Netherland Line MS Johan van Oldenbarnevelt, sold to become the TSMS Lakonia

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Maritime Historian, Author, Cruise‘n’Ship Reviewer and Maritime Lecturer

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MS Johan van Oldenbarnevelt

Chapter Four

A New Lease of Life

A fully refitted JVO is ready to depart Wellington for one of her popular cruises

Photo by Reuben Goossens

In 1958, the Nederland Line decided major reconstruction was required, rebuilding her to operate the world service with the Oranje. Johan van Oldenbarnevelt would travel out eastward and Oranje westwards. The AU$800.000 contract was awarded to the Amsterdam Dry Dock Company and took three months to complete. Accommodation was reduced to 1,210 passengers in 247 two berth, 90 three berth, 81 four berth several six berth. Three deluxe cabins with private facilities were added on B deck. All other cabins shared facilities. In addition, on B deck a new contemporary style nightclub was added. Other additions were second swimming pool together with the colourful Lido Bar. Happily, the original public rooms were retained and restored to their former splendour. Partial air-conditioning also was being fitted at the time. The central deck space on promenade deck became the new cinema and an alternative lounge with cane furnishings. Hinged windows were fitted to parts of the promenade deck, giving shelter whilst in cold climates.

A popular Netherland Line postcard provided to passengers on board

After reconstruction, Johan van Oldenbarnevelt's appearance had changed dramatically. Gone was the main mast and her fore mast had been cut down to the crosstree. On top of the bridge was a new main mast, used as signal post. Decks were extended aft, but the most striking new feature were her funnels that were heightened and given rounded tops. Her funnels were given a brighter look with a new yellow colour with shiny black tops. With her hull now painted light Grey the now 20,314 GRT Johan van Oldenbarnevelt looked very attractive and had a well-balanced and modern profile.

JVO had new domed topped funnels fitted


The windows to the indoor pool

Photo by Reuben Goossens


JVO’s New Brochure


A brand new JVO brochure released late in 1958 of a new look Liner and Cruise Ship!

From the Author’s private Collection


Please Note: The brochure below can be enlarged. Just CLICK on the Brochure or the LINK below and a new page will open!

When the page opens the image may reduce, however, just click on it to return to it full size of 2742 x 1035 pixels.

The large sized brochure below was scanned and provided to the Author & is by Mr. Hans de Zwart


Click HERE to Enter the Large version of the above Brochure


Click HERE to Enter the Large version of the above Brochure

The splendid looking Johan van Oldenbarnevelt departed Amsterdam on Thursday 2 April 1959, with a new lease of life. Her new route being, Southampton, Port Said, Suez, Aden. Arriving in Fremantle on 30 April, Melbourne 5 May, Sydney 8 May, and Wellington 13 May 1959. Returning to Amsterdam via, Papeete, Panama Canal, Port Everglades, Bermuda, and Southampton.

JVO seen arriving in New York City

From 1959 to 1963, she operated Trans Tasman cruises between the months of December and February. Due to her many calls into Australia and New Zealand, and these popular cruises, the Johan van Oldenbarnevelt became much loved by the cruising public in New Zealand and Australia. She became lovingly known as, JVO.

JVO on a Trans Tasman Cruise - Auckland NZ 22 December 1961

Photograph by & Reuben Goossens



Go to Chapter 5 - JVO the Cruise Ship


Or the - JVO Index



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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 in order that due credit may be given.

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