THE Western Mediterranean has many fast passenger, mail and cargo services. Most of these operate under French ownership, and one of the foremost companies in this trade is the Paquet Company of Marseilles, which maintains six services from that port and two from North African ports.
The Chella, illustrated above, was built at La Seyne, near Toulon, and claims to be the fastest vessel on her route, with a speed of about 21½ knots.
She has a length between perpendiculars of 426 feet, a beam of 62 feet, a depth of 37 feet and a draught of 22 feet. Her gross tonnage is 9,000 and her net tonnage 4,800. Her deadweight carrying capacity is 3,000 tons, cargo being carried in four holds, two forward and two abaft the machinery space underneath passenger accommodation.
Accommodation is arranged amidships on a promenade deck, on the deck below it and on the upper deck. The promenade deck is concerned entirely with luxury public rooms. At the forward end is a first-class dining-room, an unusual position for this important section of the ship. There is a considerable amount of luxury accommodation in the cabin space on the bridge deck forward, ordinary cabins being abaft this on either side of the boiler hatch and on the deck below. Quarters for second-class passengers are arranged at the after end. The total passenger capacity is 178 first-class, 192 second-class, and 102 third-class.
Propulsion is by single-reduction turbines, developing a total of 14,300 shaft horse-power at 187 revolutions. Steam is taken from water-tube boilers in a boiler room forward of the main engine-room. Diesel generators are used for auxiliary purposed in the main engine-room. The Chella follows modern french practice with her squat funnels, cruiser stern and curved bow.