Please Note: Firefox and some other search engines are not suitable – Use “Internet Explorer” for this page to load perfectly!

Click the logo above to reach ssMaritime Main-Page & the “Feature of the Month”

 

Please Note: Photographs on this page are taken by the author, from my private collection, or as mentioned otherwise!

Having been in the passenger shipping industry for well over a half an century, working from the very bottom, to an agent selling berths on ships to and from the USA, UK and European ports, as well as having managed a major Passenger Shipping Company and operated a successful Cruise Company in the 1960/70’s, it stands to reason that my love for classic and traditional passenger liner/cruise ships is rather obvious!

Personally it has been my good fortune to have been directly involved in saving worthwhile passenger ships since 1995, but officially online in 1997! Sadly there have been far too many tragedies with ship lost, but also some wonderful and sweet victories! But, this is not the time to sing praises for there are still ships that are worth saving!

Let me advise you first; although I am technically no longer involved in the actual saving of any of these wonderful ships, for I now have to leave it to other well set up organisations that have, I hope some well trained and qualified people that are well organised to do this difficult work. However, they will need your assistance! Therefore, this page is to keep you informed and reach out to those who may be able to assist in a greater way, as I have experienced in the past. Therefore I sincerely ask you with all my heart, to continue to assist us through every possible means to save some of these fine and much loved classic liners and yes, even some of the lesser known ships, from the great SS United States to the oldest passenger ship in existence, the 100 year old MV Doulos and of course the MV Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) and there are a number of other wonderful ships!

Thus, come aboard and support this very special work and feel good knowing that you will have done your something special, for having done something in assisting in saving a part of maritime history will last long into the future as it will be for your children’s children to see what a genuine ship looks like!

Personally I support many campaign’s, including the SS United States by having become a multiple “Plank Owner” and I have an official “Plank Certificate,” and you know what, I am rather proud of it, that I even had it framed, for it will always bind me to this superb ship! Today of course there are other great and new ways for you to become ‘one’ with this great American liner, and I will explain all that a little further down the page!

I sincerely thank all my wonderful readers and supporters for the many years that you have been with me and returned again and again, for amazingly we have now received over 500.8 million readers and that is simply an amazing feat! Thus, I thank all my supporters for I am really very touched by all your kindnesses, especially over the past years during my illness!

Reuben Goossens.

--Updated June 7, 2014--

On This Page:

The MV Princess Daphne story & the sad news that she has been sold to the breakers and the date “Daphne” arrived at the breakers!

The 100-year-old Doulos is currently undergoing her refit in Batam, Indonesia. I have been associated with this superb ship since the 1970s when she was still the wonderful luxury all first class MS Franca C, and I am still the official historian of the MV Doulos, ex MS Franca C, built as a simple cargo steamer the SS Medina built in the USA in 1914, that became a humble passenger liner the SS Roma. She is without a doubt one of the world’s most remarkable liners and cruise ships ever!

S.O.S. - In 2014 the SS United States Conservancy requires your URGENT assistance NOW. See details below!

QE2 The Question is, will she be bound for China where she will undergo a massive refit to become a luxury 5 Star hotel based in Asia, or NOT?

More on the QE2 as well as her “Timeline”!

Other Ships Saved:

The Following Ships have been saved by either this, or other excellent campaigns; including my beloved: MV Doulos and the SS Rotterdam / MS Kristina Regina, ex SS Bore! There have been others, MV Veronica, the ex Mona Lisa, Victoria, Sea Princess, Kungsholm – she was built in 1966 and has been operating as a Hotel in Oman, but she has been placed on the market again in recent times. Thus, will we have to recommence a new program? I hope not!

dddddddddddddddd

Princess Daphne ex Port Sydney

SOLD TO THE BREAKERS and she has NOW ARRIVED AT ALANG!

 

Postcard from the Author’s private Maritime collection

Update: I will keep this sad tale very short, due to my condition, but this much loved ship has now been lost to us all and she did arrive in Alang on June 2, 2014 thus this the the end of the road for thos once fine ship, now a good 59 years old! Her sister the ex Port Melbourne, Princess Dnae is currently cruising as the Lisboa

***********************************

May 7, 2014: I have received very sad news in regard the delightful MV Princess Daphne a ship, like her sister the Princess Danae with amazing long histories. The Princess Daphne was built as the wonderful and popular passenger-cargo liner, MS Port Sydney in 1955 and she continued in service until finally sold in 1972, mostly due to containerisation and other changes in the industry She and her sister were both sold to Greek interests who intended to convert her and her sister the Port Melbourne into car ferries. The Port Sydney was renamed Akrotiri Express, but the rebuilding did not eventuate but later she was rebuilt into a luxury cruise ship instead and renamed the Daphne.

As time passed, she was obtained by the popular Classic International Cruises (CIC) who owned a fleet of classic ex liners, the MV Funchal (1960), MV Arion ex MS Istra (1965), MV Athena ex MS Stockholm (1948) and the two Port liners, MV Princess Daphne ex Port Sydney and MV Princess Danae ex Port Melbourne both 1955.

