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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
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 for your children’s children to see!
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!
Updated January 23, 2014
MV Lisboa – Princess Danae her refit ended as has her future. It is now possible she may well be heading for the breakers!
MV Coral, ex Triton, Sunward II, Cunard Adventurer A wonderful ship with a 43 year history, but I have some - Sad News!
MV Doulos Phos is
100 years old and she is currently undergoing her refit in Batam
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
More on the QE2 as well as her “Timeline”!
The Following Ships have been Saved - By either this, or other campaigns; including my beloved: SS Rotterdam / MS Veronica, ex Mona Lisa, Victoria, And finally, there is the fascinating classic cruise ship, the MS Kristina Regina, ex SS Bore, which has been saved!
Is Her End Near?
Here we see the ship as originally built in 1955
Photograph from the Author’s private Maritime collection
I received some troublesome news regarding the MV Lisboa a ship with an amazing history. She was built as the wonderful and popular MS Port Melbourne in 1955 and continued until finally sold due to containerisation and the changes due to air traffic in 1972, when she was sold to Greek interests who intended to convert her and her sister the Port Sydney into car ferries. She was renamed Therisos Express (1972) but laid up. She was rebuilt as a luxury cruise ship the MS Danae (1974), renamed Anar (1992), Starlight Express (1992), Baltica 1994, and she became Princess Danae in 1996 and retained that name until sold at auction in 2013 to Portuscale Cruises of Portugal who renamed her MV Lisboa.
delightful MV Princess Danae departs
Photograph by & © Jeff Eastwood
She has been in lay-up ever since her previous company went into receivership after the actual owner passed away in May 2012 and his sons had taken over the reigns of the company but made a mess of one of the best run cruise companies since the 1970s!
Then, recently her new owner who obtained her early in 2013, Portuscale Cruises placed the ship in a shipyard for a major refurbishment and overhaul, then upon completion she was expected to return to her cruise services.
However, on January 15, the following news was released from the Portuscale head office, but sent to me by a dear friend of mine, Neil Whitmore of the UK, that really saddened me, for I believe that this news has far greater implications, for her sister ship the MS Princess Daphne owned by another company, but she has already been placed on the market!
Portuscale Cruises’ notice reads as follows:
“As known in the maritime community and in the cruising world, M/V LISBOA is currently undergoing a major refurbishment and overhaul.
Regulatory requirements, applicable to the ship’s current condition which both, South Coast Cruises Lda., and the responsible entities consider necessary, extend far beyond the required registration numbers/documentation/information available on the date of inception of repairs.
The ship’s condition prior to the inception of works was not quite consistent with the obligations that must be complied with by a passenger ship.
The extent of works needed for the ship’s complete renovation is far greater than initially anticipated and only after the respective onset and the opening of different areas was it possible to visualize the real dimension of the required repairs.
Based on the above and to avoid compromising the operation’s sustainability for the forthcoming season, South Coast Cruises Lda., hereby informs that the commercial operation of M/V LISBOA has been cancelled for the 2014 season.”
For interest, the her sister MV Princess Daphne remains laid up in Crete and is advertised for sale on one of the ship brokers websites, from what we have read above, Portuscale Cruises cannot afford to hold onto a ships they cannot use, thus I am sure that the MV Lisboa will be heading in the same direction and placed on the market!
means that both the MS Port Sydney and Port
There is some good news: Portuscale’s MS Azores, ex MS Athena, a ship I sailed on a good number of times,
has almost been completely and refurbished and she is almost ready. She will commence her new life and
having been chartered by the German “AMBIENTE Kreuzfahrten” she is due to sail on March 10, 2014.
Portuscale Cruises somehow troubles me, for when they refitted the beautiful and historic MV Funchal, which is the most beautiful yacht-like Classic ships in the world, but the work that was undertaken on board was nothing short of a mechanical disaster! Upon completion there were countless ongoing problems with the ships certifications and classification and more and more work had to be undertaken to make her fit to sail. Finally the Funchal departed for her maiden cruise, but she departed very late for her maiden voyage and soon enough having departed Lisbon they discovered that although they obtained their papers signed and sealed with her Portuguese certification, that these were not worth the paper it was it was written on! The complete tragic story follows and it make you wonder, if this company is really fit to operate a cruise ships filled with passengers?
The ex Classic liner MV Funchal
The Funchal Troubles Begins!
MV Funchal was due to depart for her maiden voyage for Portuscale Cruises on August 6, 2013, however there were ongoing problems with her certifications and she was unable to depart. Even after last minute modifications she still had to await her final certification in Lisbon, but more were required, then finally on August 15 she departed Lisbon for her sea trails and when she returned everyone seemed happy and it was thought all was well, but no, she still had to wait and after more work her papers were handed in.
Update August 27, 2013:
However, having arrived at her very first port, Gothenburg, the Swedish inspectors came on board to inspect her in order to “properly judge her safety equipment on board.” The reason being, she was heading for the Norwegian Fjords and it is custom for ships to be inspected as they would be entering protected and pristine waters. But what these inspectors discovered was absolutely shocking!
