Save the Classic Liner Campaign founded in the early1990's
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With Reuben Goossens
Maritime Historian, Cruise‘n’Ship Reviewer, Author & Lecturer
Please Note: All ssmaritime and my other related ssmaritime sites are 100% non-commercial and privately owned sites. Be assured that I am NOT associated with any cruise or shipping companies or travel/cruise agencies or any other organisations! The author has been in the passenger shipping industry since May 1960 and is now semi-retired, but continues to write article on classic liners and cruise ships in order to better to inform cruise and ship enthusiasts for their pleasure!
UPDATE: “Hotel Queen Elizabeth 2” is now Open
as a Floating Hotel in
See the News Item below!
Please Note: Photographs on this page are either - taken by the author, from my private collection or as noted!
June 29, 2018: Having been in the passenger shipping industry over fifty-eight years, having commenced in Wellington New Zealand as an office boy with a major shipping company, I later became an agent selling berths on liners sailing to and from the UK and Europe ports, as well other ports on the way. Also popular at that time were Trans Tasman voyages as well as Pacific services with the Union Steamship Company “Passenger Banana ships” the MS Matua and MS Tofua.
In due course I was sourced to head for
Australia where I managed a major Passenger Shipping Company and finally I
operated a successful Cruise
Personally it has been my good fortune in
times past to have been directly involved in saving some worthwhile passenger
ships since 1990, but I have done so officially online since 1995! The best
known is one I was so closely involved with for some time was the great Dutch
Liner SS Rotterdam, which is now a wonderful Hotel in her homeport of
The Author & founder of ssmaritime.com & ssmaritime.net &…..
cruise-australia.com. Founder of: savetheclassicliners.com…
whilst on a voyage from
Our current work is saving the superb 1961 Danish built, Portuguese liner the SS later MV Funchal. She is just one of a very few ships that had a single name since being llaunched and she always will! “The Save the Funchal Campaign” story is located below the Introduction.
Of course, there have been far too many sad
losses, with some wonderful ships having gone to the breakers, but thankfully there
have also been some sweet victories! One great story is located down this page,
being the recent official dedication and opening of the Dock and parkland at
Sadly the great SS United States remains where she has been for so long and the “SS United States Conservancy” and at first it seemed to be doing a wonderful job, but then there was a setback and nothing has really happened and the once magnificent ship is now badly deteriorating.
Thankfully the news for our beloved QE2 is just great! Read her story down
the page! For “Hotel Queen
Just Updated on June 29, 2018 is the amazing 85 year old T.S. Queen Mary a Clyde ship, which is beautifully being restored, but friends, I need you to give them a hand financially from all over the globe, for it is not cheap for all these volunteers to do this work, yes there has been some great supporters, but we need you as well. Come and be part of something that will see the ship open in 2019, and know we have all achieved something very special. Long Live the Queen!
Therefore, come aboard, and support our very special work that continues to be done by so many good people as shown just above, and I am satisfied knowing that together we can do something, for doing something when assisting organisations or smaller dedicated groups in saving a part of maritime history is worthwhile! Remember, becoming part of saving a ship will last long into the future, and it will be something that you, your children and their children will come to know and see what a real ship actually looks like, rather than those great big hideous square boxlike floating apartment blocks (condos), come resort style theme parks, that they call sadly cruise ships today, the truth is they do not look like a ship at all, it is maritime architecture and design gone completely wrong!
I sincerely thank all my wonderful supporters who over the many years have supported this campaign as well as my four maritime, and cruise sites, which have now received an amazing 521.1 million readers/visitors to date. I am indeed touched by your support and your kindnesses, especially for the countless emails that arrive daily.
Maritime Historian, Author, Cruise‘n’Ship Reviewer & Lecturer.
Commenced in the Passenger Shipping Industry in 1960.
Go Directly to Ships on this Page
Good News for
The long sleek lines of the MV Funchal seen at twilight will hopefully sail again very soon!
Saving the MV Funchal::
Although, I have remained very quiet about the “Save the MV Funchal Campaign”, but I thought it was time, you should all know that this wonderful 1961 ship has been on the market since 2013, and in recent times I have been working closely with a group who are in the process of obtaining her, and all going well, she should be obtained very soon! This group, unlike her last owner, who had no past shipping experience whatsoever, collapsed within two years as I predicted at the time they obtained the three Classic International Cruises ships, for this group have backgrounds from Holland America Line, P&O and other major shipping companies!
