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”
Johan van Oldenbarnevelt
MS Johan van Oldenbarnevelt
The ill-fated Cruise Ship
gleaming white TSMS Lakonia is still showing her original Dutch heritage
– She is seen here at
The JVO, now thirty-three years old, was
considered to be a worthwhile purchase by the Greek Line and considering she
had a major refit and a face-lift just a few years ago, the company decided to
use her as a running mate for their other cruise ship, the “Arkadia.” Both ships would cruise in and around
JVO's arrival in
The elegant MS Johan van Oldenbarnevelt was officially handed over at 1600 hours (4 P.M.) on June 8 to her new owners; the British based Mr. Goulandris’ “Ormos Shipping Company,” being a subsidiary of the “Greek Line” He had purchased her for an undisclosed price!
Here we see the official handing over that took place onboard the ship
Officine Mariotti completed a refit at
Greek cruise liner, TSMS Lakonia
The ship, also lovingly known as the
"Grand Old lady,” now reappeared painted all white and a new name,
'Lakonia.' She now looked more like a young maiden. Soon she sailed for
Above & below: Cruising life on board TSMS Lakonia
For a variety of reasons, the Lakonia's performance began to slow and fell behind
schedule. Finally, she arrived in
On 9 December, she entered Number 6 Dry Dock for yet another extensive refit. The fuel injection system was changed from blast air, a novel item when built, to pneumatic. This was considered to be the problem of her poor performance. The company that refitted her, Thornycrofts guaranteed that this new system would enhance her performance as well as her fuel economy.
Ocean Bar & the
Other improvements undertaken at the time were a new kitchen and pantry. Cabins were redecorated with new and additional bathrooms fitted. By Thursday 13 December 1963, she was berthed at 107. She went through all the major safety inspections and passed all her safety regulations. The crew had been put through the full lifeboat and fire drill. Seven lifeboats were lowered to the embarkation deck, after which four were lowered into the water. Lakonia was well equipped with twenty- four lifeboats, with capability of saving one thousand five hundred people in case of emergency. The Lakonia was also in possession of a foreign ship certificate and her inspection was completed with satisfaction. To all concerned, Lakonia was practically a new ship, fully refitted, and with improved engines. This was a ship that had been tried and tested for many years, sailing the globe. She was ready to continue her cruising career.
Captain Mathios Zarbis, a veteran sailor from the Aegean Island of Andros
On Thursday 19 December, she was berthed between the Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary and the Lakonia was gaily flag-bedecked and looked splendid with her hull gleaming white with her fresh coat of paint. Lakonia was indeed ready for her eighteenth cruise in her new guise.
Passengers arrived in full anticipation of
what might lie ahead for them on this exciting Christmas cruise with a number
of wonderful destinations where the weather hopefully would be much warmer than
"Here is a holiday you will remember and talk about for the rest of your life."
No truer statement could have been made, for this cruise would indeed be remembered and talked about, not only by passengers, but also by the whole world!
Please Note: All colour images on this page are from a Lakonia brochure from the author’s collection
Chapter 8 - Lakonia's Final Voyage
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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