Van Nievelt Company, Goudriaan & Co’s Steamship Company / Rotterdam Zuid Amerika Lijn - Their "A Ships" Passenger-Cargo Liners

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With Reuben Goossens

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

Please Note: All ssmaritime as well as my other related maritime & cruise sites are 100% non-commercial and privately owned sites. Be assured that I am NOT associated with any shipping or cruise companies or agencies or any other organisations! The author has been in the passenger shipping industry since May 1960, but although retired and unwell, I occasionally attempt to write an article now and then, in order to bring enjoyment and pleasure to ship enthusiasts past passengers and crew.


Photographs are from the ssMaritime historic collection - unless stated otherwise



The “Van Nievelt Company, Goudriaan & Co’s Steamship Company NV”, Flag

Page One

Part One:

Introduction to “NiGoCo”:

On January 1, 1905, the “Van Nievelt Company, Goudriaan & Co’s Steamship Company, NV.” (‘NiGoCo’) was founded in Rotterdam, the Netherlands and they commenced to transport timbers from the Baltic to the Netherlands and to various other destinations during the summer months. For the rest of the year their vessels would operate general cargo services wherever they would be required. The company operated six steamers during this time. As from 1910, ‘NiGoCo’ owned 10 steam ships between 3,300 and 5,200 DWT (Dead Weight).

Ten years later, in 1920, in cooperation with “Holland America Line” (‘HAL’), they commenced a direct freight a regular cargo service from Hamburg, sailing via Rotterdam and Antwerp the sailing direct to Argentina, although it was wholly owned by “van Nievelt, Goudriaan & Co”, the company in the Netherlands became better known as the “Rotterdam-Zuid Amerika Lijn” or ‘RZAL’, or the rest of the world as the “Rotterdam South American Line”.

Part Two:

Early Ships with Passenger Accommodations & WW2 Losses:

S.S. Alcyone & Aldabi:

In 1921 there was a new stage for the Company, as they introduced several new ships that a capacity for 12 passengers, and the first these were the 4,540 DWT - S.S. Alcyone of and the 4,938 DWT - S.S. Aldabi. However in 1928 ‘HAL’ withdrew their cooperation with ‘NiGoCo’.

The S.S. Alcyone of 1921 she was the first of the ‘RZAL’ ships to carry passengers


S.S. Alphacca (1) & Alpherat (1):

Then twin sister ships the S.S. Alphacca (1) and Alpherat (1) both of 5,500 tons were completed in 1928 and they also accommodated 12 passengers.

A photograph of the 1928 S.S. Alphacca (1) but her sister the Alpherat was identical

The S.S. Alphacca (1) was built by “Wm Gray & Co Ltd”, West Hartlepool, with accommodation for 12 passengers; however in 1938 she was rebuilt and when completed she accommodated 24 passengers.

Sadly during WW2 whilst en route from Cape Town to Freetown, under the command of Captain R. J. van de Laan, and the ship being located 150 miles south of Cape Palmas (West Africa) she was Torpedoed and sunk by the German U-Boat “U-505” at position 01.50 N, 07.40 W, and sadly 15 members of the crew were killed. The “U-505” was under the command of Captain Axel-Olaf Loewe.

The S.S. Alpherat (1) like her sister was also built by “Wm Gray & Co Ltd”, West Hartlepool, ans she also had accommodation for 12 passengers, again in 1938 she was rebuilt and when completed she accommodated 24 passengers.

The S.S. Alpherat (1) was sadly also a WW2 loss for ‘NiGoCo’

The S.S. Alpherat departed Durban on November 17, 1943 at 11 pm bound for the United Kingdom sailing via Suez Canal. The ship was loaded with some 7,091 tons of general cargo, including copper, copper ore, even platinum, tobacco, tea as well as brown sugar. Then early on December 21, The Convoy Commodore signalled that an air-attack was to be expected, therefore all guns were manned by the British gunners and soon enough fire was opened.

Then, at 4.55 pm the Alpherat was hit by a bomb near and slightly forward of the starboard bridge, and an explosion happened in hold 2 with water entering the hold at a high volume. The watertight doors were rapidly closed, but it seemed that water was also pouring into hold 1.

