Save the Classic Liner Campaign founded in the early1990's
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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 noted!
Having been in the passenger shipping industry over fifty-eight years, having
commenced in Wellington New Zealand as an office boy with a major shipping
company, I then became an agent selling berths on liners sailing to and from
the UK and Europe ports, as well other ports on the way. Also popular at that
In due course I was sourced by the head of a major shipping company in
Having commenced the Save the Classic Liners Campaign
29 years ago, it has been my
good fortune to have been directly involved in saving some worthwhile passenger
ships since 1990, but I commenced it officially online in 1995! The best known magnificent
liner/cruise ship I was closely involved with for quite some time,
was the great Dutch Liner SS Rotterdam V, which is now a wonderful Hotel in her
The Author & founder of ssmaritime.com & ssmaritime.net &…..
cruise-australia.com. Founder of: savetheclassicliners.com…
Seen whilst on a voyage from
Of course, there have been far too
many sad losses, with some wonderful ships having gone to the breakers, but
thankfully there have also been some sweet victories! One great story is
located down this page, being the recent official dedication and opening of the
Dock and parkland at the
However friends, we must remember there are still some fine classic ships that are left which are worth saving, but the sad news is that the beautiful Portuguese liner, and ex presidential Yacht and Cruise Ship, the MV Funchal, has been sold, but not for her to continue cruising but to become a Hotel in London. She is the first Item below!
But please keep supporting to Save Worthwhile Classic Liners & Cruise Ships!
Sadly the great SS United States remains where she has been for so very long and the “SS United States Conservancy” at first it seemed to be doing a wonderful job, but then there was a setback and nothing has really happened and the once magnificent ship is now badly deteriorating and to be honest nothing, and I do mean nothing is happening, more below.
Thankfully the news for our beloved QE2 is just great! Read her story down the page! For “Hotel
Just Updated on June 29, 2018 is the amazing 85 year old T.S. Queen Mary a Clyde ship, which is beautifully being restored, but friends, I need you to give them a hand financially from all over the globe, for it is not cheap for all these volunteers to do this work, yes there has been some great supporters, but we need you as well. Come and be part of something that will see the ship open in 2019, and know we have all achieved something very special. Long Live the Queen!
Therefore, come aboard, and support our very special work that continues to be done by so many good people as shown just above, and I am satisfied knowing that together we can do something, for doing something when assisting organisations or smaller dedicated groups in saving a part of maritime history is worthwhile! Remember, becoming part of saving a ship will last long into the future, and it will be something that you, your children and their children will come to know and see what a real ship actually looks like, rather than those great big hideous square boxlike floating apartment blocks (condos), come resort style theme parks, that they call sadly cruise ships today, the truth is they do not look like a ship at all, it is maritime architecture and design gone completely wrong!
I sincerely thank all my wonderful supporters who over the many years have supported this campaign as well as my four maritime, and cruise sites, which have now received an amazing 522.8 million readers/visitors to date. I am indeed touched by your support and your kindnesses, especially for the countless emails that arrive daily.
Maritime Historian, Author, Cruise‘n’Ship Reviewer & Lecturer.
Commenced in the Passenger Shipping Industry in 1960.
Go Directly to Ships on this Page
Good News for
The beautiful long sleek lines of
The “Save the MV Funchal Campaign” has at least brought the ship onto the world stage, for there was little interest in her for a long time, thus I decided to place her online, and finally enquiries commenced to come in.
This wonderful 1961 ship has been on the market since 2013, as from
February 7, 2w017 I had been in contact with a group who were in the process of
obtaining her, and all certainly seemed to be going well, as this group who had
individuals with excellent shipping backgrounds such as; Holland America Line
& P&O etc, however, finally even before the auction they failed to
obtain her due to financing problems. And believe me, it was on an off again
affair much like a yo-yo, or more like a joke! Whoever they were dealing with
simply could not be trusted, and I could write a book on this whole affair, as
I have enough detail to make it interesting! But, sadly she will now become a
Then at Auction in
The parent company, “Signature Living Hotels Limited”, owns all SPV’s and subsidiaries within the group, and their spokesman stated;
intend to permanently moor this fine classic liner in close proximity of
Of course I have to be honest, I had hoped for her to continue cruising, for she is simply beautiful inside and her machinery is still fine! She would have had a good ten to fifteen years left in her as a fully operastional cruise ship!
