Jen A
7th April 2005, 15:06
I'm looking for information and if possible photos of the above vessel. She brought new immigrants out from Southampton to Wellington NZ in 1949. My mother sailed out on her, embarking 5th April 1949 & disembarking at Wellington NZ on 19th May 1949. I've hunted on genealogy sites to no avail so far.

julian anstis
7th April 2005, 15:22
Hi Jen and welcome aboard.

Put in a search on google for ss ATLANTIS under images and it will give you a list of ships. left click on Atlantis and you will have your pic.

Jen A
9th April 2005, 01:22
Dear Julian,

Many thanks for your advice, have found one 1951 image on Google Images. Still hunting for further facts on the vessel, its history, where you'd search for passenger lists etc. Any more hints Julian or anyone else out there? A very chuffed Jen A.

9th April 2005, 14:53
Hi Jen,

A little bit of info on the SS Atlantis for you, I hope it helps.

She was built by Harland & Wolff and launched in 1913 as Andes for the Royal Mail Line and was one of a class of four ships, the others being Arlanza, Alcantara and Almanzora. She operated on the route between Southampton and the River Plate in South America.

During the First World War, she served as an armed merchant cruiser. After the war she resumed service on the South American route but in 1930 she was converted and given her new name, ATLANTIS and her hull was painted white.

Having accommodation for 450 passengers and offering the highest standards of service the ship became very popular with travellers.

When the Second World War broke out she was converted, into hospital ship No.33 and made many voyages carrying the wounded to safety. She called at Southampton many times after the Normandy Landings in 1944.

After the war she was chartered for four years by the New Zealand Government to carry emigrants from the UK to New Zealand until she was finally scrapped at Faslane, Scotland in 1952 at the end of the charter.

Kind regards


Jen A
12th April 2005, 09:43
Dear Santos,

Many thanks for the information you've provided. Wonderful stuff. Jen A.

30th May 2005, 10:25
My mother emigrated to NZ on this ship in 1949/50 and met my father aboard. At the time I think he was 2nd mate. She can't remember where her cabin was but can remember where his was !! They were married in Wellington in Jan 1950 and when Dad got his Master's and Extra Master's tickets he came ashore and they went to West Africa with Palm Line and lived there for many years.

I, my younger brother and one of my sisters were all born on the Coast in the "glory days" of the new Palm Line Fleet (a great highlight was Sunday breakfast with the Captains) as it then was.

Dad came home and worked a little while in London with African Container Express before moving back to Liverpool with Liverpool Warehousing. He died in 1991 but Mum's still going (fairly) well for an Old Coaster and living near Cambridge.

Dad was apprenticed in the Atlantis/Andes during the war and also sailed in the Highland Princess during the war.

Kind regards

John Upton

1st June 2005, 21:43
What a nice story John, its great to hear of happy childhoods and obviously fond memories. Growing up amongst the " ships " was a great time, which the youth of today will never know. There will never be another time like that mores the pity.

I often wonder if a life at sea was more available to the youth of today, would we have the crime and disorder that is now so prevalent. Seeing the world and getting paid for it, what a life, better than hanging around on street corners and mugging old people, because thats all there is to do.

OK people will say it was old fashioned and wait for it ( unprofitable ) but thousands of the youth of this world were better for it and grew up a kinder, more knowledgable and more understanding person.

Bring it back, make smaller ships not bigger ones, crew them with unemployed youngsters and put them on world wide routes. Life amongst the waves, money in their pockets, bet they would'nt change it after a trip or two.


13th July 2005, 10:39
Dear Santos,

Many thanks for the information you've provided. Wonderful stuff. Jen A.

A little more about Atlantis career:
in 1916, as auxiliary cruiser, she was involved, together with her sister ship Alcantara, in a battle with the German raider GREIF in the North Sea. Both Alcantara and Greif were sunk.

13th July 2005, 15:44
Nice story, I bet your'e glad you signed on , Jen A.

John T.

8th February 2012, 06:39
Dear Julian,

Many thanks for your advice, have found one 1951 image on Google Images. Still hunting for further facts on the vessel, its history, where you'd search for passenger lists etc. Any more hints Julian or anyone else out there? A very chuffed Jen A.

Hi I was on the Atlantis and arrived in Wellington in October 1951. I have a huge collection of pictures of her. Please contact me on

Robert Taylor

Barrie Youde
8th February 2012, 09:25
The artist Kenneth Denton Shoesmith made a splendid series of paintings of Atlantis for advertising, on commission to Royal Mail Lines.

To see them, simply google "Kenneth Denton Shoesmith - Atlantis."


My cousin Glyn Lloyd Evans recently published a book on the artistic works of Shoesmith, who was formerly a Conway cadet and later Chief Officer in Royal Mail.

Dawn S
2nd March 2013, 05:06
I am here as I googled the Atantis. My parents both came to New Zealand on her in 1949. I am doing a course and I needed to research what waka (boat) my parents came on. My father worked his way out here as a deckhand and my mother was an immigrant from England. Both are gone now but it would be interesting if anyone knew them or if there were pictures taken on that voyage. Mum, was Anne (Nancy) Johnson and Dad was Charlie ( Chas) Sharp.

