Prinses Margriet 1961 sold to
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With Reuben Goossens
Maritime Historian, CruisenShip Reviewer, Author & Lecturer
Please Note: All ssMaritime and my other related ssMaritime sites are 100% non-commercial and privately owned sites. Be assured that my sites have never been associated with any cruise or shipping companies or travel/cruise agencies or any other organisations! The author commenced working in the Passenger Shipping Industry back in 1960 but is now very much retired and I hope that the well over 625 articles on classic liners and cruise ships that I have written will continue to inform and also bring much joy to ship enthusiasts for many more years to come!
Photographs & Images are from a brochure or a deck Plan, whilst others are from the authors private collection or as noted!
I believe that this is a very special feature, for it covers a special Dutch company that is not considered as one of the greats of the world and to be honest, it certainly is not counted as one of the greats. Yet the Oranje Line has a fascinating history that began just in 1937 when a young man had a grand vision!
This vision blossomed into a fine fleet of 27 great ships that included 15 cargo ships that carried between 6 to 12 passengers, as well as their three final superb passenger-cargo liners which accommodated 60, 115 and 110 passengers. The two last ships were the most remarkable in design and also for their super luxurious appointments; in addition these ships were known for their fine service and sublime dinning!
This feature will cover the early years and I will just a mention several of the earlier ships as well and then the companys final three liners. But as you will have noticed, I am highlighting the finest of them all the MS Prinses Margriet, for she was in a way the Queen, the crowning glory of the Oranje Line!
A Background on the Oranje Line:
It would be on July 16, 1937 that a rather
young 23 year old Mr. Anthony Veder founded the N.V.
Maatschappij Zeetransport that later became known as
Oranje Lijn Oranje Line! He had the idea to
commence transporting fruit and nuts from the south of North
By the end of the war more ships would be built and some would even commence to carry passengers in excellent accommodations. In 1946 a ship that had been commenced prior to the war, but was damaged and was left in her damaged state until the builders could continue was the 2,680 GRT (Gross Registered Tons) MS Prins Willem IV and she was the first AV ship to offer accommodations for 12 passengers and operated on the Rotterdam to Canada service.
MS Prins Willem IV; note her early livery, with a yellow funnel with the AV logo for Anthony Veder on it
This logo would remain until the company officially became the Oranje Lijn
Other ships were soon built some operated as
cargo ships, whilst others carried from 6 to 12 passengers in
excellent accommodations. However, far greater things were to
come from this company that was now establishing itself in the
passenger trade from the
The First Passenger Cargo Liner for the Company:
The companys very first actual Passenger-Cargo liner was the MS Prins Willem van Oranje (2) built in 1953, which offered excellent accommodations for 60 passengers, all accommodated on two decks. Those on the Upper deck had three berths and the rest up on Passenger Deck with twin bedded and all had private facilities. This Deck also had a forward facing lounge, a spacious Dining Saloon along the portside and the Bar located aft.
Prins Willem-van-Oranje-2 was
MS Prinses Irene:
The MS Prins Willem van Oranje was followed by
the far superior and much larger 8,525 GRT MS Prinses Irene was
built by De Merwede Hardinxveld, the
Here we see an advance starboard side view illustration of Prinses Irene, which was in building
She was launched by Dutch Royalty in July 1958 and she entered service in April 1959. She accommodated 115 One Class passengers in superb accommodations and fine facilities. Her accommodations were located on two decks and there were two deluxe suites, and other cabins were for two all having private facilities as well as folding beds, meaning that the cabin became a lounge during the day. The external feature was the unusual funnel with her curved blades that were designed for efficient exhaust clearance!
