ssMaritime for a world of Classic Passenger Liners, Passengers Cargo ships as well as humble Migrant Liners from countries worldwide!

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Please Note: All ssMaritime and other related maritime/cruise sites are 100% non-commercial and privately owned. Be assured that I am NOT associated with any shipping or cruise companies or any travel/cruise agencies or any other organisations! Although the author has been in the passenger shipping industry for over 60 years, but due to age and poor health, I was forced to retire. Yet, I have completed well over 1,350 Classic Liner, Passenger-Cargo Liners as well as countless humble converted C3 converted humble Migrant Liners, which brought countless thousands of Europeans to the new world. I trust these features will continue to provide Classic Ship enthusiasts not just the information they are seeking, but more so provide a great deal of pleasure and memories!


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Ships of the Month

January, February & March 2020


Company of the Month - “New Zealand Shipping Company”

Ship of the Month 2 - M.S. Sibajak 1928 to 1959



Go directly to Company’s / Ships of the Month or keep on reading


Welcome to So far in 2019, I have managed to add a few Classic Liners to ssMaritime as I already had them in on file partially completed, in addition, I also slowly updated some of my earlier features, for believe me some of them really needed a good clean up, and sadly there are many more that need work. But as most of my readers will know, I have been suffering from a variety of extreme bad health issues, as well as having poor eye sight these days, and all this is sadly slowing me down greatly, and continuing this site and adding new ships, which I love to do so much is suffering greatly! Therefore, I only do a little work whenever I am able, and I will do my very best whenever possible to add a “Company” or a “Ship of the Month” but now this will only be done on a quarterly basis, but from now they will be based on ships that I already have online.

Please note, due to the flood of emails that arrive each and every day, I no longer personally reply to the vast majority of the emails received, as 99.9% of the emails will be taken care of by my friend and carer Mr. Eng Tan, and those who seek a reply will receive a pre-written email. However, some very special emails with a specific most worthwhile question will be shown to me, and when it is possible I will send an answer as some you will have already discovered, although it may take a little time pending my condition at that time. But you will never receive an answer if it is regarding a passenger or a crew list, or a sailing schedule, for if I have a sailing schedule, believe me it will be shown online already.

However, I do have schedules for the three Dutch liners MS Sibajak, Johan van Oldenbarnevelt, and the MS Oranje and I have details of every voyage these three ships have ever made whilst in Dutch ownership.

Looking Back:

It is hard to believe, that I have now written on over 1,350 ships, including so many of the great Passenger Liners, but also many Passenger-Cargo Liners as well as some Classic Cruise Ships still sailing! But below is a small view of some of the ships online, but the ssMaritime INDEX has a full listing of them all!

The Great Trans-Atlantic Liner and Cruise Ship the S.S. Queen Elizabeth 2 is seen as built in 1969

Of course she was refitted a good number of times including having been given new diesel engines


The Dutch M.S. Randfontein sold in 1971 to become the M.S. Nieuw Holland

she was based in Australia operating on the Asian service to Japan and China, etc

In addition, there are also a good number of humble Migrant ships, many of these being converted War-Time C3 & C4 Class Vessels, and the two ships shown below, both were converted into fully operational aircraft carriers, The ship seen below received a more simple exterior refit like most in this class, but she did have some delightful and more traditional German style public venues.

Built as a C3 Class ship in 1941, and used as an aircraft carrier in WW2

Converted into a migrant ship the M.S. Nelly in 1949

And received an extensive refit and renamed Seven Seas in 1953

Whilst other C-Class ships were rebuilt into fine looking Migrant Liners, being delightfully modern and even glamorous ships. Ships that come to mind are the Italian Flotta Lauro’s TSS Roma and Sydney, as well as Sitmar Lines TSS Fairsky, and these ships made significant inroads into maritime history!

Another 1941 C3 Class ship that served during WW2 but as an ugly escort aircraft carrier

She was sold to Sitmar Line to become the fine looking small liner T.S.S. Fairsky in 1957

In the early 1970s she became a popular Australian based cruise ship

And it is my sincere hope, that through the pages of ssMaritime you may rediscover some wonderful memories, be it for past passengers, and their relatives who may have sailed on these amazing ships, from days of old until their demise in the late 1970s to the 1990s. And not to forget the Classic Cruise Ships some of which are still sailing.-

In Conclusion:

I must say a very special thank you, to all ship lovers from around the world, for I have been astounded that there have been so many of you reading this site, in fact friends has reached as of recently over 533.2 million readers, and that, dear friends simply blows my mind! And please remember, that all my maritime/cruise sites have always been and will remain 100% non-commercial, for my purpose has been to provide wonderful and hopefully joyful memories to past passengers from around the world, and those who really love passenger liners and older cruise ships! Be assured, it has been a great joy for me to present these many classic ships to, and it has been a joy to have been able to write for so many years, thus all I can say is; go and enjoy the well over 1,350 wonderful maritime memories, and I pray that after a lifetime of sharing my love of these fine ships with you, that they will live long after me to give knowledge to a new generation and wonderful memories to those who remain!

ssMaritime’s Main Index is located just Below & as well at the Bottom of the Page, be assured that you will discover a “Ship lover’s delight” with so many great ships, both Liners, humble Migrant Ships as well as some wonderful Passenger-Cargo Liners from countless countries around the globe, and all of these will have you reading and returning for a long time to come!

