Emails to say thank you

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With Reuben Goossens

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

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.

Emails of Thanks


Such wonderful Memories of those wonderful days, now long gone!

There are still many of us who will remember those memorable days when families and friends came shipside, and as the liners were about to depart, hundreds of colourful streamers would be thrown by passengers down to family and friends dockside. Then as the ship was about to depart bound to faraway places on the other side of the world, the streamers would eventually break, and it would be the last contact for many as they would be either migrating from Europe to the USA, South America, Australia, New Zealand or South Africa, or possibly heading back to their homeland to visit family or permanently, as well as many tourists.

The ship seen departing above is the ‘Netherland Line’ M.S. ‘Johan van Oldenbarnevelt’ departing Fremantle, Western Australia on May 3, 1961 for her long voyage to Amsterdam, sailing via Melbourne, Sydney, Wellington, Papéeté, Balboa, Cristobal, Port Everglades and Southampton, arriving in Amsterdam on June 22, 1962.


I have been encouraged to place this page online by a countless number of my supporters, for it is not something I would normally have done. However, after so many having said to me, although be it having been said to me in various ways; “just do it Reuben, for far too many do not realise how much your 42 years as a maritime historian, and with around 29 years of these having been online has meant so much to countless millions around the world.” Thus having been pushed for so long, here it is.

Having written on well over 1,300 Classic Passenger Liners, Passenger-Cargo (Combi) Liners, humble converted American Victory & C3 Class Ships into Migrant Liners, with some being converted into fine and stylish, to even sleek looking Ships, such as the Flotta Lauro Line sisters, TN Roma and Sydney (rebuilt 1951) and the delightful TSS Fairsky (rebuilt 1958). In addition I have covered a good number of fine Classic Liners that have become fulltime Cruise Ships. I suggest that you visit the ssMaritime Main INDEX, where you will discover an amazing listing of ships from many countries around the world, including Britain, the USA, many European countries, including Scandinavian, Eastern European, South American Ships, Asian, as well as Ships from New Zealand and Australia, and the list just goes on and on. Happy reading!

Reuben Goossens.                                                          

Commenced in the Passenger Shipping and Cruise Industry in 1960.



Emails of Thank you received:

Dear Mr. Goossens.

Thank you for your herculean efforts and dedication to what you have achieved with your website. I know of no similar source of information and I have delighted in reading features from time to time and now read that you have retired.

I wanted to let no more time slip by to thank you very much for recording the history of so many vessels and your marvellous efforts to achieve this.

It is also a pleasure to read of your background and know that you have found so much enjoyment in your profession to want to chronicle so much about it.

My interest in your work is through my love of ships, passenger vessels and freighters.

I changed course in my career after commencing as a sea-going deck officer on freighters. I enjoyed the work but where the ship was my workplace, I not have the time to appreciate the beauty of ships; such was the schedule of activity. It was only after I came ashore and worked in naval design and architecture that the appreciation of ships past, present and future inspired my great interest.

And then there was the added dimension of the historic travel component to appreciate as well, when the speed of travel more closely related to the speed of thought, in the days when we were one with the travel environment.

Many thanks to you and my very best wishes.

Allan Lowther Porter.


Great Website, Best Regards, Ian Robertson.


Dear Sir,

I think that your web is one of the very best and most complete web about maritime history on Internet!

Yours sincerely,

José L. Delisau R.

Spanish Merchant Marine Captain (R).

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Canary Islands.


Thank you Sir,

As a child I was a passenger on the Italian Transatlantic liner T/V Irpina in 1955. For years I have searched the internet for a history of this ship that became a major part of my story. Thank you for such meticulous detail of her history.

God bless you for your gift of in-depth research

Much Grace and blessings,

Janet Gould.


Dear Mr. Goossens,

I just wish to officially thank you for providing me, during my time in retirement, the countless hours of reading your informative pages on There is no doubt Reuben, if I may call you so, that ssmaritme is packed with countless treasures, and you remind me of the passion had by my late friend Laurence Dunn. Having had correspondence with you in the past, I know that countless ones have contacted you who have discovered the ships they have sailed long ago sailing to their new homes far across the globe, and that must have provided you with a great deal of satisfaction for you have done all this out of the goodness of your heart, and it must have cost you a great deal, yet you have never asked for donations or advertising to fund your sites. I applaud you for what you have done my friend, and as we are both getting older, and I know your health is not great and that you are retiring, but know that you are appreciated!