It was decided that all 23 passengers on board had to prepare to leave the ship. Although pumping out the water in holds 1 and 2 it continued to rise, but thankfully for the time being the ship managed to hold position in the convoy.

Then at 5.25 pm it became abundantly clear the ship could not be kept afloat much longer and Captain reduced the speed until; the ship came to a halt. Then her 23 passengers and all her crew of 65 left the ship and waited at a save distance until they were picked up by one of the escort vessels, but they remained near the sinking ship for they were well aware that the ship could brake in two and sink, which she did at 7.10 pm. The Alpherat sank 150 miles east of Malta, position 3520' N, and 1404' E. And thankfully all her passengers and crew were taken back to the UK in complete safety by one, or more escort vessels in good comfort!

M.S. Altair 1:

The 7,258 DWT - M.S. Altair (1) was laid down before the Netherlands was invaded in May 1940, with the intention of carrying 34 passengers. Construction was deliberately delayed and she was not launched until July 18, 1941, but sadly she was seized by the Nazis upon completion and was placed under the German flag. They completed her as depot ship for submarines. But sadly on April 4, 1943 she was sunk by a British air attack near Alesund in Norwegian waters.

Many of the earlier ‘NiGoCo’ steam ships were commissioned for war duties and tragically eleven of their ships were lost, and we have learned about some of these above. In Part Three, we learn of other ships in building that were taken over by the Germans, but were returned to ‘NiGoCo’ after the war.

Part Three:

The Three Luxury and Glamour ships of the fleet - M.V. Alhena (2), Alnati (1), Aldabi (2):

M.V. Alhena (2):

The Alhena (2) was built by “Netherlands Ship Building Co”, Amsterdam in 1940 as the “Algol 1”. However in 1941 she was seized by Germans in service in 1941, she was renamed the ‘Sperrbrecher 29’. But sadly in 1945 she was, heavily damaged at her bow section very much ripped off,

A sad view of the Alhena’s severe damage

Thankfully, in 1947 she was raised and taken to the ship yard where she was fully repaired and given a full refit making her suitable to be returned to ‘NiGoCo’ who then renamed her the “Alhena” (2).

M.V. Alhena (2) seen at full speed ahead at sea

She was 7,289 GRT - 9,480 DWT, had a length of 477 ft, a width of 60 ft and a draught of 25.9 ft, and accommodated 45 First Class passengers on three guest decks.

M.V. Alnati (1):

The Alnati (I) was built by Netherlands Ship Building Co”, Amsterdam in 1940 as the “Albireo” (2). She was seized by the Germans during construction and was completed with the name “Wuri”. In 1942 she was mined and sunk, but in 1945 the wreck was salvaged and a new forepart was fitted and she was fully repaired and refitted in 1948. Upon completion in 1949 she was renamed “Alnati” (1) with a new capacity of 54 First Class Passengers.

An excellent photograph of the M.V. Alnati

Provided by Jonathan Mason Southampton UK


A fine aerial view of the “Alnati”

M.V. Aldabi (2):

The Aldabi (2) was built by “Netherlands Ship Building Co”, Amsterdam in 1941. She like her previous sister was also seized by Germans whilst in construction and completed as the “Wolta”. Then in 1945 she was returned to “NiGoCo” as the “Aldabi” (2).

M.V. Aldabi (2) is seen of the coast somewhere

The source of this photograph is unknown; please see my photo notes at the bottom of the page

She was 7,239 GRT - 9,480 DWT, had a length of 477 ft, a width of 60 ft and a draught of 25.9 ft, and accommodated 45 First Class passengers on three guest decks.


Please Note:

In Part Four I will describe the above three ships interiors and decks, etc, together with photographs, etc, whilst Part Five will cover their final days. Part Six has their Specifications and General Details and Part Seven has three other ships, the Albireo (3), Altair (2) & Alioth (3) and finally in Part Eight the last three ships to carry passengers, but featuring the very last one ever to be built, the excellent 12 passenger M.V. “Algorab”.

Then on Page Two you will find the three main ships Deck Plans as well as those of the; M.V. Albireo (3), Altair (2) & Alioth (3), You will find the link at the bottom of this page.