Dear Mr. Goossens … just some of the emails of thanks received over the years.

It is my greatest desire that the ships I have covered will provide many memories of their days now mostly long gone, but for those who were fortunate to have sailed on some or more of the ships I have covered I pray will have brought some joy to your heart!

Reuben Goossens - Retired!

Maritime Historian; Working and involved in the Passenger Shipping & Cruise Industry for over 60 years.




Or Continue to Read the “Company - Ships of the Month”


Please Note; the QE2 is now open as a Luxury Hotel in Dubai (UAE)

Visit my comprehensive Hotel Queen Elizabeth 2 feature



Company of the Month


New Zealand Shipping Company

Their Seven Last Liners from 1929 to the 60’s

MV Rangitiki the first of the identical trio to be completed early in 1929

This feature is all about the now legendary “New Zealand Shipping Company” (NZSC), which was created in 1873 in Christchurch, and I will highlight the last of NZSC’s seven liners, from 1929 concluding in 1967. These ships being: the famed 5 “Rangi” ships, as well as the “Ruahine” being the last new ship built for the NZSC, and finally they added an ex Cunard liner the RMS Parthia, which was refitted and renamed “Remuera”, although she only lasted 2 years with the company.

MV Rangitoto was completed in August 1949

Painting by the famed New Zealand Maritime Artist Wallace Trickett

Ships include: Rangitiki - Rangitata (2) – Rangitane (1). Rangitoto, Rangitane (2), Ruahine finally the SS Remuera.

I trust that you will enjoy this massive eight page feature packed with information, countless photographs, as well as personal voyage stories from New Zealand to the UK complete with photographs, menus and other printed items from the ship.

Visit my 8 Page New Zealand Shipping Company Feature



Ship of the Month


“Royal Rotterdam Lloyd.”

M.S. Sibajak

1928 to 1958


M.S. Sibajak is seen during her Deep Sea Trials on Saturday January 28, 1928

Photograph is with thanks, from the collection of the “Royal Nedlloyd Maritime Museum” in Rotterdam

This ship is very special to me personally, for she was the first Liner I ever sailed on for a long world voyage, from Rotterdam, the Netherlands, to Wellington New Zealand. Although I had loved ships from as a small child and remember standing harbour side in Rotterdam, I would look at the great Liners of Holland America Line, such as the SS Nieuw Amsterdam and others depart for New York (USA), and Royal Rotterdam Lloyd Liners, MS Willem Ruys and the smaller and much older ship, MS Sibajak on their departure days. I would dream that one day I would be standing aboard one of these ships, at the railing holding a streamer and would be heading for a land far, far away. Well it did happen on May 17, 1958, as my Mother and myself as full fare paying passengers headed for New Zealand, and it was this voyage that made my love for shipping decide that I would work in Passenger Shipping Industry for the rest of my life! And that is just what happened, all thanks to the a mazing experience I had on board the Sibajak!

But, let me now go to this fine ship:

On May 27, 1925 the Rotterdam Lloyd (RL) later (RRL) gave “De Schelde” (KMS) notice that they would be building their new Mail Ship to be named “Sibajak”. On November 18, the “Sibajak-contract” was finally signed and the commission was accepted.

When commissioning to build the Sibajak, RL being very wise due to their operational experience, gave special orders in relation to the construction of the ship that she was to have all the characteristics of a genuine mail-ship, and she had to be suitable for the tropics. This meant that she had to have ample open and airy decks, with surfaces large enough for the numerous deckchairs as well as for vast promenades; most vital was spacious and elegant lounges with high ceilings and large windows in order to allow as much light and fresh air as possible.

The First Class Social Hall


And the Smoking Room with Bar just aft

In addition, all cabins had to be located outside of the ship to allow windows and portholes to every room, and the interior decoration was to be both stately and comfortable in order to make the long voyage as enjoyable as possible, but there were no particular concerns in relation to the ships speed.

In July 1926, RL decided that the interior design of the Sibajak would be entrusted to the creative skills of the famous Dutch interior designer, Mr. H.P. Mutters who would work together with the “Royal Dutch Furniture Company.” The Hague Company “Mutters & Son” the Rotterdam Lloyd already had a long-standing and constructive relationship as they had worked on many of their other ships. RL management not only had an eye for the accommodation and the artistic interiors of public venues, but also the installations of new technical equipment required not just their attention, but also great expertise.

The Sibajak was launched on Saturday April 2, 1927, and she was completed in January 1928, then on January 28 she commenced her trials, come a mini cruise for VIP guests, which she completed successfully considering she achieved a top speed of 18.9 knots. She was then delivered to her owners in Rotterdam to be made ready for her maiden voyage to the East Indies (Indonesia).

