Save the Classic Liner Campaign founded in the early1990's

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With Reuben Goossens

Maritime Historian, Cruise‘n’Ship Reviewer, Author & Lecturer

Please Note: All ssmaritime and my other related ssmaritime sites are 100% non-commercial and privately owned sites. Be assured that I am NOT associated with any cruise or shipping companies or travel/cruise agencies or any other organisations! The author has been in the passenger shipping industry since May 1960 and is now semi-retired, but continues to write article on classic liners and cruise ships in order to better to inform cruise and ship enthusiasts for their pleasure!


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


June 1, 2017: Having been in the passenger shipping industry for a good fifty-five years working from an office boy with a major shipping company, to later becoming an agent selling berths on ships to and from the UK and European ports, as well other ports on the way. In due course I managed a major Passenger Shipping Company and operated a successful Cruise Company in the 1970’s, thus it makes sense that my love for classic and traditional passenger liners and cruise ships is obvious!

Personally it has been my good fortune to have been directly involved in saving some worthwhile passenger ships since 1990, but have done so officially online since 1995! The best known is one I was so closely involved with for some time was the great Dutch Liner SS Rotterdam, which is now a wonderful Hotel in her homeport of Rotterdam, Holland! As well having been mostly responsible for saving the now 103-year-old MV Doulos! However, the end story with the Doulos has been one I had hope for, for her owner was to turn her into a floating luxury boutique hotel and maritime museum. However, his christian company has turned a very different way, and she has become part of an Island large pleasure playground for Asian tourists. Her owners have now dragged the poor Doulos up on land to become a cheap and nasty, miserable Indonesian tourist resort on Bintan Island! So much for christian promises!

Of course, there have also been other sad losses, with some fine ships gone to the breakers, but there have also been some wonderful and sweet victories! One great story is located down the page, being the recent official dedication and opening of the Dock and parkland at the Canadian Pacific Lakes luxury liner SS Keewantin, although I had no hand in the saving of this ship, just supporting the cause! However, we must remember there are still some great classic liners left that are worth saving and thus this page is being continued as a means of keeping you and those who may be suitable buyers in the loop!

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

and, &

However, I must advise you; due to age and health issues, I am no longer involved in personally saving any of these wonderful ships, therefore I now leave that job to others who I hope some are well trained and qualified individuals, organisations or owners who will be able to do this very difficult work. However, they will still need your, my reader’s 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 them through every possible means to save some of these, fine and much loved classic ex liners and yes, even some of the lesser-known yet fine ships. And yu can assist these works through financial assistance, n matter how small, as well if you are looking for a ship to buy.

Then there is the great SS United States, which was obtained by the “SS United States Conservancy” and for many years they have done a wonderful job, but there has been a recent setback. Read her sad the news story below! News from what I have heard regarding the great QE2 seems to be much better! There are other smaller, but equally significant vessels, including here in Australia, and the UK, including the wonderful TS Queen Mary!

Therefore, come aboard, and support the very special work that continues to be done by many good people, and I am satisfied knowing that together we have done something special, for doing something when assisting organisations or smaller dedicated groups in saving a part of maritime history. Remember, becoming part of saving a ship will last long into the future, and it will be something that you, your children and their children will come to know and see what a real ship really looks like, rather than those great big square boxlike floating apartment blocks (condos), come resort style theme parks, called cruise ships of today, which no longer seem to even look like a ship at all!

In Conclusion:

I sincerely thank all my wonderful supporters who over the many years have supported this campaign for amazingly my four maritime, and cruise sites have now received well over 518.9 million readers/visitors to date and that is an amazing feat indeed! Thus, thank you to all my supporters for I am very touched by your kindnesses, especially for the countless emails that constantly received during the recent years of my rather poor health!

Reuben Goossens.

Maritime Historian, Author, Cruise‘n’Ship Reviewer & Lecturer.

Commenced in the Passenger Shipping Industry in 1960.


Go Directly to Ships on this Page


Good News for Hotel Queen Elizabeth 2

SS United States, MV Doulos

SS Keewatin, TS Queen Mary, MV Cape Don.




S.S. United States

Are we nearing the END for the now tragic S.S. United States?

