Please Note: Firefox and some other search engines are not suitable – Use “Internet Explorer” for this page to load perfectly!
Click the logo above to reach the ssMaritime FrontPage for News Updates & “Ship of the Month”
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 around 680 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! Reuben Goossens.
MV Hikawa Maru
Page One - History Page
Hikawa Maru seen as a trans-Pacific Liner in the mid sixties
She was launched on September 30, 1929 and completed
on April 25, 1930. She commenced on her maiden voyage from
Amazingly Hikawa Maru and other N.Y.K. passenger ships were involved
in assisting Jewish refugees escape from the Holocaust. There were those who
Late 1941 Hikawa Maru became a hospital ship. For this role her hull and funnel was painted all white with a wide green band along her hull, as well as two red crosses on each side and on the superstructure and funnel.
During the war the Hikawa Maru struck mines on three occasions, however due to her extra thick steel plating and she suffered only minor damage.
Above and Below: Two images of Hikawa Maru as a Hospital Ship
On August 14, 1945,
I received the following inspiring email from Mr and Mrs Borchert (on November 25, 2008) in relation to the final voyages of the Hikawa Maru. I am sure you will find it touching!
“On a return trip to
During her 30 years of proud service the MS Hikawa Maru crossed the Pacific some 254 times, and it is estimated that she carried around 25,000 passengers as well as a massive amounts of cargo. Her magnificent career was about to end, yet her days were certainly not numbered!
Soon a new role was found for this fine ship, for in 1961 Hikawa Maru was refitted to become a floating youth hostel and a maritime museum. Sadly parts of her engine spaces and lower sections of accommodation decks were gutted to facilitate dormitories. At first she was an attraction and was quite popular, however, as years passed visitors to the hostel rapidly declined and it was closed in 1973.
Hikawa Maru remained at her berth and
continued to operate as a
Hikawa Maru at her
It came to the point that the
Hikawa Maru seen from
However, “Yomiuri Shinbum
News” quoted an unnamed N.Y.K. spokesperson as saying that, if no buyer
is found for Hikawa Maru, N.Y.K. would “like to” or “hope
to” take over responsibility for the “preservation of” Hikawa
Maru. The ssMaritime “Save a Classic Liner Campaign” supports the
preservation of this vintage liner and hopes to see her remain in
This is a ship with a simple beauty!
Good News: Happily, NYK Line made good on their promises and began the restoration of the historic Japanese liner in August 2007. On April 25, 2008, this fine ship was renamed NYK Hikawamaru (however I believe that the name on her hull is unchanged) and she was reopened to the public with great fanfare. The day of her official opening just happened to be her 78th birthday.
For further information Visit the NYK Maritime Museum & NYK Hikawamaru Website.
NYK Hikawamaru is
promoted in “Kanagawa Now” -
“In front of
Hikawa Maru, a fine stern view
Built: Yokohama Dock Company,
Yard No: 177.
Launched: September 30, 1929.
Maiden Voyage: May
13, 1930 -
Length: 163.3m - 536ft.
Beam: 20.1m - 66ft.
Tonnage: 11,622 GRT (Gross Registered Tons).
Engines: Burmeister & Wain diesel Copenhagen, Denmark.
Screws: Twin screws.
Speed: 17 knots (max 18.5).
Passengers: 339 passengers in total.
. 75 in First, 78 in Tourist & 186 in Third Class.
Final voyage 1960.
. She had carried 25,000 passengers in 238 trans-Pacific voyages.
The reopened Hikawa Maru seen at her berth in 2008
Hikawa Maru INDEX:
Page One: Hikawa Maru history page
Page Two: The Schlesinger family escapes Nazi Germany
Page Three: Photo page one
“Blue Water Liners sailing to the distant shores.
I watched them come, I watched them go and I watched them die.”
Visit our ssMaritime Main INDEX
Where you will discover around 680 Classic Passenger & Passenger-Cargo Liners!
Where the ships of the past make history & the 1914 built MV Doulos Story
Please Note: ssmaritime and associated sites are 100% non-commercial and the author does not seek funding or favours and never have and never will.
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 on www.ssmaritime.com), in order that due credit may be given.
ssMaritime is owned & © Copyright by Reuben Goossens - All Rights Reserved