It is November 1963 and the Pacific and Eastern Steam Navigation Company's 30,000 ton flagship 'Aurilia' is about to depart from Tilbury on a 29 day voyage that will take her 12,400 miles to Sydney via the Suez Canal. On board are just over 1,000 passengers and 600 officers and crew. She will embark additional passengers at Lisbon and Naples. Some passengers, like Australian Karen Hansen, are returning home. Others, like Derek Broadbent, have more pressing reasons for leaving Britain. The officers and crew have stories to tell too and many have a particular reason why they have chosen a life at sea. In the background is the ship herself, a small, completely self-contained travelling township making her way south into the Mediterranean then through the Suez Canal and across the Arabia Sea to Ceylon before the final long leg south across the Indian Ocean to Australia. We explore her ports of call and join in the ships activities and social life both formal and not so formal. Not that it's all plain sailing. There are strange noises in the night, an event of world importance and a near disaster on arrival at Sydney.
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