The beautifully elegant MV Princess Daphne is seen at anchor at Falmouth

Photo by & Owen Davidson UK – quality improved by the author

This company was famed for the superb upkeep of their ships and the maintenance was simple perfection to behold in every department! In addition, CIC offered the very best on board, considering they were basically a budget cruise line! The company’s owner, Mr. George P. Potamianos who I have personally known since the 1970s, comes from a very long line of shipping magnates, but he was a sheer genius, but more so, he really cared for his guests and ensured they received the very best and best kept classic ships! Whilst on the MV Athena sailing from Australia to England, being my second voyage on her, I was to meet Mr. George Potamianos in Lisbon aboard the Athena in May 21, 2012, however several days prior to arriving I was told that he had fallen very ill and had to be hospitalised and that only family were permitted to visit him, or I would have been there to see him! But one of his twin boys would come and see me, but this was not to be as George took a turn for the worse and I met with several of the other management team. Sadly this great man passed away on May 29, 2012 and his twin sons took over the company, but I knew that they would destroy it and indeed they did, for they were spoiled brats and had no idea of how to operate a large company and there was no love of the sea, thus months later the company went into receivership!

The late Mr. George P. Potamianos

For interest, George Potamianos’ family hails from a maritime tradition stretching back over 150 years for it was one of his forebears Mr. AnastassiosTassos’ Potamianos (1820-1902) from the Ionian Island of Kefalonia also known as Cephalonia, commenced a new shipping line in Greece in 1850 we have come to know as Epirotiki Lines. Tassos’ first shipping venture was transporting cargo as well as passengers along the River Danube to the city of Braila in Rumania. From the beginning Tassos’ nephew, Giorgos Potamianos (1867-1932) was at his side and worked hard in establishing the company. Giorgos in due course became a master and pilot, taking ships from the Greek mainland at Preveza (opposite Kefalonia) to Lipsia, Malta, Massalia and Russia. At the age of 25 he acquired his first general cargo sailing ship, the ‘Sacra Famila,’ which was place in service in the Eastern Mediterranean. Thus, it was the famous Potamianos family who established the superb and greatly loved Epirotiki Lines and George also managed it, until he commence to independently commenced to charter ships for his own and new company, based in Portugal, his new home!

The Sad News:

May 12, 2014: MV Princess Daphne, IMO: 5282627 - Call Sign: V4ZV2, has been laid up for a considerable time in Souda, a port on the Island Crete, however I have been advised today that she has been sold to a ship breaker in Alang India and that her name has been shortened to Daphne!

We do know that she had already been reregistered to that very suspicious location, being “St Kitts Nevis”, the very place that usually means, the next destination was going to be one of the beaches of foul toxicity, poison, death & injury of its workers, being at Alang or Chittagong, thus, she must have already changed hands, at an earlier time, but we do not know as yet who the first buyer was, or which breaker obtained her at this stage. The harbour authorities have demanded that she is moved as the berth is required, thus she is expected to depart from Crete today, for she has been there since the collapse of CIC in 2012!

MV Princess Daphne seen in April 2014 at Souda, Crete

Photo sent in by a supporter, but the photographer unknown – Please see photo notes at the bottom of the page

The sad fact is that her interiors are just beautiful, but she has been completely neglected since she was placed in lay-up and a good number of problems have occurred, as happens with many older ships that are not operational and serviced on a regular basis. But now she is a doomed ship, thus we will have to say good-bye to this old girl, and just hope and pray that the same thing will not happen to her twin sister the Princess Danae or Lisboa in the very near future!

Below is MV Princess Daphne’s twin Sister the Princess Danae, she now the MV Lisboa!

 

The MV Lisboa seen here under Portuscale Cruises Livery

 

Visit my five page Princess Danae & Daphne feature

 

Other ships sailing with Portuscale Cruises

But there is some good news: Portuscale’s 66 year old MS Azores, ex MS Athena, a ship I sailed on a good

number of times. She has been completely refurbished and she is has commenced her new life having

been chartered to the German “AMBIENTE Kreuzfahrten” having commenced cruising in March, 2014

 

The ex Classic Liner MV Funchal was built in 1960

 

The intimate MV Porto, ex Arion, built as the MS Istra in 1965

 

Visit my five page Princess Danae & Daphne feature

 

Links to all these ships on this page can be found on my ssMaritime MAIN INDEX

 

dddddddddddddddd

 

The World’s Oldest Passenger ship!

