The MS (Motor Ship) Batory is one of the best-known Polish Transatlantic Liners and a symbol of Polish exile. It was called “Lucky Ship”, because it took part in large number of militaryoperation during Second World war (e.g. it participated in the battles of Narvik) without suffering serious harm. It was destroyed after thirty six years of duty.
The MS Batory was launched on 3 July 1935 (it was constructed in Italy). On its virgin voyage it sailed from Monfalcone to Gdynia on April 1936. This wonderful liner has on its board lots of excellent gests such as: Wojciech Kossak, Monika Żeromska or Melchior Wańkowicz. This journey was reported by Polish Radio. The MS Batory started frequent service in May 1936 on the Gdynia – New York run. The ship equipment was new and very impressive. It was powered by two sets of Burmeister and Wain diesel engines (it could reach a speed of 18 knots). The vessel was 160 metres long, weight over 14,000 tonnes, had seven desks, guest cabins, dining and dance halls, a reading room, a pool and a gym. It was also ornamented with magnificiant taste (including pricey crockery and beautiful furniture). MS Batory was callednamed a floating art showroom.
The news about war met the liner during a journey from Canada and then The Batory became a warship and spent 652 days at wather. The most memorable cruise was a evacuation almost 500 kids from Europe to Australia. After war the liner came back to Poland in 1946 and carried on civil service (in the 60-ties it even played in a few movies). On its board lots of Poles left theirs country looking for a better existence beyond the Atlantic Ocean in the USA. Then, after many years of duty, in 1971 The Batory was sent into pension and go to demolition yard in Honkong. In 1969 it was replaced by a larger vessel TSS Stefan Batory. Nothing, apart from pictures, recollections and a few souvenirs had left from the MS Batory and its vessel equipment. That was the end of the story of the Polish Transatlantic Liner known as a “Lucky Ship”.
Tourists can look up model of MS Batory in the Emigration Museum in Poland in the city of Gdynia. Unfortunately visitors can’t miracle inside of the vessel, but they can learn more about its amazing history, daredevil team (particularly about its chef – Eustazy Borkowski). In the other rooms of this museum they can also get know more about man who chose emigration, about their existence (before and after they left Poland), about their motivation and future decisions.