Save the Classic Liner Campaign founded in the early1990's

Please Note: Firefox, iPhones, iPads & some other Search Engines may not be suitable

Use Internet Explorer & Old Google for this Web Page to load perfectly!

Click the logo above to reach the ssMaritime FrontPage for News Updates

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!

NEW UPDATE: “Hotel Queen Elizabeth 2” is now Open as a Floating Hotel in Dubai!

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 Company in the 1980’s thus it makes sense that I have a great love for classic and traditional passenger liners, passenger-cargo ships as well as the humble converted migrant ships and of course the more traditional cruise ships!

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 Rotterdam, Holland! As well having been responsible for saving the now 104-year-old MV Doulos! However, the story with the Doulos was one I had great hope for, for her owner was to turn her into a floating boutique hotel and maritime museum. However, the company involved decided to head in a very different way, and she has now been dragged up on land to become part of a large Island pleasure tourist pleasure resort for Asian tourists. Thus instead of a boutique hotel, she has become a sad looking Indonesian tourist trap on Bintan Island!

Of course, there has been far too many sad losses, with some wonderful ships having gone to the breakers, but there have also been some sweet victories! One great story is located down the page, being the recent official dedication and opening of the Dock and parkland at the Canadian Pacific Lakes luxury liner SS Keewantin, although I had no actual hand in the saving this ship, just supporting the cause online and thus doing so financially! However, we must remember there are still some great classic liners left that are worth saving and currently I am working on the 1961 beautiful Portuguese liner, presidential Yacht and cruise ship, the MV Funchal, thus this page continues to be meaningful and I will keep you and all my supporters in the loop!

The Author & founder of “Save the Classic Liners Campaign”-

and, &

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 they did a wonderful job, but then there was a setback and nothing has really happened and the ship is badly deteriorating.

Thankfully the news for the QE2 is just great! Read her story down the page! For “Hotel Queen Elizabeth 2” Dubai, had its official “soft opening” on April 18, 2018. Her grand official opening will be in October!

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!

In Conclusion:

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. Thus, thank you to all my supporters for I am very touched by your support and your kindnesses, especially for the countless emails that are constantly received daily.

Reuben Goossens.

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 Hotel Queen Elizabeth 2


SS United States, MV Doulos


SS Keewatin, TS Queen Mary, MV Cape Don



Hotel Queen Elizabeth 2 ~ Latest News

Berthed at: Port Rashid Dubai, UAE


“Hotel Queen Elizabeth 2” Has Opened on April 18, 2018:


“Hotel Queen Elizabeth 2” seen at Port Mina with the Marina astern

the main Terminal, containing the Front Desk, the QE2 & Cunard Museum

Yes, it is true the “Hotel Queen Elizabeth 2” has finally opened, as her operators have stated in an advertisement; “Discover 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 Dubai’s Mina Rashid …"

Prior to her opening, the QE2 was moved from Port Rashid to the Dubai Dry Dock N 3 where she received an exceptional makeover as described below.

The QE2 is seen being moved to Dubai’s-Dry-Dock N 3

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 Dubai Dry Dock N 3

In addition another on her stern is the ships name; “Queen Elizabeth 2” and directly below her name, they affixed somewhat larger distinctive “DUBAI” tourism logo, as well as “Mina Rashid” directly below, where the port of registration would be.

Here we see Hotel Queen Elizabeth 2 new stern

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.

The stern of the QE2 - How sad is thos photo?

QE2 in Dubai on September 21, 2009 – Note that she is registered in Port Vila

I took this photograph from the forward part of the Dawn Princess

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 “QE2 Story” located below the MV Doulos




S.S. United States

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”

News Update: The SS United States Conservancy continues its efforts to secure a permanent location for America’s Flagship and is attempting to identify partners that share that vision. But sadly nothing has really been happening and the ship has been languishing and she is looking a wreck, as I have been told by my readers.

However, with New York having rejected the ship, she has been in the Port of Philadelphia but again, after stories of hope, nothing ever happens, as we watch this great ship deteriorate and everyone desires her to go as far away as possible! Of course this will please people living in the port region, as I have been told for frankly the vast majority are simply “fed up with this decaying monster on our doorstep.”

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!


Save the Classic Liners has supported the SS United States Conservancy from the very beginning & continues to do so!


Visit the SS United States Conservancy Page


The ships builder’s plate taken quite some time ago!



MV Doulos – Dragged up on Land

The MV Doulos is seen arriving in Sydney on July 4, 1999

Photograph copyright 1999 Ramon Williams

2017: As all “Save the Classic Liners” supporters will know well, that I am somewhat disillusioned to see this amazing ship, that has had such a long and fascinating history end up being dragged up on land on the Indonesian Island of Bintan. Considering I worked so hard to rescue the Doulos in order to keep this great centenarian afloat, yet her new owner, decided otherwise. Instead of using her as intended and also as promised, as a floating hotel and maritime museum, he ended up in deciding to turn her into a land based hotel and Water Park on a mostly Indonesian tourist Island, which is similar to Bali, complete with all its evils.

Here we see the once beautiful Doulos looking terrible, as she is been made ready to be dragged up onto Bintan Island

This historic ex missionary ship MV Doulos, luxury cruise ship MS Franca C, passenger liner SS Franca C, migrant ship SS Roma, built as a humble American freighter in 1914 the SS Medina, a ship that served in two World wars, and is now a good 104 years of age, and I worked against all odds, even at one point at saving her from from going to an Alang breakers yard, and see her refitted as a fine boutique hotel, maritime museum, and an education centre, but her “Christian” owner, has turned his back on his promise to me, and will use now her for sheer lucre!