But now, let us look at this amazing ships history, for she remains the finest Classic Intimate Yacht-Like Cruise Ships in the world!
The Trans-Atlantic Liner,
This superbly Danish built liner departed on her maiden voyage in 1961, she rapidly became a greatly loved and cherished ship, and amazingly steam ship Funchal is one of a very few beautiful Classic liners that continues to be fully operational today.
Although today, she is now a motor vessel, and she is excellent condition and is able to continue for at least another 15 to 20 years as a very successful cruise ship.
From 1968 to 1972 she operated a number of special charters for the
State of Portugal and she served as the State Presidential Yacht to and from
After her last Presidential voyage in 1972, it was
decided to send her to
During her refit, her delightful exterior profile thankfully remained almost unchanged, although a new sunken deck section was added topside located just forward of her funnel and her aft decks were somewhat extended.
Not long thereafter the company decided to have her painted all white, with a thin blue ribbon, but with the same yellow and black topped funnel, and she continued cruising. However, soon thereafter EIN Portuguese companies merged with Cia Portuguesa de Transportes Maritimos (CPTM) and her funnel was painted all yellow, but with a broad green band with thin white ones surrounding it.
In 1976 that one of the most famous Greek shipping magnates and a dear
Funchal based in
The Funchal was based in
I clearly recall when we heard that the Funchal was being replaced by
the MV Athena as (built the MS Stockholm 1948 still sailing as the MV Astoria today), knowing it was her last voyage
from Australia I decided to be on board during her final voyage to the UK in
2008, but I also sailed on the Athena to the
In due course they were sold to a
Portuguese hotel and resort entrepreneur
Portuscale Cruises purchased the
In 2013 the Funchal received a massive refit in order to commence a new
life with Portuscale Cruises, and she received many of the very latest and
modern instrumentation and equipment. After her trial voyages, and when she was
The Funchal is without a doubt not only a maritime treasure, but she has
been officially obtained by a new owner, who will make her ready for a
completely new role, as a
But, considering she was constructed by a Danish shipyard, much like the
amazing MS Stockholm built in 1948, which was superbly rebuilt by the Italians
into the MV Italia Prima, but she came into her prime as the MV Athena and
currently she is the MV Astoria, and amazingly at the time of writing she is
still cruising 2019. The
This is the Funchal as we love to
see her, but instead we will say “Farewell old Girl, we will come and
visit you in
Visit the SS/MV Funchal History page
Berthed at: Port Rashid Dubai, UAE
the main Terminal, containing the Front Desk, the
Yes, it is true the “Hotel Queen Elizabeth 2” has finally
opened, as her operators have stated in an advertisement; “Discover
a world of gastronomy, entertainment and nightlife experiences onboard the
QE2. From casual and fine dining, to grand theatres and nightclubs, she
will have a selection of 12 diverse venues to uncover at her prime location in
Prior to her opening, the QE2 was moved from Port Rashid to the Dubai Dry Dock Nº 3 where she received an exceptional makeover as described below.
The QE2 is seen being moved to
It was exciting, when she was moved to dry dock on March 18, 2018 and a great deal of work commenced on her with countless workers worked on her around the clock. For only the third time in history, the QE2’s hull was stripped back to bare metal, and she was fully repainted with fresh new paint.
In addition, all her openings below the waterline were welded shut; this included her bow thrusters, as well as her stabilisers, and then sadly her propellers were removed. Of course her lifeboats and the davits had already been removed, and this gave them the opportunity for the boat deck to be widened.
