Class and type Steam yacht
Length 81 m
Beam 12 m
|Fate Scrapped c. 1960|
Draught 20 ft (6.1 m)
Draft 6.1 m
Place built Glasgow, United Kingdom
|Renamed Southern Cross, Orizaba (1939)|
Tonnage 2,115 Thames Measurement
Builder Alexander Stephen and Sons
The Rover was a steam-powered yacht built in 1930 by Alexander Stephen and Sons in Glasgow, Scotland for Lord Inchcape, then chairman of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O). Built as Stephen's Yard No. 527, she was 265 feet 5 inches (80.90 m) long with a beam of 40 feet 1 inch (12.22 m) and a tonnage of 2,115, and was considered "the most luxurious ever built on the Clyde".
The yacht's figurehead was a likeness of Lord Inchcape's daughter, Elsie Mackay, who disappeared whilst attempting to fly the Atlantic in 1928. With accommodation for up to 14 guests, she was painted green and white at launch with a predominately silver-coloured dining room.
The Rover's state rooms featured en-suite marbled bathrooms while outside dancing and games were staged on the open decks. Long-distance fuel tanks permitted long round-the-world voyages. During Cowes Week in August 1930, she was visited by the then King George V and Queen Mary.
After Lord Inchcape's death aboard the Rover in Monte Carlo's harbour, Port Hercules in Monaco, on 23 May 1932, rumours circulated that the Aga Khan would buy the yacht, while a rumoured deal with King Carol II of Romania also fell through. However, a year later she was bought by American business man Howard Hughes unseen and renamed Southern Cross. She was subsequently sold to Swedish entrepreneur Axel Wenner-Gren, under whose ownership she helped rescue survivors from the SS Athenia, the first ship to be sunk by Nazi Germany during World War II.
The vessel subsequently served in the Mexican Navy as Orizaba until she was scrapped around 1960.