Classic Liners including Trans-Atlantic liners and around the world liners and passenger-cargo liners with just 10 to 240 passengers

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It is time for me to say Good Bye!

Welcome to In recent times, I have added a few more ships to the list and I trust that they will be appreciated! To date I have now written on arouns 625 Classic Liners that includes countless delightful Passenger-Cargo liners from many nations, thus having covered so many of the great liners many lesser-known ships to date, and more recently I have been updating many of my previous features, for believe me some of them really needed a good clean up! But for many good reasons I will now have to slowing down far more than I never have in the past, OK, I hear you say; “But you have said all that before.” And yes I certainly have, and for some reason ships are like a drug to me and it is very difficult to just give up, even though my eyes are is getting worse and worse and my health is slowing me down rapidly! But now it is time to put a halt to writing any further features as well as any other work. Therefore, officially from March 2015 I have officially and completely retired and I will no longer be able to answer any further emails!

But be assured and covering the over 101-year old MV Doulos will remain online indefinitely!

Looking Back:

Besides having written on countless major passenger liners, as well as a good number of humble of converted war-time Victory class ships, such as the type C3 & C4 class ships, some that were rebuilt from humble, fine to rather glamorous migrant ships and these ships made significant inroads into maritime history, as well as providing some wonderful memories for countless thousands of people from the late 1940s until their demise in the 1960s.

This is me in beautiful Tasmania (Australia) around --

ten years ago, seen in the delightful Tamar Valley.----

I have ensured that I was able to cover ships from counties from around the globe, be they the great British liners as well as many of the superbly built and designed Scandinavian, German, Dutch and Belgium ships, many of which were famed for their superb design. Then there were those wonderful French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Portuguese and Greek liners all of which have reached many parts of the globe. But, who will ever forget those excellent American liners such at the great Matson ships and the superb SS America and SS United States, all remarkable ships indeed! However, I also loved covering a host of delightful passengers-cargo ships that plied the globe giving their passengers a voyage of great comfort! Thus, ssmaritime is a site that carefully covers ships from the greatest of great liners, to the most humble passenger ships for I did not forget that there were some amazing ships from other lesser-known maritime nations, including some excellent Australian and New Zealand passenger liners that go back to the mid 1800s and early 1900s! I am delighted that I have been able to cover countless counties, for they all had some amazing passenger ships!

Thank You!

Next, I must say a very special thank you to all the ship lovers around the world, for over the years I have been astounded that there have been hundreds of millions of you reading this site; in fact ssMaritime has just reached over 505.3 million readers. And believe me, the number of emails are reflected in those numbers, and they commenced from the early days, when I was still a clumsy computer hack, with, what I now consider as having some of the most awful pages and pictures when I commenced, but yet you were so kind and still loved them. Obviously those pages must have had the information you were looking for and there was almost nothing online at that time. If you did a search on a ship, all you would find was my site! Thankfully, I learned fast and my sites improved and they started to rekindle countless happy memories when you searched for one or another ship that either you or your parents may have sailed on. Or be it a ship that you may have admired having admired it whilst she was in port. And friends, that was the whole idea of commencing ssMaritime as a 100% non-commercial website to give joy to the multitudes around the world! And for me it has been a great joy and a pleasure to be able to present the many great liners and other ships to you, and all of them are worthy for each of them have touched countless of individual lives in so many different ways and how do I know this? I have seen this through the around hundred and fifty plus emails that I receive day after day thanking me for the memories as well as asking questions, etc!

To Conclude:

As you enter the Main Index located at the top of the Left Bar and the ssMaritime Logo that you will discover a “ship lover’s delight” one that will keep you reading and returning for many years to come!

But, as I finally end my quest, I thank you and send you my best wishes and thank you for your support!


Reuben Goossens - Retired.

Over fifty five Years in the Passenger Shipping Industry

Maritime Historian, Author and Lecturer.

Official Historian of the MV Doulos:

Previously the: MS Franca C, SS Roma, SS Medina built in 1914.

Founder 1995 (online in 1997) of the original:


Enter the ssMaritime SITE INDEX and associated sites via the LINKS located on Left-Bar



The Prinses Margriet was Oranje Line’s final luxurious all First Class Passenger-Cargo Liner to be built. This amazing 9,336.00 GRT, 111-passenger liner was completed in 1961 and she operated between; Antwerp, Hamburg and Rotterdam to the USA and Canada, sailing up the St Lawrence River.

In 1964 Holland America Line (HAL) decided to charter this amazing ship for their specialised luxury Rotterdam - New York service. Considering her popularity (HAL decides very rapidly to purchase this fine ship outright and her advance bookings were amazing! This was certainly not unexpected considering that the Prinses Margriet was not just a popular ship, but a delightfully intimate luxury ship that had received the highest praise and countless accolades from the world’s best and finest maritime experts and that was important in the 1960s! But, the truth is that she was not just the best possible hardware, but the service and the excellent standard of cuisine was simply amazing! My feature will show and describe this ship from every possible angle, complete with her deck plans!