Part Four:

M.V. Alhena (2), Alnati (1), Aldabi (2) Decks & Interiors:

Each ships offered their guests four decks, from top to bottom they were; Sports Deck, Boat Deck, Promenade Deck, Cabin Deck and Shelter Decks, all of which where located in the amidships superstructure. Sports Deck was located far aft of the Bridge, and it had facilities to be covered from the sun whenever needed. There was also some deck space aft of Boat Deck.

Promenade Deck:

Far forward was a spacious beautifully designed Lounge being the heart of the ship for her passengers, directly aft on both sides were two Spacious Halls, leading to the grand Stairwell going down to Cabin and Shelter Decks. On the Starboard side was a cosy timbered Library with comfortable furnishings and two writing tables. Whilst along the portside was the location of the long Bar, which overlooked the Lounge and there was a door that led out to the ever popular Verandah out on the aft deck. Of course this was the very spacious walk-around Promenade Deck. But the Verandah was fully covered and glazed I and well furnished, thus a well used location for morning coffee and a snack or afternoon tea, etc as well as a drink from the bar, served by a friendly Dutch bar man.

Cabin Deck:

The Alhena and Aldabi layouts were almost identical, as each of these ships had 23 cabins, accommodating 45 passengers all being located on Cabin Deck. The two spacious luxury Twin/Double Luxury Staterooms located forward, one on the starboard, and the other the Portside had their own private facilities, whilst all other cabins had one bathroom located between two cabins and they shared this bathroom, which had a toilet and a shower, two basins were in each cabin. When a guest entered the bath room they would lock the door of the other cabin, etc. This system worked well. In addition there were other spotless facilities close by for both males and females. Cabin Deck on all three ships also had the Dispensary and Hospital located inside far aft, overlooking the aft decks, whilst the Alnati also had a Hairdressing Salon just forward of the Medical Centre.

Shelter Deck:

The Main venue on this deck was located far forward, being the glamorous Dining Saloon, where the cuisine and the service were well known to be simply out standing. There was nothing else on this deck for the Athena and Aldabi.

However as the Alnati accommodated 54 passengers, she had 4 additional cabins along the starboard side of Shelter Deck, offering single, twin or a Pullman berth for a third passenger. And on this, the flagship of the fleet, every cabin had private facilities. In addition the M.V. Alnati was also the only ship to have a dedicated Pursers Office, which was located directly aft of cabin 23.

On all ships Gifts and other items could be obtained from the ships Bar, which was also the ships a small shop. At certain times an Administration Officer would be able to assist with passenger needs on board the Alhena and Aldabi as they did not have a dedicated Pursers office, like on the Alnati.

Now, go and enjoy the Photo Album below.

M.V. Alhena (2)


M.V/ Alhena (2)


The elegant forward Lounge


The Bar with ample bar stools


The delightful aft sheltered Verandah and a specious walk-around Promenade Deck


M.V. Alnati (1)


M.V. Alnati (1) the flagship of the Line


The Lounge


The Bar, looking forward towards the Lounge and again, bar stools everywhere


The Alnati at anchor


M.V. Aldabi (2)


M.V. Aldabi (2) is seen at sea


The Reading Room


The Stairwell was much the same on each ship


The elegant Dining Room


A - Service:

From: Bremen (Germany), Hamburg (Germany), Antwerp (Belgium) and Rotterdam (Netherlands) to Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Santos (Brazil), Montevideo (Uruguay) and Buenos Aires (Argentina).

Return VoyageBuenos Aires, Montevideo, Santos, Rio de Janeiro and Salvador (Brazil) to Antwerp, Rotterdam, Bremen and Hamburg.

C - Service:

From: Bremen, Hamburg, Rotterdam and Antwerp to Recife (Brazil), Salvador, Rio de Janeiro, Santos, Sao Fancisco do Sul, (Brazil), Rio Grande (Brazil) and Porto Alegre (Brazil).

Return Voyage: Porto Alegre, Rio Grande, Sao Fancisco do Sul, Santos, Rio de Janeiro, Vitoria (Brazil), Salvador and Recife to Antwerp, Rotterdam, Hamburg and Bremen.

