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With Reuben Goossens

Maritime Historian, Cruise‘n’Ship Reviewer & Author


The Three Dutch “Victory” Ships


SS Zuiderkruis - SS Groote Beer - SS Waterman


Photo Album


A fine artist impression SS Groote Beer – This was an official postcard

I am sure that here will be many who have sailed on these ships and will be able to look back to their days onboard. I know that they were certainly the most stable ships at sea, and many horror stories have been told over the years. I trust you will enjoy this page, and if you have anything to add, you are more than welcome to email me link on the main page - see bottom of page.

SS Waterman

The Dutch Government purchased these three Victory ships and were placed various services without much alterations. Before their extensive rebuilding in 1951, these three ships were austere to say the least, as the three SS Waterman items reveal. However, after their rebuilding in 195q, they were remarkably improved as the SS Groote Beer Photographs shown down the page prove.

We should understand that all three ships were almost identical as far as their interiors were concerned, and having visited all three of them, I would not have known which ship I was on whilst on board as the lounges and public spaces were identical. Thus, although I may have some of the images under various ships, please take them as being relevant for all three ships. However, please note, these ships did have various refits during their years, thus there were various changes over the years!

The Main Lounge


A corner of the writing room


A corner of the Dinning Room


A typical 6 or 8 Berth Cabin as found on all three ships


SS Zuiderkruis prepares to depart



SS Groote Beer


The SS Groote Beer seen in Sydney Australia late 1950

SS Groote Beer, as with the other two ships were greatly improved. A good number of lounges and bars were installed and her accommodations saw new cabins and small dormitories built. Externally these ships changed remarkably. One deck was added and the bridge was placed on top, but far forward. Spacious sport and sunbathing decks were added aft. As can be seen below, the lounges, dining room and cabins remained basic. I personally remember my many visits to these ships (I was employed by Dutch Mails in Wellington New Zealand) these ships were well maintained and her public rooms were quite cheerful. Generally passengers tended to be happy with their surroundings and pleased with the service and food onboard. These three ships were simple but offered that distinctive Dutch atmosphere.


Above & below: The Lounge



 This was one of the interior lounges located between the passageways


 Plain and simple


 Dinning Room


 Sports Deck


 Four berth cabin



Above & Below: A Trans-Ocean brochure




SS Groote Beer ready to depart  

So we have come to the end of ssMaritime’s feature on these three Dutch Victory ships. Sadly, I was unable to obtain and photographs of the Margareta (Waterman) and Marianna IV (Groote Beer), owned by the Latsis Shipping Company.

 A fine painting of one of the Dutch Victory ships

Sadly the Painter unknown

If you have anything of interest to add, be it a story and photographs, I would appreciate hearing from you email me:


Page One The history of these three ships.

Page Two Ships – General Photo Album.

Page Three Theo Kroon Story - They sailed from Amsterdam to Wellington - September 1956 - Lots of great photos!

Page Four Passenger List for the SS Groote Beer, Rotterdam, Halifax, New York on January 16, 1957. Provided by passenger Simon de Vente – Two other (SS Waterman) passenger lists are also available on THIS page via links provided.

Page Five Here is another passenger list, but this time for the SS Zuiderkruis sailing from Holland to New Zealand and Australia. She departed on December 9, 1960. It was kindly provided by Mr. Gabriel-Bosch.

Page Six SS Groote Beer Passenger Lists from 1951 to 1962. Provided by Mr Hugo Schouten!

Page Six-B Hugo Schouten’s voyage on the Groote Beer including, Groote Beer passenger lists from various voyages. This link takes you to Hugo’s own story on his website.

Page Seven Passenger Dr. Barbara Wollman sailed in 1955 on the SS Groote Beer from New York to Rotterdam and returned on the Zuiderkruis.

Page Eight Bob ter Haar kindly provided the passenger list of his voyage on the SS Zuiderkruis from Amsterdam to Australia, January 16, 1959. He came to Australia with his family.

Page Nine This is the story of soldier Frank Lovell who finally returned home, having fought so many battles during WW2 throughout many parts of Europe on the SS Costa Rica Victory, (later the Groote Beer) in September 1945. The three parts are by Franks daughter Mary Lovell, Frank himself, through his Dairy, and myself using Mary’s notes. This page has countless actual photographs of the Costa Rica Victory, most of which Frank took on board!

Other passenger lists currently available online

Passenger List dated 25 April, 1955

View it online


Also SS Waterman departed from Rotterdam on Friday April 1, 1955



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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!




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