MV Doulos

SS Medina (1914-1948) was sold and renamed: SS Roma (1948-1952)

MS Franca C (1952-1977) - MV Doulos - (1977-2010)

Doulos – (2010 - ) she is will be permanently located in Singapore

She will officially be 100 Years of Age on August 22, 2014

 

Doulos at the ASL Ship Yards at Batam, Indonesia

The Doulos Phos is seen at the ASL Shipyard’s in Batam on December 1, 2013

Photograph provided by Mr. Evan Jones, ASL Marine Group, Batam

--Doulos Updates--

The ex MV Doulos had been sitting in Singapore for quite some time and I had began to wonder if anything was ever going to happen. I am aware that originally the Singapore Government was not playing ball with Mr. Eric Saw and his family as no berth would be allocated for the Doulos and even Saratosa or the Island of Bintan seemed out!

However, there has been a change of heart for in September 2013, the Doulos was towed from Singapore to Batam in Indonesia, were she will first be stripped and then be comprehensively refurbished. Upon completion, she will is to be moved to the Singaporean Island of Bintan to become part of a US$25 million hotel resort, restaurant facility and maritime museum and other facilities on board! I have received new images and I have placed one of these below, whilst other photographs will go online on a new page yet to be built for the Doulos book, but I will add the link later!

Doulos-Batam-2014

Doulos seen at the ASL Shipyards at a later date

As I already reported in August 2010 I placed artist impressions online of what the rebuilt ship would have to offer and could look like: However, as these were made back in 2010 there may well have been changes since then.

The hotel of Doulos Phos will be located on A and B decks. However, I simply do not understand why Main deck was not the first choice for the hotel together with A deck, for B deck is the deck with holds, the engine room, baggage room and storage spaces, there has never been any accommodations on this deck!

There will be two restaurants seating 250 guests each; one will be located on Promenade deck in her original dining room and the second in a new space to be built on Boat deck. Other facilities will include a Deli, Cafe, Wine and Juice bars, the Bookshop, a Banquet Hall, Meeting rooms, a Bible school and most importantly a Maritime Museum. An Amphitheatre that is expected to seat around 70 people is to be place on the bow section.

View the Doulos Phos Rebuilding Details - But remember, these are subject to alteration.

 

MV Doulos Phos as seen in Singapore on November 14, 2012

Photograph was taken by and is Copyright 2012 - Peter Knego – MarritimeMatters

Used with permission

Peter Knego, who I consider as a dear friend, spent a day onboard the MV Doulos Phos whilst he was in Singapore on assignment. Thus on November 14, 2012 he boarded her and for the first time and obviously he had a wonderful time looking around my much beloved Doulos. Personally, my first experience with the Doulos was when she was still the luxurious cruise ship, the MV Franca C, and that was in Italy back in 1971 with my loved one! The next time he saw her would be some twenty eight years later as she arrived in Sydney Australia on Sunday July 4, 1999 on a perfect sunny day and she looked perfect as she slowly sailed past the Opera House and turned into Circular Quay for she had the finest berth in the city for the duration whilst she was in port, the International Passenger Terminal!

As this elegant vintage lady of the sea gracefully slipped past the Sydney Opera House and gently sailed past the Sydney Opera House, manoeuvring herself into Circular Quay and alongside the “International Passenger Terminal” at Circular Quay where she remained berthed until July 26. I boarded her the next day officially and remained her much until she sailed.

I again was fortunate to spend time on her in Brisbane up in Queensland from August 1 to the 19th.including the voyage to Sydney on her and I had a superb single cabin on Promenade deck for the duration! Photographs are on my MV Doulos feature.

I am most grateful to Peter Knego for allowing me to use the photograph above and for further excellent reading and some great images of her as she was whilst in Singapore, visit: http://maritimematters.com/2012/12/decking-doulos-part-one/.

Doulos Phos seen at lay up at the Singapore shipyards after being purchased by the Saw Family

Photographer unknown - *Please see photo notes at bottom of page

Thus, there will be great things happening to one of the most amazing ships afloat today, and I trust that all lovers of classic ships will support Mr Saw, and place Singapore on the MUST visit list in the future, and if you feel inclined to make a donation, please do so – Contact me for details!

During the process of OM Ships attempt to sell the Doulos, I was in contact with Mr Eric Saw and family of BizNaz Resources International Pte Ltd, who have obviously succeeded to buy my beloved Doulos, and I can say with all honesty that I am overjoyed with the outcome, that this blessed historic ship that has been in Master’s service will continue to serve long into the future!

MV Doulos saved from the breakers by "Save the Classic Liners Campaign"

The Doulos is seen berthed in Singapore on February 25, 2010 – A ship now saved!

Photographed by and copyright 2010 Stewart Mandy

I fully believe that the rescue of the Doulos from the breakers hands, is without doubt one of my finest victories, as this is the world’s oldest motor ship, and she is technically still fully operational, although she will now be permanently berthed in Singapore.

Many of her features date back to 1914, such as her Bridge and many other interesting items! This ship is one of a kind and she was built just two years after the ill-fated Titanic!

I certainly trust that the Doulos will have a long and prosperous life in Singapore as her new owners are very special people indeed and they have a true and a solid vision for her!