The superbly built and a beautifully balanced Liner, the fastest ship in the world, S.S. United States is seen here as built


Let us remember her like this and Hope and Pray for a Miracle!

We will all remember that a glimmer of hope was thrown our way, when in February 2016; Crystal Cruises announced that they had signed a purchase option for the SS United States. Crystal would cover docking costs in Philadelphia for nine months whilst they would conduct a feasibility study on returning the great ship to service as a cruise ship based in New York. However, sadly the plan was officially dropped on August 5, 2016, due to there being far too many technical and commercial challenges. Crystal had discovered that the United States could never again meet the latest SOLAS safety requirements, even though most of the asbestos aboard had been removed many years ago whilst she was towed to and from Turkey!

An illustration of what the rebuilt United States could have looked like if the Crystal plan had gone ahead

Image provided by Crystal Cruises/Genting HKG

However, now with the Port of Philadelphia having announced plans for a major upgrade so the berth the United States is located at, as it is required for much needed cargo operations. Of course, it will also please people living in the port area, as I have been told that frankly the vast majority are simply said to be “fed up with this decaying monster on our doorstep.”

Although, all sorts of plans have been announced for her to become a museum and a tourist attraction it now seems that there are no interested parties left who have any desire to spend a fortune to turn her into a tourist attraction. The truth is that today she is simply a giant empty damp rust bucket, and it hurts me to say that, but it is a fact as the photographs below indicate, thus it seems that the days of the great SS United States remaining afloat may well be numbered.


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


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


Visit the SS United States Conservancy Page



MV Doulos - A Sad Update

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

Photograph © copyright 1999 Ramon Williams

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

Here the once beautiful Doulos is seen looking a horrid sight, as she is been made ready to be dragged up onto Bintan Island

This historic ex missionary ship, luxury cruise ship, passenger liner, migrant ship, built as a humble American freighter in 1914, a ship that served in two World wars, and is now a good 103 years of age, which I attempted to save as a floating hotel, maritime museum, and an education centre, will be something very different!

As most of you will know, I have a very long association with the ship, which goes back to her days as the MV Franca C. My first encounter with her was when she was the luxurious MS Franca C cruising the Mediterranean in 1971, then the next time I spent time on her was when she was the MV Doulos in 1985, then spent time aboard in 1999, and I sailed on her again in 2008, which would be sadly be the very last time. Thus, what has occurred to this fine historic ship hurts me far more than most having been her official historian for well over 40 years, and having sailed on her and spent a great deal of time on her both whilst she was the Franca C and the Doulos.

In addition, I directly assisted Singaporean Mr. Eric Saw to obtain the Doulos, for previously he was rejected by her German owners, as they had decided to sell her to Alang breakers for a better price. However, due my extensive worldwide campaign against this, they changed their mind and decided once again to sell her to another buyer for further use. Had I known what her end would have been, I would have made sure that the South African Mission would have obtained her, for they would have retained her in the water, after upgrading her! However, now sadly she is up on land and thus the once great MV Doulos, ex Franca C, SS Roma & SS medina built in 1914 is a tragic hotel, an ex ship that is far from her amazing origins.

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

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


Enter my 30 Page MV Doulos Feature



Hotel Queen Elizabeth 2 ~ News Updates

Located at: Port Rashid Dubai


I suggest you visit QE2 NEWS Updates at …

Great News at Last:

As we all should know well by now, our beloved ex Cunard liner, Queen Elizabeth 2 has been laid up for nine years in Dubai and for a considerable time there was little to no maintenance or even a crew aboard over the years. It certainly has been a long and a sad time waiting for all who love this magnificent ship to see something good to happen to her. During these past years, there were even reports of mildew growing inside the ship and we know her interiors began to look rather tardy. However, friend’s things are finally looking up for this Grand Old Dame of the Sea!

Back in May 2017, I received news regarding her future as a hotel, then just recently; I was confirmed that “Hotel Queen Elizabeth 2” will be partially opened by December this year. She has remained at her berth at Port Rashid and around September, signs had been erected directing traffic to “Hotel Queen Elizabeth 2”.

