« A bit of history of a long life »
Built in 1930 in Copenhagen, this black liner, called Moona, will know an exceptional destiny ! Cruise ship in the Gulf of Spencer in Australia until 1955, it was bought by a Greek company of Piraeus. From then on, repainted in white and renamed « LYDIA » the liner will operate the regular line between Marseille and Beirut until 1966.. At the end of the same year, the extraordinary destiny of the Lydia will be sealed.
Bought back by the Joint Economy Company or the Pyrénées-Orientales, the passenger ship will be emptied of its engines and towed at ballast to the artificial port, dug specially for the occasion, on the beach of the « La Grande Plage » district. A delicate operation which will be brought to a succesful conclusion on Sunday, June 11th, 1967 and will make of the Lydia the first building of the new resort of Port-Barcarès.
Today, the Municipality of Barcarès became ovner of this excemtional ship, unique living symbol of the passenger ships of the thirties and the most ambitious realization of the mission Racine.
Brief history of the « LYDIA »
At the end of the 60s, the government of Charles de Gaulle launches a vast tourist development plan of the coast of the Languedoc-Roussillon : the « RACINE mission ». This ambitious plan includes the coast of Barcarès and Leucate, almost virgin until then.
Designed by the architect Georges CANDELIS for the SEMETA (the semipublic company managed by Gaston Pams and in charge of the development of our coast, Port-Barcarès is a city to be born, among others. A city appeared from some sands, to invent. Ludovic Pams, administrator of the SEMETA and the cousin of Gaston, floats then the idea to associate to these future real estate sets the silhouette of a liner. First building of the resort, this one will become its flagship, its emblem. But this totally unreasonable project remains to concretize. We are in June, 1967, the Barcarès adventure of the LYDIA begins …
An outstanding history
1931 : Ordered to the shipyards BURMEISTER and WAIN in Copenhagen (Denmark) in 1930, the liner/cargo enters into service in June, 1931 for the ADÉLA