Wishing you the very best for the future,

William E. Warwick

(The now late ex Commodore of the QE2).


Dear Mr. Goossens,

I just wanted to express my appreciation of your website. My parents immigrated to Australia from the UK, on the RMS Ormonde's final voyage in 1952, and I was thrilled when I found your history of the ship, and all the photos of her.

The entire website must have been a truly mammoth job for you, and must have taken you millions of hours to gather all that information.

Thank you so much for all your hard work.


Robyn Denton


Dear Sir,

I have just experienced a nostalgic trip down memory lane reading your information about the Oriental Queen and viewing the photographs. She was a fine ship. Loved her size and her beautiful lines, they certainly do not make ships like that anymore.

I was working in Auckland in the early sixties and during that time had the privilege of spending time working in the duty free shop on the Oriental Queen during which time we did a number of Tasman crossings, one of which we experienced the fury of a cyclone which drove us to New Caledonia instead of a direct route to Sydney. On one occasion the Oriental Queen did a cruise for ex NZ servicemen where the ship visited various Pacific islands where New Zealand troops had fought. While they were having their remembrance services on these locations, the Japanese crew were holding their own commemoration services on deck when I recall they threw rice cakes into the sea.  

I recall in the Solomon Islands the air conditioning wasn't working. It was too hot to sleep in my cabin so spent the evening up on deck. This was a rather special cruise.  

I have always intended to take a cruise as a passenger but could only do it on a small ship. The massive cruise ships of today, in my opinion, are just horrendous.

Thank you for your interesting website and the memories it has awakened.

Judith Balnaves.


Dear Mr. Goossens,

This is the first time I’ve encountered your magnificent website, and I must say I’m impressed. My experience of these classic liners is limited to a holiday I took with my parents in 1961 on the Union Castle mail ships to Cape Town, but sadly, although I have many happy memories, I have no photos or mementoes.

In connection with the Chitral & Cathay, you mention menus provided by Mr. Colin P. Boyce. I believe I was at school with Mr. Boyce, but sadly I have lost touch with him.

With kind regards,

Jeremy Dyer.


Dear M. Goossens,

I am a shipping and historian journalist and I admire your job and personal campaign for to save the last ocean liners. What a different kind of ships they were from the present floating blocks of flats! But, in a material world, very few can expect about romantic dreams form to preserve that beauty’s from the past. Almost all of them had fall along the last years. But they will survive for ever in our old pictures, books, models or drawings. I have a many, and now they are part of my loved souvenirs from a vanished era.

With my sincere congratulations.

Kind regards

Gabriel Alomar Bouzas.


Dear Mr. Goossens,

I met you on board the MV Dawn Princess’ around the World Cruise in 2009 which was Australia’s very first ever world cruise product, although I boarded in Auckland, and I recall your excellent knowledge of so many classic liners as well passenger-cargo liners. After I arrived home, I checked your website, and have been reading it ever since, and I am so delighted that you have written on many New Zealand ships. You may possibly recall that I mentioned that I had been a steward on various Union Steam Ship ships, a career I dearly loved, and we actually met when you were aboard the MS Matua during those days you worked with the USSCo back in the 60’s, and there we were on a long world voyage! Who would have thought then that you would become such an outstanding greatly respected maritime historian, well known around the world!

Thank Reuben for the huge catalogue of ships you have covered and I pray that you will be able to continue to write on many more ships, for there are just no maritime historians who are as detailed as you are! Thank you so much, and it was such an honour meeting you again on the Dawn Princess.

God bless you, and best wishes,

Your shipmate Vernon S, Wellington NZ.


Hello Reuben,

I thought you may like some pics taken when we visited the Doulos during her visit to Brisbane in 2008!

I came to Australia on the great SS Australis & have enjoyed your page about her history immensely. Thank you so much!

My brother was with us on at the time, who is a marine engineer thus he was fascinated by her engines, which is why we have a photo of the engine room.

I hope you will enjoy them,

Kind regards,



Mr. Goossens

I found your article on ssMaritime so very interesting, my name is Per Källner and I am a Naval architect.

