Donald Currie & Co

Castle Mail Packet Co Ltd

Formed in 1862 by Donald Currie as Donald Currie & Co. to run a regular sailing ship service to India and familiarly known as "Currie's Calcutta Castles".

The first steamships entered service on the India route in 1872 and the same year, a passenger and private mail service from the UK to South Africa was inaugurated.

In 1876 the company became Castle Mail Packet Co. Ltd. and a joint mail contract was awarded together with the Union SS Co.

Calls at Flushing began in 1889 resulting in the grant of a contract to carry Dutch mails to South Africa and in 1900 Castle Line merged with the Union SS Co. to form Union-Castle Mail SS Co.


1863-1865 Sail (Currie’s Calcutta Castles)

Liverpool - Calcutta.


London - Cape Town - Calcutta.


London - Dartmouth - Bordeaux / Lisbon or Madeira / Las Palmas / Tenerife - Cape Town.


Cargo South African coastal services.


Cape Town - Durban - Mauritius - Galle, Ceylon(occasional)


Southampton - Antwerp - Bremen - Hamburg (cargo feeder service)


Southampton - Madeira - Cape Town - Port Elizabeth - Durban - Port Elizabeth - Cape Town - St.Helena (occasional) - Ascension (occasional) - Las Palmas (occasional) - Southampton.


Southampton - Cape Town - Port Elizabeth - East London - Durban.


Cargo service South Africa - USA (usually New York)


Red, black top.

Castle Line

The history notes on each ship are from

Merchant Fleets 18:Union, Castle and Union-Castle Line   

by Duncan Hawes

Mail Service Ships

Intermediate & Extra Service Ships

Coastal & Feeder Service Ships

Utility Vessels

Currie’s Calcutta Castles

Castle Line Staff

Castle Line Documents


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