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Israel’s Fastest Liner Launched in Germany; Named Theodor Herzl

The 9,000-ton “Theodor Herzl,” largest passenger vessel ever constructed for Israel and fastest major boat under the blue-and-white flag, slid down the ways of a German shipbuilding yard here today while hundreds of guests and spectators cheered.

Constructed for Israel’s Zim-Shoham Lines under the reparations pact and equipped to carry 550 passengers, the new liner should be ready for service in March of next year. She will be assigned to the regular three-day run from Haifa to Marseille, via Naples, but during part of the year is expected to be used for tourist cruises to South America and the Bermudas.

Measuring 488 feet in length and 65 feet in width, the “Theodor Herzl” can reach a speed of nearly 20 knots. Almost all passenger accommodations are in modern and comfortable outside cabins, 166 in number, that range from air-conditioned luxury staterooms to multiple berth simplicity. As the vessel has been designed for the Mediterranean and for cruising in subtropical waters, an especially large amount of deck space has been provided, in part by increasing the breadth of the upper deck.

Almost all the public rooms are on the boat deck and a majority are equipped with air-conditioning. In addition to the lounges, reading and writing rooms, smoking rooms and children’s playroom, there is a synagogue, a movie theater, a shopping center, an art gallery, a library, a swimming pool and many other amenities, including a laundry and a garage for passengers. The kitchens have been so arranged as to vouchsafe strict observance of kashruth. The crew of 182 will all be Israelis.

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