In May plans were announced to commence her transformation into a floating hotel and base her at Port Rashid. Thankfully a decision was made to retain QE2’s exterior in her “classic and traditional shape.”

Note the recently renamed berth and the missing lifeboats and tenders, which will not return!

A team of workers have been very busy aboard the QE2, and it is obvious that her lifeboats and tenders have been removed. Some have said that this was just for maintenance, however, by just looking at her it is obvious that all the davits have also been removed, thus I am sure that the lifeboats have gone forever, and may feature somewhere close by? However, her transformation into a floating hotel is now well on the way.

This is the original model of the proposed “Queen Elizabeth 2” berth at Port Rashid and the Marina layout

But there have already been a number of changes

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 is more than any other ship ever I know about, in other words that is like travelling to the moon and back 13 times. She has accommodated approximately 2.5 million guests and completed 802 Atlantic crossings and 24 full world cruises, thus some 1,438 voyages. That is an excellent record indeed!

What will be her future?

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

Photograph © Reuben Goossens


The Timeline of the SS/MV Queen Elizabeth 2:

1964 - Cunard signs a contract to build the ship with John Brown Shipyard Clydebank, Scotland.

1967 - September 20 the ship was launched by HRH Queen Elizabeth II.

1968 – QE2 undertakes her deep sea trails; the first was on November 26 to 29, and the second, December 17 to 19.

1968 - QE2 departs on her maiden voyage, being a cruise from Greenock to the Canary Islands with the author on board. Sadly the ship developed turbine troubles and she had to return to her builders.

1969 - After renewed trails on April 1 to 8, Cunard takes delivery of the QE2 on April 18 for the second time.

1969 - On May 2 the QE2 commences her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City, officially taking four days, 16 hours and 35 minutes.

1970 - She crosses the Atlantic Westbound in record time of just three days, 20 hours and 42 minutes.

1972 - QE2 undergoes a refit and rebuilding as penthouses added to the top of the ship, altering her external appearance. Accommodating 604 First, 1,223 Tourist, and 1,740 one class when cruising.

1975 - QE2 departs from Southampton on her first World voyage, the first of many world cruises.

1982 - The QE2 was requisitioned by the British government as troopship to operate in Falklands Islands Campaign. She carried 3,000 troops and 650 volunteer crew to the South Atlantic. However, she was kept well out of the way for no harm was to become her, for the ship did carry the name of Her Majesty the Queen, the Sovereign of Britain, thus she was kept far out of harm at all times, unlike the SS Canberra!

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

1988 –A new look MV Queen Elizabeth 2 complete with a new and far superior funnel and far more economic and faster that before, she returned to service and gained even more popularity on the Atlantic service.

1990 - Queen Elizabeth becomes the first Monarch to sail on the commercial liner with other passengers on board.

1995 - QE2 leaves New York for Southampton on her 1,000th voyage.

1996 - During her twentieth around the world cruise the QE2 passed her four millionth mile mark, and amazing feat, but there was more to come!

1998 - South African President Nelson Mandela sails on the QE2 from Durban to Cape Town. A year later the QE2 was treated to a multi-million dollar refurbishment which included all her public rooms as well as her cabins that needed updating.

2002 - QE2 passes five million miles - a world first.

2004 - The QE2 was considered as being one of the last of the great Trans Atlantic liners, for there has not been any true liners since. Although, they pretend that the Queen Mary 2 is a liner, but she certainly is not and neither was the QE 2 in her latter years, for both were then cruise ships. Although QE2 was built as a liner that would also operate cruises, but her main function was to be a liner; that means line voyages from the UK to the USA and back. Today all ships operate short and longer cruises and they may undertake the occasional cruise from the USA to and from the UK, but that does not qualify them as being a “liner”, for the encyclopaedia clearly states that a liner must be a ship that is on a regular (constant) liner service – “line voyage”!

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

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

2009 – September 21. The author saw and photographed the QE2 today whilst on a around the world cruise on Dawn Princess and noted that she was registered in Port Vila Vanuatu.

2010 – January 29. QE2 broke loose from her moorings during a storm and was only just saved from destruction by two brilliant pilots.

