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With Reuben Goossens
Maritime Historian, Cruise‘n’Ship Reviewer, Author & Lecturer
Please Note: All ssmaritime and my other related ssmaritime sites are 100% non-commercial and privately owned sites. Be assured that I am NOT associated with any cruise or shipping companies or travel/cruise agencies or any other organisations! The author has been in the passenger shipping industry since May 1960 and is now semi-retired, but continues to write article on classic liners and cruise ships in order to better to inform cruise and ship enthusiasts for their pleasure!
Ex Cunard Liner RMS Media - Later renamed: Flavian, Lavia
This page is all about my voyage on the
wonderful Cogedar liner T/S Flavia. My now late Mother Judith (known as
“Jo”) and I sailed from
The Flavia sailed via Bremerhaven Germany, Tilbury (London) UK, Willemstad Curacao, then to Cristobal and through the Panama Canal to Balboa and then across the wonderful Pacific to Papeete in Tahiti before reaching Auckland New Zealand, but we were booked to head via Sydney to Melbourne.
Although in my later years, I sadly lost a
trunk when moving back to
And on the left is Harbour Tunnel entrance (directly behind me) and further left, the large building is the air ventilation system
A friend of my mother, Michel Bouwman and me onboard T/S Flavia on boarding day
Michel leaves the ship and it can be seen that we are berthed at the Holland America Line Passenger Terminal
This is my cabin and I was booked in the upper berth (C) thus thankfully I had the porthole offering some light, fresh air as well as a view
As we departed
The evening was spent in the spacious two level Riviera Lounge that had a large corner bar located aft of the venue on the starboard side, whilst just forward of the bar as well as on the other side, there were stairs leading up to the balcony, The band stand was far forward with a huge central dance floor. The Italian Orchestra was simply a delight, and of course the song, Besame, Besame Mucho” was always a huge hit with everyone, but they had a massive international repertoire! I made a good number of friends onboard and found a delightful young lady who became my dancing partner and we seemed to be the perfect match, well for dancing that is. We certainly won a few dance competitions!
The wonderful two decks high Riviera Lounge with a full Mezzanine Gallery
These three images come directly from my T/S Flavia Brochure, which can be seen on a separate page
Online very soon
The Riviera Bar
Looking along the side of the spacious lounge
But, the weather as we departed
Flavia berthed in
As we departed Germany, we encountered another wild gale across to Tilbury but I and a number of other young people sat aft by the pool on Lido Deck and could see the moon slide through the clouds, and at times it would be below the stern and next high above us and going from one side of the ship to the other, that is how much we were pitching as well as rolling. It was a whole lot of fun for us up there! But, sadly, many would not have agreed with us! As we arrived in Tilbury, I went ashore and went to the local market and watched one of those salesmen selling dinnerware, it was amazing how their technique worked. Their arms would be filled with plates and saucers, etc and they would be going at it so fast, and yes they were selling them like nothing on earth, for the prices were obviously very good! But, it was to cold for this Australian, and I went back to the ship.
Here is Flavia’s shapely bow seen at Tilbury
Above & below: My tired mother returns on this windy day and is about to re-board the ship
Thankfully several days into our crossing of
the Atlantic bound for the Dutch city of
Yes that is me and I am being fed in the eyes by this dear young lady!
Of course I had been to
The Flavia as seen from the SS Homeric, note her shorelines
On the way back to the ship, I called in to town, which has the feel of a tropical type of Dutch architecture
is always very hot and humid here, somewhat like home I mean, that is
From Curacao it was a short hop to Cristobal,
our port on the western side of the
OK mum, we are just entering the lock, and here you have me taking your picture
at least I can see the locks flags
Well there is the lock, but it is behind us now, but at least we see another small ship behind us!
The ladies hated this photo, because the wind mucked up their hair. So typical, and who is that guy?
I am in the
Once we reached the West Coast we had a stop at Balboa but I remained onboard as it is not a port that remotely interests me, for it is very dangerous and a criminal place, especially at that time! Many decided to remain on the ship, and some who had gone ashore were robbed and even badly attacked by a mob, it is not a great place. But there were those who went off in a large group as was advised who arrived back safe, it was only those who did not heed, who suffered the consequences!
We then sailed across the beautiful Pacific
Ocean bound for my beloved
Then there was an invitation for interested passengers to come in small groups to visit the Bridge and of course I did, although I had already been on a good number of bridges on other ships, but I was looking forward to seeing this one as I was wondering what they had done to it, was it a new Bridge or did they take the original bridge interiors and moved it a long way forward and modernised the exterior.
Surprisingly I discovered all the old RMS Medina equipment and it was just beautiful the way I like it!
But she did have the best and the most modern safety and navigational equipment for her day, etc
Above & below: We were given a talk by a member of the cruise staff and I am offered to take the wheel and steer to
so-many degrees to port, which I did and every one was looking on to see if I would do what I was told! I felt rather good
Looking at these photographs, I cannot believe how skinny I was back in those days?
From the Bridge starboard wing and looking to aft there was this wonderful view of her lifeboats and funnel
The next port of call would be of course
The next port of call would be of course
standing on top of the Lido pool slide, looking at my beloved
Above & below: Mum and I had a visit to town and the ever-popular Papeete Market and I am seen returning to the ship
Above & below:
Late afternoon we took a Taxi to the luxury beachside hotel where we would have a grand buffet and enjoy the Polynesian show
From their beach I took several shots of the Flavia and someone took a shot that included me as well
Above & below: Tahitian Dancers at the Hotel doing the Hula and that very sexy and famed “Tamuree”
At that time a single was released name “Doing the Tamuree,” and believe it or not, it was a huge hit!