I was responsible for all the delivery and installation on board the superb liner the Raffaello in charge of all the air-treatment equipment such as the air-conditioning, ventilation, air extraction, cooling and heating onboard her. I worked for a Swedish Company ’Flakt Marine’ (today ABB) together with the Italian Company ’Dell Orto Chiricatti.’ Under me were between 250 to 400 workers and 50 draftsmen during the construction time.

In addition to this I sailed on her maiden voyage from Genoa to New York and further to trips to New York, as well as during Mediterranean Cruises.  All this as being a Guaranty Engineer

I lived on lived with the Raffaello for so long, on and off for extended periods, from July 1962 to October 1965, and lot of serious very funny and strange things happened. As far I can remember or have heard from of my fellow engineers working on other work on board, very few accidents occurred. Strange as the safety measures compared to today was very poor, for there were no helmets or protection gloves, if you had a hardhat you were an engineer. However one of the most amusing thing that did happen regarding the Raffaello was the Place were the she was actually built; at the “Arsenale Triestino,” which was a WWI Austro Hungarian Naval Base originally built by Emperor Franz Joseph before 1861.

Best wishes,

PER Källner, I am a Swede and now 86 years old.


Dear Reuben,

First of all thank you for such a wonderful website

I am truly amazed at how you can publish so much information about so many different ships and their crew. I just wish I knew where to start!

Kiind regards,

Dr Peter Wilson.


Hi Reuben,

I have just come across your webpage about the SS Oriana. Wow, that brought back fond memories. I was onboard this beautiful ship in September of 1968 when it sailed from Vancouver to Auckland New Zealand via Honolulu and Suva in Fiji.  I was a young Canadian lad emigrating to NZ and had my 19th birthday on board a day before arriving in Suva. The Oriana was still a two class ship in those days, not sure when it became one class. My wife has also travelled on the Oriana with her first husband and family after she had become a one class ship.

Prior to the Oriana trip, my parents and 6 children had sailed on the SS Orsova in November 1963 to New Zealand from Vancouver and made the return voyage home on the same ship in November 1964.

Thanks again Reuben for putting together such a wonderful bit of history.

Nelson and Maree (NZ).


Dear Reuben,

I came across your website as I was researching my grandfather’s journey from Ireland to Australia in the early years of the last century.  I had found passenger manifests and such like, but nothing on the ship itself until I found your wonderful site.  I write to thank you for all the time and effort you have taken to record and present this part of Australia’s story.  It helped me a lot as I work with my dad (87) to write up the story of his father.

Many thanks,

Paul O’Shea.


Dear Sir,

Just dropping a line about your web site regarding the history of the MS Nelly. I enjoyed the history of the ship. My mother and I sailed on her from Hamburg Germany to Halifax in 1951. Both my parents have now passed but I found an old photo of that ship in the family album, and I decided to Google it and found your amazing site. I just wanted to thank you for your efforts on passing so many good memories.


Willy Zygar.


Dear Mr. Goossens,

May I thank you for the fantastic article you have written about the MTS Odysseus. 

I was a singer aboard the ship during her 2000 season and I became very attached to this lovely cosy cruise ship, and I have many happy memories of her. I often wondered what became of her and although I feel an inevitable end for the Odysseus, I feel better knowing what path she took. 

I thoroughly enjoyed your feature online and I thank you for a refreshing article and providing me with such wonderful memories.

Kind regards                                                                                   

Dave Markiewicz UK


Dear Sir,

I have just read your account of the SS Ocean Monarch (ex RMS Empress of England). As the longest serving officer on the vessel, from just after she came out of Cammell Laird to just before she went to scrap, I would like to compliment you on her history. It brought back many great memories, including working in a hot top boiler drum in Sydney

Once again many thanks.

Kind Regards,

Len Michaels.


Dear Mr. Goossens,

In July/August, 1953 I sailed on both the SS Waterman and the Zuiderkruis from New York to Rotterdam and back. They were used as student ships at the time, full of college kids on a jaunt to Europe. Heineken beer was at 10 cents a bottle. There were all Indonesian crew below decks and the cabins were as pictured online, 6 to a cabin and the ship was packed. I obtained such pleasant memories reading your website.

Many thanks,

Ben Sadock, New York.


