Cruise History – The MS Angelina Lauro was the sistership to the famed terrorist high jacked Achille Lauro. Here is an excellent You Tube video of the beautiful liner converted to cruise ship.
MS Oranje, later known as MS Angelina Lauro, was a passenger liner, a wartime hospital ship and finally a cruise ship that was lost while being towed for scrap. She sank in a storm in the mid-Pacific, on 24 September 1979. The ship underwent 25 years’ service as MS Oranje, and fifteen as MS Angelina Lauro. She was a cruise ship for the last seven years of her career.
Oranje was commissioned by the Nederlandsche Stoomvaart Maatschapij (Nederland Line / Netherland Line), and was built in Amsterdam, The Netherlands in 1938-1939 by the Netherlands Shipbuilding Company. She was launched by Queen Wilhelmina and named Oranje in honour of the Royal House of Orange on 8 September 1938. She undertook sea trials in June 1939 and attained a speed of 26 knots (48 km/h), making her the world’s fastest motor liner at the time. She was built to carry passengers to the Dutch East Indies.
As built, Oranje’s specifications were: tonnage: 20,117 gross register tons (GRT); length: 199.9 metres (656 ft); width: 25.5 metres (83 ft); draft: 8.8 metres (29 ft); engines: 3 x 12 cylinder Sulzer diesels 27,500 hp (20,500 kW); screws: triple; service speed: 21 knots (39 km/h); passengers: 283 First, 283 Second, 92 Third and 82 Fourth Class (total = 740); passenger decks: 8.
Oranje’s first scheduled voyage was from Amsterdam to Jakarta (known at the time as Batavia) in Java, via the Cape of Good Hope. Three days before Oranje left Amsterdam on 4 September 1939, the Germans invaded Poland. By the time the ship arrived in Java the invasion had developed to the full-blown World War II, and due to security reasons Oranje was laid up at Sourabaya in Java from December 1939 until February 1941, at which point the ship’s Captain was ordered to sail for Sydney and place his vessel at the disposal of the Australian military. At the same time, the Dutch Government informed the Australian Government that they would bear the cost of Oranje’s conversion to a hospital ship. Although sailing under Australian command, Oranje remained crewed by Dutch crew, and continued to sail under the Dutch flag. Oranje was the largest hospital ship operated from Australia, serving for five years throughout multiple theatres of World War II, including the Middle East, Indian and Pacific Campaigns. During this time, Oranje made 41 voyages, carrying Australian and New Zealander soldiers.
After the war ended, Oranje returned to her life as a passenger ship. In 1947, she recommenced the Amsterdam to Jakarta service, sailing via Southampton, England. On one voyage Oranje collided with her sister ship Johan van Oldenbarnevelt in the Red Sea, which was heading the opposite direction. Due to the possibility she would be impounded for safety reasons, she was unable to call at Colombo as scheduled, and went directly to Jakarta. The service ended in 1957. The next year, in 1958, she made her first liner voyage from Amsterdam to Australia, sailing via Southampton, Suez in Egypt, and Singapore. She underwent a refit and a minor facelift in Amsterdam in 1959. Upon completion the tonnage was then listed as 20,565 GRT ,and the ship was able to accommodate 323 First Class and 626 Tourist Class passengers.
On 7 September 1960, she departed on her first round-the-world voyage from Amsterdam via Southampton, Suez, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Panama, Port Everglades, Bermuda, Southampton, and Amsterdam. Oranje and two other Dutch ships serviced Australia and New Zealand; the two other ships being the Netherland Line Johan van Oldenbarnevelt and the Royal Rotterdam Lloyd M.S. Willem Ruys. The three ships sailed under the banner of Dutch Mails. On 26 February 1961 Oranje sailed in the opposite direction, visiting the same ports.
At this time, passenger and cargo shipping industries were suffering from the growth of the airline industry. The increasing popularity of air travel, in particular with the advent of aviation’s jet era, led to the sharp decline in ship passenger and cargo numbers. As a result, the Netherland Line decided to end its passenger services in 1964. Oranje commenced its last voyage around the world as a Dutch liner on 4 May 1964. [Read more...]