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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 a good 612 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 that is, for some reason ships are like a drug to me and it is so very hard to give up, even though my eyes are is getting worse and worse and my health is slowing me down every day! But now it is time to put a halt to writing any further new features as well as all other work for as off February 2015 I am officially retired and will no longer continue to write for certain reasons! But be assured and covering the over 100-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.

The author seen in the Island State of Tasmania (Australia) around ten years ago-

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 Dutch, Belgium, German and Scandinavian ships, many of which were famed for their superb design. Then there were those wonderful French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish French, Portuguese and Greek liners all of which have reached many parts of the globe. But, who will ever forget the excellent American liners, and I also loved covering a host of excellent passengers-cargo ships that plied the globe giving their passengers a voyage of great comfort! Thus, ssMaritime covers from the greatest of great liners to the most humble passenger ships! 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 all having some amazing ships!

Thank You!

Next, I must say a very special thank you to all my dear friends and ship lovers around the world, and believe me there have been many millions of you, in fact ssMaritime has just reached over 505.1 million people who have read this site and its associated pages. And believe me, so many of you have emailed me from the very beginning, when I was still a clumsy computer hack, with some of the most awful pages and pictures at first, yet you were so kind and loved them, for obviously those pages must have had something. But I learned fast and my sites started to rekindle countless happy memories regarding one or another ship that either you or your parents may have sailed on, or a ship that you may have admired for a long time whilst she was in your 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 I can tell you that it has been a great joy and a pleasure to me, being able to present the many fine 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 the proof of this I have seen as the thousands of emails that I continually receive day after day thanking me for the memories!

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

New & Updated Features NOW Online!

The Four LINKS below will take you to the relevant feature on THIS page!

1      Holland America Lines (HAL) SS Rotterdam V of 1959 was lovingly known as “The Grande Dame” of the Sea! She was the fifth ship to bear this proud name since 1982, and she was one of a very long line of HAL ships that were famously known as being “The Spotless Ships”, a well-deserved accolade! This feature has been online for many years, however, it has been completely rewritten and countless new photographs and other items that I have obtained over the years and even recently have turned a small feature into an eight-page one! Read about the SS Rotterdam from 1959 to her arrival in Rotterdam and opening as a Hotel, etc., as well as the latest news having been resold to a Dutch Hotel Chain!

2      The ships of MERCY SHIPS: Learn more about this 35 year old 100% volunteer organisation that operates ships to the worlds poorest countries and provide free medical care and life saving and some amazing cranial and other surgeries!

3      The MV Doulos is the oldest motor passenger ship still afloat, built just two years after the ill-fated Titanic, yes she sailed close to a century, but is nor being refitted to become a luxury hotel. This is a ship with a History to remember!

4      At the bottom of this page, I have featured for many years a very special Maritime Memorabilia Specialist - and from personal experience, I am able to sat, they offer the largest collection of brochures, plans, silverware and a huge range of other items from the great classic liners and cruise ships of yesterday, as well as ships still cruising the globe to this day. Click the link above for further details!




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.

This is the 155,873-ton Norwegian Epic and some people ask me “Is that really a ship?

My answer is “No it is a floating Hotel, come Theme Park & Water Resort, but certainly not a ship!”

Tragically, this poorly operated NCL floating square box carries over 5,800 people at any one time


The magnificenet SS Rotterdam and the SS Diemerdyk 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



A New and Unique Feature with a Very Special Request!

Dear friends and long time supporters, I am going to ask you to do something very special, which is something I have never done before since I first went online in the early 1990’s. I am going to ask if you would be as kind as to donate something to a superb, well known and a long-established organisation that has been faithfully serving the needy and poor who desperately need medical assistance and some of the most vital surgery! MERCY SHIPS operates unique Ocean-going Hospital ships that offer a 100% volunteer based free Medical and Surgery serves to some of the poorest countries in the world.

A postcard of one of the much-loved Mercy Ships Hospital ships, the MS Anastasis built as the MS Victoria in 1953

However, today there is another ship in operation the 1980 Danish built rail ferry MV Africa Mercy that was obtained to be converted into a hospital ship and medical centre in 1999 and she continues to operate to this day, but she will be replaced by a new built ship in 2018!

MS Africa Mercy is seen at sea bound for a new country badly at need for medical assistance!


You can help a dear little one with a whole new life by giving generously to MERCY SHIPS!

Do I need to say more?


Please SUPPORT this Noble Cause by DONATING NOW!

Please Note: Although the link takes you to the Mercy Ships Australian site you can donate there for it will do the same thing

Or visit: Mercy Ships International: - for a list of many countries to donate!


“He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and He (the LORD) will reward him for what he has done.”

Proverbs 19:17

Please visit my MERCY SHIPS page and read more about some of the MERCY SHIPS - ships!



MV 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!



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 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!


dddddddddddddddd &

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.





Now visit our ssMaritime Main INDEX &

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

Special Notices

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.


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! 

If seeking Passenger or Crew information - PLEASE read the notice below my email address!


To contact the author, why not Email me

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

All those who send Advertising, Spam will be treated very harshly!

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

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!

Reuben Goossens.

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