But now, let us look at this amazing ships history, for she remains the finest Classic Intimate Yacht-Like Cruise Ships in the world!
The Trans-Atlantic Liner, SS Funchal is seen as built in 1961
This superbly Danish built liner departed on her maiden voyage in 1961, she rapidly became a greatly loved and cherished ship, and amazingly steam ship Funchal is one of a very few beautiful Classic liners that continues to be fully operational today.
Although today, she is now a motor vessel, and she is excellent condition and is able to continue for at least another 15 to 20 years as a very successful cruise ship.
From 1968 to 1972 she
operated a number of special charters for the State of Portugal and she served
as the State Presidential Yacht to and from
After her last
Presidential voyage in 1972, it was decided to sent
During her refit, her delightful exterior profile thankfully remained almost unchanged, although a new sunken deck section was added topside located just forward of her funnel and her aft decks were somewhat extended.
MV Funchal is seen after her refit, with the new deckhouse forward of her funnel and lengthened aft decks
Not long thereafter the company decided to have her painted all white, with a thin blue ribbon, but with the same yellow and black topped funnel, and she continued cruising. However, soon thereafter EIN Portuguese companies merged with Cia Portuguesa de Transportes Maritimos (CPTM) and her funnel was painted all yellow, but with a broad green band with thin white ones surrounding it.
In 1976 that one of the
most famous Greek shipping magnates and a dear friend, Mr. George Petros
Potamianos, chartered the MV Funchal to operate a series of cruises. This
venture proved to be a great success. He dearly loved the beautiful Funchal
thus in 1985 he decided buy her outright for his company “Great Warwick
Inc” and “Arcalia Shipping Company,” all of their ships were
marketed under the name of “Classic International Cruises.” The
company was again a huge success operating five ships in and around in Europe,
Funchal based in
The Funchal was based in
International Cruises’ MV Funchal is seen departing
I clearly recall when we
heard that the Funchal was being replaced by the MV Athena as (built
the MS Stockholm 1948 still sailing as the MV Astoria today), knowing it was her last voyage from Australia
I decided to be on board during her final voyage to the UK in 2008, but I also
sailed on the Athena to the
In due course they were sold to a Portuguese hotel and resort entrepreneur Mr. Rui Alegre. However, having checked him out at an early stage I had absolutely no confidence in this man or his new cruise company, as I was well aware that they had no knowledge of the shipping/cruise industry in any shape or form, and all those in the shipping industry, as I have been since 1960, know very well that it is a very specialised industry, not just a floating hotel, come resort operation! I stated right from the start, when they commenced and said; that “… they will not last any longer than two years the most”, and guess what, I was proved right!
purchased the MV Funchal as well as three of the other ships the MV Princess
Danae renamed Lisboa, MV Arion renamed Porto and MV Athena renamed
In 2013 the Funchal
received a massive refit in order to commence a new life with Portuscale
Cruises, and she received many of the very latest and modern instrumentation
and equipment. After her trial voyages, and when she was up in
The wonderful MV
Funchal and Porto seen laid up together in
The Funchal is without a
doubt not only a maritime treasure, but she is simply a magnificent cruise ship
in every respect, and she is ready sail on for another twenty years! Once she
has been officially obtained by he new owner, she will receive another refit
and undergo further SOLAS & Safety certifications assuring her 100% safe
and a reliable ship at sea. Considering she was constructed by a Danish
shipyard, much like the amazing MV Astoria, ex MV Athena, built as the MS
Stockholm in 1948, and she is still cruising in 2018 as well as 2019, the MV
Funchal is almost 14 years younger than the
This is the Funchal we desire to see back on the open sea filled with happy passengers who
will enjoy the amazing luxury of her glamorous and classic style interiors. Yet modern as well!
Visit the SS/MV Funchal History page
As soon as the Funchal is obtained, a new page for the new operators will appear HERE!
