in Egypt than normal. Does anyone else remember this? Even though I was only little (I had my 6th birthday on board), I have many memories of the ship, mediterranean islands, Cairo and Aden. I remember flying fish, fresh melons, real orange juice, the excitement and flames of a bombe alaska and the many new foods to a working class Manchester palate, the fancy dress party, crossing the Equator (still have my certificate), the delightful novelty of the swimming pool and, most puzzling, our family's first experience with showers. It took Mum a while to figure out that rather than filling something up and then using the water, you had to step under this oddly running 'tap'. I also remember the wind-up toys and camel leather pouffes from the small market boats that pulled up alongside, the 'trolls' that were popular toys on board. I also remember Mum crying one night soon after we arrived, so far from friends and family and with no real expectation of ever seeing them again. Thankfully, easier travel kept the connections alive and we soon adapted to this strange, flat brown country. I am so grateful for my family's courage in making a new life in a country that is truly and deeply 'home'. Hello to Tracy Gundry and Catherine Brook who came on the same voyage. We probably met and played together at some stage.
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J Fajkis 19 November, 2010 11:25
I was 13 in July 1969 when my family and I sailed from Southampton to Adelaide. When we docked in Cape Town we were known as the "floating kindergarten" as there were so many children on board. It was a mucky old rust bucket held together with paint. I love the sea but not on the Castel Felice thankyou. I returned to England - by air - in 1975 alone at the age of 19. I've never regretted it, I was never mean't to leave.
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Raymond Russell 25 November, 2010 10:35
My family travelled on the Castel Felice on 23rd January 1963. Their names are: Daniel Joseph Russell born 2 May 1926; Lily Russell(nee Blanchard) born 11 December 1928; Linda Russell born 12 November 1946; Daniel Russell born 8 July 1952; Raymond Russell born 2 January 1955; Norman Russell born 17 April 1958; I know it is a very long shot but if anybody has any information about my family that would be amazing. My father would love to get back in touch after all these years and so would I. Thank you :)
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Roderic Holland 7 April, 2013 17:46
Hi Raymond I think I came across with my family on the same trip. Landing in Perth on 18th Feb 1963. I was about your age (born Nov 1955). The fiftieth anniversary of our arrival and a trip to the Migrant Wall at the Fremantle Maritime Museum has piqued my interest. I remember very little (sick most of the trip, scared by beggars in Aden, given a little Castel Felice sailor doll, awed by the "foreignness" of the crew). My father, Eric Holland, 91, is still alive. I shall mention the name "Russell" to him. He was trying to remember yesterday any names from the trip. Are you in Perth?
Raymond Russell 13 July, 2013 10:18
Hi Roderic. Sorry for my late reply. I would be really grateful if you could ask your father. the people who sailed on the ship are relatives of mine and cousins of my father. I actually live in England (U.K) Would love to be able to trace them, however it's proving very difficult. I did manage to get their migration papers but they don't tell me where they are located etc. any help would be great.
jacqueline baker 27 November, 2010 16:37
hi peter boothman i to came out in march and arrived in aprill 1966 in my cabin was pam ward barbra and ann would love to find all found barbra and ann but pam ward got of at melbourn and got married name now chorzewski ann married 3 times and barbra 2 me now foster married in 1969 still married any one now of more on that time let us know we had a great time all in our early twentys
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Dean Bennett 3 December, 2010 07:32
Came out to Adelaide Australia on the last 1970 trip.I can remember that the Adelaide docks were closed or on strike so we all had to go to Melbourne.Then all Adelaide passengers had to go on the train.Have been here in Adelaide ever since.Became a film and tv stunt performer.
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Bob Bowker 9 December, 2010 23:39
Left the Uk on Castle Felice in August 1966, arrived in Adelaide on 28/09/1966, had a great trip, Now living in Shellharbour NSW, am trying to locate some old friends from the voyage, thier names are Lance and Kate Horn thier childrens names are Steven, Robert and Victoria, if anybody knows thier whereabouts or anybody who has known them could please get in touch with me. I would be most greatfull, Many thanks. Bob.
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Glynis Greenwood 10 December, 2010 12:32
Hi to Peter Boothman and Jacqueline Baker My family brought me to Australia on the same castel Felice voyage (Left UK March 1966). As a 16 yo I had the best time - lots of fun with passengers and crew, great food and entertinment. When we reached Melbourne I would have happily stayed on board. Best days. Now a very happy grandma - Australia proved to be everything and more we had been told. Nora and Ernest are gone now, but used to enjoy stories about the Castel Felice and her crew!
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Ann 13 December, 2010 22:08
Lovely to read memories of people travelling with my twin brother Ron Jones on Castel Felize from Southampton on Feb 26th 1968. Sadly Ron died in Northam Western Australia 40 years later after much travelling and a life on the railway. He became an Australian citizen and is buried in Northam looking across the Avon valley. He is still missed every day but it is good to read accounts of the adventure he began with those people.
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Peter Boothman 4 July, 2014 07:50
Hi Ann, I wrote above of coming to WA with my parents on the Castel Felice in 1966. Like your brother Ron they are also buried in Northam.
steve pepper 15 December, 2010 14:50
Arrived Station Pier Melbourne Sept 1968. Now retired living in Central Qld. What a great trip. Huge storms. apparently 1 death and 1 birth whilst at sea!
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Denise Green nee De Wied 16 December, 2010 13:38
left Southampton 1964 at the age of 14 on Castel Felice disembarked Adelaide drove to Whyalla as dad had a job with BHP in Whyalla Had a great group of teenage friends on the boat Carol Hart -Clive Shakespeare (ex pop band lead guitarist Sherbet. The sea was rough in the Bay of Biscay and we hit a cyclone off the WA coast. Excited to pick up a radio station once in the waters of Australia and heard House of the rising sun by Eric Burdon & the Animals
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Austin Herbert 21 December, 2010 14:02
We left Southhampton in 1969 Sep arrived in Sydney Oct 1969. I had my wife and three young daughters with me. Would like to hear from any other person that may have travelled the same time.
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Ken Attwood 7 February, 2013 10:21
Hi Austin yes my family and I were on that voyage,we also departed in Sydney and went to east hills hostel, I was 12 at the time with my mum ,dad,2 elder brothers and a little sister.
Ken attwood 7 February, 2013 10:25
Yes my family and I were on that voyage also to Sydney,I was12 at the time with mum and dad to brothers and a sister
Jacqueline Adams 16 June, 2014 23:23
Hi Austin, I was on the Castle Felice September 1969. My friend and I got on at Southampton and off in Melbourne. We were both 21.We shared a cabin under the water line with 4 other girls. What a wonderful experience it was,I didn`t want to get off.I remember the ship had no stabilizers,I half expected it to roll over.
Barry Simpson 26 December, 2010 20:24
My Fasmily came out to Australia on this tub and arrived in Melbourne 10/10/1963, I was 8 years old. Still living in Melb. I remember the boats selling goods I think in Aden, sending the items up via rope and the money going back in a small basket. Wet table cloths to stop the plates sliding off. A fancy dress parade and learning to sing waltzing matilda!
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Hans Wolfgang Marx 31 December, 2010 12:32
My family and I left Bremerhaven on the 12 May 1961 and arrived in Fremantle W.A. June 1961 and then sailed on to Melbourne arriving 28 June 1961. I was 19 and the trip was quiet an adventure. My brother was 11 and we learned some English on the ship and then Australia once on shore. The trip was pleasant except for an engine break down in the English channel.The crew was mostly Italian and very helpful. We were lucky not having to go to the hostel,just traveled straight to Adelaide and living there still today.
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Phyllis Virgona 2 January, 2011 15:42
We traveled on the Castel Felice from Southhampton in 1963. We arrived at Station Pier 2-3 days before Christmas. We originated from Northern Ireland. Would love to know the exact date which we docked, also to make contact with anyone else who made that same journey. Migrating to Australia was a gutsy thing to do and I will always be thankful to my parents for their courage. It was the best thing they ever did.
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Vanda Jensen 3 January, 2011 17:46
My mother, younger sister and I sailed on Castel Felice from Southampton on Dec 23 1965. I think my sister and I spent most of Christmas Day being sick as we passed through the Bay of Biscay. However I loved the voyage, travelling through the Suez Canal. I remember the souvenir vendors in boats hoisting their goods up in baskets. Stuffed camels and leather bags. I also remember the friendly Italian stewards and waiters and, fascinating to me; watching stores being loaded into the hold under the swimming pool. We arrived in Melbourne around January 24 1966 and had to get a train to Adelaide which took all day. I'd love to know the exact date and the location we docked and also where the train left from. It seems to me that it was close by on the other side of the customs shed. I was 8 years old at the time and my memories of our first day in Australia are a little confused. There were a lot of other English migrants on the train with us. As the ship was a day late, so I'm told, our train may have been a special just for us. Does anyone know?
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Doris Stephens (nee Herold) 16 January, 2011 18:18
I traveled on the Castel Felice leaving Bremerhaven at the end of May 1960, arriving in Melbourne in July. I had my 10th birthday in the Great Australian Bight between Fremantle and Melbourne. I remember going to the window of the kitchens and the cooks giving us treats through the window and the kindness of the Italian crew to all the kids. We literally had the run of the ship. I came here with my dad Werner, mum Elfriede, brother Werner and sister Christa. I will always remember the young men on the cruise we had met originally at english night classes, I think in Bochum (or Wattenscheid), who came to board with us for a while after arriving. I loved the voyage, it was a kids paradise, didn't get seasick (although Mum did). Just like Vanda Jensen, I also remember the stuffed camels etc from the souvenir vendors along the Suez canal. Would love to hear from anyone else on that particular cruise.
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Richard Simpson 19 January, 2011 09:18
On June 12 1956 a group of 12 boys and girls, all about 16 yrs.old, from Joliet, Illinois USA Led by a minister and his wife, left Montreal Canada on the Castel Felice sailing to Southampton Eng. We left Southampton to return to Montreal on Aug. 8th 1956. While in Europe we toured with about 6 or 8 German youth from Gottingen. It was the time of my life. My question? is there anyway to get the passenger lists from either voyage, and if so where. And yes Stephen I remember the CAULIFLOWER and the raw baby squid. In fact I have the fork I ate it with. I loved every minute of the voyages on the Castel Felice. g
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Richard Simpson 19 January, 2011 10:36
Correction to my earlier email, we left Southampton on August 8 1956 to return to New York, not Montreal..... Thankyou.
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Marthel Geinitz 23 January, 2011 14:30
we got to melbourne on the Castel Felice at the begining of FEBRUAR 1959 went to Bornegilla Horst Geinitz und Gerhard Widmann and my self .Any person from our Trip at that time ,please contact .
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Ray Barker 30 January, 2011 12:24
Fond memories of the trip from Auckland to England in 1961 to begin our two year OE. Two of us in large berth cabin up in the bow area.Concert nights, the rough passage in the Straits of Messina, gentle roll in the Bay of Biscay, gliding through the Suez Canal, wonderful trip and still fresh in my mind after 50 years. Often wondered what happened to Jennie and Gloria?
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Gerd Kilimann 13 February, 2011 12:11
Marthel Geinitz, Please read comments 29.5.2010, 21.08.2010
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Marthel Geinitz 5 September, 2012 11:27
Hi Gerd ,it is nice to know i am on the list also Doris is looking for my Brother Horst. I would love to get in contact with you and talk about our time in Australia and what life has given us in this Country. Marthel
Doris Kisch 26 February, 2011 08:48
Hi, Irmgard and Günther Probst were also on Castel Felice in Februyry 1959. Do you remember. They went to Bonegilla and later lived they in Melbourne. Do you meet them? They are my Aunt and my Uncle. Please write me, if you know them. Doris Kisch
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shona felicity 1 March, 2011 00:42
I was born on the Castel Felice, June 1969 coming back to Britain. Would lioke to hear from anyone who remembers.
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Anna-Rose Smith(Brandes) 7 March, 2011 22:22
we left Germany from Bremen to Victoria Australia in 1960, arrived in April...with my family, then to Bonnegilla migrant camp......I was only 7 years old...remember being sick a lot....ate very little, mostly dry bread rolls and lemon tea...the waiters were Italian and they were really nice to us....have been home to Germany several times.....but there is no place like Australia...would like to catch up with other children, who sailed then and also went to Bonnegilla....block 21.....
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Konrad Querengasser 25 April, 2014 13:35
Hello Anna-Rose, I met a family Brandes on the ship, and kept in touch for a short while. I believe they had a daughter Karin, and the dad was called Carl. Was that your family? I live in Brisbane these days...
Richard Hawke 14 March, 2011 20:55
We arrived in Perth Sept 1 1968, and got of in Melbourne 5th Sept 1968. I was 7, and remember being sea sick. I remember siting in the huge dining room with the Captain up the front. I remember seeing flying fish at sea, and spending the day at Cape Town. There was 5 of us that came to Melbourne, and now the family has grown to 20. Oh the memories......
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Debbie 12 September, 2013 09:09
Hi Richard, i was just looking on Internet about the castel felice when I found your comment. My family was on the castel felice the same time your family was, cause we arrived in Melbourne the same time. There was 4 in my family plus uncle,Aunty,cousin, nan and grandad.. I was nearly 4 when we arrived
Gary Stockton 19 September, 2013 00:59
I was just looking through family photos and came across one of the Castel Felice, of course the obligatory google search brought me here. I felt I needed to join Richard and Debbie in commenting as fellow passengers on that trip in 1968 - we arrived in Adelaide on the 5th of Sept 1968 and disembarked to start our new life here in Australia. I was only 6 and a half at the time and although sketchy at best I still have memories of seeing hammerhead sharks along side the boat, a visit to Cape Town and receiving my gift from the staff on the way over - a small red toy piano.