Finally, on Sunday February 8, 1928, the Sibajak departed Rotterdam and she was bound for the East Indies, sailing via Southampton, Lisbon, Tangier, Gibraltar, Marseilles, Port Said, Suez, Colombo, Sabang, Belawan, Singapore to Batavia (Jakarta). The Sibajak rapidly became a very popular ship in the fleet as her three classes were all well laid out and furnished.

In 1935 RL decided that during her annual maintenance that the Sibajak’s accommodation would be modernised with upgraded facilities as well as some major alterations to be made to her Bridge and Sports Decks.

A RRL postcard of the M.S. Sibajak after her 1935 refit

During WWII she served for the British Navy and did her job well as clearly described on her webpage in detail. After the war she was returned to RL and she was refitted and returned to services, but now she became mostly a migrant ship and in due course she commenced to operated a around the world service with three other fine Dutch Liners, The Netherland Line, M.S. Johan van Oldenbarnevelt and the newer M.S. Oranje, and the now named Royal Rotterdam Lloyd (RRL), M.S. Willem Ruys, but these four ships were marketed as the Royal Dutch mail” ships.

Whilst the ship was being made ready for her next voyage berthed at the Lloyd Kade, in Rotterdam it was on June 19, 1959 the RRL management sent a memo to Captain J. C. Flach that the Sibajak would sail on June 23 and that;

“You sail via Southampton, Willemstad, the Panama Canal and Papeete to Wellington, Sydney and Melbourne. From Melbourne you sail via Surabaya and Singapore - for the disembarkation of (part of) the crew and for handing in stores (or de-storing), to Hong Kong. In Hong Kong you will officially hand over the Sibajak to the buyers, assisted by our agents Royal Interocean Lines" (RIL).

Thus when the Sibajak would return to Rotterdam, she would make her final passenger voyage to New Zealand and Australia as she had been doing for some time. She departed Rotterdam at 3.05 PM for the very last time ever on June 23, 1959, arriving in Wellington on July 29.

The M.S. Sibajak is seen departing Wellington for the final time on July 29 1959

Photograph by & Reuben Goossens of

She then headed for Sydney arriving on August 5, and finally she sailed to Melbourne, being her very last passenger port of call arriving on August 8.

Once all passengers had left the ship, she departed from Melbourne looking very much a deserted ship as she headed for Surabaya (Jakarta) where the vast majority of the Indonesian, and all of the Chinese crews signed off. She then headed to Singapore where some of her Dutch crew officially signed off and the Sibajak was completely de-stored here as per the requirements by RRL. She then departed with a small crew of just 60 and she heading for her final destination - Hong Kong, where she was soon broken up.

Visit my Eleven-Page MS Sibajak Feature




Mercy Ships is VERY Unique and does Amazing Medical Work.

This is a Work I Personally Support, and have done so for a very long time!

Please Join me and Support this Most Worthwhile Cause!


Mercy Ships - helps those who have severe medical needs in desperately poor lands around the globe, and they need our help!

Everyone on the ship, crew, nurses, doctors, surgeons, etc, is a volunteer, and Mercy Ships completely rely on our donations

Thus your contribution really counts, and be assured it will not be wasted on any on-board wages, as the vast majority of funds received will actually be spent on surgeries and healing children and all those who are in such urgent need of our help!


Enter the Mercy Ships Introduction Page featuring their current ship - M.V. Africa Mercy and their past ships, which include; The 1953 built Lloyd Triestino liner M.V. Victoria, which was renamed “Anastasis” by Mercy Ships in 1982, the Norwegian 1952 built M.S. Polarlys, which was sold to become “Caribbean Mercy” in 1994, whilst the 1961 built Canadian M.V. Petite Forte was donated in 1983, and she was renamed “Island Mercy.” Soon a new ship will join Mercy Ships, being a brand new ship the 11 deck, 36,600 GRT “Global Mercy”, which will have a crew of 641 (including medical staff), with 158 hospital beds, 6 operating theatres and countless other new and exciting facilities!


Enter my Mercy Ships


To Donate Click …


Thank you for your help - Reuben Goossens.



 “Blue Water Liners sailing to the distant shores.
I watched them come, I watched them go and I watched them die.


Also Visit Maritime Links & the Maritime Art pages!


Over the years, I have received many Dear Mr. Goossens emails of thanks & here are just some of them




Featuring over 1,300 Classic Passenger Liners, Passenger-Cargo Liners & Classic Cruise Ships!


************************** &

Where you will discover Classic Liners & the 1914 built MV Doulos Story

The Author has been in Passenger Shipping & the Cruise Industry for some 60 years!


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Please Note: ssmaritime and associated sites are 100% non-commercial and the author seeks no funding or favours of any shape or form, never have and never will!


Photographs on ssmaritime and associate pages are by; the author or from the author’s private collection. In addition there are some images that have been provided by Shipping Companies and private photographers or collectors. Credit is given to all contributors. However, there are some photographs provided to me without details regarding the photographer/owner concerned. I hereby invite if owners of these images would be so kind to make them-selves known to me per email address, which is located above in order that due credit may be given.


This notice covers all pages; although, and I have done my best to ensure that all photographs are duly credited and that this notice is displaced on each page, that is, when a page is updated!



ssMaritime is owned & Copyright by Reuben Goossens - All Rights Reserved