Photographs were taken during an earlier voyage © Reuben Goossens
Crossing the Equator & Grand Equatorial Gala Ball
Of course our next adventure was the crossing the Equator and the associate ceremony. King Neptune ruled, but he did have his workers and I was chosen to be one and terrified some of the chosen participant, who was crossing it for the very first time, poor souls! First we had to put them on the table in order to prepare them to meet King Neptune and we had to be very thorough with the routine we were given! When had finished we had to colour their face with a rather horrid smelling coloured thick liquid and send them off to the next stage where they were completely covered in some sort of even worse muck and then the judgement was read out, after which they would be thrown in the pool.
In the evening there was the Grand Equatorial Gala Ball during which, Miss Flavia would be chosen by the King. The entertainment continued and the evening featured a lavish Midnight Buffet in the Auditorium just aft on Promenade Deck, and then it was the Nightclub! Looking back, things were so very different in those days, for we had so much fun and it was never a drunken bunch of louts, like it seems to be on Australia’s P&O Cruises ships these days, were you are almost afraid to cruise on, for it is like a wild jungle of beasts, drugs and sex mad dogs everywhere! I love the days, when we had such good fun and a simple record player had us all dancing up near the Lido Bar by the pool at night, with a drink or two!
Myself (left) and shipmate Tony Kajper are cleansing a young lady from the judgement that was handed
out by King Neptune during the crossing the Equator Ceremony. We were assisted (right) by Otto Steenbrink
Everyone, including the young lady had great fun that day!
King Neptune is seen seated at his Throne, with his mermaids at his feet
And chosen was the very beautiful Metta van de Linde who became “Miss Flavia” in March 1965
Fancy Dress Ball
The next even noteworthy of mention and which
I happen to have a photograph of, is the “Fancy Dress Ball” in the
Riviera Lounge and it was a wonderful night indeed. My dancing partner Janie
(Jane) van de Linde and I had decided to go as “Solomon and
and me seated awaiting the announcement if Solomon and
Having paraded in our fancy dress and the winners selected, with myself and Janie having won first prize, the Ball then commenced. Although not long after having been chosen as the winner, I had to return to my cabin as I was not too well. But, as usual, everyone danced the night away and they enjoyed the many games on offer during the evening, until it was time for the wonderful Midnight Buffet. There were so many wonderful days and nights onboard the excellent Italian liner Flavia and if she was around today, I would go on her again, for she was the perfect ship!
Now I come to something that I have purposely
left out so far. Even though I had a wonderful voyage and I made the very best
of it, but whilst I was in
But suddenly whilst on the Flavia I ended up
with severe “antibiotic poisoning” and the doctor advised my mother
that we had to get off the ship in Auckland New Zealand, although we had a
Nothing was done about my tonsils, which was usual, and I was sent to work in a shipping agency, then around a year later mother decided that it was time to start thinking about heading to Australia.
MS Aurelia Auckland to
Some time later, we boarded the smaller but
pleasant Cogedar liner, the MS Aurelia and we sailed to
Below are a number of images that came from a MS Aurelia brochure and they were kindly provided to me by a dear friend of mine, Stan Evans of Newcastle, Australia who has sailed on countless ships and we have crossed occasionally on a ship, the last time I saw him was whilst on the around the world cruise on the Dawn Princess. Thank you Stan!
The delightful 1939 cargo ship rebuilt as a passenger liner to become the MS Aurelia in 1954
A traditional but stately funnel of the Aurelia
Far forward is the Main Hall on Riviera Deck
The grand Riviera Lounge & Ballroom
The Smoking Room
The delightful Portofino Bar, where Dina Lee and I spent a lot of time
A typical four berth cabin, I had an upper berth on the left had side
It was down below, although we had paid for a superior cabin, yet I ended with a cheapie
Whilst mother was up topside in a single bed cabin, the best on the ship!
PS: Once back
To conclude, I
will just add one more beautiful photograph of the brilliantly rebuilt
once somewhat boxy looking Cunard passenger-Cargo liner the RMS Media, which
became the sleek and streamlined T/S Flavia. Although I was rather ill at
times, but during my time onboard for the most of time, I had a wonderful time
on board. The truth is that she was not just a beautiful ship, but the service
was simply wonderful and the food could not be faulted and the atmosphere
onboard was absolutely perfect, they showed great movies in the Auditorium,
thus what more could you ask for … besides great ports of call, and we
had those in - Willemstad, the Panama Canal and Papeete for they all had their
The superb and beautifully rebuilt liner, Cogedar Line’s T/S Flavia
Maritime Historian, Author & Lecture
Commenced in the Passenger Shipping Industry in 1960!
RMS Media & the RMS Parthia, Remuera & Aramac - INDEX:
Part One: RMS Media & Parthia and the ship that would become the Cogedar liner, T/S Flavia.
Part One - B: RMS Parthia. This is a completely separate but related feature that covers the RMS Parthia that became the SS Remuera and later the SS Aramac.
Part One - C: SS Remuera Malcolm Walker sails on Remuera’s
final voyage to the
Cogedar’s SS Flavia
Part Two: T/S Flavia - History Page
Part Three: The Author’s Voyage in 1965 & Photo Album
Part Four: Passenger Photographs & Menus
Part Five: Cabin Plan
Part Five: Cabin Plan
Part Six: Original Brochure
Other Cogedar Ships featured on ssMaritime:
1: MS Flaminia
2: MS Aurelia
Return to the ssMaritime Main INDEX
Where the ships of the past make history & the 1914 built MV Doulos Story
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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 www.ssmaritime.com 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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