Jacqui Cunningham (nee Walker) 17 March, 2011 20:43
Hi Richard, my family and I were on the same voyage. I came here looking for the arrival date so thankyou. I remember the flying fish too! I had my 10th birthday on the ship.
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Denzil Bennett 20 March, 2011 16:05
We travelled as 10 pound poms in the last years of the ship and had our first ever holiday travelling from Southampton in July 69 arriving mid September. The cross over the equator was a fantastic party and my mum and dad were able to celebrate every night in the cocktail lounge. I wish I could have been able to swim as the huge and deep pool looked so inviting on the hot sunny days. Only a few storms on the voyage - but we managed to get to evry meal.
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Russell Gordon Maugham 28 March, 2011 01:02
I was 7 and it was fabulous
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Ron & Pat Atkinson 2 April, 2011 00:12
We departed from Crewe via train to Southampton on December 4th 1967 as 10 pound Poms. Us and 4 small children starting out on our adventure to Australia. We traveled via Grand Canary, Cape Town, and then across the Indian ocean finally docking at Freemantle Jan 68. From there we sailed through the Australian Biight (what an experience), finally arriving at Adelaide on 23rd ish of Jan. From there we travelled to Whyalla where we set up home. Would love to hear from any other passengers who made this specific trip.
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Stewart Underwood 9 April, 2013 23:36
Hello Ron and Pat, at last, someone who was on the same voyage! Yep, we left England on a FREEZING December the 10th, 1967 and arrived in good old Adelaide on January 12th 1968. Temp was 109.5 Deg F! I was only 14 but remember the trip vividly. Fantastic. Great nights in the club at the back of the ship, listening to the old Wurlitzer Jukebox - Walrus, Daydream Believer, Somethings got a hold of my heart, and so on. Same movies night after night, Ghengis Khan etc, etc. Running amok up and down stairs, swimming in the pool. Great Italian Crew and great company. Shame it all had to come to an end. Despite that, Adelaide is the best place on earth and we've all done well. We came as 5 and (at last count) we shall soon be 29. Happy Days. SJU
Carmel Reed 13 April, 2011 15:45
My Grandfather Gunter Otto Alfred Gross came over to Australia from Germany on the Castel Felice arriving in Meblourne on June 29 1961, he then lived in Canberra for a number of years and had a daughter Tania Lee Gross (my mother) I am hoping that someone may remember or still know of Gunter as I would love to make contact with him. Records of him travelling on this ship is all I have.
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Hugh Ernest Marshall 25 April, 2011 10:38
The Castel Felice transported my family from UK to Freemantle in 1967. Wonderful voyage
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Stuart Andrews 30 April, 2011 01:19
I left Auckland on the Castel Felice 51 years ago, today, 29th April 1960. After a very rough passage to NZ in 1958, we were expecting the same on the return. We sailed via Tahiti, Panama & Curacao & did not see a wave all the voyage! The ship was slow due to propeller damage on the outward journey in the Suez Canal (referred to above). Enjoyed the voyage but the Italian crew must have made a fortune as it was always "no change" after purchases! A ship with a very chequered life, alas no more.
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Kas Zurek 6 May, 2011 15:39
My Brother, Parents and I, arrived on the Castel Felice in Melbourne on the 6th of May 1959. We were transferred to Bonegilla Migrant Camp, to either Block 10 or 12. After 9 weeks, my Dad was offered a job in Devereaux Creek in the Bush) near Mackay Queensland as a Sugar Cane Cutter. I don't think he realised how hard the work would be. We came down to N.S.W. in 1960 and have been here ever since. If there is anyone out there who came to Australia at the same time, it would be nice to hear from you.
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Les Liddle 6 May, 2011 20:10
We sailed on the Castle Felice on the 13th November and arrived in Adelaide on December the 13th as migrants. i remember as a 13 year old kid watching a night to remember with the Titanic,and we had a life boat drill aboard the ship, the life boat got stuck and it would not go up or down and stayed there for 3 days, I remember every time we went into Port the washing had to come down,they never stopped painting that boat. My father was telling us how big the ship was going to be we went on a cruise round the docks and saw the Queen Mary with her 3 funnels and my dad said the Castle felice was bigger than that, what a suprise we had when we saw how big she was,but she got us here safe and sound, God Bless Her for that a safe little ship.
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Michael Metcalfe 20 May, 2011 11:41
I came out to australia on the Castel Felice in 1965 with my parents. i can remember stopping off at Alexandria and taking a bus to Cairo to see the Museum and then going parallel to the Suez to meet up with the ship at Port Suez. It was fashionably six hours late and we had to sit in a seedy night cklub unti three in the morning. the other memory is playing table tennis and losing countless balls through a small opening in the canvas on the seaboard side. And then Port Melbourne on easter Sunday and the welcome from fishermen - go home pommy bastards.
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Susan Cann 21 May, 2011 03:26
We went home to England on the Castel Felice, in 1962. Still remember sailing through the Suez Canal, Port Said, Naples and finally Southampton. Enjoyed 2 wonderful years in Tasmania, but now live in Canada. Great memories of the ship though!
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Ken Attwood 14 June, 2011 19:37
I left southampton on the Castel Felice in September 1969 with my mum and dad brother's Graham,Mark and sister sally-Ann, it was gut wrenching as a 12year old, the ship was looked big to me then but it was like a cross channel ferry but not as well equipped!I had to go on the baby's sitting for meals to look after Sally who was yr s old,the ship sailed for four day's without stabilisers and all the plates fell out of the cabinets and smashed the list was so bad my sisters high chair was thrown over and i dived on the floor.to stop her hitting from that height,my mum would bring me a part of a steak or chop from there dinner setting for me to eat but i survived on pieces of cake from the lido bar where we used to sit and play poker dice,you could see the sea come up one side of the ship and then it would roll back to the other side it was so bad my chair just toppled over and there were people everywhere sliding on the polished dance floor hitting there heads on the inside of the ship ,how it never sunk I'll never know thank god but you could look up from the kids dinner table and all the crew had there life jackets on!On our voyage i saw the Ellinis and i think the Oriana go past us and wished we had gone around Italy and the Med like they had instead of las Palmas and Cape town and on to Freemantle, for many years every Saturday and Sunday i would go into Sydney return on the train for 10 cents and loved seeing the liners.
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Maaka McCandless 16 June, 2011 17:44
Tonight for some reason I thought of the Castel Felice. I travelled from Auckland, NZ, to Southhampton, in 1963 as a 9yr old boy with my mother and sister..Just to read some of the comments here brings back wonderful memories, or flying fish, the Neptune Crossing, the Fancy Dress Party, the pyramids, camel markets, the nice Italian crew in their uniforms, a Force 9 gale in the Med, and 30ft waves. Everyone was supposed to stay inside, and I sneeked out on the pitching deck where one was forced to run back and forth as the deck tilled..It was a wonderful happy ship, clean and well kept, and a good crew..ahhhhh those were the days. I still have my Neptune Certificate, and some pics of the Fancy Dress party, and swimming pool...Thanks for the memories
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Chris Costelloe 16 June, 2011 21:40
I came from Southampton to Australia on the vogage departing on 23/12/1965,I was 7 at the time. My father was the Church of England priest on the ship and we had gone to the UK in the September on the Fairsky. I have vivid memories of the voyage back to Australia especially the foul weather through the bay of biscay. Christmas Dinner was devoid of diners and I recall the mentioned crash of crockery falling from the dining tables of a fully set dining room. My father's role was to interview all designated Church of England migrants and in later years he vowed if he ever did it again he would ensure it was sailing directly from Ireland and hence be full of Catholics. We were allocated a large cabin even though there was only my father, my mother any myself. During the day my mother and I had to leave the cabin as it was used as an office. My father interviewed his last passenger sailing into Melbourne. Mention by one correspondent of the purchas of carved camels with leather seat from the "Bum" boats, I purchased one of these and still have it all these years later.
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Les Naunton 19 June, 2011 20:40
My wife and I also departed from Southampton on 23/12/65. Many years later I was running with a group and discussing a particularly stormy journey through the Bay of Biscay one Christmas Day,few being at Christmas Dinner and plates sliding and crashing everywhere. One of the group mentioned that he too had experienced that. Soon we established that we were on the same voyage and that his father was the Anglican chaplain whom I recalled easily. I had never thought that Chris (see previous entry) whom we had known for some time, was on that voyage. Chris recalled, as a young boy, seeing a group of late arrivals from a day trip to the Pyramids etc having to jump aboard at the waterline as the Castel Felice gathered speed moving into the Red Sea. My wife and I were part of that small group and were emigrating to Tasmania. Those of us who went to the North West coast of Tasmania received a warm welcome.
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clare wijngaarden 26 June, 2011 18:33
Came back from Brisbane to Holland (got off at Naples) with my parents and 4 sisters on the Castel Felice leaving Brisbane just after Christmas 1963.I was 15 at the time. My 2 older sisters Micky and Madeleine and 2 younger sisters Anita and Lizzy. Remember first of all the fact that it was a one class ship. So we could go anywhere on the ship. Madeleine and I were part of a group that played a lot of tabletennis. We held our own tournements. Also the dancing and crossing of Equator and the cushion fights in the swimming pool. Getting dressed up for dinner every evening and the lovely fresh baked breadrolls. Falling in love a few times. I remember it all well. Did get sea sick for a few days. Even had to go to the infirmary for medication. Also remember the hot air hand dryers in the toilet rooms. We used them as hair dryers. This trip was defnitely THE trip of my life. What an adventure!! 48 years ago! How time flies. Am still living in Holland with the family. Oldest brother stayed in Aussie and other two brothers came to Holland 6 months earlier.
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carlos rojas 28 June, 2011 01:26
Viaje en septiembre del 70 desde Sydney hasta Panama. Conoci a Jackieline Lawley y sus padres.Agradeceria cualquier informacion para contactarlos.
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Juliette Waters 30 June, 2011 17:16
Hi im trying to obtain the crew list for the Castel Felice which sailed from the uk to brisbane 1969-1970 is anyone can help that would be fantastic !
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Ken Busony 16 July, 2011 00:49
At age 6 this was an experience I'll never forget! The year was 1956 and my mother, who was a German "War Bride". took me across the ocean from New York and we arrived in Bremerhaven,Germany. It was a floating hotel. I never forget the fabulous meals. What memories!
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Bill Nyhuis 25 July, 2011 01:30
We (my sister Angela & I) travelled on the Castel Felice from Melbourne (Nov.68)to Southampton arriving there on Jan.6th 1969. Then travelled further onto Holland where I still live. I was 19 at the time. The voyage was fantastic & we had a ball. Have some very fond memories of the old girl!
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Bill Nyhuis 27 July, 2011 23:09
It's me again, forgot to mention in my comments of the 25th that I would love to get in contact with any other passengers on that cruise, especially Kriss Baxter.
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Don Ellis 11 August, 2011 06:20
My wife Jean and I plus three children, Christine 5 Peter 3 and Caroline 6 Months.left Southampton on St Georges day bound for Perth. Our reason for taking this step was because Peter was ill and it was thought that the climate would help him. The trip took about four and a half weeks via Suez.We were sponsered by Ted Crook. We lived in an asbestos house in Osborn Park and later we moved into a brick home at 6 frithville Road in Vermont Gardens, Osborn Park, Which we bought with a Mortgage. I was a salesman all the time we were there for MLC, Universal Cookwear and then Electrolux Vacuum Cleaners. We found a chiropractor in Fremantal called Maritovich Who cured Peter and we eventually came bake to England because of family pressure in September 1968. We made a lot of friends and lived well.
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William Templeton Brown 11 August, 2011 20:28
I was aged 12 when my family left Southampton in 1964. We came to Melbourne and stayed at the migrant hostel in fishermen’s bend. Mum & Dad (Ann & Bill Brown) bought a block of land in North Dandenong off McFees Road and we moved in to a CHI prefab home in 1965. I have a photo of me at the helm of the Castel Felice. I was pretty crook all the way with sea sickness and was skin and bone when we got here. I visited the ship on a later arrival at Port Melbourne and several of the crew remembered me. With my younger siblings; Brother Michael, Sisters Lorna and Margaret and twins Robert and Fiona we all arrived together and a younger brother John was born in Australia in 1971. We had lot of fun on the voyage, I remember raiding the lost property store and swapping clothing with Arabs in Port Said. They tossed ropes up to the ship and sent goods like transistor radios to be traded up in baskets. Michael and I (Billy) shared a cabin with a young man named Mr Dunstan. I love Australia, but took a year to overcome being homesick. I lost my cockney accent in about 4 months. Today I look forward to becoming a Grand Pa in November 2011 when both daughters Alicia and Sally-Ann are due at about the same time. I married a petite girl called Pauline Marian Hine whose family are from Marian, Mackay in North Queensland. Her Dad Cec, had been a pioneering worker at the sugar mill and has his name on a commemorative plaque at the mill site. Cec’s first pair of shoes ever, were issued when he enlisted in the armed forces during WWII.  Pauline and I have been married 35 years next month. Gordon Charteris and his family were on the same voyage, they came from Wales and I see Gordon on TV sometimes, he's with the Vic Police Force in community policing. There is a lady at the St Kilda Esplanade Sunday market with a lot of history about the Sitmar ships and passengers.
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Gabriele Monika Prehn ( now known as Monika Duff) 14 August, 2011 11:41