Berthed at: Port Rashid Dubai, UAE
“Hotel Queen Elizabeth 2” Has Opened on April 18, 2018:
Elizabeth 2” seen at Port Mina with the
main Terminal, containing the Front Desk, the QE2 &
Yes, it is true the “Hotel Queen
Elizabeth 2” has finally opened, as her operators have stated in an
a world of gastronomy, entertainment and nightlife experiences onboard the
QE2. From casual and fine dining, to grand theatres and nightclubs, she will
have a selection of 12 diverse venues to uncover at her prime location in
Prior to her opening, the QE2 was moved from Port Rashid to the Dubai Dry Dock Nº 3 where she received an exceptional makeover as described below.
The QE2 is seen
being moved to
It was exciting, when she was moved to dry dock on March 18, 2018 and a great deal of work commenced on her with countless workers worked on her around the clock. For only the third time in history, the QE2’s hull was stripped back to bare metal, and she was fully repainted with fresh new paint.
In addition, all her openings below the waterline were welded shut; this included her bow thrusters, as well as her stabilisers, and then sadly her propellers were removed. Of course her lifeboats and the davits had already been removed, and this gave them the opportunity for the boat deck to be widened.
Here we see the QE2
In addition another on her stern is the ships
name; “Queen Elizabeth 2” and directly below her name, they affixed
somewhat larger distinctive “
Here we see Hotel
When I last saw the QE2 in Dubai on September 21, 2009 at that time she was no longer registered in Southampton, but in “Port Vila Vanuatu”, I had already heard on the grapevine that “on her stern, “SOUTHAMPTON” had disappeared,” as far as I know that happened some time earlier, but it was sad to see this once great Royal Mail Ship registered in such a small Pacific Island country.
whilst on a 106 day around the world cruise on September 21, 2009
Photograph © Reuben Goossens
But the good news is that we expect that QE2 Hotel, Museum Function, Dinning and Leisure Centre is now open, by around the end of April, and considering we have all waited such a long time, a very long 10 years in fact, we should be rejoicing and hope that our Great Queen of the Seas will be a huge success as a fine Luxury Hotel!
The great QE2 as we remember her as a fine and popular Cruise Ship, seen here at anchor
Visit my comprehensive all New Hotel Queen Elizabeth 2 page
Or visit the official website
Also View the “” located below the MV Doulos
The superbly built and a beautifully balanced Liner, the fastest ship in the world, S.S. United States is seen here as built
Sadly there is NO News to Provide … as Dr. P. Davis wrote; “This once great liner is badly languishing and she now looks “more like a huge Rust Bucket”
The SS United States Conservancy continues its efforts to secure a permanent
However, with New York having rejected the
ship, she has been in the
Although, all sorts of plans have been announced for her to become a museum and a tourist attraction it now seems that there are absolutely no interested parties left who have any desire to spend a fortune to turn her into a tourist attraction. The truth is that she looks more like a giant empty damp rust bucket, and it hurts me to say that, but sadly the photographs tend to indicate her poor state at this time, thus let’s hope for the best.
Friends, it saddens me to have written about the Great SS United States in the manner as I have above, but even I have provided funds over the years and have certificates, for owning plans, and parts of one of her funnels, and just donations, etc, etc. The funds have gone into a large organisation, and little has been actually spent in upkeep on the ship. Yes there are berthing dues, but they have received huge donations from large donors to cover most of that! Just let us hope that at least a miracle might happen and that this wonderful ship might be saved, that someone else may just come along and take her away from her current owners and do something that is worthwhile, not just all TALK!
The ships builder’s plate taken quite some time ago!
In July 2007 the QE2 was sold to Istithmar being the investment arm of “Dubai World” a wholly owned company of the Government of Dubai. However she would be taken over by Nakheel, also a “Dubai World” company would redevelop her and construct the new islands being built known as the “Palm Jumeirah” where she was going to be berthed to become a major luxury hotel. Istithmar paid and estimate £65 million (British Pounds) for the QE2.
Having completed her final official cruise,
the QE2 departed Southampton for the very last time on November 11, 2008, and
she began her farewell voyage to
It was a fitting welcome and her future seemed
assured, however things was not as it seemed for the financial crisis of 2008
caused Dubai to have a financial freefall and the wealthiest of its citizens
escaped the country, even leaving their Mercedes and BMW’s and super
luxury cars at the airport as they escaped the financiers who were about to
pounce on them, for most emptied their accounts and run. This disaster also
left the QE2 high and dry and although she was reregistered cheaply in
QE2 sailed an amazing 5.6 million nautical miles that is more than any other ship ever I know about, in other words that is like travelling to the moon and back 13 times. She has accommodated approximately 2.5 million guests and completed 802 Atlantic crossings and 24 full world cruises, thus some 1,438 voyages. That is an excellent record indeed!
