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With Reuben Goossens

Maritime Historian, Cruise‘n’Ship Reviewer & Author


MS Angelina Lauro


ex MS Oranje became modern liner, with long sleek lines

From the author’s private collection

As the Dutch liner MS Oranje, she served the Netherland Line well for 25 years. However, with passenger number dropping, both the Netherland Line and Royal Rotterdam Lloyd (Dutch Mails) decoded to sell both the Oranje and her running mate MS Willem Ruys to Flotta Lauro Lines in 1964. Having operated SS Roma and Sydney on the Australian run, Flotta Lauro decided to obtain two larger ships for the service.


Her new ultra modern finned funnel was futuristic in her days

From the author’s private collection

Oranje was sent to Genoa to be extensively rebuilt at the Cant del Tirreno shipyards. On August 24 a fire broke out whilst being rebuilt and tragically six lives were lost. The rebuild would see her Promenade Deck extended forward and was fully glazed in. She was given a sharply raked bow extending her length by 16 feet. The other outstanding feature was her tall louvered funnel topped by a large smoke deflector wing, reminiscent of two Italian liners, Michelangelo and Raffaello. Her interiors were transformed with typical Italian flair, literally giving her the feel of a brand new ship! Her hull was painted the same colour blue as the funnel and was adorned with a white band. Angelina Lauro now looked modern sleek line, indeed almost yacht like. She was one of the more attractive rebuilds of her time. However, she would always reveal her Dutch heritage by her tumblehome hull.

 She was now listed as 24,377 GRT (Gross Registered Tons), 205.5 meters (672.4ft) long, 25,50 meters (83.6ft) wide. Her new passenger configuration allowed for interchange cabins between first and tourist class. First Class could accommodate between 180 and 377 passengers and Tourist Class between 946 to 1050 passengers, making a total of 1230 passengers.

This postcard was release by Flotta Lauro prior her completion

From the author’s private collection

On March 6 1966 she departed on her maiden voyage from Bremerhaven sailing via the Suez Canal to Australia. She continued on the Australian service, until 1972, when Flotta Lauro discontinued the service due to poor loading as was experienced by all shipping companies.

Angelina Lauro departing Auckland New Zealand in the early 70’s


Angelina Lauro in Sydney on her final visit on May 17, 1972

From the author’s private collection

She received an extensive refit to ready her for a new role as a full time cruise ship. She now accommodated 800 passengers in a one class configuration. She was relocated to San Juan for regular cruises of the Caribbean, but was managed by another Italian shipping company Costa Line.

Angelina Lauro seen as a cruise ship

From the author’s private collection

In 1977 Angelina Lauro was chartered to Costa Lines for 3 years and they took delivery on October 10. She was based at Port Everglades for cruise duties in the Caribbean. For her new role as a Costa Cruise ship her funnel had been painted in yellow, being the Costa colours. Although she retained her name, Costa Lines according to their custom of using Christian (first) names, marketed the Angelina Lauro simply as “Angelina

Seen here in 1977 with yellow her Costa Lines funnel

From the author’s private collection

Occasionally Angelina Lauro would operate a line voyage across the Atlantic from South America to Italy. For these line voyages she reverted to her original two class configuration.

Angelina Lauro was a popular cruise ship in the Caribbean until that fateful day on March 30, 1979 when tragedy struck this remarkable 40 year old ship.

Photographer unknown - * See photo notes at bottom of page.

Angelina Lauro was a much loved ship in both her guises, on line voyages from the Netherlands to Batavia, her remarkable war duties as a hospital ship, a liner bringing thousands of emigrants from the UK and Europe to Australia and New Zealand, both as Oranje and Angelina Lauro and lastly as a popular Italian cruise ship. She had endeared herself to thousands, civilians and soldiers alike.


Page One: The Oranje Story

Page Two: The Angelina Lauro Story

Page Three: Angelina Lauro Photo Page

Page Four: Angelina Lauro’s demise

Page Five: Angelina Lauro Deck Plan

Page Six: MS Orange – Passenger list of her very first voyage/cruise 4 Aug 1939

Provided by passenger Dieuwertje Goedkoop


Visit our Main Index for features on other Dutch liners, such as the Johan van Oldenbarnevelt, Sibajak, Willem Ruys (Achille Lauro), the TSS Rijndam and Maasdam, SS Rotterdam and SS Nieuw Amsterdam, the simple migrant ships such as the Waterman, Groote Beer and Zuiderkruis, as well as the famed “Elegant yachts” of Royal Inter Ocean Lines ships, and many other Dutch Passenger/Cargo ships, all of which can be found on my Main Index.


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Who is the Author of ssMaritime?

Commenced in the passenger Shipping Industry in May 1960 &

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


Also visit my …

Save The Classic Liners Campaign& Classic Ocean Voyages pages


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 (my email address may be found on only), in order that due credit may be given. I know what it is like, I have seen a multitude of my own photographs on other sites, yet these individuals either refuse to provide credit or remove them when asked, knowing full well that there is no legal comeback when it comes to the net. However, let us show these charlatans up and do the right thing at all times and give credit where credit is due!

This notice covers all pages, although, and I have done my best to ensure that all photographs are duly credited and that this notice is displaced on each page, that is, when a page is updated!




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