MS Prinses Irene is seen now featuring the Oranje Line logo on her funnel with the OL logo as see at the top of this page
MS Prinses Irene operated on the
Here we see the Orange Line 1961 Schedule which features both the Prinses Irene and Prinses Margriet
However it is the Prinses Irene that is featured on the cover of the schedule
From June 1 to the end of September 1964
Prinses Irene was chartered to Cunard Line, after which in 1964
she was sold to Indonesia to be rebuilt into a passenger ship for
Muslin pilgrims and was renamed in 1965 Tjut Njak
Dhien. In 1978 she was sold to Indonesian Navy renamed
Tanjung Oisina 972, but the very next year in 1979
she was rebuilt into a troop transport ship. She became badly
neglected and she ended up beached near
MS Prinses Margriet:
One of the fine paintings of the Prinses Margriet by a great Dutch Maritime Painter, Mr. W.J. Hoendervanger
For further paintings by Mr Hoendervanger, Enter: www.wjmaritiem.nl
With MS Prinses Irene in service, the company
had their designers busy working on a new, but a slightly
larger ship. Yet it was decided that this new ship would be of a
similar design but far superior and more luxurious. This resulted
in the construction of the 9,423 GRT MS Princes Margriet, which
saw her keel plate laid down on March 1, 1960 at the De
Merwede Shipyards on the
cover of the Preview folder with information on the Prinses
Margriet, this folder was handed to the Travel Industry on both
sides of the
Then on December 10, 1960 the Oranje Line
passenger-cargo Liner, the Prinses Margriet was launched sadly
not launched by her namesake due to illness, but by her eldest
sister, Crown Princess, HRH Prinses Beatrix who did the honours
cutting the ribbon attached to the bottle of champagne that
smashed against her bow and she then slowly slipped down the
slipway. It certainly was a festive and a well attended event
with the burgers standing at every possible vantage point that
was available to see the new ship slide down into the
HRH Prinses Margriet van Oranje
Once in the water, she headed to her fit-out berth and was completed and painted and fully fitted out internally to stringent conditions On June 6, 1961 she departed for her sea trials which were successful, although at one point she somehow stuck an underwater obstruction and when she returned to port it was decided for her to enter dry dock to have her hull checked, but with some minor hull damage being repaired she was soon back in the water and after a few other minor changes on board she was delivered to her owners on July 4, 1961 in Rotterdam. There she was manned with her officers and her crew, as well as being fully stocked for her passengers and crew needs for her maiden voyage would commence very soon.
The Ship and her Fittings:
Lines - all new MV Prinses Margriet heading off to
The Cargo Ship: Although having superb passenger facilities, it must not be forgotten that she did have a considerable cargo capacity, having five holds, three forward and two aft, which were serviced by a total of thirteen derricks from her two masts, sub kingposts and mini-kingposts.
Besides being a long and a sleek looking liner with a beautifully shaped bow, her livery was a grey hull up to just below her Upper Deck, with the rest and her superstructure all in white. Her yellow funnel certainly stood out due to the narrow vertical blades that surrounding most of the funnel. There was a narrow horizontal bar surrounding the funnel and in the centre there was the Oranje Line small OL logo. The idea for the blades was in order that an airstream could flow through the funnel and assist to carry the fumes away from the ship.
The Passenger Liner: There are no doubts that the MV Prinses Margriets interiors were acclaimed by many for being simply glamorous, - luxurious and so full of charm. Thus she was noted for her many architectural and interior achievements and that included her accommodations as well as the magnificent service that was provided by her excellent crew. At the time all the reviewers noted; The Prinses Margriet is in my opinion the perfect cargo-passenger ship, for she is a ship that has almost everything a fine Atlantic liner would have.
Public Facilities: Forward on Promenade Deck there was the ships Main Lobby with its beautiful and elegant curved staircase that served the three main passenger decks, Promenade, Upper and Main Decks below. At the lobby there were the large welcoming glass doors into the spacious and glamorous Lounge that swept across the forward section of the superstructure. The décor of this venue was sumptuous with timber wall cladding with art works featuring in all the right places, on there was quality blue and red patterned carpets and the venue itself was superbly furnished with cosy sofas and comfortable lounge chairs, However, the main feature of the venue was the huge floor to ceiling windows that overlooked the bow and the sides of the ship during the day, and were covered by red drapes in the evening. Along the starboard side there was the dance floor for there was music available for passengers to enjoy their nightly dancing.
Regarding the brochure with her interiors, considering I was unable to obtain any photographs of her interiors from her Oranje Line days, I used those from the brochure shown as well as her deck plan on the relevant page. Then there is a collection of postcards and other exterior photographs shown under both company liveries. But as you will see that the brochure I used is from her Holland America days in 1964. Enjoy!
The Holland America Line Brochure Cover of the MV Princess Margriet as seen in 1964
All the colour images below of her interiors and one deck photo were sourced from this brochure which is from my private collection
The opening page of this four-fold brochure
Entrance to the Lounge as seen from the lobby and the curved Stairwell
Starboard corner of the Lounge looking into the Verandah
Just forward of the above photograph is the dance floor, but note the glass panel, which is also seen in the first photo!