Part Five:

The final Days M.V. Alhena (2), Alnati (1), Aldabi (2):

M.V. Alhena (2): 

Due to a slump in passenger numbers due to ait travel and other reasons, ‘NiGoCo’ was sold to “Steenkolen Handels Vereniging” (SHV) in 1968. It was in that same year that ‘SHV’, the “Alhena (2) was sold to Cyprus renamed ‘Alda’, then in 1971 she was sold but she retained her name ‘Alda’ and was laid up. Then she was sold to the “Nan Feng Steel Enterprise Co, Ltd”, in Kaohsiung (Taiwan) mid 1973, and she arrived at Kaohsiung on July 15, 1973 being her final voyage under her own power; breaking up commenced on August 10, 1973.

M.V. Alnati (1):

The same applied to the ‘Alnati’, which was also disposed in 1968, as she was sold to Cyprus renamed ‘Alfa’, then in 1971, she was then sold but not renamed, finally in 1972 she was scrapped in Turkey.

M.V. Aldabi (2):

Although in 1967 the ‘Aldabi’ had also been sold to a Cypriot company who renamed her Alba’, in 1970 they sold her to a Greek Company but she retained her name ‘Alba’. Their service was unsuccessful and in 1971 she was laid up, and sold to her to Turkish breakers in 1972 to be broken up at Istanbul.

Specifications & Details:

Ships - 1. M.V. Alhena (2), 2. Alnati (1), 3. Aldabi (2):

Delivery Date: 1. 1943, 2 & 3. 1942.

IMO N: 1. unknown, 2. 501226, 3. 5009427.

Category: Passenger-Cargo Ships.

Propulsion: Motor Vessel.

Deck Type: Open Shelter Deck.

Material Hull: Steel.

Passenger Decks: 5.

Construction Data:

Ships - 1. M.V. Alhena (2), 2. Alnati (1), 3. Aldabi (2):

Builder: 1. Nederlandsche Scheepsbouw-Maatschappij, Amsterdam NV, North Holland.

. 2. & 3. Nederlandsche Dok Maatschappij NV, Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands

Yard N: 1. 279, 2. 81, 3. 82.

Laid Down: 1. June 28, 1940, (named Agol (1).

. 2. September 2, 1939.

. 3. 1940.

Launched 1. June 28, 1940, 2. May 31, 1940, 3. November 23, 1940.

Delivered: 1. 1943, 2. January 20, 1942, 3. February 2, 1942.

Technical Data & Conclusion:

Ships - 1. M.V. Alhena (2), 2. Alnati (1), 3. Aldabi (2):

Engine Manufacturer: Machinefabriek Gebr. Stork & Co. NV, Hengelo, Netherlands.

Engine: Motor, Oil, 2-stroke single-acting.

Cylinders: 8.

Power: 4,400 BHP.

Speed: 13 Knots.

Propellers: Single Screw.

Tonnage: 1. 7,289 GRT. 2. 7,368 GRT. 3. 7,239 GRT.

Length: 1. & 3. 450.60 ft, 2. 476.83 ft.

Beam: 60.20 ft.

Depth: 27.00 Ft.

Accommodations: 1. & 3. 45, 2. 54 (First Class) passengers.

Holds: 1. 2. & 3. Five holds.

Rigs: 16 winches, 18 derricks.

Lift Capacity: 1x40, 1x30, 10x7 & 6x3 tons each.

Grain: 1. 568,000, 2 & 3. 559,000 Cubic Feet.

Bale: 1. 521,000, 2 & 3. 515,000 Cubic Feet.


Part Seven:

M.V. Albireo (3), Altair (2) & Alioth (3):

Amongst these three fine Passenger-Cargo ships there is one vessel that offered 14 passengers, and two vessels with 12 passengers. But each ship has accommodations and facilities were of a very high standard of First Class, as we will see below.

Albireo (3):

This 6,474 GRT ship was built by Nederlandsche Scheepsbouw Mij., Amsterdam in yard 122, and was laid down a Hansa Lines ship named the “Frankenfels”, being a standard type C-Class ship. However, during construction she was sold to ‘NiGoCo’ and she was to be completed as the M.V. ‘Albireo’. She was launched on November 22, 1947, and completed and delivered on June 10, 1948.