PLEASE NOTE: I had this unfinished feature on file for a long time and when I came across it several months ago, I decided, although I had already retired, and was not able to do much for various reasons, That I would try and complete it. Well it seems to be completed. However, IF there are problems with the copy I am sorry, although I spell checked it, but that does not always do it. If you do find a problem, you could let me know!

Reuben Goossens.

Enter the Two Page - MV Prinses Margriet Feature




MS Doulos

“A Ship Like No Other”


MV Doulos seen just aft of the Brisbane Portside Cruise Terminal on August 18, 2008

I joined the ship on Aug 1, and will that evening for a slow voyage down to Sydney arriving on August 21st.

MV Doulos was launched on August 22, 1914; just two years after the Titanic departed Southampton on her ill-fated voyage. Whilst she was still sailing the “Guinness Book of Records” declared the Doulos was “The world’s oldest active ocean-going passenger ship” and the minute anyone lays eyes on her there is no doubt that this ship is an amazing piece of maritime history. Just look at her supreme counter stern and you know that this is a ship that is very special!

During her 96-year career her hull carried four names and she served in four very different roles. The Motor Ship Doulos was originally built as a Steam Ship, the SS Medina and then sold. During her long career she had three new names appeared on her bow and stern, SS Roma, MS Franca C and the of course the MV Doulos.

AS the SS Medina she was just a simple US freighter, transporting fruit and vegetables to American ports. After a thirty-four-year civil as well a wartime career she was sold and rebuilt as an austere migrant & refugee ship. Later she had several further renovations and she became first a trans-Atlantic liner, and then a luxury cruise ship. When she was a good sixty three years old, she was sold to a non denominational Christian organisation GBA - “Gutte Buche fur Alle” / OM Ships International - Operation Mobilization to become a floating Book Exhibition/Shop and a Christian Outreach ship to the world, and she continued sailing the globe until being decommissioned on December 31, 2010 in Singapore.

Having fought hard to save the Doulos after her decommissioning, I was able to aid a Singaporean man and she is now owned by his Singaporean family concern and the ship is being completely refitted at the shipyards at Batam and I was told that “We are fitting her out to a 5-Star/Boutique Hotel standard and there will be an all-day-diner, a library, meeting/function rooms etc. The Engine Room and related areas will be conserved as a maritime museum. Ashore there will be a swimming pool, a piano lounge cum restaurant, a large banquet hall etc …” (upon completion the Doulos Phos will then hear for) “… the beautiful site on Bintan Island, for it will be will be the new home of the “100 year Grand Old Lady.”

MV Doulos

Please Note: The Doulos feature covers many pages and it is located on my site!



Holland America Line

“Nederlandsch Amerikaansche Stoomvaart Maatschappij”

SS Rotterdam V

“The Grande Dame of the Sea” - SS Rotterdam is seen as built in 1959


Updates: Page 1: Has new photographs in the Mini Photo Album towards the bottom of the page

Page 6: Has the very first edition of the First and Tourist Class Deck Plans, which I have just placed online

What is New in this Feature?

Although I have had a SS Rotterdam feature online, but I have to say that it was rather miniscule and it desperately required updating. I had piled of new material, many photographs, brochures and Deck Plans, etc, which I desired to place online, thus this is in reality an all-new Eight-Page feature of one of the finest Ships ever built!

But the question begs, “What makes the SS Rotterdam that different and so special?” Although, there have been other fine and noteworthy ships, and I should know, as I have worked hard attempting to save a good number of them, but the Rotterdam was without a doubt the last of her kind, for when she ended her sailing days, her era came to an tragic end and those great ocean going days of yesteryears had suddenly ended! For those who love the more traditional ship know well that the new ships that were being built even back then certainly were nothing like the great classic’s, especially the SS Rotterdam, or by then she was the Rembrandt! The new cruise ships featured a great deal of high gloss from artificial surfaces that even included plastics, whilst the ex Rotterdam would have elegant timber wall cladding and fine inlaid timber mural’s. But it just did not end there, for the new ships had miles of high gloss chrome banisters and mirrors and bright lighting everywhere, just like Las Vegas, whereas the Rotterdam featured gleaming brass work which was genuine craftsmanship! Whilst the modern cruise ships today have become hideous giant square boxes, which they call a ship, but it looks more like an Apartment block or as in The Sates; “Condos” with their high flat sides that are covered with private balconies, but little genuine thought is given to the passenger, yes they will add a fancy and a stunning atrium, with heaps of gloss and glitter to impress, but the public venues usually have low ceilings, whereas on the Rotterdam there were souring lounges and Restaurants many of them being two decks high.

The magnificent SS Rotterdam and the SS Dinteldyk seen in Rotterdam in her original livery

The “Grande Dame” the SS Rotterdam has streamlined lines and her graceful bow, but if you look at those modern ships that were put together piece by piece, as everything was prebuilt elsewhere and square parts will arrive at the yards and be fitted to that which is already there, much like building a giant Lego piece!

And here we see a real and a beautiful ship, the SS Rotterdam seen in New York late in the 1980s


Now Go and Read her Amazing Story!