2012 – July, 03. Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem announced that a decision has been made to retain the ship’s exterior in her “classic and traditional shape, and install 300 rooms and use her as a hotel at the new Port Rashid International Cruise Terminal within several years! Sultan Sulayem said: “So we have decided to leave her basic design as it is. We will preserve her tradition. What we are doing today is what we should have done when we first bought her.” And I agree with him, they should have and she would have been operational by now!

2013 – July, after an Asian possibility, there are great doubts for the ship as she has no power and she will be deteriorating whilst at lay-up in Dubai!

2015 – It is sad, but she is still laid-up in a dead ship state and deteriorating day by day! Although there seems to be interest by Scotland who is now taking a second look at bringing the QE2 back to the Clyde as a Hotel and a Tourist attraction. But has she gone downhill too far gone to be saved?

2017 News of her being refitted as a hotel at Port Rashid.

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



Canadian Pacific Railway Steamship

Click the Logo ABOVE - to enter the site


Please Note: A new Page Two has been with the ships dock & Park dedication in June 2017 - with many new photograph!


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



TS Queen Mary 

FOTSQM Stands for: “Friends Of TS Queen Mary”

Click the Photograph above to enter their website and help to save this fine ship!

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

But the company was contacted by 1935 in regard the great new liner the RMS Queen Mary that would be launched by Her Majesty Queen Mary, thus there was a slight name change made and she became the TS Queen Mary II, but continued her regular Clyde services.

Queen Mary II was a spacious and certainly a comfortable ship and thus well suited to the large numbers of passengers on the service. Her passenger capacity made up for a good speed of 21 knots on her trials. Being a two class ship, having Cabin Class passengers located forward as well as the top deck extending aft giving the Steerage Class passengers a share of it, and also the sheltered space below it.

TS Queen Mary Specifications:

Builder:                      William Denny & Bros Ltd., Dumbarton.

Yard:                         1262.

Built for:                    Williamson Buchanan Steamers Ltd.

Engines:                     Triple Denny & Bros Steam Turbines.

Screws:                      Triple, direct drive.

Tonnage:                    1933-1950 - 871 Gross Registered Tons.

.                                1950-1957 - 917 GRT.

.                                1957-onwards - 1,014 GRT.

Length:                      252.5ft - 77m.

Beam:                        35.1ft - 10.7m.

Draught:                    10.1ft - 3.1m.

Speed:                       19.5 knots max 21 knots.

Passengers:                2,086-day passengers.

The delightful TS Queen Mary was finally retired after an evening showboat cruise from Largs to Rothesay on September 27, 1977 after which she was laid up in the “East India Harbour” at Greenock.

I will not go into her story in relation to her being saved and restoration etc, for I will let the wonderful folk over in the UK, and a dear supporter of this Campaign who is fully involved, in fact he was influenced by “Save The Classic Liner Campaign” to do something, which is just great!

Enter the Site to Save the TS Queen Mary Here



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

MV Cape Don


Like the famed historic Sydney Harbour ferry the MS Baragoola, which I strongly support in saving and preserving, and I am also adding the delightful 1963 built MV Cape Don, which is a unique all Australian vessel that should and must be retained at all costs!

The MV Cape Don was a unique purpose-built ship to service navigational aids (including manned lighthouses) all around Australia, thus being part of the “Commonwealth Lighthouse Service.”

Since retirement this excellent ship, the “MV Cape Don Society” is now responsible for restoring this delightful vessel and they will be setting up a museum on board to tell the story of her many years of dedicated service. I suggest that you visit my webpage on her, that has many interesting photographs of her and you will discover all her details as well as further links!

Visit the MV Cape Don Feature



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



Have a Question: Email Me.

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

Please Note: ssmaritime and associated sites are 100% non-commercial and the author does not seek funding or favours and never have and never will.


Photographs on ssmaritime and associate pages are either by the author or from the author’s private collection. In addition there are some images and photographs that have been provided by Shipping Companies or private photographers or collectors. Credit is given to all contributors, however, there are some photographs provided to me without details regarding the photographer or owner concerned. Therefore, I hereby invite if owners of these images would be so kind to make them-selves known to me (my email address can be found at the bottom of the page on, in order that due credit may be given.


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