TSMV Oriental Queen

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With Reuben Goossens

Maritime Historian, Cruise‘n’Ship Reviewer, Author & Maritime Lecturer

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 since 1960, although is now retired but having completed over 700 Classic Liners and Cargo-Passengers Ships features I trust these will continue to provide classic ship enthusiasts the information the are seeking, but above all a great deal of pleasure! Reuben Goossens.

The Oriental Queen seen in Auckland New Zealand - December 1965

A contributor to ssMaritime Mr. Stanley (Stan) Evans has provided me with a series of photographs that he has taken whilst on a three week cruise on the TSMV Oriental Queen from Sydney in 1965. This is his story and accompanied by his Photographs.

My Cruise on a Delightful Japanese Queen



With Stanley Evans

The idea of sailing on the famed Australian ship Kanimbla is always a tempting thought, even though she has been sold to a Japanese cruise company who renamed her “Oriental Queen.” Although she certainly looked charming in her all white livery and Stan decided to go ahead and book a three week festive Christmas and New Year cruise on her departing Sydney on 19 December 1965, cruising the South Pacific.

At least after so many years I retained the original Toyo Yusen ticket

“We sailed from Sydney to Auckland, Suva, Nuku’alofa, Pago Pago, Apia, Noumea, then back again to Auckland and Sydney. I recall there was little entertainment aboard other than the nightly band playing for the ever popular dancers that would take place on the enclosed deck area in the front part of lounge deck. Movies were shown in the same area. The swimming pool aft was certainly well used during the day.

Food wise we had Western one night and Japanese the next, I can say I have not eaten Japanese food since! However, I was extremely happy with the cruise and every one seemed to enjoy it very much as it was also simpler days.

I had an outside two berth cabin with a window that opened onto the lower promenade deck aft, below promenade deck. The Japanese crew used to use this deck and we spent many happy hours trying to communicate with them and listening to their recorded music. They seemed to love Chinese Opera as I remember and since then I have also loved it.

Strangely enough we never say many ships during our cruise except after five days we saw the luxury, all first class Matson liner SS Mariposa. Strangely after five sea days when she appeared we actually resented her intrusion into our little world!”

Oriental Queen Photo Album

This album also contains three images sourced from a brochure showing the ships interiors and the rest are photographs taken by Stan Evans whilst on his cruise. All images on this page have been provided to me by Stan and I am most grateful to him for his story and photographs, and I am sure that all my readers who dearly love this ship will be overjoyed when they discover this new page on this greatly beloved ship!

The aft decks and pool

Stan continues: “Looking at this photo again, reminded me that there was a small top deck between the rear of the funnel and the rear king posts. It was very much free of wind as it had some white canvas sheeting fastened to the railings. I remember that myself and some friends were the only ones who ever used that wonderful small deck overlooking the pool and rear decks. During the entire cruise we never saw anyone else up there, thus it became our own personal deck and we spent many happy hours up there making up ridiculous naval phrases such as “hoist the captain” and “lower the poop deck”, etc.”

The Cocktail Bar was always a busy spot on the ship


The Dinning Room was happy but could be noisy!


I am sure that this photo hails back fro her Kanimbla days, but it shows on of the better twin bedded rooms


A fine bow view of the ship in Auckland - New Zealand


Details of her starboard side looking aft – in Auckland


Another detail of the ship looking forward in Auckland


Oriental Queen in Suva - Fiji


Detail of her portside in Suva


Seen from a lookout and the Oriental Queen looks a delight – Pago Pago, American Samoa


Back in Auckland New Zealand


An aft look at her starboard side of the ship

Stan wrote: “It was a very happy time on a most wonderful ship, and at a time when life was more gentle and far less rushed. I feel so privileged to have sailed on this handsome and wonderful liner for my holiday on the Oriental Queen is still as vivid in my imagination today as if it had been yesterday.”

The author of ssMaritime concludes.

Three weeks on the Oriental Queen at first may have seemed like a long time, and although this ship had a rather relaxed atmosphere there were plenty of deck and sports activities up on deck as well as the ever popular swimming pool, as well as the relaxing lounges or reading good book in a cosy corner, but time still tends to fly and before you know it you are sailing back into the worlds most beautiful harbour, Sydney and you are home again.

Obviously, as we have read Stan fondly remembers the Oriental Queen as being a fine Japanese Queen, and although she has sadly now long gone, like all good and well built ships - MS Kanimbla, TSMV Oriental Queen will never be forgotten!

Credit and a special thank you! Images on this page, except as marked otherwise were provided by a ship lover and a wonderful supporter of ssMaritime, Mr. Stanley Evans of Newcastle NSW Australia. I am most grateful to Mr Evans for providing these photographs and images obtained from brochures, as well as so many others related to various ships I have online!

TSMV Oriental Queen seen towards the end of her career

This photo is by & Dr. G.R. Wilson

MS Kanimbla / Oriental Queen - Index

Page One The overall history of the Kanimbla and Oriental Queen

Page Two Oriental Queen images and menu sent by a past Purser

Page Three Stan Evans cruises on the Oriental Queen - December 1965

Page Four Lorraine’s voyage to the Commonwealth Games in 1964 on the Oriental Queen


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



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Photographs on ssmaritime and associate pages are either by the author or from the author’s private collection. In addition there are some images and photographs that have been provided by Shipping Companies or private photographers or collectors. Credit is given to all contributors, however, there are some photographs provided to me without details regarding the photographer or owner concerned. Therefore, I hereby invite if owners of these images would be so kind to make them-selves known to me (my email address can be found at the bottom of the page on www.ssmaritime.com), in order that due credit may be given.

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