Enter the SS Rotterdam V Feature




My near-Poseidon Misadventure on the P&O Iberia


By Gail Kavanagh

“I recently discovered a fascinating website called ssMaritime, written by maritime historian Reuben Goossens. Anyone who was Australian immigrant in the 60s would have travelled on one of the great liners that plied the UK-Australia run across the International Date Line to the other side of the world. I personally did that run three times, coming to Australia in 1964 as a passenger on the P&O liner SS Iberia, on a working visit, and returning on the Sitmar liner TTS Fairstar in 1965, and returning for good on the P&O SS Oriana in 1969.

A P&O postcard of the SS Iberia

Mr. Goossens’ site has so much information on all these ships that I was happily lost for hours, reliving my voyages through the many photos and ephemera he has collected. But what really caught me eye was the accident-prone Iberia. I was on board this ship in July 1964 when she nearly turned turtle, like the Poseidon in Paul Gallico‘s novel. It was a relief to learn she was accident prone, actually, since I always believed I was a bit of a jinx at sea, and I suspected it was my fault for being on board. But I guess when you mix an accident-prone ship and a human jinx that’s what happens. Anyway I was prompted to write about my adventure.”

Thank you Gail, I was delighted that you were able relive your days aboard these three wonderful classic liners!

Reuben Goossens.

SS Oriana is seen arriving in Sydney in the mid 1960s


You can see what a great looking liner the Iberia was at ssMaritime’s

SS Iberia page - Also visit the; TSS Fairstar & SS Oriana



A Very Special Maritime Memorabilia Contact was founded in 1984, and they have one of the finest collections of maritime items available, be it brochures, deck plans, labels, postcards, crockery, silverware and even furniture from historic ships occasionally. However, I am delighted to say that prices are so very affordable, and often they are far better than what is available on eBay. Mind you, I have found that will have items you will never see on eBay!

Nautiques is owned and operated by Mr. Don Leavitt and he has more than 3,000 items of ocean liner and steamship antiques and collectibles spanning the last century available at any one time! You can browse through the site that has hundreds of shipping lines listed from around the world or visit the main page at …

If you are looking for a rare item then contact Don Leavitt direct at; For the ssMaritime email address, see bottom of page.

PLEASE NOTE: The above item is not a paid advertisement, but a personal recommendation of having had superb service and excellent items from them over many years. In addition and I have found that their prices have always been better than excellent and the goods and service have been superb! In fact so many that I have obtained from I have placed on various pages throughout this site! Thus, I have decided to share it with you as a favour as I am so often asked about memorabilia and where it can be obtained etc!


We must always remember that ssmaritime is and will always be 100% non-commercial, as I do not sell or seek any advertising or funding, thus I do not make a single cent from f my sites as it is a work of joy. In fact it cost me a great deal to operate them, but it is my pleasure to do so and from the countless emails I receive, I know that so many wonderful memories are relived!


Reuben Goossens.



Visit the Following Special Maritime Sites


Peter Knego & Martin Cox’s superb site


Also read Peter’s excellent Decked Out series, which is really worth reading!


Save the Classic Liners Campaign

Read about ships saved, or good ships in danger of being scrapped


Also Visit the author’s cruise pages


Also visit Maritime Links & our Maritime Art pages!



Fully supports the SS United States Conservancy

And we ask that you donate TODAY and become a PART in

Saving the greatest American Liner ever …

The SS United States.





ENTER OUR … ssMaritime Main INDEX &

Where the ships of the past make history & the 1914 built MV Doulos Story

Special Notices


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 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 as this is important to me and this notice is displayed on each page, that is, when a page is updated! 

To contact the author Email me

My email address is ONLY for general maritime enquiries and photograph details, etc

Any request for Passenger, Crew lists & Sailing schedules will not be answered!


If seeking Passenger or Crew information - before you email, FIRST read the notice below!


AN IMPORTANT NOTICE RE THE ABOVE: Regarding Email’s, as I have stated on MOST of my pages, I am sorry, but I will not be answering any emails regarding passenger Lists or information regarding Crewmembers, as I unable to assist!

This is due to, 1. They are not available in most cases, 2. Due to my health, being unable to cope, as I receive around 120/130 emails every single day! Yet people just continue to bother me for either a Passenger or a Crew list, etc, and sadly many of these people can even be rather rude and have no respect whatsoever, considering I have asked them not email me at all!

It is for this reason I am slowly removing my email address (except from this page) from all pages on my site, and although it may still be seen on few pages, it will be removed when my health permits me to do so, and all because of you rude individuals who continue to trouble me, etc, thus do not expect an answer, for you will not be receiving a reply!!

I am sorry for my directness, but I have tried to be nice and polite; therefore, I simply had to be totally honest and direct, for everything I have tried in the past has not worked! Thank you for your consideration!

ssMaritime and its associate sites are and have always been 100% non-commercial and I have placed any paid advertisements, or have been associated with a shipping company or travel agency, etc. Therefore, I have not received any commissions or special favours, except for ship tours, whilst a ship is in port in the role as a travel writer, etc. Thus, I am able to write with full honesty and I am known for not writing without any bias!

Reuben Goossens.

ssMaritime is owned and © Copyright by Reuben Goossens - All Rights Reserved