Although not the most elegant of the ‘NiGoCo’ ships, but her passenger facilities were superb!

The M.V. Albireo offered accommodations over two decks for 14 First Class passengers all cabins having private facilities. These cabins were singles, two berth, twin bedded, or double bed.

On April 25, 1963 she was transferred to ‘NiGoCo Hamburg’, and she was renamed ‘Procyon’, but then on December 20, 1966 she was sold to “Minoutsi Shipping Ltd” of Monrovia, who renamed her “Minoutsi”.

Here see the Albireo as the M.V. Minoutsi in Cape Town Harbour

In 1971 she was chartered to a Cypriot company, but was not renamed. in 1977 she was laid up, in September 1978 the Minoutsi was sold to “Lasia Maritime Ltd”, Limassol, Cyprus and was renamed “Lasia”. However, she was sold to be broken up early in 1980 to “Keun Hwa Iron Steel Works & Enterprise Ltd” of Kaohsiung, Taiwan. She then made only voyage under the name of “Lasia”, sailing from Piraeus on February 22, 1980, to Kaohsiung where she arrived in March. Her demolition commenced on March 28, 1980. RZAL-Albireo-Minoutsi

M.V. Altair (2):

This 6,410 GRT ship was built by Wm. Gray & Co Ltd, West Hartlepool, UK, and was launched on February 2, 1950, and delivered on July 21, 1950.

M.V. Altair seen sailing at full speed ahead at sea

She accommodated 12 First Class Passengers, all being located on a single deck, with cabins being either a single, twin cabin or double bedded staterooms, with all having private facilities. Aft on this same deck was the Lounge on the starboard side, with the dinning Room on the portside, with the Bar directly aft, and outside was the spacious Verandah. Above were deck paces on Boat and Bridge decks.

The Dinning Room, located portside aft


The Bar located portside aft of the Dining Room and the hallway that overlooks the Lounge on the Starboard side



Above & below: This is double bedded Stateroom N4, located far forward on

the starboard side, it certainly reveals the high standard of her accommodations



Another photo of the M.V. Altair berthed

Sadly in 1956 the M.V. Altair was stranded and wrecked near Vitoria, as she had been declared a complete loss she was abandoned.

Whilst on her way from Buenos Aires back to Rotterdam on April 14, 1956 when sailing from Rio de Janeiro to Victoria, somehow she ended up on the rocks at “Baixio Pequenho”, Victoria (Brazil). Then the next day the Altair was wrecked and abandoned by most of her crew. The captain, chief mate and wireless operator remained on board for the next nine days, until April 24. Apparently the cause was a mistake made by the pilot, whilst a manoeuvre going around Victoria's roadstead.

M.V. Alioth (3):

This 5,421 ton ship was built by “Burntisland Shipbuilding Company Ltd”, Burntisland, Great Britain; in yard N325. During her construction, she was purchased by ‘NiGoCo’ and was renamed “Alioth”. She was launched on April 3, 1950, and delivered to her owners in Rotterdam on September 16, 1950, and before long she headed off for her maiden voyage to South America fully booked with passengers all accommodated in First Class luxury located on a single deck.

A postcard of the 12 passenger M.V. Alioth (3)

On her accommodation and Lounge Deck were six Single Cabins, one Twin bedded Cabin and two Twin bedded Staterooms. All rooms were fully equipped and had Private facilities.

Starboard aft was the Lounge, whilst portside aft was the Dinning Room, with the Bar directly aft, doors from the Lounge and bar headed out to the popular Verandah.

The Dining Room


The Alioth is seen riding high as she has just unloaded most of her cargo

The M.V. Alioth sailed on for just over 12 years, but on March 20, 1963 she was transferred to NiGoCo’s’ German company in Hamburg and thus she was renamed “Yildun”.

Here we see the M.V. Yildun in port

In 1970 the Yildun was sold to the Greek “Toxotis Compai Naviera SA , Piraeus”, who renamed her “Agios Spyridon”, but she was placed under the management of “Evangelos Spyridonos Pothitos & Emmanuel Antoniou Koutsofios ea”, Piraeus, Greece. She sailed under the Greek flag.