A Special Request:

I hereby request that all my readers support the Saw family of BizNaz Resources in order that the historic Doulos may be fully restored to her former glory and open as a delightful Hotel, and a Maritime Museum that will feature all the ships various incarnations, from the days of the SS Medina, SS Roma, MS Franca C, MV Doulos and Doulos Phos!

Read my extensive MV Doulos - A Ship Like No Other Online Book

 

dddddddddddddddd

 

S.S. United States

Above we see the greatest American Trans-Atlantic Liner ever built and Let us SAVE HER!

Dear friends, it is vital to understand that the SS United States is without doubt one of the world’s greatest marine achievements that was brought about by the wonderful, William Francis Gibbs who was the brainchild behind the great SS United States an American liner like no ever other her the day. The end result was pure perfection a grand ship with the most sublime proportions, with her massive and impressive funnels to say the least, their grandeur would announce that “the SS United States has arrived!”

The ships builder’s plate taken quite a long time ago!

Part One: A short Introduction to a “Mighty Ship”!

For the more mature ones of us, we will well remember that the mighty SS United States departed on her maiden voyage on July 3, 1952 and she rapidly became one of the most sought after liners. Over the years she carried countless famous people, from Royalty, Heirs, Millionaires, the famous and great Movie, Opera and other famed Singing stars. However, her claim to fame is that she is the world’s fastest passenger liner!

During her trials she achieved a massive top speed of 38 knots. She departed on her maiden Atlantic crossing in July 1952, completing it in just 3 days, 10 hours and 40 minutes (From Ambrose Lighthouse to Bishops Rock), thus beating Queen Mary’s previous Eastbound record by 10 hours, after which she broke the Westbound record of 3 days, 19 hours and 20 minutes, giving her an average speed of over 34 knots.

On her maiden voyage to New York July 3, 1952, she crossed the Atlantic (Eastbound) in record time and was duly was awarded the much sought after Bleu Riband with an average speed of 35.59 knots (65.91 km/h). She then broke the westbound record on her July 11 voyage when she reached her destination with an average speed of 34.51 knots (63.91 km/h). Since 1838 the British, Germans, Italians and French have battled to build the fastest ship ever and to gain the famed Bleu Riband, however the SS United States was the very last liner ever to gain the Bleu Riband and retains it to this day!

Obviously, her weight was lessened as her complete superstructure and her mighty funnels were made of aluminium alloy. In order to make her completely fireproof William Gibbs even ordered Steinway’s to build aluminium grand pianos. But Steinway obviously refused to do so. Thus as far as we know, the only timber onboard the ship were the pianos and the butcher blocks used in the kitchen, everything else being steel and aluminium. For her day she even featured telephones in every single cabin. For passenger pleasure she offered an indoor swimming pool, a gymnasium, but she had two Turkish baths and two theatres.

Right from the beginning she was one of the most popular liners plying the Atlantic. During the first ten years of service SS United States sailed with an average of 90 percent occupancy rate. However loadings suddenly began to plummet and it was decided in 1966 to operate place her on a number of cruises between her Atlantic voyages to the UK. With poor loadings, her running mate the wonderful SS America was sold to Greek interests and she became the much loved Chandris Lines SS Australis. The author was the Queensland (Australia) GSA for Chandris Lines in the very early seventies.

But in 1968 the great SS United States was sold to the Walter Kidde & Company. But unfortunately the holding company believed that she had become obsolete and simply far too costly to operate mostly due to high labour costs. Thus, sadly her days were numbered especially as in 1969 the US government subsidy was completely withdrawn, and that brought about the end as her owners decided to withdraw her from service immediately! It would be on November 7, 1969, when she left her New York berth for Newport News where she was laid up without any future plans for use.

The great ship, she was and always will be, remained in lay up condition until 1992. Although there had been a number of failed attempts to obtain her and return her to service, or preserve her as a maritime museum. In due time, she was towed across the Atlantic to Turkey to have her interiors gutted and asbestos removed. And in 1996 she returned to the United States and was laid up again, but this time in Philadelphia, but there in due course she comically became known as “the largest abandoned vehicle in the city.”

SAVE the SS UNITED STATES

A rather sad looking SS United States seen in Philadelphia

Photograph by & Dominique-Reer

She was sold to the famed Edward A. Cantor who was a real estate developer, however he died in 2002, and his son took her over, but her really had no interest in the ship, thus the fate of the SS United States became an unknown factor.

Next came a period, I would love to forget, as an Asian Casino/Cruise consortium obtained her and retained her for the most dubious, if not evil of reasons, and finally having obtained from the US Government what they wanted, they “got rid of her” as she (and another ship the SS Independence) had become a burden to them, and sold her thankfully to the SS United States Conservancy, rather than to the breakers!