They found some ten very serious problems on board including, life-saving equipment that was not internationally approved; fire-protection systems that was not fully operational; watertight doors that would not close properly; and there was a complete lack of a safety culture and training on board!
Apart from these as there were many other problems found on the ship there were reports of cabins that flooded during the voyage and air conditioning not working, as well as computer system breakdowns and we need to remember that the ship navigation system is based on Satellite navigation and its network of computers, etc, thus this was be a huge problem! They declared the ship completely unsafe to sail!
The captain somehow thought that the ship could possibly leave late on Wednesday 27th, but the inspection for that day was cancelled as things aboard was just too bad and it would take much longer!
Inspector Mårten Dahl said; “We found around ten serious technical shortcomings, everything from faults to lifesaving equipment to serious inadequacies in fire protection. The standard is far below what should be expected. After half of the inspection, we didn’t think there was any use to continue,” Mr. Mårten Dahl, ship is an Inspector at the Transportsstyrelsen to Göteborgs-Posten.
faults must be completely fixed before the ship is permitted depart port”
said Mr. Dahl. In the meantime the 390 passengers on board are waiting for
further instructions from the cruise company. Although on Wednesday several
passengers decided to leave the ship and go home. Funchal will remain until she
has been completely been brought up to standard and had her watertight doors
fixed, which could take some time! Engineers and workers from
Finally on September 2, the work on board had been completed and Funchal was officially declared safe and was now fully certified by one of the world’s toughest safety authorities as a safe and a reliable ship! And she departed for the balance of her cruise, but it has damaged the Portuscale image forever, and today it seems they are not even capable of even to get the MV Lisboa right, and yet they have had this ship for almost 10 months, how long does it take to get a ship renovated, modified and in order?
I will add links in due course, but all these ships are on my ssMaritime MAIN INDEX
The End of the Wonderful 43 year Old …
Ex MTS Triton, MS Sunward II, MS Cunard Adventurer
The 14,151 GRT
(Gross Registered Tons) Cunard Adventurer was the first of a pair of ships to
be built and she was built by the famous “Rotterdamsche Droogdok
Maatschappij N.V.,” in
sister, the MS 14,160 GRT Cunard Ambassador followed in 1972, but she was built
by “P. Smit Jr Shipbuilders,” in
MS Cunard Adventurer
was the companies very first purpose built cruise ship to be operated in the
MS Cunard Adventurer
was the companies very first purpose built cruise ship to be operated in the
The Cunard Adventurer was not that
successful either, for traditional Cunard clientele did not like this all one
class style of ship with low ceilings and cabins were far too small to their
liking. Even the Americans were not too fond of the ship and although in 1976,
Cunard transferred her to the American Cunard Line and painted the funnel in
traditional red and black (at last!) it had no impact.
The Cunard Adventurer was not that successful either, for traditional Cunard clientele did not like this all one class style of ship with low ceilings and cabins were far too small to their liking. Even the Americans were not too fond of the ship and although in 1976, Cunard transferred her to the American Cunard Line and painted the funnel in traditional red and black (at last!) it had no impact.
Klosters/NCL MS Sunward II 1977 - 1991
Cunard Adventurer was sold to Klosters/NCL in 1977 who renamed her MS Sunward II. She received a comprehensive refit and the Klosters famed twin sloping aft funnels and having commenced cruising she became very successful indeed! But with the ever-increasing purchases of larger ships, she was sold.
In 1991 Epirotiki Lines obtained the Sunward II
and renamed her Triton. She received a comprehensive refit and many
modifications as Epirotiki is known for being a luxury cruise line and offering
the very best possible. Upon completion the MTS Triton was without a doubt one
of the most beautiful ships operating on the Mediterranean and the Adriatic, as
well as operating those famous expedition voyages to the Holy Land (
Epirotiki luxury cruise ship MTS Triton 1991 - 2004
However, due to the big merger with Sun Line and becoming Royal Olympic Cruises, later Royal Olympia Cruises and the “NEW” management having made a total mess of the company, including of having ordered two super fast ships, which were so wrong for a company that had a history of luxury and style, but they went ahead anyway and it placed them headway onto the road of doom! ROC went into liquidation and the Triton was sold at Auction!
She was obtained by the Maltese cruise and Charter Company Louis Cruises who renamed her Coral and over time they gave her several refits, stripping her Sun Deck of her much loved Sky Lounge and placing cabins topside as far as the deck just in front of her funnel. She remained a popular ship and she was chartered by various companies.
Here we see two
Louis Cruise ships laid up in
Photo sent in by a supporter, photographer unknown – Please see photo notes at bottom of page!
in 2011 for some reason, this still superbly beautiful ship in pristine
condition was laid up in
MV Coral, ex Triton, Sunward II, Cunard Adventurer departed
Enter myNEW Seven-Page Feature via the link below!