The M.V. Agios Spyridon remained with them until 1974 when she was sold to “Sonora Shipping Co. Ltd”, Famagusta, Cyprus, who renamed her ‘Aspyr’, but she remained with the same management Co. She sailed under the Cypriot flag.

There is nothing known of the ships schedules once she was sold, except her new owners and the flag she sailed under, but she was chartered by a Greek company in 1974 and 1974 and she sailed under the Greek flag during that time, but returning to the Cypriot flag thereafter.

All we know about her final days is that she sailed to Taiwan, where she arrived at Kaohsiung on September 17, 1979. Two days later on September 19, she was sold to the breakers; “Chien Cheng Iron & Steel Co, Ltd”, and she was soon scrapped after 29 years of service.

Part Eight:

The final Passenger-Cargo Ships for ‘RZAL’:

The last of the “Rotterdam South America Line (RZAL) ships to carry twelve passengers, were the M.V. “Alkes”, “Algol” and the delightful M.V. “Algorab”, and they where sold in November and December 1977. This meant that then the RZAL had finally stopped carrying passengers.

And here we see the 6,735 GRT M.V. Alkes and she was completed in 1957


This is the 6,735 GRT M.V. Algol completed in 1958

Below I will feature just one of these fine ships the M.V. Algorab.

M.V. Algorab (2):

This 6,723 GRT ship was laid down in Yard N648 named the “Nashira”, and was constructed by; “Werf De Noord NV”, Alblasserdam, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands. When she was launched on October 10, 1959 she was named the “Algorab”, and she was completed and delivered on January 29, 1960. She was 151.14 m long and had a beam of 19.25 m.

A RZAL postcard of the M.V. Algorab

This was without a doubt an attractive looking ship with her engines and superstructure located aft, in addition, she accommodated 12 First Class Passengers in luxury and the ultimate of style.

A modern and colourful Dinning Room on the Algorab


A wonderful bow view of the stylish and sleek M.V. Algorab

On November 19, 1977, she was sold to the “Greek-Holland Shipping Company Ltd”, Piraeus, Greece who renamed her ‘Ifestos” and she was placed under the Greek flag. However she remained under the management of “Van Nievelt, Goudriaan & Co”.

Then in 1979 she was sold to “Dionikos Shipping Company Ltd”, Piraeus, Greece, who renamed her “Fedon”. However NiGoCo’ once again continued as her manager.

The outbreak of the war between Iraq and Iran she was stuck in Basrah on September 23, 1980, as it was impossible for her to leave. But sadly, she was damaged in October 1980 during heavy shellfire at Basrah whilst on the Shatt al Arab River”. Due to severe damage and circumstances, the ‘Fedon’ was declared a “constructive total loss” and abandoned. Then on November 9, 1981 a fire broke suddenly out on board and ship comply was burned out. In 1983 the wreck was sold to “Tropicana Investments Ltd”, Georgetown-Cayman Islands and she was renamed ‘Demon’ and it was planned to have her broken up, however she remained in Basrah and in 1993 her entry in the Lloyd's Register, was removed as a wreck at Basrah and it is assumed that he just rusted away and is no more, or locals may have slowly demolished her, who knows.


Additional Information on ‘RZAL’ & ‘NiGoCo’:

In the years 1956 to 1960, the rebuilding of the fleet continued with eight more cargo ships with passenger facilities. Fruit ships were also operated from 1956. In order to gain a foothold in the tanker business, ‘NiGoCo’ founded the Verenigde Nederlandse Tankvaart Rederij” together with the “Stoomvaart Maatschappij Nederland" in the 1950s. In 1963 ‘NiGoCo’ took over the shares of the Hamburg shipping company A. Kirsten & Co”. on the Hamburg Chicago Line, but made steady losses in this business, whereupon the Van Nievelt and Goudriaan families sold their entire ‘NiGoCo’ shares to “Steenkolen Handels Vereniging” (SHV) in 1968.

The last ships to carry twelve passengers, the “Algol”, “Alkes”, and the delightful “Algorab” were also sold in November and December 1977. This meant that the RZAL had stopped carrying passengers. Between 1956 and 1960, the rebuilding of the “NiGoCo’ fleet continued with the arrival of eight more passenger-cargo ships, as well as some fruit ships that were also operated from 1956.