SS United States Conservancy:

The SS United States then owner (I prefer not to name this company) commenced to search for a buyer sometimes in 2009. Why, well it was costing them around US$800,000 per year just to keep this rusting away dockside, a ship they ever intended to use, except to use as a means of obtaining an American flagged cruise company! Not wishing to repeat the massive anti company publicity they had received from this Campaign for many years for their disgraceful handling of their previous two ships: 1. The SS Norway: 2. The disgraceful demise of the SS Independence, they were forced to reject a US$5.9 million dollar offer from the breakers, which they would have much preferred.

However they agreed to sell the SS United States Conservancy for just US$3 million. You may ask “WHY?” The truth is that this company simply could not afford any further bad publicity and they just had to get out of the news and continue with their cruise line which by now had been partially taken over and the CEO dropped!

The SS United States Conservancy was able to obtain the ship mainly due to the great generosity of Philadelphia-based philanthropist Mr. H.F. (Gerry) Lenfest. The Conservancy took possession of the SS United States on February 1, 2011. It is important to note that this Mr. Lenfest’s donation and those of so many others who have so generously given, the Conservancy was not only able to purchase the ship but in this way able to buy time to locate suitable developer/s and a permanent home for this great liner!

Above image was provided by SS United States Conservancy, but Photograph taken by Greg Shutters

In addition to being a “Plank Owner” – I now also own another part of the ship – IT is NEW

Click the LOGO above to ENTER

In fact I now own 100 Sq inches on the starboard side of her aft funnel, and yes you are more than welcome to join me on the funnel from just a few dollars donation.

Thus, if you wish to join me and assist in saving this Great Ship, just click the LOGO above and wait for the interactive page to load, and you can donate for parts of the ship, which will carry your name forever and will be permanently listed! When the page opens, it will eventually take you to the very space on the funnel where I have my 100 Square inches and you can add whatever number of square inches you may wish to obtain! I would love to see you join me, and if you do, please let me know at info@ssmaritime.com.

What a GREAT way to assist this GREAT SHIP!

 

May the future see a more beautiful Bridge section!

Above image was provided by SS United States Conservancy

And let me tell you right now, that without YOU the reader and our many and so many other supporters worldwide, there would be no future for the SS United States at all, for I am well aware that so many of you have already joined the Conservancy, or have donated in one way or another, and I thank you for that!

BUT, IF YOU HAVE NOT AS YET, PLEASE GO TO THEIR WEBSITE ASP - AND GIVE!

NOW, there is an S.O.S. call out, as YOUR URGENT HELP IS REQUIRED!

Click the image above for the SOS donation page 

Why not become a friend of the SS United States for just US$25, a Supporter US$50

An Associate US$100, Benefactor US$250, or a Champion US$500

Or one of the other levels – But every single dollar counts!

There is a great future awaiting the SS United States, just look at one of the superb possibilities, a wonderful maritime museum, with interactive panels, a theatre, featuring the SS United States and other great American and great ships of note! A hotel, tourist and conference centre, etc, with so much more opportunities that this great ship is able to offer!

And remember, you can have a part of that great FUTURE!

Above we see one of the suggested exterior possibilities for the SS United States future use, it stands to reason that she, as well as shore side, there will be substantial SS United States and maritime museum, as well as many other relevant features. Other intended projects may well include a well known Hotel chain, conference centre, restaurants, cafes and other tourist facilities!

You can help to make this a reality!

 

Museum ashore with the ship seen through the window

 

Discover the original plans and how they were drawn up?

 

Walk and relax on the Promenade Deck, just like the great old days!

 

Discover and view the engine room via a special viewing deck and large screen

 

To make all this become a reality support the …

ssMaritime.com & savetheclassicliners.com fully supports the SS United States Conservancy

And we ask that you donate TODAY and be PART in saving this great American Liner the SS United States.

Visit http://ssunitedstatesconservancy.org.

 

dddddddddddddddd

MV Queen Elizabeth 2

An update on my update last October!

You will have read below and seen the photographs of all those millionaires and mighty men signing contracts and making plans in regard to our beloved QE2, and making statements that her engines were being made ready for her voyage to Asia and that she would sail her own power for the COSCO Shipyard in Zhoushan, in the Zhejiang Province of China. Once she arrives, she will receive a thorough revitalization and a complete makeover that is scheduled for completion by 2015, etc, etc!

The sad facts are this, the QE2 is still sitting and looking an old tired and a dirty ship in Dubai, for she is simply being terribly neglected by all and sundry! Thus, what will become of her? To be honest, nothing I hear and see, regardless of the mighty plans that seem to be absolutely legitimate and the last one surely did look wonderful, I will no longer believe anything until after it has occurred!

I am sorry to have to be the bearer of bad tidings just before the New Year, but it is necessary!

Happy 2014, may it bring us happier news!

Reuben Goossens.

-Updated October 26, 2013-

 

Please click the above Image to enter the page that contains FULL DETAILS!

 

QE2 Reported to Head for China to be Refitted into a Hotel!