On the port side of the Lounge, passengers could enter the luxurious and spacious 64-seat Dining Room, thus this venue was more than ample for her 111 First class Guests. The décor was stunning and honestly it could well be perfect on any 5 Star luxury cruise Ship, such as the Queens Grill on a Cunard ship! Again it features those spacious windows, but more importantly the cuisine on board was equally excellent and the Oranje Line became famous for its presentation and quality! The Galley was located aft of the Dining Room.
A view of the dining Room looking aft towards the Galley, note the alcoves and the beautiful artwork on the side walls
A couple having a meal in one of the alcoves and it does features the fine art
On the starboard side of the Lounge passengers could enter through glass doors into the long Verandah and just like the lounge there were those large windows the full length of the Verandah.
The Verandah had an elegantly decorated lounge area, with the aft long area being perfect location for relaxation in comfortable deckchairs and tables whilst enjoying the occasional refreshments and chatting with friends.
Verandah was a long fully glazed in area and a popular space for
relaxation whilst crossing the
Also located on the Starboard side and accessible from the Verandah was the Writing Room and Library. This venue had an all timber cladding and bookcases with attractive artworks featured on the walls. The furnishings was the very same as used in the Lounge, except the carpets has a small check pattern. Aft was the Library section with a sofa, table and some lounge chairs, whilst forward here were the writing desks with chairs.
The delightful Writing Room and Library
Aft and accessible from the Veranda was the beautiful dark timber clad Ships Bar, which was obviously a very popular venue onboard. The slanted and rounded bar was located towards the starboard side of the venue, allowing ample space for a lounge area for two three-seat sofas, two long timber tables and four chairs. Middle aft of the venue there were two tables with for chairs each and there were eight bar stools along the Bar. Thus the venue could seat guests and that would overflow into the well-furnished Verandah!
The Ships Bar
With a spacious deck space aft of it and ideal for sun baking or various minor sport activities, such as shuffleboard, etc. Her top Deck Sun Deck was another spacious deck for sunning or activities.
A view of the deck space aft of Promenade deck
Accommodations: Her cabins were either twin bedded or singled bedded rooms with *all having private facilities. The majority had a bath with a shower overhead, whilst the Single bed cabins bathrooms had a bathroom with shower closet.
A twin bedded cabin on Main Deck with private facilities
In all cabins one of the lower beds would fold
away and become a comfortable three-seat sofa during the day. In
addition, if required, one upper
*On the Prinses Margriet there were just two cabins located far aft on Upper Deck, numbers 32 and 33 that did not have private facilities. However, they did have their private toilet directly outside of their door and there was a single shower reserved exclusively for these two cabins on the starboard side, opposite cabin 31, next to cabin 33. Thus it was not like on other ships where you had to wander far afield at night to find the toilet, for it was right outside your door!
Other Facilities: Aft on Boat Deck was the Phone booth and the Radio Room. Of course in the early 1960s the luxury of having a telephone in cabins was not as yet available! The baggage Room was located one deck down on Upper deck aft. Whilst located forward of the Lobby and the curved stairwell on Main Deck, was what was known as the heart of the ship, being of course the Pursers Office and right next to it was the Gift shop with the Hairdressers all neatly located together. Whilst further aft on the portside was the doctors reception room and there a small two-bed hospital located further aft!
There was no doubt, but the late and the famed Maritime Historian Mr. Laurence Dunn who published the much loved Books, entitled: Passenger Liners certainly loved this delightful ship and he said in his book (she is) a ship notable for her charm, excellence of accommodation and also service. Thus this great man, I once knew is very much agrees with me when it comes to this amazing little liner!
Prinses Margriet is seen sailing on the Nieuwe
Waterweg heading for the
Now a Note of Fact:
However, by the time this perfectly designed passenger-cargo ship arrived on the scene, the truth is that it was really too late, for the time for this type of passenger transport was tragically on the way out! Today, we realise of course that slowly it would affect all of the passenger shipping trade and all major liners would be slowly either sold off or change direction and be refitted or rebuilt to operate in the more profitable cruise service! But small ships with around a 100 passengers were not suitable for the cruise industry, well not for very long any way for the demand would be for better and more facilities.