Dear Mr Goossens,

Thank you so much for your most enjoyable and enlightening records. I was recently filing my deceased mother’s documents when I became curious as to what ship she had emigrated on. Thus I did a search and it was your pages that were perfect to fill in all the gaps. From comparisons with your records I can identify that my mother sailed on T/N Sydney Voyage 5, and this has been confirmed as I have now located her passage ticket.

Therefore, please find attached scans of her ticket, and you have my full permission and free licence to use the attached for your records or for public distribution as desired.

Best regards and heartfelt thanks for your interest and diligence in recording the history of these two fine sister ships, the T/N Sydney & the Roma.

Raymond (Aus).


Hi Reuben,

Greetings from the United States!

Thank you so very much for taking the time to write back to me regarding the M/V Franca C cruise my Grandparents sailed on. The details you have provided me about their travels are absolutely wonderful and entirely what I was hoping to learn. Thank you for the detailed layout of the ship, it is so fun to see exactly where their cabin was.

Your knowledge of cruise ship history cannot be matched and I hope your website will be a wonderful help to all other on the internet who are doing their own research of any type.

Best wishes!

Courtney Cordaro.


Dear Reuben

I just wanted to send you a quick email to say how delighted I am to have found your site. I am researching the preparation of a small book about my father’s life 1931-1952 in Germany and then his migration here to Australia and I could not believe that I found so much information about the ship on your site!

I have just watched the video of the Fairsea and it brought a lift to my heart to see and listen to it. What a present to share with him this Christmas of memories! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for doing this research and creating this site.

Danke vielmals und frohe Weihnachten! (Thank you very much and Merry Christmas!)


Fiona Gringe.


I just wanted to thank you so much for collating all this wonderful information about the RMS Ormonde. I am writing up my family history and I found that one of my aunts travelled to the UK in 1923 first class aboard this ship. Amazing! Kind regards Virginia.


Dear Reuben

I have only just recently discovered your website and immediately added it to my list of quality maritime history sources or “maritime bibles” as I like to call them. My original search was for the R.M.S. Olympic.

The Olympic was the finest of the three sisters. It is a shame that she was scrapped without having her entire interior photographed. She certainly wanted her fair share of attention having rammed into all sorts of things. Gives me a chuckle. It was almost as if she was jealous of her sisters’ fame.

Thanks to your goldmine of a website, and all of your superb work, I have so much more to discover about maritime history.

All the best, Sir. 

Salvatore - UK.


Hi, I would like to say thank you for all the information on the MS Fairsea for I came to Australia on this ship. It was the most wonderful time of my life and it brought me to tears just remembering all the good times having has a very tough life, as well as being able to get so much information on the ship. Thank you for bringing back so many good memories which I had long forgotten.  I am so very grateful to you!

Best Wishes,




To everyone who has written me, thank you so much you have been more than kind. And it is greatly appreciated. Although I have now retired due to heath problems, but I still enjoy the volumes of emails I receive every day.

Keep enjoying it was created for you to relive those wonderful days when ships were real ships, not like so many of the current cruise ships that are more like floating apartment (condo’s) or theme parks, come resorts and casino’s, and all are now based on how they can strip you of as many dollars a possible! In the days of great ocean travel, you paid your fare and everything was included, except your drinks and excursions. But no one ever attempted to sell you additional drink packages or for the spa, the photographer or the many optional restaurants, and the list just goes on.

Also on all my sites, you will never be annoyed by pop up advertisements, or any other kind of ads, for, and are all 100% non-commercial, as I am not associated wit any shipping/cruise company, or travel agency, and although I have receive most lucrative offers to have advertisements placed on and, considering there has been well over 533 million readers from Australia, New Zealand and from around the world, I have refused all offers, which would have made me very rich indeed! But I have just one love and that is to give pleasure to all who have sailed on the excellent ships that have been and have relived some wonderful memories, and brought them joy!

Again thank you for contacting me with your appreciation!

Reuben Goossens.


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

Return to the ssMaritime MAIN INDEX &

Where you will discover over 1,300 Classic Liners & the 1914 built MV Doulos Story

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


Also visit the …

Save The Classic Liners Campaign

Founded in the early 1990’s - The author is the founder and president


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 (my email address may be found on only), 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