A close up of a clean looking ship as she had recently been repainted
Photograph © Reuben Goossens
1964 - Cunard signs a contract to build the ship with John Brown Shipyard Clydebank, Scotland.
1967 - September 20 the ship was launched by HRH Queen Elizabeth II.
1968 – QE2 undertakes her deep sea trails; the first was on November 26 to 29, and the second, December 17 to 19.
1968 - QE2 departs on her maiden voyage, being
a cruise from Greenock to the
1969 - After renewed trails on April 1 to 8, Cunard takes delivery of the QE2 on April 18 for the second time.
1969 - On May 2 the QE2 commences her maiden
voyage from Southampton to
1970 - She crosses the Atlantic Westbound in record time of just three days, 20 hours and 42 minutes.
1972 - QE2 undergoes a refit and rebuilding as penthouses added to the top of the ship, altering her external appearance. Accommodating 604 First, 1,223 Tourist, and 1,740 one class when cruising.
1975 - QE2 departs from
1982 - The QE2 was requisitioned by the
British government as troopship to operate in Falklands Islands Campaign. She
carried 3,000 troops and 650 volunteer crew to the
1987 – In October the SS Queen Elizabeth
2 made her final Trans Atlantic crossing from
1988 –A new look MV Queen Elizabeth 2 complete with a new and far superior funnel and far more economic and faster that before, she returned to service and gained even more popularity on the Atlantic service.
1990 - Queen Elizabeth becomes the first Monarch to sail on the commercial liner with other passengers on board.
1995 - QE2 leaves
1996 - During her twentieth around the world cruise the QE2 passed her four millionth mile mark, and amazing feat, but there was more to come!
1998 - South African President Nelson Mandela
sails on the QE2 from
2002 - QE2 passes five million miles - a world first.
2004 - The QE2 was considered as being one of
the last of the great Trans Atlantic liners, for there has not been any true
liners since. Although, they pretend that the Queen Mary 2 is a liner, but she
certainly is not and neither was the QE 2 in her latter years, for both were
then cruise ships. Although QE2 was built as a liner that would also operate
cruises, but her main function was to be a liner; that means line voyages from
2005 - The QE2 becomes the longest serving Cunard ship ever, surpassing the RMS Aquitania's 35 years.
2008 – November 11 Queen Elizabeth 2
2009 – September 21. The author saw and
photographed the QE2 today whilst on a around the world cruise on Dawn Princess
and noted that she was registered in Port Vila
2010 – January 29. QE2 broke loose from her moorings during a storm and was only just saved from destruction by two brilliant pilots.
2012 – July, 03. Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem announced that a decision has been made to retain the ship’s exterior in her “classic and traditional shape, and install 300 rooms and use her as a hotel at the new Port Rashid International Cruise Terminal within several years! Sultan Sulayem said: “So we have decided to leave her basic design as it is. We will preserve her tradition. What we are doing today is what we should have done when we first bought her.” And I agree with him, they should have and she would have been operational by now!
2013 – July, after an Asian possibility,
there are great doubts for the ship as she has no power and she will be
deteriorating whilst at lay-up in
2015 – It is sad, but she is still laid-up in a dead ship state and deteriorating day by day! Although there seems to be interest by Scotland who is now taking a second look at bringing the QE2 back to the Clyde as a Hotel and a Tourist attraction. But has she gone downhill too far gone to be saved?
2017 News of her being refitted as a hotel at Port Rashid.
2018 – QE2 moved to the Dubai Dry Dock on March 18 to have her hull scrapped and repainted, also all her underwater openings welded closed and propellers removed, as well as interior work, in readiness for her to open as a hotel.
2018 – “Hotel Queen
2018 – The Grand official opening is due to be held in October.
- to enter the site
Please Note: A new Page Two has been added with the ships dock & Park dedication in June 2017 - with many new photographs!
With June/July 2018 Updates
The delightful 871 GRT (Gross Registered
Ton) Triple Screw - T.S. Queen Mary was built by the
But the company was contacted by 1935 in
regard the great new liner the RMS Queen Mary that would be launched by Her
Majesty Queen Mary, thus there was a slight name change made and she became the
TS Queen Mary II, but continued her regular
I am grateful to “Friends of TS Queen Mary Org” for the photographs provided
A rare photograph of the delightful Queen Mary sailing along the River Clyde
We are helping to let this memory live on for countless years in the future by promoting her!