I was only 6 yrs old when our family came out from Germany. We were a large family, Rudolph Prehn and his wife Ursula and 6 children from two marriages. My brothers and sisters ages ranged from 12 to 16, Joachim, Baurkart, Marion, Ursula, Edith and myself then know as Gabi. I think we arrived and went to Bonogilla about March 61. Can anyone remember this large family? Oh my two sisters Edith and Ulla had a different surname of Mosebach. It's great reading all this so many years later.
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Harry Matthews aka Haare Tukariri 22 August, 2011 16:29
I was one of two Maori boys (Bill Bradley was the other)sailing for Southampton on Castel Felice 1960. We formed a Haka Team performed on the Captains night? met some great people, Fijian Indians like Faiz Muhommed going to live in Bradford England, Karen Smithers seeking relatives in Denmark. Been back home since 1970. lifes been good, Lets catch up...get in touch
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Margaret Drury 24 August, 2011 22:48
My husband and I sailed on the last voyage in 1970.We had a good group of friends on board,all were going to Adelaide except us who were Melbourne bound.I remember a measles epidemic --our own two children came down with measles the day after we arrived.Australia has been good to us--hopefully for everyone else on that voyage.
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Sarah Holmes 10 July, 2013 01:11
My husband and daughter sailed on her last voyage 1970 my daughter. Was one of the kids taken off to hospital,in Melbourne it didn't dock in Adelaide due to a dock strike, The measle epidemic was really bad. But we are still here and love Australia.
Howard Brent Fowler 26 August, 2011 08:15
I wish to know of any one who remembers me from the Castel Felice 1964 for Sydney I was 17 yrs and taught geography on the ship to a group.I have a pic of two of my kid pupils.I went via the big brother movement.Love to hear from anyone who remembers me.
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Sabine Schumann 28 August, 2011 10:52
Our family of 4 left Bremerhaven in September 1959,arrived in Melbourne October 20th 1959.I loved the cruise on the CASTEL FELICE I was a teenager having a great time on the ship,Bonegilla was just a two week stay. Then we stayed another 2 weeks in a camp near Melbourne.There was another Schumann family on the ship they also had a daughter by the name of Sabine. I LOVED Australia for the 9 years I lived there and I still do,what a wonderful COUNTRY,I still get homesick for you my lovely town of MELBOURNE.
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Axel 18 December, 2012 21:10
Sabine, maybe you remember my friend in that ship Dieter (Peter) Herforth and his wife Impe (Irmgard? Best regards/freundliche Grüße, Axel
Kim Blacklock (Gillespie) 28 August, 2011 22:16
I came from England to Perth, WA on the Castel Felice in 1966 with my family - Mum, Dad and two younger brothers. I was 8 years old. We arrived on December 5th. It was snowing when we left and really hot when we arrived! I learnt to swim on the boat. Going through the Suez Canal was an amazing experience and it was the first time I ever stayed up all night. We weren't allowed off the boat at Aden as it was too dangerous but we did visit Port Said. Boats came out to meet us at Port Said selling things we had to pull up on ropes - and send the money back down. Dad bought me a music box. We had a lot of fun on the boat and the food in the dining room was great. I remember watching the flying fish ahead of the boat and dolphins in the bow wave, exploring the boat with my brothers, doing "school" and enjoying the festivities when we crossed the equator.
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Alison Hood 1 September, 2011 03:29
Hi, I came to Australia on the Castel Felice arriving in Perth in November 1968. I was 10 years old and remember having a fabulous time making lots of friends and enjoying exploring what seemed a huge ship. I have lots of memories of the trip. I would so like to meet up with other people who were children on that voyage. Alison Hood
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Jane 1 October, 2013 12:21
Hi Alison I also sailed on The Castel Felice on that journey - leaving Southampton on Oct 10 (I think) and arriving Fremantle on 20 Nov 1968 (my 11th birthday). We sailed on to Sydney arriving 26 November (or thereabouts). I absolutely loved every minute of the journey - even the Bay of Biscay where I was so seasick. Aside from that, I spent my days listening to the juke box in the 'club' at the back of the boat - Hey Jude and Revolution featured heavily - or playing monopoly with a huge gang of kids - I wonder if you were one of them? I remember the trip vividly - flying fish, crossing the equator, visiting Cape Town and the Canary Islands, the fantastic crew and great food - gelato every night, the fancy dress competition, being allowed to go to the adult entertainment some nights and getting a dolls house for my birthday from the crew.. I think we lost stabilisers and had engine shutdowns - all of which lengthened the time on board, but that didn't bother me - the longer on board, the better. I travelled with my parents and 3 brothers and my aunt and uncle and 2 cousins. We initially went to East Hills then on to Bunnerong and eventually Newcastle in NSW. It still stands out as one of the best experiences of my life. Anyone else on that voyage? Cheers Jane
Mike Summers 1 September, 2011 15:46
Myself, my wife and our two pre-school children sailed from Southampton on 24 June 1969 aboard the Castel Felice arriving in Auckland on 8 August. It was a very pleasant voyage as the weather and sea conditions were kind to us, even the Bay of Biscay was calm. The only rough patch was midway across the Indian Ocean when the ship started rolling from side to side just as the dining room had been set up for dinner. There was so much broken crockery as every table was cleared by a large roll of the ship. By dinner time everything was back to normal. We found all the crew were really good and extremely helpful, especially with the children, throughout the voyage. Thank you Sitmar, it was a pleasure.
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Charles Hallows 4 September, 2011 06:52
I sailed out of Southampton May 13th 1968 as a naive 18 year old, sponsored by the Vic Gov't. I had a great time on board visiting Las Palmas, Cape Town, then a long haul into Fremantle en route, eventually arrived at Station Pier in the early Hours of one foggy cold June morning. I remember looking out off the ship to see all my worldly possessions bursting open at the bottom of the slide as it was being unloaded. I thought to myself "What the hell have I come to". I can honestly say that was the only time I ever questioned my decision to go to Australia. Met by Immigration we were quickly transfered by bus out to Hawthorne and before the end of the day relocated to a "Guest House" (I use that term very loosely) in St Kilda. I lived in Melbourne for three years before moving to Hobart Tasmania where I continued to live before moving to the US in December 1999. Moving to Australia and the time I spent there were great. If the opportunities still existed to migrate now as they did then I would encourage everyone to do it. If I could convince my wife I would be back in a heartbeat, Australia you are the best.
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Michael Jentsch 11 September, 2011 18:49
Horst Bardorf: I too came out on the CF in 1961, I had my second birthday onboard (not that I remember). That was on March 31 1961. I hope this helps with your arrival date.
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effie g 14 September, 2011 05:30
My mum sailed from Greece to Australia in 1958 and has really good memories......
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Jonathan Allcock 17 September, 2011 08:52
Hi all,it's really good to read every ones accounts of traveling on the ship i have such fond memories of.I had my 6 b/day on her ,so it was 3 october 69 ,i went with my sister tracey ,mum & dad .Iwas really sea sick on the bay of biscay ,but it was the only time ,ever,also we met the stringers from Sommerset who we still know ,i love these memories.
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Kurt Ludewig 29 September, 2011 03:18
I sailed with Castel Felice on September 8th 1965 from New York to Southamptom and must have arrived in Europa around the 20th of the month It was the most delightful trip of my life since most passengers were US-college students that were to spend a semester in Europe (many hundreds of them). You could hear all day long "I can get no satisfaction" by the Rolling Stones. Everybody danced and hat lots of fun. The food was excellent, and even the weather behaved nicely. A wonderful remembering.
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Janet Keese (nee Elmer) 16 October, 2011 21:10
I sailed from Brisbane on 15 Oct 1963 for Southampton. There was only about three-quarters of a full passenger load of us, including a few '10-pound Poms' returning home. Wonderful ship--great 5-course meals, special dos after each port of call, handsome officers, and ONE class (my reason for booking as opposed to the 2-class P&O Line. We struck gale force winds in the Bay of Biscay, with me being one of the few up for breakfast for almost a week. I recall the hold luggage could not be unloaded for a week while the gales lashed Southampton. Posssibly the best 5-week stretch of my life. Vale 'Castel Felice'.
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Peter Rivers 19 October, 2011 20:04
My mum, dad, two sisters and I sailed on the last voyage from England to Melbourne in 1970.I still have many fond memories of the journey even though I was only 6 years of age at the time.
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Anita Lockyer (nee Cotton-Betteridge) 23 October, 2011 00:45
1969, April to May, journey, Southampton to Fremantle. Just me (9) and my Ma, Georgina (Gina). So many memories. Rough seas..rolling dinners, passengers throwing up (me wondering WHY! lol). My mother playing 'teacher' to the class of '69'ers'. Pics with Angela, my on board best buddy. Lurking late at night, watching the old fogies romantic liaisons...only to discover one night, it was my own Mother involved HAHA. Fostered a life long love of cruise ships!
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Jen Hollingbery 28 February, 2014 13:50
Hi Anita I was on that journey, no one else seems to have written about it. Myself, I was five, my sister infant and 6 year old brother Mum and Dad. We all got sick except me but I remember lots about it, the food was terrible! I sat next to a boy in the dining room (remember that) that kept banging his elbows on the tables ! Most of our laundry was stolen in the first week, so if anyone knows where my Mum's knickers are, she'd like them back please.....
bill lewis 23 October, 2011 03:04
alan mv guinness,its me bill lewis.how are you? and how is taffy thomas?would like to hear from you and talk over old times.are you both still in australia.i'm still in england
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bill lewis 23 October, 2011 23:45
Alan mv guinness can you get in touch after all these years.We were traveling companions with taffy thomas on the castel felice,departing southampton 23.10.65 i have not seen or heard from them for over 43 years!
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bill lewis 25 October, 2011 04:55
correction,departure 23.12.65
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Karl Reinders 3 November, 2011 11:17
i am trying to find a passanger list for the castle felice 1952 my mother arrived in australa on it from amsterdam to sydney
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Discovery Centre 3 November, 2011 12:32
Hi Karl, you will need to get in touch with the National Archives of Australia for a copy of the passenger list you are looking for.
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Roy English 10 November, 2011 16:33
Hi Kevan , I know you did your post in 2010, however I also was on the CF at the same time as you. I was 10 my sister was 12 and brother 14 , we were also Baptisied the same time as you and we ( my brother,sister and I) received a Certificate which I still have.I can't beleave your Mum and Dad were the Sunday school teachers as my sister and I,even today, beleave they had a big influance on us both. Anyway we as 10 pound POM's thank our Mum and Dad , as we love Australia and we have all done well.The C.F. my have been a tub but it got us here. Kind regards, Roy.
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Margaret Bunting nee Cody 11 November, 2011 16:19
I sailed from Southhampton in August 1963 My mother Letty, father Jim brother's Anthony & Bryan and sister in law to be Pat Morris. We sailed into Sydney on 13th October l963. It was one of the worst days of my life leaving Wales. I can remember leaving Southhampton looking over the side of the Shop. But the journey was great after 3 days of sea sickness. I have great memories, taking pictures of land jutting out of the ocean after weeks of water, going through the suez canel, Aden. The meals on the ship, dances, lazing on the deck. But my best memory is sailing into Sydney the harbour, I will never forget it. the Operal House was being built. We sailed in early morning. I went on a cruise this year. again we sailed into Sydney harbour early morning, it felt the same.
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Maria Larkins (nee Dautzenberg) 20 November, 2011 16:43
I am told we returned to Australia on this ship in 1964 and believe it arrived in April or May. I travelled with my brother Paul, baby sister Hildegard and parents, Paul & Elizabeth. I remember many things including the equator crossing and associated "ritual" celebration on board.
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Enrique 3 December, 2011 20:11
My father was a Spanish man who traveled from Spain to Brazil in 1954 on board of the Castel Felice. He actually has a piece of land (family recreation) in the country side of the State of Parana in Brazil that is named after the ship. Amazing site, can't wait to tell him. All the best!
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Karen Priday 22 December, 2011 23:05
Left Southampton June 1963 arrived in Brisbane August. It was such a wonderful journey for a 5 year old. Reading the stories of fellow passengers brought back so many memories. Australia was so kind to our family. Thanks for a great future and thank-you Castle Felice for getting us here safe.
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Robert Evans 8 January, 2012 10:36
I sailed on the Castel Felice from Brisbane some time in 1963 with my parents. I was 5 years old. I remember the salty air, the friendly crew and the unique smell emminating from the dining room and kitchen, a smell I have sometimes recognised in particular cafetarias or restaurants over the years that takes me back to the ship. I recall the flavour of powdered milk and tomato soup, spaghetti and bread rolls. I remember the crew in their starched white uniforms. I remember a man with the peculiar name of (the) Purcer. Going to the lowest deck in high seas with other kids to watch the ocean level rise above the port-holes while we vainly searched for fish, and, making transistor radios with other kids by inserting a straw "aerial" into an empty cigarette packet then placing the device to your ear and singing "she loves you yea yea yea" were a couple of our amusing activities to fill in the long days at sea. The Neptune ritual and fancy dress party were great fun. Great trip. Came home 7 months later on Sitmars' Fair Sky.
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Jim Tsalikis 13 January, 2012 12:56
My family immigrated to Australia on this vessel, having left Piraeus, Greece in Dec. 1957 and arrived in Melbourne, Australia on the 25th Jan. 1958.
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Discovery Centre 15 January, 2012 14:59