Oh my gosh John Upton, my Dad also sailed on The Highland Princess!

2nd March 2013, 23:16
It is good to see that there's still interest in SS Atlantis. There were of course several ships by this name and Atlantis was not always called that, she was named Andes at launch and I have many pictures of her through the years, most of which can be found on the web with a lot of hunting. The interesting thing about her is that she survived two world wars. She was built about the time of the Titanic and shares many of the same features, the foremast with crows nest, the sleek yacht like design and a tall funnel. Interiors, I believe, were luxurious for her cruisung days in the thirties but over the years of service these became much more functional and the aft decks had more cabins built changing her appearance quite a bit.

While she did see action as a cruiser during World War One and did help sink an enemy ship, she was better known as the war progressed as a Hospital ship and as such she was escorted across the English channel by German war ships and handed over to British warships half way with no shots being fired. This ensured she survived the first world war. Mind you the Germans knew she had wounded German soldiers on board, so this was incentive to be more caring.

She became a Hospital ship again in the Second World War and again this protected her from enemy submarines and air strikes. A charmed life really, considering the indiscriminate sea mines that dotted the waterways. When we sailed on her for New Zealand in 1951 from August to October, there was concern about rogue mines drifting in the ocean. At that time many were still being washed up on beaches and frankly there will still be many secured by rusting chains to ocean floor.

I remeber her as a big ship, but of course I was only a 7 year old boy and to me she was surely a "Ship of Dreams." I remember the smell of the ox-tail beef soup that was served up even to this day and have never smelt that same aroma since. Sausages were a real treat.

I saw a few menus from the children's sitting recently and would you believe lunch was bread, real butter and raspberry jam. Sounds basic but we kids loved it. You see everything was still rationed in Britain.

I went to the 40th reunion in Auckland with my Mother and Sister and we had two silver goblets engraved with the Atlantis name to mark the event. I videoed the entire function and donated the tape to the Maritime Museum in Auckland. I do hope they preserve it digitally. Most of those who attended will have gone now.

I met up with my old friend Robert Winchester at the reunion, we were cabin mates and ship mates. It was good to catch up with him, sadly I don't hear from him these days. The memory of this ship is very strong in my mind because that's the sort of ship she was, a Ship of Dreams in the true sense of the phrase, for young migrants seeking a new life and children who were raised in war torn England.

19th March 2013, 13:10
I too am looking for information about the ss Atlantis. My grandmother traveled to Wellington from Southampton in 1948. I am trying to find out as much as I can about her...

19th March 2013, 23:05
When Atlantis came to New Zealand in 1948 she had on board a number of nurses coming out for a new life. I have a picture of a small group but it was taken in 1950. Sorry I can't help you much with the 1948 voyage.

27th April 2013, 11:42
Hi there,
Im also after some info or pictures from sailing which departed UK on November 1948 as my Grandfather who I never knew was on there.

Ronald A Simpson, Engineer was emigrating to NZ.

Does anyone know what date it arrived in Wellington?

Thanks Adam

Roger Key
26th October 2013, 00:58
Hello all found this site by googling the ss atlantis. My brother and have found some info in regards to our father leaving the UK for NZ. I have a menu/post card dated Saturday Oct 11th 1947.


6th November 2013, 06:52
Hello all found this site by googling the ss atlantis. My brother and have found some info in regards to our father leaving the UK for NZ. I have a menu/post card dated Saturday Oct 11th 1947.

Hi Roger, did enjoy seeing the menu of the Atlantis menu, surprisingly the ship shown has two funnels and is not the Atlantis. The food on board was very basic in 1951 but everything was still rationed back home and so not many had complaints. Are you able to send a bigger sized image to me?


6th November 2013, 07:02
My early days on board her were to influence my feeling towards the sea to this day and I am nearly 70 now but still an old salt at heart and love a cruise as the best alternative to travel by sea. Here is a picture of Atlantis in my collection

7th November 2013, 01:17
good day roberttaylor.m.yesterday.17:02. re:s.s your post and looked at your thumbnails. shes a great looking ship.thank you for posting.regards ben27

9th April 2014, 12:17
Att. Robert Taylor, my Grandfather was captain of Atlantis late 40s to her final voyage in 1951 when she was taken out of service and he retired, do you know any thing about him. There are plenty of pictures on photoships or Ships Nostalgia Gallery under cruiseships and liners.

14th March 2015, 05:41
Hi There. Looking for information about a cousin who travelled on the Atlantis which left Southampton on 30th November 1950 travelling to Wellington. John Fleming McWilliam (possibly called Ian McWilliam) was an 18 year old butcher embarking on his big adventure. He stayed in NZ for 2 years before returning to the UK. Would be grateful if anyone has any information about John or this trip. Would like to know the ports of call. Thanks.