Tuesday October 16, 2013: For over four decades, the MV Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) was “The Most Famous Ocean Liner in the World.” Today, QE2 Holdings Ltd (“QE2 Holdings”) announced its appointment of COSCO Shipyard Group (“COSCO Shipyard”), a subsidiary of China Ocean Shipping Company, to complete the refurbishment of the QE2 into a luxury heritage hotel, taking this great ship into the next chapter of its illustrious history!

The official refurbishment contract signing ceremony and press conference at Shanghai, China

Mr. Khamis Juma Buamin and Mr. Haudong Cao sign the official contract for QE2’s refurbishment

Photograph provided & 2013 QE2 Project team

The QE2 will sail under her own power for the COSCO Shipyard in Zhoushan, in the Zhejiang Province of China. Once she arrives, she will receive a thorough revitalization and a complete makeover that is scheduled for completion by 2015.

The COSCO Shipyard will be responsible for all the technical repairs and coordinate with an appointed interior renovation contractor to revamp the accommodation and ballroom, as well as the refitting of seven restaurants, 10 lounges, a cinema, a maritime museum displaying QE2 memorabilia, and the shopping mall. The existing 990 staterooms onboard the ship will be converted into 400 premium luxury suites ranging from 60 to 150 square metres.

seven international designers were contracted to design the interiors of the new Hotel QE2 and their designs are now online and all of 5these can be viewed at; www.qe2design.com. There is a video online from one of these designers, being “BG-Studio” view it at; www.qe2design.com/bg-studio/.

The elegant Hotel QE2 is seen at her future berth, ready for her guests

Photograph provided by www.qe2design.com and the “Benoy” designers!

Further to the above:

As stated above, I received the wonderful news that the Chinese COSCO Shipyards has been contracted to convert the QE2 into a luxury-floating hotel. Mr. Daniel Chui, who is the chief executive, “Oceanic Group Pte Ltd” & “QE2 Holdings Ltd,” provided the news in regard to the project at the “Cruise & Shipping, Asia-Pacific” in Singapore, just last week. Of course as most will know the QE2 has been in Dubai for some five years awaiting her fate, but now she is being made ready to sail under her own power to China.

Mr. Chui said that the project was “an irresistible proposal” and that he envisioned the iconic ex Cunarder having a new lease of life up to a good 40 years as a luxury heritage hotel with 450 rooms.

Several months ago seven international designers were contracted to design the interiors of the new Hotel QE2, when these come available I add these online as soon as they are released (now online!). However, we have been told that “heritage, elegance and regal are the core principles” for the designs. Mr. Chui said the owners have also commissioned a documentary on the refurbishment of the historic ship whilst she is in China.

As soon as her refurbishment is completed in 2015, this great ship will be undertaking a 90-day voyage “showcasing her onboard offerings stopping at key Asian port cities.” Said Mr. Chui,

Her accommodations will range in size from 60 to 150 sq m, and will have a range of British, Continental European as well as classic and neo-modern designs.

The ship currently has seven restaurants, three of these seating 500. Mr. Chui said careful consideration is being given to how these will operate for ‘MICE events.’

Although he was happy to say that the QE2 will be finally located in the Asia Pacific, but he said that nothing at this time was finalized as yet, however, I do feel that Hong Kong would be the number one contender!

Apparently the estimated cost of QE2’s refurbishment should be around US$100 million. Mr. Chui said, “She is solid, but since she has not been activated for the past five years this is coming at a great cost.” Her refit and delivery as well as acceptance by authorities on her status and that is post conversion, which is also a big challenge, he added. For instance, with regard to questions such as whether it is designated a ship or a floating hotel. Mr. Chui said that the reason the cost should be around the US$100 million mark is mostly because the major works are being done in Asia.

All I can say is I am delighted with the news and now the QE2 will be safe for the future!

Best wishes,

Reuben Goossens.

I also suggest you visit QE2 NEWS Updates at … www.theqe2story.com

dddddddddddddddd

More on the QE2

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.

Today her future is unsure and when I visited the ship a company insider told me that they doubted that she will ever become a hotel, for the company had suffered far too greatly. Although, the country did receive money’s from the outside to revive its tourism industry and attempt to restore some pride, but to date numbers remain way down. In reality Dubai has little to offer as it is all show and razzmatazz, there are heaps of spectacular man made structures and they are great, but they are just building filled with very expensive ships, and Dubai is VERY expensive indeed! Then they do have some beaches, well by Australian standards these are of an extremely poor standard and rather small and with the severe heat there and no protection provided whatsoever from the blazing sun, this is what I would call the melanoma (skin cancer) capital of the Middle East! I have been throughout the Middle East and I love this region, but Dubai has little to offer, unless you like skyscrapers! I would choose countries like Oman and Egypt for they really have something to offer!

The truth is that QE2’s future will most likely be a rapid and a secret sale to the breakers, and it will come so swiftly that we will be totally unprepared, and that is my greatest fear! Please stay alert and if you hear anything let me know!

Interesting background on the QE2:

QE2 sailed an amazing 5.6 million nautical miles, that's 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!