Hi Naomie, search for your father's name on the National Archives of Australia, if you cannot find him, you will have to contact them directly.

 

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Janet Williams 15 January, 2012 15:03
My parents (David and Sylvia Williams) brought myself and my sister Sheryl here from the UK. I was 3 and a half and my sister 1and a half arrived in Adelaide 9th July 1969 on the Castel Felice. Although I have no memories I have some treasured memories, especially a fancy dress competition for all kids. We also travelled with another family Susan and Allan Stead with their young children Janet and Robert...
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Lindsay Browne 26 November, 2012 21:31
Hi Janet, my family were also a part of that voyage also disembarking at Adelaide. I would point out however that we arrived in Adelaide July 24th, four days after the moon landing!! I was 12 years old at the time. Personally I have only fond memories of the voyage, had a blast!!
Janet entwistle 18 November, 2013 09:09
We were on the same voyage, going firstly to Pennington hostel. I cannot recall your names but do remember the stead family, keeping in contact until we went to Leigh creek where my husband Gordon worked for etsa, just a few weeks after arrival. Later we moved to Whyalla, living there until late 1980's. Great days. Quite a while since your post but hopefully you might pick mine up. Regards & best wishes.
Ian Juniper 15 January, 2012 21:07
I came out to Sydney as a fare-paying passenger, arriving in Sydney in mid-April 1962 after first putting in at Fremantle on 10 April and then Melbourne. Two years later I married a West Australian girl whom I had met in London at a friend's party two days before I left from Southampton. Have never regretted this decision and have long since given up trying to save my fare back to Britain! The Castel Felice was indeed a happy ship.
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David Horrocks 16 January, 2012 18:40
I have scanned through all the comments but cannot find any mention of the voyage I took on the CF. We left UK as migrants in November 1969 and arrived into Sydney very early in January 1970. I was newly married at the time and the voyage was something of a honeymoon. The vessel was old and very slow. I remember that the service speed on our journey was 14 knots. The cabin was tiny with no facility other than a wash basin with communal showers etc being at the end of a corridor. We met many great folk during the voyage and had a great time. The food and service were fine and the entertainment (mostly of passenger make up) was very enjoyable. I have mostly lost touch with the people we met. One a doctor (Chris ?) who settled in Mafra in Victoria I tried to look up a couple of years ago only to find that he had passed away a short time before my enquiries. Another (Mike Cashell) an architect, I believe still lives in Sydney. Another, Mike Arthur, who I kept up with for number of years but have now lost touch with lives in Sydney somewhere. His wife Chris died many years ago. The voyage was long due to the fact that we came around the Cape of Good Hope as the Suez canal was closed at that time. However this gave us more time to have fun on board. This voyage was the not the first I had made. As a child I sailed on the famous Aquitania and my love of ships has encouraged me in more recent times to take many voyages but none as long as the 7 weeks affair with the CF. Nice to look back on those times. If anyone who took the same trip ever reads this I would like to hear from them.
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Discovery Centre 17 January, 2012 11:55

Hi David,
Thank you for sharing your wonderful story! If you are ever wanting to find the documents associated with your immigration to Australia, you can always try searching the National Archives of Australia, or you can visit the Immigration Museum Discovery Centre for assistance.