As most of you will know, I have a very long association with the ship, which goes back to the early days of the MV Franca C. My first encounter with her was when she was the luxurious MS Franca C cruising the Mediterranean in 1971, then the next time I spent time onboard was when she was the MV Doulos in 1985, then spent time aboard again in 1999, and I again spent time aboard as wel sailing on her again in 2008, being sadly for the very last time. Thus, what has occurred to this superb historic classic ship hurts me far more than for most people, for, I have been the ships official historian for well over 45 years, and having sailed on her and spent a great deal of time on her both whilst she was the Franca C and the Doulos.

In addition, I directly assisted Singaporean Mr. Eric Saw to obtain the Doulos, for previously he was rejected by her German owners Operation Mobilisation, as in due course they had decided to sell her to Alang breakers for a better price. However, due my extensive worldwide campaign against this, they changed their mind and decided once again to sell her to another buyer for further use. I advised Mr. Saw to place a new bis and assured him that he would get the ship and he did! Had I known what her end would have been, I would have made sure that the South African Mission would have obtained her instead, for they would have retained her afloat, after upgrading her! However, now sadly she is sitting up high and dry on land, and the once great classic ship MV Doulos, ex MS Franca C, SS Roma & SS Medina built in 1914 is a tragic land based building, far from her origins.

This tragic looking historic ship has become a Hotel & Resort, but to ship lovers, she will

always be the “MV Doulos” and not this hideous landlocked rendition of what she used to be!


Enter my 30 Page MV Doulos Feature



The QE2 Story

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 Dubai. She arrived on the evening of 26 November 26, 2008 in a flotilla of around 120 vessels that were there to greet her including the MV Dubai, being the personal yacht of Sheikh Mohammed the ruler of Dubai. QE2 was greeted with a fly-past from an Emirates A380 jet as well as a huge fireworks display, while thousands of people gathered at the Mina Rashid, waving of British and United Arab Emirates flags.

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 Vanuatu in Port Vila in 2008, she had been well maintained by around 100 workers until recently, but most have now gone, with just a very small number remaining to keep her reasonably tidy. However reports state that she is suffering, especially in areas that are from view and behind the scenes.

Interesting background on the QE2:

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!

What will be her future?

A close up of a clean looking ship as she had recently been repainted

Photograph Reuben Goossens

The Timeline of the SS/MV Queen Elizabeth 2:

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 Canary Islands with the author on board. Sadly the ship developed turbine troubles and she had to return to her builders.

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 New York City, officially taking four days, 16 hours and 35 minutes.

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 Southampton on her first World voyage, the first of many world cruises.

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 South Atlantic. However, she was kept well out of the way for no harm was to become her, for the ship did carry the name of Her Majesty the Queen, the Sovereign of Britain, thus she was kept far out of harm at all times, unlike the SS Canberra!

1987 – In October the SS Queen Elizabeth 2 made her final Trans Atlantic crossing from New York under steam as she was about to head to Germany where her new diesel engines were to be installed and an extensive refit and remodelling at a cost of US$162 million.

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 New York for Southampton on her 1,000th voyage.

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 Durban to Cape Town. A year later the QE2 was treated to a multi-million dollar refurbishment which included all her public rooms as well as her cabins that needed updating.

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 the UK to the USA and back. Today all ships operate short and longer cruises and they may undertake the occasional cruise from the USA to and from the UK, but that does not qualify them as being a “liner”, for the encyclopaedia clearly states that a liner must be a ship that is on a regular (constant) liner service – “line voyage”!

2005 - The QE2 becomes the longest serving Cunard ship ever, surpassing the RMS Aquitania's 35 years.

2008 – November 11 Queen Elizabeth 2 departed Southampton in the evening for Dubai UAE and she was officially retired from active Cunard service.

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 Vanuatu.

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 Dubai!

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 Elizabeth 2” officially had her “Soft Opening” as a 5 Star Luxury Floating Hotel on April 18 at Port Rashid Dubai.

2018 – The Grand official opening is due to be held in October.



Canadian Pacific Railway Steamship

Click the Logo ABOVE - 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!


Also Read my: S.S. Keewantin Feature a Great 110 Year Old Passenger Steam Ship



T.S. Queen Mary


With June/July 2018 Updates



The delightful 871 GRT (Gross Registered Ton) Triple Screw - T.S. Queen Mary was built by the famed Clyde Shipbuilders “William Denny & Bros Ltd” of Dumbarton on behalf of Williamson Buchanan Steamers Ltd. She was launched by Lady Colquhoun on March 30, 1933 and this fine two-funnelled ship epitomises the legendary Clyde ship building tradition and pedigree!

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 Clyde services.

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 “East India Harbour” at Greenock.

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.

Yard: 1262.

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 on the Thames have resulted in rot in some decking planks as well as some of the transverse frames onto which the planks are bolted. There is no steel deck below thus that resulted to water ingress!

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




The TS Queen Mary seen berthed at the Glasgow Science Centre



I am very proud to present a very special Australian ship for preservation

MV Cape Don


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 Australia, thus being part of the “Commonwealth Lighthouse Service.”

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



“Blue Water Liners sailing to the distant shores.
I watched them come, I watched them go and I watched them die.”



Have a Question: Email Me

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, in order that due credit may be given.


ssMaritime is owned & Copyright by Reuben Goossens - All Rights Reserved