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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!
Also known in Dutch & English as the “Holland Afrika Lijn” & “Holland Africa Line”
To replace the M.S. Klipfontein, which had stuck an unchartered reef of possibly a WW2
sunken U-Boat an d she rapidly off
This new ship would join her two remaining
of two V.N.S. Fontein Trio of ships, the 10,574-ton M.S. Jagersfontein and Oranjefontein operating on the
A drawing of MS Randfontein by Mr, C. E. A. van Boeckel
by & © Mr. C.E.A van Boeckel
Drawing by & © Mr. C.E.A van Boeckel
The new ship was built in a graving dock by
Above & below: The ship seen during construction in graving dock, Yard 760 in three stages
Her funnel has just been fitted and the M.S. Randfontein nearing completion and will soon be ready for her sea trials
Having successfully completed her speed trials
reaching a good maximum speed of 19.8 knots, and having been completed, the
spotless M.S. Randfontein was handed over to her owners in
M.S. Randfontein is seen arriving in
Over the next two weeks she was fully crewed,
stocked up and prepared for her voyage to
On this V.N.S. postcard the M.S. Randfontein is
Her regular schedule was as follows:
M.S. Randfontein is seen arriving in port
Randfontein was designed to accommodate a larger number
of Tourist Class passengers, than the two older Fontein ships. The First Class
cabins were all located on A Deck, being single berth or twin bedded cabins
with all cabins having private facilities. Some cabins had upper
Like her older sisters, the Randfontein had a large cargo capacity, including refrigerated spaces. Her six holds were distributed, four forward and two aft. She also had deep tanks to transport vegetable oils.
An exceptional photograph of the M.S.
Randfontein seen off the coast of east
Thank you Ineke de Wijs for sending me this fine photo!
With the Randfontein having a boutique typestyle of atmosphere, she rapidly became a popular ship with the Dutch, English, and European as well as South Africans, thus she enjoyed high passenger loadings at least until the late sixties.
M.S. Randfontein Specifications:
Built by:†††††††††††††††††† Wilton-Fijenoord at
Length:††††††††††††††††††† 178.3m - 584ft.
Beam:††††††††††††††††††††† 21.4m - 70ft.
Draft:†††††††††††††††††††††† 9.117m - 30.1ft.
Engines:†††††††††††††††††† 2 M.A.N. Wilton Diesels
Speed:†††††††††††††††††††† 18 knots, 19.8 knots maximum.
Passenger Decks:†††††† 5.
Passengers:††††††††††††† 289 - 123 First & 166 Tourist - with some cabins interchangeable).
Later:†††††††††††††††††††††† 297 - 123 First & 174 Tourist - †††††††††††††† “
.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Public venues & first Class Cabins air-conditioned.
Livery:†††††††††††††††††††† Black hull, red boot topping & white superstructure.†††††† ††††††
†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Black funnel with a broad orange band.
sailed on and her loading’s remained reasonable until around 1968, but as
with all passenger ships, the much loved M.S. Randfontein in due course also
fell in troubled times as ocean going travel became less and less popular, and
passenger loadings decreased rapidly as did cargo loadings, due to
She sailed on and her loading’s remained reasonable until around 1968, but as with all passenger ships, the much loved M.S. Randfontein in due course also fell in troubled times as ocean going travel became less and less popular, and passenger loadings decreased rapidly as did cargo loadings, due to containerisation.
When she returned to Amsterdam on a day in May 1971, she would not depart again for the company and she was laid up, for it had already been decided with that V.N.S had to terminate the Randfontein’s services in May 1971, and dispose of her, which they did!
Randfontein was sold to “Royal Interocean Lines” (RIL) in July 1971
they renamed her and quickly dispatched her to
The Randfontein is seen leaving the
Notable external changes were the removal of a
pair of forward derrick posts, being replaced by a large central crane, in
addition her hull was painted white, with green boot topping, and her black
funnel was given the traditional Royal Interocean Lines Dutch Red, white and
blue flag, but in the centre the white section was in the form of a white
triangle with a gold crown, as the company was under “Royal Warrant of
Appointment”. Internally she was also completely refreshed and modernised
and finally she became a fully air-conditioned ship. Upon completion, she now
accommodated a total of 264 passengers with; 122 in First Class and 142 in
Tourist Class. As soon as she was completed, she would depart
departed Hong Kong on her what could be called her delivery voyage to
Her new schedule was as follows:
A fine stern view of the RIL M.S. Nieuw Holland arriving in a port
With RIL now having three RIL major passengers ships in operation the M.S. Tjiwangi, Tjiluwah, both lovingly known as the “Elegant White Yachts”, but now the M.S. Nieuw Holland would replace the Tjiluwah, which was relocated to another service, thus M.S. Nieuw Holland was partnered by the M.S. Tjiwangi on the Japan service.
The M.S. Tjiwangi one of the “Elegant White Yachts”, but soon her sister, the Tjiluwah would be sold
R.I.L. decided to use the M.S. Nieuw Holland
on a cruise to
The sad truth is that Royal Interocean Lines had miscalculated the time that shipping was heading in, and the sad fact is that the Nieuw Holland, which RIL spent a great deal of money on updating her arrived on the Australia - Japan scene at the wrong time!
Just as it had been with passenger-cargo ships
for some time there had been a problem with ever declining loadings, and
therefore the smaller M.S. Tjiwangi
was withdrawn from service in 1974, and at the same time hoping to use the M.S.
Nieuw Holland, where she might do
better, she was placed on a new service departing from Adelaide on
February 12, 1974. Her new service was sailing from
Not only were bookings drying up but also cargoes
were decliningł the truth of the matter was that time had run out for the
larger passenger-cargo ships around the world, including those sailing out of
At the same time, P&O’s S.S. Chitral and Cathay also operated a similar
M.S. Nieuw Holland’s days with R.I.L. were sadly coming to an end
With Royal Interocean Lines (RIL) having been
operating on the
The M.S. Nieuw Holland’s final voyage from
Nieuw Holland departs for
voyage was a direct service to
voyage was a direct service to
The Nieuw Holland was sold to the
Hai Xing seen here looking very smart in a very rare photograph taken in 1990
During her ten
year China-Hong Kong service, I would receive occasional information that she
had been seen in either
M.S. Hai Xing is seen in
In 1991, the Hai Xing was finally taken out of service and she was laid up at
M.S. Hai Xing is seen here laid up at
She was finally sold to Indian breakers in
1996. For her final voyage to
The M.S. Randfontein - Nieuw Holland as a ship that enjoyed thirty-three years of actual service and five years in her final days in lay-up, before being broken up. She was sadly the last of a magnificent series of V.N.S. – Holland Africa Line Fontein Liners.
V.N.S. & Fontein Ships Index:
Page One:†††††††††† history of the M.S. Klipfontein trio of ships
Page Three:†††††††† of 1958 page.
Page Four:†††††††††† memorabilia and brochures, etc.
Also Read …†††††††† V.N.S. Freighters from 4 to 12 passengers.
.††††††††††††††††††††††††† a delightful V.N.S. 8,336-ton passenger-cargo ships.
“Blue Water Liners sailing to the
I watched them come, I watched them go and I watched them die.”
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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
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 onwww.ssmaritime.com), in order that due credit may be given.
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