One ship had a long Successful Life, whilst the other a short Troubled One!
These pages cover all their incarnations!
The World’s Oldest Passenger ship!
SS Medina (1914-1948) was sold and renamed: SS Roma (1948-1952)
MS Franca C (1952-1977) - MV Doulos - (1977-2010)
Doulos Phos – (2010 - ) she is now located permanently in
Doulos Phos News Updates
ex Doulos has been sitting in
ex Doulos has been sitting in
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
As I already reported and artist impressions are online, the following cover what the newly rebuilt ship will have to offer:
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
View the Doulos Phos Rebuilding Details
MV Doulos Phos as seen in
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
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
I am most grateful to Peter Knego for allowing
me to use the photograph above and for further excellent reading and further
images of her as she is currently, located in
August 18, 2010: Hotel, Restaurants & Museum plans announced!
I have just received an updated report from
dear friend and brother, Mr. Eric Saw of “BizNaz
Resources International Pte Ltd,” in
Doulos Phos seen laid
up at the
Photographer unknown - *Please see photo notes at bottom of page
Two decks (A and Main) have allocated for the
hotel side of Doulos Phos, in addition there will be two large (approx 250
seat) restaurants, with one located on Promenade Deck (the original dinning
room) with the second up on Boat Deck aft, which will be newly built. Other
amenities and facilities will include a Deli/Cafe, a Wine and Juice Bar, as
well as a proposed Amphitheatre with an estimated 50 to 70 seats that will be
located at the Forecastle for open air talks and
concerts, etc. In addition there will be a Bookshop, a Banquet Hall for
seminars, corporate dinners and weddings etc. There will be Meeting Rooms
available, and there will be a non denominational
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!
MV Doulos Background
Recently it was this Campaign that was involved and saved a number of ships from the breakers, but most notably for the author was the 95 year old MV Doulos, built in 1914 as the SS Medina, later the passenger liner SS Roma, then the Costa Line liner, which soon became the luxury cruise ship MS Franca C, to be sold in 1977 to a well known Christian organisation – GBA Ships (“Gutte Buche fur Alle” or “Good Books for All”), however the Ministry that actually operates the ship is OM Ships International. Thus these two organisations work closely together.
The Doulos has been used as a Christian
outreach vessel and has become a well know floating bookshop visiting hundreds
of countries around the world! Sadly die to repairs that would be needed and
due to prohibitive costs to keep her operational - MV Doulos was officially
decommissioned on December 31, 2009, which was a great sadness to all who were
on board and past Douloids, as well as long time
supporters, including the author, who did originally make the suggestion to OM
Ships a certain possibility, which was explored and it worked with the Maltese
authorities, which would see a way to have kept her sailing until 2014.
However, when Doulos was in dry-dock in
Although having certain very good Christian
buyers on the books, the ships owners, OM Ships, based in
The Director’s have renamed the ship
Doulos Phos, which is Greek for “Servant Light.” The Doulos was
officially handed over to Mr. Eric Saw and his delightful family in
During the process of OM Ships attempt to sell the Doulos I was in contact with all three prospective buyers. These being: 1. Dr. David Reddy of Ships Ministry in South Africa, 2. Mr Eric Saw and family of BizNaz Resources International Pte Ltd, who have obviously succeeded in the end; and 3. My good Korean friend, Dr. Daniel Chae PhD, who was the past Managing Director of the Doulos. I sailed with Dr. Chae in 2008 and we have a wonderful relationship. But, I can now say with all honesty that I am overjoyed with the outcome and this historic ship that has been in the Lord’s service will continue to service long into the future!
is seen berthed in
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 Phos will
have a long and prosperous life in
I hereby request that all my readers support the Saw family of BizNaz Resources in order that the historic “Doulos Phos”, the “Servant LIGHT” 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
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!
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
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
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
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
A rather sad looking SS United States
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!
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 email@example.com.
What a GREAT way to assist this GREAT SHIP!
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.
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
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!
-Updated October 26, 2013-
QE2 Reported to Head for
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!
refurbishment contract signing ceremony and press conference at
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:
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
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.
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
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.’
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
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
All I can say is I am delighted with the news and now the QE2 will be safe for the future!
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
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
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!
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!
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
Photograph © Reuben Goossens
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
Photograph © by Philippe Pierre Brebant
2 November, 2012: The superbly beautiful ex
On Friday October 26, the ships owners being
the accommodation corporation “Woonbron”
With the acquisition of the SS Rotterdam WestCord will now have a total of 15 hotels throughout the
there was also great interest by an
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
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
Hotel De Rotterdam seen at her
special berth at her homeport the City of
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
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
Built as the SS Bore
MS Kristina Regina, ex SS Bore, was
photographed by the author in
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
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
“M/S Regina becoming a
museum ship in
The ship was originally built
for the route between
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
At this moment, the Kristina
Regina is in Greenland, and it will arrive via
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
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
Commenced in the passenger Shipping Industry in May 1960
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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!
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