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

Southampton can still be seen beneath the over painting

Photograph Reuben Goossens

dddddddddddddddd

Ships Saved by this & other Campaigns

SS Rotterdam V ~ Part One

Has been sold – BUT to WHO?

 

A superb photograph of the SS Rotterdam V, now a hotel in the city where she was built and would depart for New York – Taken in March 2011

Photograph by Philippe Pierre Brebant

2 November, 2012: The superbly beautiful ex Holland America liner and cruise ship, the SS Rotterdam was sold, however the good news is that she will remain in her homeport of the City of Rotterdam!

On Friday October 26, the ships owners being the accommodation corporation “Woonbron” sold the Rotterdam to a Netherlands based Hotel Company “WestCord Hotels” who also own the famed “Hotel New York”, being the original Holland America Line head office located on the original HAL wharves. The sale is said to have been for 29.9 million Euros.

With the acquisition of the SS Rotterdam WestCord will now have a total of 15 hotels throughout the Netherlands. Although, I have been advised, that the transfer of the ship to WestCord will take place before the end of April of 2013!

Besides WestCord, there was also great interest by an Oman who desired to obtain this amazingly popular SS Rotterdam, but obviously when a Dutch Hotelier desired to obtain her this was obviously a far better option for the Netherlands to retain this great ex Dutch liner in the City she was built as well as being her homeport. The decision was received with a great applause worldwide! As for myself having commenced my campaign so long ago in the mid nineties to save her, believe me, this news was a huge relief, for I certainly did not desire her to depart the Netherlands, for she is far safer in Rotterdam than anywhere else!

There is one other factor that will come into play for her future. As she will be in the hands of a solid and safe Hotel company, for I am very happy to say that “WestCord Hotels” will manage the “Hotel De Rotterdam” in a far superior manner than her previous owner, for ever since she was opened to the public as a hotel I have, which is very sad to say, received countless complaints from those who stayed on her and visited her from around the world. The vast majority made a very similar statement, which said that they felt that the ship was geared only to the Dutch public and English on board, was very poor to just bad and that so many venues were closed most of the time.

In addition, for ship lovers who travelled especially to Rotterdam just to stay on her found that “the ships souvenir shop was closed much of the time”, and thus they were unable to obtain the souvenirs they so much desired. “No one seemed to care less and it seemed that the “Hotel De Rotterdam” was not being run like a real hotel at all. No it was a really sad stay for us, for we remember the days we sailed on this ship, both during her liner and her cruise ship days. Sadly, we will never go back to her as this hotel, for it destroyed our memories, even though some of the venues are still much the same that is if they were not locked!” With her sale, this problem will be fully overcome, for Dutch hotels, to my experience are very efficient, and I do know WestCord are simply excellent hotels! If you have ever stayed at the delightful and historic “Hotel New York,” you will know all about it!

Below is our previous report, which is no longer valid, but I will leave it for the record!

September 2, 2012: I have been advised that it is now very likely that SS Rotterdam will be purchased by a certain Omani business interest for her to be used assumingly as a luxury hotel. However, considering the massive amount of work that has been put into her by both me and the Dutch Rotterdam group working to save her and see her back in Rotterdam, this is most sad indeed. Apparently, the cost of her massive restoration has proven just too great for her owner’s, and should she depart and head for the Middle East, it will be a massive loss for the city of Rotterdam.

Hotel De Rotterdam seen at her special berth at her homeport the City of Rotterdam, The Netherlands, in March 2011

 

Enter the SS Rotterdam V multi page feature

 

dddddddddddddddd

 

SS Rotterdam V ~ Part Two

She is berthed in Rotterdam the Netherlands

The author commenced his original “Save the SS Rotterdam Campaign” in 1997, when I heard that Carnival (HAL) had intentions of disposing of the superb SS Rotterdam, but, suddenly they sold her to Premier Cruises and she became the SS Rembrandt. For this reason I abandoned the campaign at that time. Premier had her refitted, which turned out to be at half the cost that Carnival had estimated to bring her up to SOLAS compliance, and upon completion she returned to duties and continued as a popular cruise ship, with many past Rotterdam passengers sailing on her. She commenced cruising first in South American waters and then elsewhere. However, as is well documented Premier Cruises officially shut down on September, 13, 2000! As soon as I heard this news I recommenced my original “Save the SS Rotterdam Campaign” which continued and received massive supports from around the world!

