Great Lakes Photo Archive Title Image


Cliffs Victory

Of all the ships that have ever sailed the Great Lakes, few were as oddly unique as the once familiar CLIFFS VICTORY.. Originally built for wartime service the converted ore carrier sailed the lakes during the massively prosperous post World War II era.. During her career she became known as one of the fastest ships ever to sail the Great Lakes and during her years of service was only ever challenged by a small handful of classic lakers, CSL's FORT HENRY once being among them.

While her speed and dramatic appearance were loved by so many her massive fuel consumption and small carrying capacity eventually led to her retirement as the booming post-war years gave way to the 1980s..

Many shipping companies ceased operations in the 1980s, dozens of steel mills closed, mines scaled back operations, Seaway traffic volumes began to fall dramatically, ships were withdrawn from service in great numbers, many laid up never to sail again and like so many others, CLIFFS VICTORY's usefulness came to an end..

On Christmas day, 1985 she sailed down the Welland Canal under her own power with the abbreviated name SAVIC (Cliff S'A'VIC tory) and nearly a full year later after long final voyage she arrived at Masan, South Korea where she was cut up for scrap..
Photographed by Don Dube on the Detroit River on 1 July 1977.