Having been completed and delivered, she was
fully stored and made ready for her maiden voyage on July 12,
1961. She first sailed to
Having been completed and delivered, she was
fully stored and made ready for her maiden voyage on July 12,
1961. She first sailed to
Margriet returns from
She would now collect her Dutch passengers and depart for her maiden Trans-Atlantic Voyage
Ports of call:
During the winter season some of these voyages
were simply not possible for many ships, but as the Prinses
Margriet having an ice-strengthened hull, she was able to sail
longer than most ships, but this was a difficult region!
Therefore between July 1961 and May 1963 the Prinses Margriet was
only able to undertake six prolonged voyages far into the North
American Continent and just two sailings that were able to head
up the St Lawrence River to
A special Anniversary Brochure as the Oranje Line was celebrating 25 Years in the shipping industry in 1962!
1962 sailing schedule for both the Prinses Irene and Margriet
The Oranje Line decided that during these times
to operate her and her sister the Prinses Irene on the
However, by early 1963 Oranje Line began to realise that somehow that their passenger operations sadly were just no longer a financially viable. Thus urgent decision needed to be taken. It was decided that the 60 passenger, 1953 built MS Prins Willem van Oranje would now operate just as a cargo ship only and the Prinses Irene was chartered to Cunard Line in 1964, and later that year she was sold to an Indonesian company or her to be converted to become a pilgrim ship.
are a Changing & Holland
Thus Oranje Line commenced to think of selling
the pride of their fleet in the near future, then a little later
in 1964 she was chartered by Nederlandsch-Amerikaansche
Stoomvaart Maatschappij N.V.,
A Holland America Line postcard of the MV Prinses Margriet
However, as the Prinses Margriet fitted in perfectly in the HAL stable and being of a ship of such a high quality, she was purchased outright by Holland America Line. Yet the company decided not to rename this delightful ship in 1964. Thus, the Prinses Margriet became a very rare ship in the HAL fleet, in that she never had the traditional Holland America Line dam at the end of her name, like Westerdam. But, for the first nine years she remained very much the same luxury liner that was built by Oranje Line, although the ships Livery had changed, with her funnel now being yellow with the traditional HAL two green bands with the white one in the middle.
She continued relatively successfully through
to 1970 and considering that countless ships were being withdrawn
during the 1960s, the Prinses Margriet did well to continue so
long, but she was popular with her passengers. Yet the Westerdam
was suddenly sold to the breakers late in 1964, but with the
success of the Prinses Margriet and she continued sailing. But it
was obvious that passenger loadings were not what they used to
be, although the repeat business was still good. But the other
factor was that cargo trade was changing with containerisation
slowly arriving on the scene. Thus the time came in 1970 that
Holland America was making a decision what to do with her and she
Nauru Pacific Line changed her livery, with her
hull being painted all grey with only the amidships
superstructure and masts being white and it certainly did nothing
for her looks. Then her funnel was repainted in what was supposed
to be in symbolic colours and an interesting, if not a strange
explanation was given, but I did find it was interesting, but it
had problems. The Nauru Line claimed that her dark blue funnel
represented the ocean, not that I have ever seen the ocean that
was royal blue! The yellow band stood for the equator and the
Here we see the Enna G berthed, note the funnel colours, if that blue represents the sea, then I am colour blind!
I know that I could tell a very long story about this small dot of an Island nation named Nauru, that due to copra suddenly became wealthy with the aid of Australia opting of assisting in stripping this little country of just about all of it in rapid time! Due to all this rapidly gained wealth they set up a shipping company, as well as an Air Line and any local citizen could make use of their ships or aircraft!
The ship was to be operated on the inter island
trade as well as the occasional voyage to
and below are two photographs of the Enna G, one still berthed
and the next seen departing
by & © Stan Evans
Having had a swimming pool installed in one of her aft holds during a refit in Japan, it was decided to operate her as a cruise ship out of Sydney and her first departure was in May 1972. Apparently, occasionally she also carried some cargo, but sadly the ship was plagued with mechanical problems and breakdowns, due to maintenance problems. Then there were problems with her crew, many of whom were Fijian and sadly the answer was, just to sack them all. Due to the aforementioned, the Enna G was laid up in Wellington New Zealand for four months for the severe treatment of the native crew and although there was a meeting between the Prime Minister of New Zealand and the President of the Republic of Nauru, it became, as it was reported a heated one and came close to blows. In addition, there were the all too frequent arrests for non-payment of debts and it was getting worse and worse as time would pass.