However, it was at midnight on September, 13, 2000, when the terrible news was made official and Rembrandt’s captain was ordered to go to Halifax Nova Scotia, and offload his passengers. Upon arrival the ship was placed under arrest by the Halifax Sheriff's department until early the next day. However, she was permitted, under special warrant conditions to sail for Freeport in the Bahamas, arriving September 21, and was laid up and was placed on the market to be sold. AS we continued the campaign there was a superb Dutch organisation then headed by Klaas Krijnen, and considering they were doing such an outstanding job and with the Rotterdam being an all Dutch ship, I decided to hand over to them and continue my pages, but only in a support role and ensured that my visitors would go to their pages and join their organisation, etc and give funds of course! We all know that this ended up well and that the ship is now owned by “De Rotterdam BV” and she is a huge success, and I am so glad that I was part of that success in some way! However, now you can enjoy the sublime pleasure of living on board this once great Dutch liner, thus head for the Netherlands and stay for a week on board the SS Rotterdam and explore a wonderful city that has so much to offer and a country filled with fine castles, delightful country villages, fishing villages and many wonders to behold. I loved my last visit there!

SS Rotterdam has been superbly restored to her original 1958 beautiful self and is now open to the public

Serving as a fine Hotel, restaurant, food and conference venue and tourist centre

This Dutch ex Trans-Atlantic liner was known as the “The Grande Dame” was launched by HRH Queen Juliana in a gala ceremony on September 13, 1958, and she departed on her maiden voyage on September 3 1959. The SS Rotterdam became the very last of the great Dutch “ships of state,” employing some of the greatest Dutch artisans during her construction and fitting out process. Her successful career spanned a good forty years, and she became one of the most successful and profitable passenger ships of all time. She sailed from September 1959 until her final retirement in September 2000.

Visit the English version of the … SS ROTTERDAM (in Holland) Website

 

dddddddddddddddd

?

MS Kristina Regina

Built as the SS Bore

She has been Saved and renamed “Bore” again!

 

MS Kristina Regina, ex SS Bore, was photographed by the author in Gibraltar on August 29, 2009

Photograph by & copyright 2009 Reuben Goossens

The classic cruise ship the MS Kristina Regina was saved from the breakers and having been refitted she is now located in Turku Finland where she is permanently moored in the river Aura and her original name “Bore” has been restored to her. She has been converted into a Hotel ship and a Museum. Thankfully the Bore has been painted once again in her original buff hull, including the yellow funnel green and white bands (see image below), etc, which is great news!

She is seen here as the Bore as built

Official postcard – author’s private collection

 

Here we see the Bore at Turku in February 2011 fully restored to her beautiful self!

Photo from an unknown source - * See photo notes at the bottom of page

Although the item below is now out of date, but it is still interesting!

Below is the original “official news item” that was sent to me from Finland, which was kindly translated from the Web on www.ts.fi/online/kotimaa/149501.html into English by past SS Bore passenger and ship lover, Simo Vihjanen. Thank you, it is greatly appreciated! This is obviously big news in Scandinavia, especially in Finland where this ship is great loved!

“M/S Regina becoming a museum ship in Turku is certain. The Kotka based shipping company who owns the ship has signed the sales agreement on Thursday. The buyer is the Turku Company whose Chairman of the Board is Johnny Sid who also tried to rescue the to-be-scrapped Finnjet. The parties have agreed not to disclose the price of the ship.

The ship was originally built for the route between Turku and Stockholm, and its original name was S/S Bore. People in Turku remember her as "Bore Zero". The new owner will moor the ship on the river Aura.

The plan at the moment is to place her between Suomen Joutsen and Sigyn, in the place where M/S Estelle is moored now.  The ship will get back the original colours and the original name s/s Bore. The museum hotel will have accommodation for 250 visitors, and most of the cabins will be for two persons.

The ship will be handed over to the new owner in the beginning of September. The hotel will open in September, too. There will be a restaurant on board.

The ship is in good shape. Its has made a number of voyages to different parts of Europe, the Arctic region, and the African coast. It is taken out of active service due to the fact that the new maritime security regulations do not allow such a great amount of wood used in the ship interior as there is in Kristina Regina.

At this moment, the Kristina Regina is in Greenland, and it will arrive via Iceland to Finland in August. PS: she has now long arrived!

The ship served Kristina Cruises Company for over 20 years. According to the company she has visited 216 harbours in 40 different countries.”

Another fine ship has been saved for the future for the younger generations to value and enjoy the great shipbuilding days of yesteryear!

The Kristina Regina seen from the decks of the Dawn Princess, whilst the author was on his

106 night world cruise Sydney/Sydney/Brisbane – seen at Gibraltar August 29, 2009

In this image the addition of her aft extension is clearly visible

Photograph by & copyright 2009 Reuben Goossens

 

Enter the SS Bore / MS Kristina Regina feature

 

dddddddddddddddd

 

***********************************

Who is the Author of ssMaritime?

Commenced in the passenger Shipping Industry in May 1960

 

Return to the ssMaritime MAIN INDEX

Email us

Please name the ships you are enquiring about!

 

ssMaritime.com & ssMaritime.net

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

 

Also visit these pages;

Save The Classic Liners Campaign & Cruise-Australia

 

Please Note that ssmaritime and all associated sites are 100% non-commercial and the author seeks no funding whatsoever!

 

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. 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, for this is very important to me! See www.ssmaritime.com for my email address.

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!

 

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