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gary thomas smith 18 January, 2012 16:35
reply to david horrocks.i too took the same journey as you with my large family of 9 including me.we got off at adalaide on january 6th 1970 and eventually moved to whyalla in febuary.i agree the trip on the cf was a wonderful experiance.
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tony stevens 18 January, 2012 18:08
my husband was 8 when his family came from england to sydney 1966. He love love loved it. Fell "in love" as you do at 8yrs old with a sweet girl who got off at Adelaide.Doesnt remember her name just her face.. nice memories.
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mary livingstone 19 January, 2012 09:06
Travelled on the Castile Felice from Greenock,Scotland to Montreal, Canada on June, 1956. Most of the passengers were German immigrants. Great time. Very cramped conditions.
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Heinz and Anneliese Dreissig 22 January, 2012 17:39
hi mum and dad came to australia on the caste felice on 10/01/1959 i was 4 years old from cuxhaven via suez i remember the suez canal seeing the world war 11 tanks in the desert kind regards heinz junior
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Clare Toohey 28 January, 2012 23:09
I arrived from the uk with my family in nov 1968. I was only 3, my older sister had the time of her life she loved the stewards for the dress up night my mum did a television set costume for my brother and he won a prize. I have photos of us on the beach at Cape Town. I wish I could remember the trip
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Hi Clare 1 October, 2013 12:26
Hi Clare I was on that voyage, too. I was 11 and had the time of MY life, too. I wish you could remember it it was so much fun! Cheers Jane
Justin Steadman 29 January, 2012 01:01
I was 4 when my family emigrated to Aus in 1963 on the Castel Felici. I don't remember anything about that trip but I do remember the old tub when we returned to England on it in 1967, my mother having decided that she hated Australia.
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alan mc guinness 31 January, 2012 10:16
thanks to this column i have made contact with bill lewis we sailed on c/f on 23/12 1965 12 big brother movement boys aged 18, very happy memories. thanks again for this chance to meet old friends alan mc guinness
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Andreas Kehler 5 February, 2012 03:24
My family, parents: Guenter and Rosmarie Kehler, sister: Heiderose, 11 years old and my brother Michael, 1 year 9 months, arrived on the Castel Felice, 26 January 1960. I was just 8 months old at that time. We returned back to Germany end of 1969 with the Guglielmo Marconi. My parents passed away many years ago and I'm just collecting some impressions from the past. It seems that Arno Froese, Wolfgang Kahrau and Bernd Otto Hoffmann had the same travel. We lived in Adelaide and Whyalla in these 10 Australian years. My father was a fun guy who spoke French and Portuguese very good. I have one picture of this travel, with him on stage playing singing saw. It would be nice, if anybody has some nice stories ore some pictures.
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Annemarie Williamson ( nee Ritter) 6 September, 2012 00:38
We left Germany New Years Eve 1959, My parents, Kurt, Kathi and my 3 brothers, Wolfgang, Gerhard, Reinhold and myself. I was only 7 but remember the trip so well. Only 5 minutes after Dad had shown us where we should go if we got lost on the ship a voice came over the loud speaker asking Mr Ritter to come and collect his lost little boy from the reception desk. At Port Said an Arab offered my Mum four English pounds for me. I can still see the little boats coming up to the ship with merchants trading their camel hide goods with long poles with hooks on the end. Sailing through the Suez and seeing camel on the side of the banks was an amazing sight. Then the Indian Ocean and seeing King Neptune covered in spaghetti and tomato sauce. The trip was rough and I remember sitting in small rooms with life jackets on and the ship tipping from side to side. We arrived in Australia on 26th January (Australia Day) I still remember seeing land in the distance and Dad saying there is your new home. The courage it took for my parents to leave there home land and move to a relatively unknow land I can only imagine and an forever grateful for. There are so many memories like waking the first morning in Bonigilla after a night of dreaming that I was on a swing all night ( trying to regain my land legs) and hearing the sound of magpies warbling and the smell of fresh country air at the start of a hot February day. there are things I don't remember like how did we learn to speak English before we even got to Australia. We settled in Adelaide and have never wished for a better life.
Scott Blasius 14 February, 2012 21:17
My grandparents, Freda and Leopold Blasius made the voyage from Germany to Australia in 1956 along with their children, Margaret, Klaus, Peter and Helmut. A few generations later, still living it up in sunny Australia.
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Steven Whittingstall 17 February, 2012 19:33
The Whittingstall family, Dad, Mum and 5 kids - Robert, Steven, Michael, Susan and Deborah aged between 1 and 6 arrived in Perth July 1963. What an adventure, reading these comments has really bought back memories. Best thing we ever did, we are all still in the same town - Albany WA.
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NEIL SHEARER 18 February, 2012 05:51
I sailed on the wonderful Castel Felice from Southampton in June 1966 with my pal George Cartledge. We had a great time visiting Port Said and Cairo and I remember crossing the bay of Biscay and almost the entire compliment of passengers suffering sea-sickness. We made friends with a great guy called Bob Gibson ( where are you now Bob?) and the three of us disembarked in Sydney around the end of July. I remember the crossing the line equater ceremony and going to the cinema and the Italian band who got our feet tapping in the ballroom. Yes, i saw the odd cockroach here and there, but I wouldn't fault the old ship and the service from the Italian crew and the food were excellent. Wonderful happy memories.
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Leslie Rice 20 February, 2012 10:23
my father Terry Rice and mother iris migrated with us 3 young children from london in january of 1967,I remember the resident on board band being Glenn Shorrock (Little River Band fame)and the Twilites who had just won a music competion in australia and prize was a return trip to london to compete against brit pop bands so this was there return to Oz,,memory of small boats alongside trading dodgy watches and cigarettes via rope and cane baskets in the suez canal and stop over in Aden with us all being military escorted back on board due to war breaking out . I remember the ropes on deck being used as we hit a big storm and waves crashing over the side as we lost one of the crew overboard and dining crockery sliding off tables .. we arrived safely in port melbourne where we stayed at fishermens bend hostel in tne summer of 67 as drama unfolded with santa s arrival cancelled due to helicopters being used to search for prime minister harold holt who had dissapeared.. we still live in australia and are true aussies with migrant heritage
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Chris Olsen 28 August, 2012 06:57
Leslie, I was on the ship on the same voyage,Here's a link to our experience's. the first link is to my ticket, http://www.threetowners.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=4188&hilit=castel+felice&start=24 and the second one is about the journey. http://www.threetowners.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=4188&hilit=castel+feliceYou will probably remember some of the happenings. The link is to a forum which I post in under the name of Chriso.
Margit Csaky 25 February, 2012 10:07
We came from Germany in 1960. Will always remember the fresh rolls on the dining tables, (all day, forus kids to nick), the Italian staff adored kids and kept us amused and spoilt - since that trip I cannot stand 'Smarties'as the bartender kept us constantly supplied with boxes of the stuff. The chef, whenever we snuck up to the kitchen window, squired whipped cream into our mounths with his piping bag. The adults were entertained with integration classes and basic english to help their re-settlement in Australia, as well as various deck games, of course not forgetting the bars and card games. I won't even venture into the fun we all had in the swimming pools, the entertainment and dancing which we, as kids used to sneak peeks through the stair balustrades. To me, Castel Felice was a beautiful lady. Oh the memories!!
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Leslie CARTER 2 March, 2012 15:47
I migrated to Australia with my brother, sister and parents, leaving Southampton on 25 August 1966 on CASTEL FELICE. I was 18 year old so shared a six berth cabin with 5 other blokes, rest of family were in one cabin. Remember a bit about the journey. Anyone remember the Caarter family from Northampton? we got off in Sydney and placed in Bunnerong Migrant Hostel.
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ken wakelin 16 September, 2013 12:51
hi leslie i to was on the c /f. ariving syd,28 sep 66 do you remember the fancy dress night i was the rear end of the cow.. the disco bar at the rear of the ship we named it the submarine bar after the beatles yellow sub,that was played over and over on the juke box .i was 21 at the time and came to oz on my own,but met some great mates and lovely girls. we had such a good time on the 6 week trip .names i recall,peter,ian,pat,colin,maggi,carol,linda. a whole groud of us had our photo taken on the dock in port said. i am sure we must have met or crossed paths at some time of the journey,iwas a cockey young sod in mod gear,have had agreat life in oz ,wife,3kids 1grandson. best tenner i ever spent.all the best,ken from central coast.old essex boy/
Nico 7 March, 2012 05:18
My family (eight in all) were passengers on the Castelle Felelice's voyage from Southampton to Melbourne in March 1968. My name is Nick and had my 17th birthday the week before we arrived in Melbourne on 2nd April 1968. Wonderful Memories of that voyage and I have several photos of the Neptune, crossing the Equator celebration.
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Chris Skeet 10 March, 2012 09:22
My mum, dad, brother Terry & I left Southampton for Perth in November 1963 arriving in Perth just before Christmas. We were the 10 pound poms. I was 10 and Terry was 7 and had his 8th birthday on the boat. During this voyage we became great friends with Maureen & Tom McClune and their daughters Maureen & Linda.
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Christine and Trevor Wright 11 March, 2012 14:53
We sailed from Southampton on May 22 1970 to Fremantle, with our Daughter Nicola. Would love to hear from anyone who was on that trip. This was the last but one trip on the Castle Felice. This inspired us forever to keep travelling on ships,not cruise liners but passenger freighter ships,great way to travel. We have sailed through the Suez Canal a few times in the 42 years we have been here. When we came out we came by way of Cape of Good Hope, due to Suez being closed. Once again anyone out there on the trip on May 22 1970.
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Lara Kaput 18 March, 2012 16:00

I'm a first generation Australian and I very grateful to the United Nations and Australian Government for helping my family to live a safe and relatively prosperous life here by paving the way for my parents to immigrate 60+ years ago. My Father, Julius Kaput, arrived in Australia as a 4-year old on the Dundalk Bay in 1949. My Mother, Julia Bayer, arrived as a 3-year old on the Castel Felice in November 1956. Her family record (many thanks to the National Archives) is here: BAYER Heinz born 4 September 1920; Ruth (nee Schneider) born 21 June 1922; Johannes born 14 April 1944; Anna Maira (sic) born 10 May 1947; Julia Rose born 2 April 1950 - German - travelled CASTEL FELICE in November 1956. Mum relishes telling and re-telling memories of her childhood and journey. For example, that she lived in a double-story home in a village in Germany which was next to a brook with resident frogs and passing deer passing. Imagine my surprise when we went on a trip together 40 years later, to find that she was able to navigate, unaided, to that very home, and find it the romantic place she'd described. Then put yourself in her shoes as the 3-year old that swapped that magical home for Bonegilla. Then, shortly afterwards, she was separated from her Father, a trained Chemist, who had to travel back down to Melbourne to find work as a Waiter. The family was reunited and established themselves in Parkville where her family grew with two younger brothers. It was a time of austerity measures, where choices had to be made between using either heating or tram tickets. Affording both was not an option. It was also a time of wearing hats and gloves, of using the outside toilet, of drinking fresh milk delivered in glass bottles via Melbourne laneways. Above all, it was a time of marrying young, so with Mum and Dad's similar immigration story, they seemed a natural fit. I wonder if anyone remembers the Bayer or Kaput families, either on the journey to Australia or on arrival. I would love to see old photos.

