When launched the ship was described as the fastest motor ship built to date, 23.5 knots was achieved on her trials, whilst 20.5 knots was her service speed. Her accomodation was described as spacious and luxurious and was equipped with air-conditioning. The dining salon was unusually located on the top deck
Initially the Victoria was used on the Trieste - Venice - Brindisi - Alexandria, Egypt service. During 1932 the ship transfered to the service through the Suez Canal to Bombay. From October 1936 the Bombay run was extended to Columbo, Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai.
The arrival of World War II brought all this to an end with the Victoria being pressed into service as a troop transport between Italy and North Africa. The Victoria's last voyage commenced on January 22nd 1942 with another fast trip from Taranto to Tripoli (Tarabulus), Libya with 441 tons of cargo and troops comprising 132 officers & 588 soldiers of the 12th Bersaglieri Regiment and 405 German soldiers. The next day the convoy came under air attack from British torpedo bombers. The presence of an escort of twelve Junkers Ju 88s were not able to prevent a successful attack against the Victoria, a torpedo struck at 6:45pm and the ship started to take on water. By 3.00am the next morning (January 24th) the ship disappeared under the waves at position 33.30N, 17.40E in the Gulf of Sirte about 150 miles north-east of Misurata, but the time had allowed the rescuing of just over one thousand of the troops and crew.
Builder: Cantieri Riuniti dell'Adriatico.
Sulzer Technical Review Special Number 1933
Page added March 3rd 2009