In order to gain a foothold in the tanker business, ‘NiGoCo’ founded the Verenigde Nederlandse Tankvaart Rederij” together with the “Stoomvaart Maatschappij Nederland" in the 1950s. In 1963 ‘NiGoCo’ took over the shares of the Hamburg shipping company A. Kirsten & Co”. on the Hamburg Chicago Line, but made steady losses in this business, whereupon the Van Nievelt and Goudriaan families sold their entire ‘NiGoCo’ shares to “Steenkolen Handels Vereniging” (SHV) in 1968.ngers, but they added four larger cargo-only ships of 14,700-ton in 1977, and these are still in service to South America in the company of three smaller freighters.

But sadly in 1991 ‘NiGoCo’ finally became insolvent, and the company was then dissolved and their last three ships, the “Norrsundet”, the “Skutskar” and the “Aldabi (4)” were sold in 1993.

A magnificent painting of the M.V. Algorab leaves us with an excellent memory

of what had been a fine luxury First Class Passenger-Cargo Shipping Company!

After the Sale to ‘SHV’:

As I said earlier, the Van Nievelt and Goudriaan Co” families sold their entire ‘NiGoCo’ shares to “Steenkolen Handels Vereniging” (SHV) in 1968. ‘SHV’ fundamentally restructured the shipping company and considering the demand for passengers on their passenger-cargo ships had slowly became a loss making venture, being mostly due to air-travel having become very popular, as charter flights were also operating offering low cost flights. Thus ‘SHV’ removed their two main passenger ships, the “Alnati” and the “Alhena” from the fleet in 1968. In 1971 it ended the loss-making Hamburg Chicago Line and sold all of its ships and dissolved this shipping branch. At the same time, nine smaller ‘NiGoCo’ units were transferred in 1971 to the joint venture with the Greek ship-owner Theologitus “Greek Holland Shipping Line” and they were all transferred to sail under the Greek flag. Other small ‘NiGoCo’ ships were transferred to “Galaxy Shipping & Trading Corporation” in Monrovia where they continued to operate under the Liberian flag, although, both shipping companies were subsidiaries of ‘NiGoCo’ (SHV).

The last combined cargo and passenger ships of the NiGoCo, the Algol, the Alkes and the Algorab were sold in November and December 1977. They were replaced by four cargo ships, each having deadweight of 14,700 tons. At the end of 1983 Steenkolen Handels Vereniging returned to its core business and sold all their shares in ‘NiGoCo’ to the Hamburg-based “Poseidon Holding”, but in 1986 Poseidon passed the company on to German/Danish investors.

But sadly in 1991 the “Van Nievelt and Goudriaan Co” (“Rotterdam Zuid Amerika Lijn”) finally became insolvent and the company was then dissolved and two years later and, their last three identical 4,059 GRT ships being cargo & takers vessels were all sold in 1993;

1. The “Norrsundet” (completed September 1989); 2. The “Skutskar” (completed December 1989); 3. And the last ship of the fleet was the “Aldabi” (4). She was delivered in February 1990 and sold in 1993.

This is the very last ‘NiGoCo’ ship to be built

In Conclusion:

During the life of the Company nine ships had capacity for more than 12 passengers and are a number of these included in this feature as I also have their Deck Plans. Then there where (NiGoCo) three most famous ships, those that carried 45 or 52 passengers and their Deck plans are shown on Page Two.  

Almost without exception, the “Rotterdam Zuid Amerika Lijn” (Rotterdam South America Line) ships that carried passengers were all named after a star, which was understandable considering that that the ‘RZAL’ Funnel as well as their House Flag, being the same as the parent company; “Van Nievelt, Goudriaan & Co” (NiGoCo) always included a White Star.

Remembering the Three Glamour Passenger-Cargo Ships of the Fleet

The M.V. Alhena (2), *Alnati (1), Aldabi (2)

*Photo above is of the Alnati (1) & was provided by Jonathan Mason


Visit Page Two for Deck Plans and some Memorabilia Items



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I watched them come, I watched them go and I watched them die.”


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