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Charles Farrugia 21 March, 2012 12:46
My mother,sister and 3 brothers and I arrived in Australia on The Castel Felice on the 3rd March 1956.My dad and older brother had arrived in Australia about 12 mths earlier.
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Michelle Mohr 27 March, 2012 04:14
What a wonder to come across this site full of information about all of the people that have made this country so great - Thanks Museum Victoria! I am trying tot rack down any passengers of the CASTEL FELICE 1954 voyage from Germany to Australia. Specifically, anyone who may remember my mother Hildegard and her family - stepfather Helmut, mother Auguste, brothers Wilfried and Klaus and her sister Ursula. Also if any passengers (or their descendents) of this same voyage happens to know who the bugger was that stole my young mother's diary during this trip - we'd love to hear from you as we'd like it back thanks! :0)
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A. Herbert-davies 11 April, 2012 04:46
My uncle Lindsay Wilson Davies, a British Merchant Navy Officer, was lost overboard from the Castel Felice in which he was travelling from Australia to Southampton. I have his date if death as Nov 17th 1959. His disappearance was reported in The Times on Weds Dec 9th 1959. Does anyone have any information on this. In particular, was there ever any indication of exactly where the ship was on the day/night he disappeared?
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Desmond Sherlock 11 April, 2012 23:56
I was 10 yo when I landed in Australia on board this ship in 1970 with my parents and 5 siblings. This ship holds fond memories for me however my parents did not like the 5 week trip
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Isabell Wait 17 April, 2012 12:26
Travled on the ship sep 1970 her last trip would love to catch up with anyone that was on the ship at the same time
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Isabel Wallace 30 July, 2013 14:02
My late husband, myself, two sons and a daughter were on that last trip. I remember some peopple spent the whole voyage in the sick bay . We had one small boy with us for most of the voyage as his folks were sick. I remember there was a day life, us families, and a night life, mostly young single people. We would see them going to bed as we got up for breakfast. My eldest son was six and had great fun crossing the line. My younger son contracted measles after South Africa, and we got off in Melbourne as there was a strike in Adelaide.There was one Aussie doctor who had most of the measles outbreak to cope with. He was great.Such a long time ago.
Vita Mezzatesta 18 April, 2012 18:22
My father, Vito Mezzatesta was a passenger on the Castel Felice, arriving in Australia on 7th November 1952, two days before his 30th birthday.
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gary cooper 23 April, 2012 10:31
hi isabell we sailed august 1970 arrived september i was 17 we had to land at melbourne and come back on the train to adelaide.came with mum dad and 7 kids. i still have a postcard and a menu off the ship cheers gaz
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gary cooper 23 April, 2012 15:09
hi isabell if you want to contact me im on facebook
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Vanda Jensen 24 April, 2012 22:41
I've loved reading all these stories of the Castel Felice. I travelled on her to Australia with my mother and sister departing Southampton 23/12/65. Hello to Chris Costelloe, Les Naughton, Alan McGuiness and Bill Lewis. I was only 8 years old but remember the rough weather, being sick for the first two days of the trip. I remember people buying things from the little boats in the Suez Canal, the very deeply tanned Italian sailors, watching the ship being provisioned in port. They used to empty the pool, I think there was storage beneath. We left the ship in Melbourne and caught a train to Adelaide and I'd love to hear from anyone who did the same and maybe has a better recollection of the journey to Adelaide than I do. I'm interested to know if we berthed in Station Pier because I'm sure I remember catching the train close by the ship. We lived in Adelaide for the next 35 years and I have never regretted our coming here.Now live in Tasmania.
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Doris 26 April, 2012 05:00
Horst Geinitz, please contact me. My aunt Irmgard Probst has must been on the same ship and later n Bonegilla.
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Marthel Geinitz 5 September, 2012 11:48
Hi Doris ,i am Marthel the sister of Horst Geinitz . If you would like to get in contact with me and than we can have a chat.Hope to hear from you soon Cheers Marthel
Catherine 26 April, 2012 21:03
I travelled on the Castel Felice with my parents and two younger sisters. We left Southampton on 23.12.1965. I was only six years old, but have vivid memories of many parts of the trip. I remember the extremely rough first few days and the sea sickness. I remember stopping in Aden with my father and seeing beggars who had been afflicted with leprosy. I remember my mother struggling with washing nappies etc for a very small baby. I remember the flying fish and my father shooting clay pigeons. I had a silver plastic Dalek that I sadly lost overboard in the vast expanse of ocean. I also remember the ceremony when crossing the Equator. Our arrival in Sydney was on an extremely hot Australia Day and I can still remember my excitement tinged with fear that the boat would not make it under the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Our family has thrived in Australia and we are very much on to our next generation. My story is just that.....a part of my life, but a story.
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Des Carne 6 May, 2012 03:28
I travelled on the Castel Felice from Sydney (I think) to Panama in February 1969.
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Roy Houston 10 May, 2012 08:07
I set sail from Southampton Feb'1970 on the Castel Felice to Melbourne. What a memorable voyage, a storm in the Bay of Biscay which sent piles of plates etc flying in the dining room, stops at Gran Canaria, Capetown, Freemantle, Adelaide anf finally Melbourne. I wish it could happen all over again. I made friends with some great guys, alas I have lost touch with them all. Joy and sadness all in one. Good old battered well-worn Castel Felice.
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Richard Green 2 February, 2014 12:13
Roy I was on that trip. Were you D Deck with Malcolm, me and Phil? And flatshared in Melbourne???? RG
Rebecca Brown 11 May, 2012 05:35
I took the boat train from London to Southampton August '65 when I was a 22 secretary & boarded the Castel Felice for the 9 day cruise to New York, USA after which I was bound by train for Chicago, Illinois. Had to sleep on deck cuz my 5 bunk cabin in the bowels made me ill. Loved every minute of everything else: endless food, fresh air, sea spray & play among returning American students from their summer European vacations. Made friendships that lasted a few years. Wrote a piece about Castel Felice for my website (Rebeccasreads.com/archives) back in the '90s (then there were few URLs for the CF!) & a Barbara emailed about her family's escape from behind the Iron Curtain & boarding the Old Rust Bucket in Italy bound for Australia. We've stayed connected ever since. I ended up on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State & am so glad to see all your B&W photos.
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David Plumpton 11 May, 2012 12:10
I have thoroughly enjoyed the recollections of those who travelled on the Castel Felice. I too travelled out on the departure from Southampton on 23 December 1965. I recall woeful sea sickness in the Bay of Biscay, having Beano and Dandy Annuals for Christmas but being too sick to read. Mum had to share her cabin with another lady who thought we were all going to drown whilst Dad and I shared with two other men - I was 7 at the time. The trip through the Suez Canal and the traders selling a variety of 'tat' ('tat' I wish we still had!!). The crossing of the equator - I still have our certificate - and life boat drill still stay in my mind. For some reason I recall the buns from afternoon tea but can't recall why. We left the boat Melbourne to fly to Tasmania and I distinctly recall the bus trip through Melbourne City with the police officers directing traffic with large white hats. Other friends were going to New Zealand so I presume they took another ship or flew. Oh, and finally I recall having an ear infection - supposedly from the swimming pool and being given my first ever injection to the backside as treatment - the wonders of the Castel Felice. Great memories.
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Annemarie Dul 13 May, 2012 07:08
From Australia to The Netherlands august 1969
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michael welch 18 May, 2012 18:05
@ karen priday,we must have been on the same voyage we left southampton on june 24th 63,i wa s 7 sailing with my parents and brother and sister,we got off at sydney,i have happy memories of the ship,but sadly only a half a dozen photos,wish i could do it all again,michael
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david kyle 30 May, 2012 06:19
i emigrated in june 1966 arrived july 4th on castel felice would love to hear from some x pats.
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mary 1 June, 2012 14:22
I travelled on the CF with my family - we left UK on 13 apr 1967 and arrived in fremantle 9 may 1967 had my 15th birthday on board. I too have a baptism certificate for crossing the equator! anyone on same trip?
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Philippa Grattan (nee Mathers) 24 June, 2012 16:47
Sailed from Auckland via Brisbane, Singapore,Colombo,Aden,Cairo,Naples,Southampton on the Castel Felice leaving Auckland December 1962. At the moment writing my memoirs of my OE and what pleasure it is. I just loved my time on the ship. Mavellous happy memories and was I lucky 3 really bad storms but I was never sick. Remember going to the movies in a storm and grabbing a horses tail to save myself sliding over the floor. The cinema was also a childrens' playground.Trying to find the exact date the ship left Auckland can anyone help me. Many thanks and would really love to hear from anyone else who travelled on this date 62 arriving in Southampton 63.
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Discovery Centre 24 June, 2012 17:00
Hi Philippa,
To find out the exact date that you emigrated from Auckland, New Zealand to Southhampton on the Castel Felice, you will need to contact Archives New Zealand. They hold many outwards ship passenger lists up to 1973. Please view the following website for further information: http://archives.govt.nz/.
Klaus Teschemacher 7 July, 2012 05:44
I was a child when I sailed on board of the Castel Felice on Oct. 6Th 1952 from Genua to Melbourne and as far as I remember I was not travelling as an imigrant but as a "normal" passenger. My oncle in Sydney paid many Pounds (as he always told me)and I had a cabin for myself alone, and I remember I was "protected" by the chief purser on the whole journey via Suez, Aden, Bombay, Colombo to Melbourne. I remember the white ship and as far as I know I was never allowed to mingle with the imigrants.For me as I 12 year old boy it was absolute adventurous to sailfor weeks on a ship with all these exotic stops nearly around the world.
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Paul Scofield 29 July, 2012 07:28
I arrive in Melbourne on 24 September 1962 aboard the CF as a 6 year old with mum, dad and sister who had her 4th birthday during the 4 week trip. We are celebrating 50th anniversary this year. Some of my memories are of mum crying during the train trip to Southampton; attending class on the ship; eating hard crusty rolls;lining up to see ships pass with horns blowing; playing bowls with oranges in the passage way; and a bus ride to Maribyrnong Migrant Hostel on a bumpy Footscray Road. The 10 pounds was the best investment mum and dad ever made!
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Ivor Worrell 4 August, 2012 11:46
Leaving Edinburgh on 6/6/66 after a couple of days in London my parents and my brother Jim and I left Southampton bound for Brisbane on 9/6/66. I was 17 years old and had never been out of he UK . Seeing Gibraltar from the Straits and visiting Port Said and Aden plus going through the Suez Canal was a great experience for a very young man. The cabins were small and the ship was slow but the crew were excellent, the food was exceptional and ship was vey clean . Well done Sitmar and thank you ! Ivor Worrell
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Ib Moller 10 August, 2012 19:31
I search my cuisin,Kjeld Danielsen Moller, arrived on Castel Felice to Australia in 1969. What happend to him, where did he live? If you knew anything, please contact me
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Len Sherrott 11 August, 2012 15:30
Today is the 45th anniversary of our arrival in Melbourne. My father and mother sacrificed so much for the opportunity afforded to us in the new land. I was 10 years old and the Castel Felice provided the greatest adventure of my life. She was unstabilized and devoid of luxurious appointments, but what do you want for ten quid?
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william frances jones 20 August, 2012 05:40
my uncle william francis jones and his wife doris emily and two children linda ann and robert william who were adopted sailed on the castel felice from southampton ? on the 3rd Jan 1962 to canberra. My uncle is very tall and goes by the name of bill. I would dearly like to hear from anybody who remembers them as we have losed touch.org Hither green and Reading.
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Patricia Quinn nee Kelly 18 September, 2012 19:27
Hi Paul my family was on the same ship as you. there were eight of us 6 kids aged from 8 to 18 I had my 14th birthday on board and my sister had her 18th on the day we arrived in melbourne. That was a time I will never forget. loved every minute. The crew were amazing nothing was to much trouble for them.This weekend we are having a celebration of 50yrs in adelaide. Mom and Dad passed away and we are going to scatter their ashes on the beach in front of the house that we moved into 50yrs ago it is also my sisters birthday we all love living in australia and we arrived as 8 and will celebrate with 35 as we all have aussie kids and grandkids. best 20 pounds mom and dad ever spent.Happy Anniversary to you aswell.
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Gary Sheppard 25 September, 2012 15:02
My family of six (four boys) arrived in Fremantle on the CF on 21 July 1963. I left Southampton as a four year old and celebrated my fifth birthday on the ship. We settled in Cloverdale, Perth (after a short stint in the Point Walter camp on the Swan River) for about 18 months before moving to Kalgoorlie. Don't remember much about the voyage accept going through the Suez and having the small boats coming alongside in Port Said and Aden with locals trying to sell us wares. I remember my birthday although I do suspect it wasn't actually 13 July as there seemed to be a bulk birthday party in the dining room for all the kids who had birthdays during the voyage. Family very happily settled in Australia and made our respective marks. July 2013 is the 50th anniversary of our arrival and my 55th birthday.
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michael welch 25 September, 2012 20:58
hi gary,i believe we were on the same voyage,i sailed on the castel felice to sydney ,departing southampton june 24th 63,i was 7yrs old at the time,i have about 6 photos onboard ,i recall pretty much the same as you.a great time wish i could do it again.
Robert Graves 1 October, 2012 08:22
We sailed from Southampton on the Castel Felice as £10 poms in Sept.1964,me,brother and sister and parents.I was 8 years old.I clearly remember the improvised "school" lessons we had everyday at the stern of the ship, the crossing of the Equator ceremonies and the traders selling their goods in Port Said and Aden from their small boats at the side of the ship.The journey took about 6 weeks and it was one long exciting adventure for me.We disembarked at Adelaide where we lived for the next 4 years. I really enjoyed Australia as a child.It was the making of me as a person, experiencing the sun and the outdoor living as opposed to the dreary confinesof 60's England. Unfortunately my mother found it very difficult to settle and we returned in 1968 which was also on the Castel Felice.My memories of Adelaide, Gilles Street school and the Castel Felice will always be very happy ones
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john cates 8 October, 2012 02:38
It is just great reading all the stories about the migrants who sailed from the uk to australia,many stayed and many came back. I was on the castel felice from southampton to brisbane on april 1st 1969. I was one of those who returned after four years in brisbane,a time i will never forget.I is nice with the internet looking at the photos of the old ship.
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Diane Cathcart(Mathison) 15 October, 2012 16:43
My parents, me and my siblings travelled on the Castel Felice in 1962. It was a long trip and my older sister and I contracted measles onboard, along with other children, and had to spend 2 weeks in quarantine. It was awful. We were sick, bored and the drinking water was so warm.
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Maria Puskas 17 October, 2012 14:27
I arrived in Melbourne in July 1958 on board the Castel Felice.
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Karl Rasmussen 23 October, 2012 22:48
Such a surprise to find this web site. I also came to Australia on the Castel Felice, from Denmark, together with my sister, Elizabeth and mother, Alice. All still kicking (just). Arrived in Sydney on Feb. 15th, 1959, after leaving Germany on about Jan. 10th, a few weeks before. 53 years later, I remember it like it was yesterday. It was (and still is) the biggest adventure of my life. I would love for anyone from that journey to contact me. There were about 50 or 100 danes on that trip. The rest were (I think), Germans. Hope to hear from someone. Fond memories. Wishing you all well. Regards Karl
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Gerd Kilimann 2 December, 2012 11:43
Hi Karl,I check this webside each month to see if anyone else was also on my boat trip. like you said the rest were Germans. Lets know what you have been up to over the years. I am also well and kicking on, I came over by myself. cheers Gerd
Chris Dawes 21 November, 2012 15:42
I sailed with my family on the CF in January 1967 when I was 15 years old. There was a record number of young kids on this trip from memory and it was a pretty rough voyage. The top deck dining room/dance-hall windows were broken by high seas and I remember rope being tied all around the ship to assist the passengers at one point. I met some really nice people on the boat and was lucky enough to get to know the guys from the Australian band "The Twilights" who where returning from England having won Hoadley's Battle Of The Bands. We were meant to disembark in Adelaide but the ship couldn't dock because of bad weather and we had to get a train back to Adelaide from Melbourne. It was also a very memorable trip through the Suez Canal and I think we were one of the last ships through before the Canal was closed after the Six Day War between Israel and the Arab world. Overall I have fond memories and although we had some bad weather it wasn't a bad experience.
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Adrian Fryatt 4 December, 2013 17:18
Chris Dawes - I was on that same voyage! Sure was rough eh We were sick as dogs! Do you have any photos? Cheers Adrian Fryatt, Canberra
Doug Lambert 1 December, 2012 13:01
I travelled from Auckland to Southampton aboard the "Castel Felice," leaving Auckland late afternoon around the 31st January 1966 and arrivng in Southampton around the 9th March. I had a great time - excellent itinerary with ports of call - Brisbane, Singapore, Colombo, Aden, Suez, Naples, Gibralter. Lots of fun - great entertainment, great food and lots of fun people. Unfortunately, the captain of the ship died just after leaving Naples necessitaing a return of the "C. F." to Naples so his body could be taken ashore. We left Naples minus a captain. Another captain was flown out from England to Gibralter where he boarded the ship and we contimued on to England arriving a few days later than anticipated. I will alawys remember the great time I had on that small ship - great crew!
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david kyle 18 December, 2012 10:29
hi would love to hear from from some ex pats i arrived july 4th 1966 in perth on castle felice and worked at west australian news papers six years before returning home to uk manchester (big mistake)have been back 2 times for holidays really loved it.would like to get passenger list, if anyone wants to get in touch you can get me on facebook.t.t.f.n. god bless all. D.Kyle
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david kyle 21 December, 2012 06:56
where can i get passenger list for castle felice 1966 departjng southhampton june arrving 6th july approx. returnig back sept. 1972. d.kyle
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Discovery Centre 21 December, 2012 15:17

