The award-winning travel promotional film for Delta Line’s ships often called the “M” Ships. These were built in the early 1960s and operated by The Grace Line. They were the “Santa Maria,” “Santa Magdalena,” “Santa Mariana,” and “Santa Mercedes.”
The Grace Line cargo-passenger vessels operated out of New York until the Delta Line took them over in the 1970s. They then sailed from San Francisco until the early 1980s when service ended.
As Delta liners, they traveled through the Panama Canal, down the east coast of South America, through the Strait of Magellan, and up the west coast of South America.
1983 was the final full year of service for these four combo ships, and when they were mothballed in 1984. It represented the end of 208 years of American flagged passenger service. Grace Line built these four combo ships in the early 1960s for their New York-South America service.
bought the fleet in 1977. The SANTA MERCEDES, SANTA MARIANNA, SANTA MARIA, and SANTA MAGDALENA were vert comfortable ships for the ’round South America voyage. When the service ended in1984 the ships went into lay-up. \
Three were scrapped in 1988, but the SANTA MERCEDES went on to become the Massachusetts Maritime Academy training ship PATRIOT STATE. In 1998, an ultrasonic survey found extensive corrosion in the hull and watertight bulkheads and the ship was declared unseaworthy.