Greek Line - TSMS Lakonia
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With Reuben Goossens
With Reuben Goossens
Maritime Historian, Author, Cruise‘n’Ship Reviewer and 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 well over 700 Classic Liners and Cargo-Passengers Ships features I trust these will continue to provide classic ship enthusiasts the information they are seeking, but above all a great deal of pleasure!
“Memories of the JVO”
m.s. Johan van Oldenbarnevelt
Netherland Line Post Card of
the JVO in
It is so hard to believe that a ship that is so greatly loved by so many people from many nations, English, American’s, Canadian’s, Australian and New Zealanders, and not to forget the people of the Netherlands, she became the tragic ship the Greek cruise ship, Lakonia that still lies at the bottom of the sea, resting at a depth of one thousand two hundred fathoms. Strangely enough she sank very close the place where her sister ship the Marnix van St Aldegonde was torpedoed and consequently sunk during the war.
The burning and the sinking of Lakonia shocked
the maritime world and it quickly prompted brand new stringent regulations to
be imposed on all passenger liners. This process of upgrading became known in
due course as the "Safety Of Life At Sea" or
“SOLAS Regulations,” and it has continued right up to the most
recent changes. Due to the introduction of the new and comprehensive SOLAS
regulations, most of the classic ships have been taken out of service. One of
these was another much loved and admired passenger liner, P&O's SS
Canberra, SS Norway, being ex SS France and many other famous liners. Although
some have been saved and are operating as fine luxury hotels, such as the famed
SS Rotterdam of Holland America Line and she is at her homeport in
Left & Right: With the author about to depart on his Christmas
And New Year cruise to
I recall that in 1963, a colourful Greek Line brochure was published and it promised a holiday on the Lakonia that would be remembered and talked about “For the rest of your life.” There is no doubt that this final cruise certainly would not be a voyage that could ever be forgotten, for it will be remembered for many reasons and all of them are bad for it was a voyage that caused the death of too many innocents due to a fire that could have been easily prevented, and it was so small, but with a crew so poorly trained, it simply got out of control and the ship was destroyed due to sheer stupidity!
As a popular Dutch liner, the MS Johan van
Oldenbarnevelt, the much-loved “JVO,” was a most welcome visitor to
Thousands, including the author continue to have wonderful Memories of the JVO for she will live in our hearts forever!
This work is dedicated to the memory of 98 passengers and 30 crew; A total of 128 precious lives that were sadly lost on those two fateful days, 22 and 23 December 1963. Also, to all who have sailed on the wonderful liner MS JVO - Johan van Oldenbarnevelt and just for a few months in 1963 when she was the TSMS Lakonia.
Some of the Author’s Mementos of the JVO
-Right: This Souvenir Pendant was included during my cruise, with the menu at the Captains Diner party.
-Left: Two brass Letter openers are housed in solid timber housing. The medallion reads m.s. Johan van
Oldenbarnevelt. The Netherlands Line House flag is in the center.
A menu cover from my 1961 cruise on the JVO, dated December 21
Above & below: An Ashtray with an anchor with a Netherland Line medallion
A delightful pewter JVO pin, they also had teaspoons with this at the top, but I was not into teaspoons
when I was young, now I have an entire selection from many ships, including the newer MS Oranje
One day I hope to get my hands on one of the JVO!
A beautiful JVO Wine Card cover
A rare 1959 flag menu
A 1930 Commemoration Johan van Oldenbarnevelt Platter recalling her completion in March 1930
Read the Tom Boelen Story
The night the JVO almost went down
Or the - JVO Index
“Blue Water Liners sailing to the
I watched them come, I watched them go and I watched them die.”
“Blue Water Liners sailing to the
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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 only be found at www.ssmaritime.com in order that due credit may be given.
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