Hi David,

National Archives of Australia (NAA) is the central repository for Australian Commonwealth Government records and holds information on immigration, naturalisation and military service, as well as post 1923 passenger lists to Victoria.

It is important to note that only a small percentage of the material archived by the NAA can be found online. If you cannot find the records which you are seeking, please contact the NAA directly through their Making Australia Home project.

To Access National Archives Records Online:

  • Go to the NAA website.
  • Click on RecordSearch at top right (under the Google search box).
  • Click onto Search now as a guest.
Richard Dodson 12 January, 2013 17:20
Balmy nights in the Indian Ocean..the Samson derrick swaying against the stars..and a calm sea...a relief after the torment of the green mountains of ocean in the Biscay...We arrived Feb 1963 from Glasgow via Southampton to Melbourne when I was 12..Fond memories and I still have copies of "The Castel Felice News" and some menus..Photographed her before her last voyage to the breakers..a great old lady gone now butI often think how lucky we were to have experienced that trip
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Roderic Holland 7 April, 2013 18:07
Hi Richard I was on the the same Castel Felice trip, arriving in Perth on 18th Feb 1963. I was 7 and I must admit I have very few memories. I am amazed to hear you have copies of the Castel Felice News!
Tracey Allcock 28 January, 2013 14:00
My family sailed on the castel Felicie in 1969, arrining Adelaide in November, we made good froends to this da with the Stringer family, we all returned to the UK in 1972. I always missed the sunshine and wanted to return, but started travelling after college and ended up in California. Great memories of the voyage and great staff who where always so nice to my family.
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Rob Humphreys 20 February, 2013 22:45
I sailed on the penultimate voyage which left Southampton on 22.5.1970. Just recently I got the passenger list from the National Archives of Australia and the same day I managed to google and get in contact with 3 of my friends on that voyage. Anyone else from that voyage still around?
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Sheila knight (was Rushworth ) then 19 May, 2014 15:16
My late husband Maurice. my 1yr old Lee, and I were on that trip and even though I. Lost Maurice to cancer in 1977 I am still in Sydney. I have lots of memory's of that trip to Sydney, we met lots of lovely people all roughing it to make a better live for ourselfs and family. I still have contact with one of the family's who live down the south coast close to me. The Swabys John and Hilery. I did have touch with Bert and Barbara Stretton for some years and was godmother to their son Andrew. They were also godparent to my son Jason in the same yr 1974. Unfortunily we have lost touch since they moved to Perth and I heard had spilt up.my son Lee had his 2nd birthday and my husband Maurice his 28th while we were on board. Would love to hear from anyone who we have lost touch with. I am on face book. How those years have quickly gone by. My sons are both married with children. I am a widow and live a quite live on the beautiful south coast of Sydney with a small dog and lots of friends my children and grandchildren come and stay with me often and I drive 11/2 hrs to see them very often. I do not regret coming to Australia even though I miss my family in the Uk.
michael welch 22 February, 2013 20:46
is it possible to obtain the passenger list for the castel felice which left Southampton 24th june 1963,i think we arrived at Sydney 29th july ,yours sincerely michael
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Paul Lewenhoff 4 March, 2013 12:08
Hi Michael, I too was on that trip. I do not recall any friends I had on the ship but Mum & Dad remained in touch with a few people that disembarked at Fremantle. mum now 84, me 63 so would imagine many casualties since 1963.
Discovery Centre 23 February, 2013 13:38
Hi Michael, Passenger Lists for the time period you are interested in are held by the National Archives of Australia.  Good Luck with your research.
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Donna Kilby 27 February, 2013 12:41
I am conducting a research project looking for my grandfather, Alfons Henneberger, who came to Australia on the Castel Felice in 1955. I am looking for anybody who might have known him, or who has a story to tell about their migration experience. Please contact me if you'd like to take part. You can find out more about the project at http://alfonshenneberger.com/
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michael welch 13 March, 2013 20:26
hi paul ,thanks for your reply,yes I think your the first person I have come across who was on the same voyage,did you sail from Southampton,sorry to say we did,nt stay in Australia,something my father regretted all his life,i still have relations living in the Sydney area,i do have about 6 photos taken on board,and a postcard of the ship,thanks again for your reponse,michael
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Kay H Zupke 21 April, 2013 12:34
My Father and Brother and I sailed from Bremerhaven in July 1954 Arriving Quebec City on July 22nd great trip
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Elvira Andreoli 3 May, 2013 13:21
My father Giordano Andreoli was on the Castel Felice on its maiden voyage in 1952 from Senigallia in Le Marche Italy. He was travelling alone at the age of 22 with no knowledge of English. He carried with him the clothes on his back and a suitcase with a handkerchief in it. His mother (Elvira) saw that he was about to leave with an empty suitcase and she gave him a handkerchief and told him to put it in his suitcase so that when he arrived in Australia they wouldn't think he was totally downtrodden with absolutely no possessions. Like many other hopefully, he also carried with him hope, determination and great courage for the unknown journey ahead. God bless him and all who did the same in search of a better life. Elvira
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Viv 15 May, 2013 15:54
I am trying to find passenger lists for Aus to Southampton (the wrong way) for years 1955 to 1956. I can't find anything on the NAA site as everything seems to look at migration into Oz. Any help appreciated.
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Discovery Centre 16 May, 2013 10:21

Hello Viv - this is an interesting query, but as it's technically an emigration question rather than an immigration one. In your case, we think the best option would be for you to use the UK-based equivalent of the National Archives of Australia, which is simply called The National Archives. This website has a useful Research Guide on finding passenger records for migration to Britain, which helps in making use of the National Archive's online resources.