Photograph from the ssmaritime collection
Queen Mary II was a spacious and certainly a comfortable ship and thus well suited to the large numbers of passengers on the service. Her passenger capacity made up for a good speed of 21 knots on her trials. Being a two class ship, having Cabin Class passengers located forward as well as the top deck extending aft giving the Steerage Class passengers a share of it, and also the sheltered space below it.
The delightful TS Queen Mary was finally
retired after an evening showboat cruise from Largs
to Rothesay on September 27, 1977 after which she was
laid up in the “
June 2018 Update Part One: TS Queen Mary celebrated her 85th birthday on March 20, 2018 and guided tours were hosted in celebration of the anniversary of her combined launching on March 30, and her maiden voyage, although this was on May 20, 1933. We are sure that no one who attended the event back in 1933 would have thought that this delightful well built ship would be still be afloat 85 years later and that she will live on for a many years in the future, thanks to all those who love classic ships and liners and support these worthwhile causes!
Update Part Two is located below the Specifications
TS Queen Mary Specifications:
Builder: William Denny & Bros Ltd., Dumbarton.
Built for: Williamson Buchanan Steamers Ltd.
Engines: Triple Denny & Bros Steam Turbines.
Screws: Triple, direct drive.
Tonnage: 1933-1950 - 871 Gross Registered Tons.
. 1950-1957 - 917 GRT.
. 1957-onwards - 1,014 GRT.
Length: 252.5ft - 77m.
Beam: 35.1ft - 10.7m.
Draught: 10.1ft - 3.1m.
Speed: 19.5 knots max 21 knots.
Passengers: 2,086-day passengers.
Maiden Voyage: May 20, 1933.
June 2018 Update Part Two: The following restoration progress has been made over recent weeks. Some 54 windows have been replaced on the ship’s Promenade Deck and most of these have been sponsored by local companies. Each window completed and yet to be finished has to have a new frame fabricated, seals replaced and new glass fitted. Sponsorship of a window costs £500, and in appreciation a plaque will be placed below each window engraved with the name of the respective sponsor.
This photograph shows just nine of 54 the new windows installed on Promenade Deck
Other work undertaken, are some of the decking
planks on her foredeck have been removed to gain access to the metalwork below.
Age and the effects of the failing composite covering applied during her years
This is the latest news regarding the 85 year old TS Queen mary, the work of bringing her back to her old glory has been slow but the good news is that steady progress is now being made. Once the steel repairs are completed and the ship is completely weather tight, then her internal refit will commence in earnest and it is planned that by 2019 the Queen Mary should be welcoming paying public aboard for the first time in ten years!
Enter the Site to Save the TS Queen Mary Here
Please Note it is currently being updated, but some pages can be visited
To DONATE PLEASE visit …
The TS Queen Mary seen berthed at the Glasgow Science Centre
Like the famed historic Sydney Harbour ferry the MS Baragoola, which I strongly support in saving and preserving, and I am also adding the delightful 1963 built MV Cape Don, which is a unique all Australian vessel that should and must be retained at all costs!
The MV Cape Don was a unique purpose-built
ship to service navigational aids (including manned lighthouses) all around
Since retirement this excellent ship, the “MV Cape Don Society” is now responsible for restoring this delightful vessel and they will be setting up a museum on board to tell the story of her many years of dedicated service. I suggest that you visit my webpage on her, that has many interesting photographs of her and you will discover all her details as well as further links!
Visit the MV Cape Don Feature
Liners sailing to the distant shores.
I watched them come, I watched them go and I watched them die.”
But please ensure you name the ship you are enquiring about.
Visit our ssMaritime Main INDEX
Where you will discover over 1,116 Classic Passenger & Passenger-Cargo Liners!
Where the ships of the past make history & the 1914 built MV Doulos Story
Please Note: ssmaritime and associated sites are 100% non-commercial and the author does not seek funding or favours and never have and never will.
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 found at the bottom of the page on www.ssmaritime.com), in order that due credit may be given.
ssMaritime is owned & © Copyright by Reuben Goossens - All Rights Reserved