Here we see the QE2 in
In addition another on her stern is the ships name; “Queen
Here we see Hotel Queen
When I last saw the QE2 in Dubai on September 21, 2009 at that time she was no longer registered in Southampton, but in “Port Vila Vanuatu”, I had already heard on the grapevine that “on her stern, “SOUTHAMPTON” had disappeared,” as far as I know that happened some time earlier, but it was sad to see this once great Royal Mail Ship registered in such a small Pacific Island country.
whilst on a 106 day around the world cruise on September 21, 2009
But the good news is that we expect that QE2 Hotel, Museum Function, Dinning and Leisure Centre is now open, by around the end of April, and considering we have all waited such a long time, a very long 10 years in fact, we should be rejoicing and hope that our Great Queen of the Seas will be a huge success as a fine Luxury Hotel!
The great QE2 as we remember her as a fine and popular Cruise Ship, seen here at anchor
Visit my comprehensive all New Hotel Queen Elizabeth 2 page
Or visit the official website
View the “
The superbly built and a beautifully balanced Liner, the fastest ship in the world, S.S. United States is seen here as built
Sadly there is NO News to Provide … as
The SS United States Conservancy continues its efforts to secure a permanent
However, with New York having rejected the ship, she has been in the
Although, all sorts of plans have been announced for her to become a museum and a tourist attraction it now seems that there are absolutely no interested parties left who have any desire to spend a fortune to turn her into a tourist attraction. The truth is that she looks more like a giant empty damp rust bucket, and it hurts me to say that, but sadly the photographs tend to indicate her poor state at this time, thus let’s hope for the best.
Friends, it saddens me to have written about the Great SS United States in the manner as I have above, but even I have provided funds over the years and have certificates, for owning plans, and parts of one of her funnels, and just donations, etc, etc. The funds have gone into a large organisation, and little has been actually spent in upkeep on the ship. Yes there are berthing dues, but they have received huge donations from large donors to cover most of that! Just let us hope that at least a miracle might happen and that this wonderful ship might be saved, that someone else may just come along and take her away from her current owners and do something that is worthwhile, not just all TALK!
The ships builder’s plate taken quite some time ago!
In July 2007 the QE2 was sold to Istithmar being the investment arm of “Dubai World” a wholly owned company of the Government of Dubai. However she would be taken over by Nakheel, also a “Dubai World” company would redevelop her and construct the new islands being built known as the “Palm Jumeirah” where she was going to be berthed to become a major luxury hotel. Istithmar paid and estimate £65 million (British Pounds) for the QE2.
Having completed her final official cruise, the QE2 departed
It was a fitting welcome and her future seemed assured, however things
was not as it seemed for the financial crisis of 2008 caused Dubai to have a
financial freefall and the wealthiest of its citizens escaped the country, even
leaving their Mercedes and BMW’s and super luxury cars at the airport as
they escaped the financiers who were about to pounce on them, for most emptied
their accounts and run. This disaster also left the QE2 high and dry and
although she was reregistered cheaply in
QE2 sailed an amazing 5.6 million nautical miles that is more than any other ship ever I know about, in other words that is like travelling to the moon and back 13 times. She has accommodated approximately 2.5 million guests and completed 802 Atlantic crossings and 24 full world cruises, thus some 1,438 voyages. That is an excellent record indeed!
A close up of a clean looking ship as she had recently been repainted
1964 - Cunard signs a contract to build the ship with John Brown Shipyard Clydebank, Scotland.
1967 - September 20 the ship was launched by
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
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
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
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.
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 the
2005 - The QE2 becomes the longest serving Cunard ship ever, surpassing the RMS Aquitania's 35 years.
2008 – November 11
2009 – September 21. The author saw and photographed the QE2 today
whilst on a around the world cruise on
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
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
2015 – It is sad, but she is still laid-up in a dead ship state and deteriorating day by day! Although there seems to be interest by Scotland who is now taking a second look at bringing the QE2 back to the Clyde as a Hotel and a Tourist attraction. But has she gone downhill too far gone to be saved?
2017 News of her being refitted as a hotel at Port Rashid.
2018 – QE2 moved to the Dubai Dry Dock on March 18 to have her hull scrapped and repainted, also all her underwater openings welded closed and propellers removed, as well as interior work, in readiness for her to open as a hotel.