A ship most miserable under arrest once again for non-payment of debts, which was a regular event!
Considering she was unsuccessful both as a
cruise ship for her owners it was decided in 1973 to place her on
In 1975 Enna G headed for
We see her close to her final days
After her refit she operated a number of failed services, then in 1977 the MV Enna G commenced a new Cruise and Container service, including visits to a number of small Pacific Islands such as; Majuro in the Marshall Islands, Ponape in Micronesia, Truk in the Caroline Islands, Saipan in the American Governed Mariana Islands and then to Honolulu and San Francisco, her new service began fairly successfully as a cruise and cargo liner but However considering that the MV Enna G was a foreign ship she was prevented to operate a passengers service due to cabotage laws between any of American administered Islands in the Pacific, especially Honolulu in Hawaii and the USA Mainland ports! It was decided to continue the operation on a cargo basis only, however soon enough with her high fuel consumption and exceptionally low cargo loadings, being mostly due to the larger and more fuel efficient ships were now taking the majority of the available cargo, thus sadly the Enna G became a burden for the company.
In 1980 the ownership of the Nauru Pacific Line
vessels were transferred from the Local Government Council
of Nauru to the Nauru Corporation (
She continued to operate from Melbourne to Nauru transporting containers and occasionally a few passengers, but once again, considering due to the sheer inefficiency and never ending breakdowns, due to maintenance problems she was returned to Melbourne where the this tragic ship the Enna G was laid up for twelve months. She was first located alongside the Duke dry-dock and then she was languishing next to the Orr dry-dock. Living aboard were four men who were mostly being paid to keep an eye on her as well as ensuring that she would not be vandalised.
This once great all First Class Luxury, Orange
Line and Holland America Line passenger-cargo liner certainly did
not fare well during her second phase as a ship owned by
Originally, some of the greatest of maritime
historians, including myself had laden this fine ship with
highest praise for not just being luxurious and glamorous, but
also a ship that offered the highest quality of service and
finest of meals. And that was something that the Enna G owned by
this tiny Island Nation failed to do. Let us be honest, the
But, it was in 1983 that the final insult
arrived, as the Enna G was relocated to Majuro Atoll a tiny
atoll, so low that at some King Tides the Island could even
disappear, it is part of the
With the Enna G having been having been laid-up at Majuro Atoll for a long seven years she found in a disgusting run down state, thus it was decided to finally sell her the Thai Ship breakers in 1990.
As her engines were no longer operational having been completely neglected, she departed undertow in August of 1990 for her final voyage to Thap Sakae where she arrived on September 8, at the Ocean Steel Co. Ltd. Breakers Yard. However it was not until March 13, 1991 that her breaking up began, and it was reported to be completed on July 14, 1991.
Comprehensive Details & Specifications:
De Merwede Shipbuilders, Hardinxveld The
IMO Number: 5285370.
Keel laid down: March 1, 1960.
Launch Date: December 12, 1960.
Trials: June 6, 1961.
Delivered: July 4, 1961.
Maiden Voyage: July 12, 1961.
Tonnage: 9,336.00 GRT (Gross Registered Tonnage).
. 7,763.00 Deadweight Tonnage.
Engine built at:
Verolme Machine Factory IJsselmonde N.V.,
Engine details: Motor, Oil, 2-stroke single-acting.
Engine Type: Single 10-cylinder diesel engine of a M.A.N. design - 8,600 BHP.
Speed: 17.5 Knots.
Decks: 5 passenger decks.
Passengers: 111 First Class.
Oranje Lijn N.V.,
MV Enna G -
MV Enna G - Nauru Corporation (Victoria) Inc.,
1990: MV Enna - Ocean Steel Co. Ltd., Thai ship breakers.
What was a Fine Classic
Remembering What was a Fine Classic
Passenger-Cargo Liner ~ The MV Prinses Margriet
This fine painting of the MV Prinses Margriet as seen in her Oranje Line livery
Now go and see her Deck Plan
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Photographs on ssmaritime and associate pages are by the author or from the authors 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 (my email address may be found on www.ssmaritime.com only), in order that due credit may be given.
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