Good luck with your research!

john lajoie 20 May, 2013 10:43
what a wonderfull trip as far as I am concerned we had more than our 10 pounds worth before even leaving southhampton terrific food too children very well catered for
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Elke Walter 28 June, 2013 20:56
Hi, i came to Australia from Bremerhafen in april 1960 with my parents albert and melitta jung,my sister monika 13y and i 16. We had 1400 people on board i think including crew.weather wa rough at times and many were very sick.my mother sucked on lemons for days and i ended up in the ships hospital.we made friends with some families and still in contact today. We. Have lived now 53 y in tasmania,hobart. Our parents never really settled but us girls raised new families and love this beautiful country.is there anyone who can remember us..
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Ferdy Strassner 21 July, 2013 11:08
I left Germany in Feb.61 arrived in March 61. the trip through the Suez Canal was fun. The Castel Felice was a nice ship we stopped in Cairo and we were able to do some sightseeing.I loved Australia travelled quite a bit all through the center Alice Springs all the way to Cairns,back down to Victoria. Melbourne became my home, I worked for VW and played football for Bosch. Who else remembers being on the ship with me. Australia is a beautiful country.
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Christine 29 April, 2014 17:51
Hi Ferdy My parents were on this trip. They were from Berlin and settled in Sydney.
Kim(Rashbrook )Andrew 1 August, 2013 08:48
My family arrived in Perth from Southhamptonin 1967 during a huge storm in Early may . We camethru the Suez just before the 7 day war. Are there any others who were on the ship as this date has not been mentioned in any other letters. I was 5 and travelled with mum,dad,nan,pop and a 15 year old uncle . Mum was seasick the whole trip and many thought dad was a single dad.
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Margret Ernst nee Pless 5 August, 2013 15:19
Seeking my old friend ERIKA nee SAGNER ca.1943/1942 Started school together @ the 'Rangenberg' school,Lübeck. Germany Erika migrated to Australia with her family - father from the Sudetenland, mother Hungarian,sister Anni/Anna ca 2 yrs. older. Erika & family lived in Lübeck,Moränenweg 27, prior to emigrating. Any help to fulfill my greatest wish would be appreciated. Thank you Margret Ernst nee Pless
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Discovery Centre 5 August, 2013 16:25

Hi Margret,

One of the most useful resources to locate living people in Australia are the electoral rolls which list all the names and addresses of registered voters within Australia. Another avenue to explore would be to also check the white pages online by conducting a surname search. . For evidence of births, deaths and marriages, you will need to contact the relevant registry in an Australia state. Good luck with your search! 

Alan Thomson 14 August, 2013 02:40
Hello to anyone who travelled on the Castel Felice leaving Southampton June 24th 1969 arriving Fremantle July 24th 1969, 4 days after the 1st landing on the Moon, we were one of the "few" who never saw it live on TV, as it was a "telex" displayed on the notice board of the ship, 20th July 1969. We, my newly married wife Diane & I arriving mid June 1969 from Jersey (Channel Islands) via the British Rail Ferry "Sarnia" 4500 tons, to be carried off to our new life in Perth, Australia by the big ship Castel Felice 12500 tons, well we had a great trip, made lots of new friends, even said to one couple, that we'll pop over to see you in Adelaide at Christmas, which we did, after 2 and a half days driving arrived in Elizabeth to say G'Day from WA. Many years have passed, will be 50 years on July 24th 2019, so are trying to organise a reunion in Perth for then. I've gone through 2 marriages since but still happy with 4 fantastic children plus 2 more (in laws) with my current partner & 5 grandchildren, life's good, and would love to hear from all you survivors. Regards Alan Thomson
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Richard 24 April, 2014 17:16
Hi Alan. My family were aboard the same voyage. Check this link to see your passenger listing. http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ListingReports/ItemsListing.aspx. There is also a FB page set up by someone in Oz that also travelled on the CF, that is https://www.facebook.com/castel.feliceship.
Jim Coyne 6 September, 2013 16:05
Departed Southampton 13 Nov 1966 with my Mum, Dad, brother and two sisters, arrived in Fremantle 9 Dec 1966. I was 14 at the time. Have some great memories of the people I met, the fancy dress party as we crossed the Equator and visting exotic Aden and Port Said. The beginning of a new life which I continue to cherish.
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Pamela Bond 5 October, 2013 11:52
My family travelled from southampton to Adelaide on the Castel Felice, departing 9 March, 1966. It was my 4th birthday. My parents were Jack and Doreen Johnson, and their 6children were Kevin, Kathleen, Anne, Peter, Pamela and Ian. My oldest sister Kathleen met her husband, Bill Gibson on board, who was also travelling with his family. I have very few memories of my time on board, but I do remember the smell of fresh bread rolls in the morning. I also remember being told that if I cried the crew would throw me overboard, by my brother and sister. One day they ran away from me on the quoits area, and I became lost, and started to cry. When a steward came to find out what was wrong, I thought I was a goner for sure and became hysterical, but this lovely man picked me up, comforted me, and found out where I belonged. The older members of my family remember the egyptians diving for coins at Port Said, but as 10pound poms, we had no money to throw. Would love to here from anyone who was on this journey. Maybe someone remembers us.
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Les Carter 13 October, 2013 11:53
We sailed on Castel Felice from Southampton to Sydney on 25.8.66. When we got to Melbourne, Glen Shorrock and his Twilights band embarked, they were going to England as they had won Hoadley Battle of the Sounds which gave them the promo ship. I recollect watching the band come up the gangway at Port Melbourne. Just a bit of trivia. I bet they had ye olde Castel Felice rockin and rolin' on the voyage to UK !
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Brenda Slucock 27 November, 2013 22:39
It has been interesting reading some of the recollections of emigrating to Australia on the Castel Felicia. I had my 14th birthday on the ship, we sailed from Southampton on 3rd January 1962 arriving 6th February in Sydney. I had a great time on the ship it was an adventure for me, the bartering over the side of the ship with people selling goods in small boats. The crossing of the equator and the friends I made. We stopped in Vigo Spain where many Spanish migrants boarded the ship. I made friends with a boy called Jose Sales and his sister Conchita. They went to Port Kembla we went to a hostel at East Hills NSW. My family moved to Victoria in 1966 and we have been here ever since. I married a pommy from Oxford 46 years ago (still married) we have been back to UK many times but I know in my heart although I am still very much English it was the best thing mum and dad did for my sister and me. Fond memories.
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Tony F. 13 December, 2013 20:55
Although I sailed twice on the Castel Felice, neither was by choice! The first was on 24 Aug 1962 when my parents migrated to Australia. We sailed from Southampton via Suez canal to Fremantle and disembarked at Melbourne on 24 September. We then went by bus overnight to Adelaide due to a train strike (I think) The second trip was from Adelaide to Southampton in January 1968. I had originally booked on the Fairstar to England via Suez but the canal was closed to all shipping due to the middle east war. The alternative was a 6 week trip on the Castel Felice from Adelaide stopping at Melbourne, Sydney, Aukland, Papeete, Balboa, Curacao and Lisbon before disembarking at Southampton. This was a memorable trip as Molly Meldrum was on board along with "The Groop" who had won Hoadleys battle of the bands competition. The 6 weeks were one long party except for an incident after leaving Papeete. It seems some items in the baggage room had come adrift and damaged a water pipe. The resulting flood caused the ship to list so badly so that one of the propellers was mostly out of the water causing massive vibrations. The engine was shut down and speed reduced as we limped on to Balboa. To add to the problem the swimming pool had to be closed as it was impossible (and dangerous) to swim. Luckily the weather was kind and when we reached balboa about 4 days late the where the ship was repaired. Both trips were very memorable for different reasons and looking back there are plenty of highlights.
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Ray Massey 18 February, 2014 01:27
My father travelled on the TV Castel Felice in 1968 to Australia from possibley southampton, is there anyway i can find out if there is a passenger list with his name on along with his 2 daughter Sharon Massey and Paula Massey
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Paul Trangmar 2 April, 2014 16:57
Ray, I suggest you read further into these blogs as much info re: your question is available. However in summary, the National Archives of Australia (NAA)have excellent online links to assist in your research. Copies of Incoming Passenger Lists are available from NAA. As you already know the vessel's name and besides searching your family's names, in my experience it hastens the process if you know (or can approximate) the date of arrival in Australia and the port of disembarkation. The result is available online, or in a smartly presented document form (for a fee). I recommend the latter.
Kelly Broad 15 April, 2014 22:22
My mum, Wendy Cawdrey and her family - (her parents) Jack and Stella, (and her brothers) Peter and Michael - travelled from Southampton, UK to Brisbane, AU in March of 1966. If anyone has any photos from on THAT trip please let me know!! They also stayed in a hostel in Wacol, Qld when they arrived. If anyone else here did, please also let me know - Pics too!! Cheers!! kellybroad1983@gmail.com
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Jeremy Bryce 21 April, 2014 22:10
In 1964 I turned five two days before we arrived in Adelaide and we dined with the captain.
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Ewald Fahrensohn 24 April, 2014 18:31
I left Bremerhaven(aged 16) on 10.June 1960 and arrived at Port Melbourne on 13.July 1960.)From there ,via Bonegilla, I finished up in 0ort Kembla. I would like to hear from anyone that was on that voyage.
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Ewald Fahrensohn 26 April, 2014 16:50
That should read 'aged 19' not 16.
Robert Samuel 10 August, 2014 17:46
I emigrated to Australia on the Castell Felice in September 1965 as an 18 year old. The Big Brother movement sponsored a group of youths aged 18. What an adventure!
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Waldron Tina. [nee Coward] 23 August, 2014 14:30
We were immigrants on the Castel Felice leaving Southamptom UK for Australia on 3rd January 62 arriving Melbourne 4th Feb 62. It was a fantastic adventure for myself at 17 and 6 of my brothers and sisters. we met some lovely people on board, but they mostly went to Sydney. We thought the food was wonderful to what we were used to and the crew being Italian were just friendly and a great help. I made friends with two nice girls travelling with their mother and I think a young brother, Noni was one girl but her sister Odette was more of a friend to me being the same age.i met my husband who is also english here he was also from a large family, they came out here in 1950 on the Ranchi. we have been married 50yrs this year have three children and four grandchildren, We went back to the UK for a visit in 2000 loved it but love Australia much better,Can't thank our parents enough for the opportunities they gave to us, So hard at first but so worth it all.At 17 I had no inclination to come of course leaving all that I had known friends familiarity and the like. But noe at 70 I am so thankfull to them for what they did.
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Heather Savage 29 September, 2014 12:59
We travelled on the Castele Felice as a family, from Belfast in 1965. We already had family in Sydney who had travelled on the Fair Star and Fair Sky - sister ships. We came via the Suez canal, and my brother and I were almost abducted from the souk in Aden or Port Said. I remember "The Gully-Gully Man" who entertained the kids with magic tricks, and the friendly Italian crew. it was the trip of a lifetime!
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