2018 – “Hotel Queen
2018 – The Grand official opening is due to be held in October.
- to enter the site
Please Note: A new Page Two has been added with the ships dock & Park dedication in June 2017 - with many new photographs!
With June/July 2018 Updates
The delightful 871 GRT (Gross Registered Ton) Triple Screw -
But the company was contacted by 1935 in regard the great new liner the
grateful to “Friends of TS
A rare photograph of the
We are helping to let this memory live on for countless years in the future by promoting her!
Photograph from the ssmaritime collection
The delightful TS Queen Mary was finally retired after an evening
showboat cruise from Largs to Rothesay
on September 27, 1977 after which she was laid up in the “
June 2018 Update Part One:
Update Part Two is located below the Specifications.
Built for: Williamson Buchanan Steamers Ltd.
Engines: Triple Denny & Bros Steam Turbines.
Screws: Triple, direct drive.
Tonnage: 1933-1950 - 871 Gross Registered Tons.
. 1950-1957 - 917 GRT.
. 1957-onwards - 1,014 GRT.
Length: 252.5ft - 77m.
Beam: 35.1ft - 10.7m.
Draught: 10.1ft - 3.1m.
Speed: 19.5 knots max 21 knots.
Passengers: 2,086-day passengers.
Maiden Voyage: May 20, 1933.
The following restoration progress has been made over recent weeks. Some 54 windows have been replaced on the ship’s Promenade Deck and most of these have been sponsored by local companies. Each window completed and yet to be finished has to have a new frame fabricated, seals replaced and new glass fitted. Sponsorship of a window costs £500, and in appreciation a plaque will be placed below each window engraved with the name of the respective sponsor.
This photograph shows just nine of 54 the new windows installed on Promenade Deck
Other work undertaken, are some of the decking planks on her foredeck
have been removed to gain access to the metalwork below. Age and the effects of
the failing composite covering applied during her years on the
This is the latest news regarding the 85 year old TS Queen Mary, the work of bringing her back to her old glory has been slow but the good news is that steady progress is now being made. Once the steel repairs are completed and the ship is completely weather tight, then her internal refit will commence in earnest and it is planned that by 2019 the Queen Mary should be welcoming paying public aboard for the first time in ten years!
Enter the Site to Save the TS Queen Mary Here
Please Note it is currently being updated, but some pages can be visited
To DONATE PLEASE visit …
The TS Queen Mary seen berthed at the Glasgow Science Centre
Like the famed historic Sydney Harbour ferry the MS Baragoola, which I strongly support in saving and preserving, and I am also adding the delightful 1963 built MV Cape Don, which is a unique all Australian vessel that should and must be retained at all costs!
The MV Cape Don was a unique purpose-built ship to service navigational
aids (including manned lighthouses) all around
Since retirement this excellent ship, the “MV Cape Don Society” is now responsible for restoring this delightful vessel and they will be setting up a museum on board to tell the story of her many years of dedicated service. I suggest that you visit my webpage on her, that has many interesting photographs of her and you will discover all her details as well as further links!
Visit the MV Cape Don Feature
Liners sailing to the distant shores.
I watched them come, I watched them go and I watched them die.”
But please ensure you name the ship you are enquiring about.
Visit our ssMaritime Main INDEX
Where you will discover over 1,250 Classic Passenger & Passenger-Cargo Liners!
Where the ships of the past make history & the 1914 built MV Doulos Story
Please Note: ssmaritime and associated sites are 100% non-commercial and the author does not seek funding or favours and never have and never will.
Photographs on ssmaritime and associate pages are either by the author or from the author’s private collection. In addition there are some images and photographs that have been provided by Shipping Companies or private photographers or collectors. Credit is given to all contributors, however, there are some photographs provided to me without details regarding the photographer or owner concerned. Therefore, I hereby invite if owners of these images would be so kind to make them-selves known to me (my email address can be found at the bottom of the page on www.ssmaritime.com), in order that due credit may be given.
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