Willem Ruys

Jan Hendrik
11th March 2005, 09:43
Built at Mij de Schelde at Flushing (Netherlands) and launched 1st July 1946.
21300 GRT 700 passengers, 7 decks, 8 main engines, two propellors, 32.000 h.p. 22 knots.
In 1964 she was sold and her new name is known by most of you:
"Achille Lauro", she was refurbished, at one time at Wilton Feyenoord in Schiedam (I remember I attended the vessel myself....), no photos regretfully.

Yet hereby some photos from the time the ship looked like a ship with black funnels of Rotterdamsche Lloyd and her silver painted topsides.
The small photo was taken by myself in 1959, both others are promotional pictures from the bookshop.
The menu is dated 21st April, 1959. I have more historical data for those who would like to know more.

11th March 2005, 10:26
Really good looking ship,she and ORANJE.It was quite amazing that they both went to Lauro,both were rebuilt and sadly both suffered the same fate.
Was never on her as ACHILLE LAURO but was on ORANJE as ANGELINA LAURO.

Jan Hendrik
11th March 2005, 10:26
Hereby the menu, with front and inner page. Actually there were two languages i.e. Dutch and English.
Also an information package was handed out during the vessel's launch giving extended details about the construction etc. You find the front cover of that package.

Doug Rogers
11th March 2005, 10:30
I visited the Willem Ruys a few times in various ports over the years..she was a great vessel, well designed and very suited to the job she carried out. Her conversion did not in my opinion do anything for her but that said she did quite well in her new guise until the latter years when the company was struggling to stay alive.
I could never look at her without thinking of her great predecessor the Oranje...they had a lot in common..apart from their birth that is!!. Good ships indeed in their day!!.

11th March 2005, 14:21
All the two ships had not a good luck: ACHILLE LAURO foundered after fire in the Indian Ocean and ANGELINA LAURO gutted by fire while moored at Charlotte Amalie in virgin Island,30-03-1979.then she was due to end her days in Kaoshsiung scrapyard:was towed out of Charlotte Amalie harbour
30-07-1979 ,then transited the Panama Canal 17 days later.However when approximatly midway Panama and Hawaii ,she sank lat. 11 43 30 N ,long
121 42 36 W,on september 24,1979,after springing a leak.

11th March 2005, 14:25
For some reason,I am getting a pic of ERNE but when I click on that get the menu OK!!!

Bob S
11th March 2005, 17:49
Thats the same problem I've been having with the site since the crash. tried everything but the thumbnails are still all wrong although when I click on it, it's OK???

Thought it was my PC being as Steves idea worked for Tanker but not me, beginning to think its the site now again, maybe it need rebooting or something.

Doug Rogers
11th March 2005, 23:11
I did have a few problems with wrong images but it seemed to clear up without further problems after I did a clean up on my computer.
What I am getting now is a double whammie when I post pictures to the Gallery...I get the picture I last posted and the one that I want to post..its alright because I can deselect the previously posted picture (it comes up ticked to post)...but I never had anything like that happen before the crash!!.
Anyone else getting this effect???

12th March 2005, 00:36
For some reason,I am getting a pic of ERNE but when I click on that get the menu OK!!!
Well, at least it's a nice ship to look at!!
I've had no problems since the crash - all thumbnails view okay, no probs loading pics onto threads or Gallery.
Seems all very strange!!

12th March 2005, 11:34
"Thought it was my PC being as Steves idea worked for Tanker but not me, beginning to think its the site now again, maybe it need rebooting or something."

Trust me it is your PC not the site. Try clearing your cache again.

Doug Rogers
12th March 2005, 22:12
Thanks Steve..will have a further cleanup here but either way its not a problem..it almost certainly is something memory wise being retained on my system. Ta muchly.

20th March 2005, 01:01
I travelled on "Willem Ruys" after she became "Achille Lauro". I remember the pronounced tumblehome on her hull. She was the only vessel that I know of that was built that way, I also remember the dear old "JVO" "Johan Van Oldenbarnveldt" (hope I spelled it right - what a mouthful!) She became the "Lakonia" and also sank as a result of a fire with considerable loss of life. Straange how these lovely ships were so vulnerable - the number of ships lost at sea due to fire (even in recent years)is amazing!

Doug Rogers
20th March 2005, 04:46
Sorry Selwyn it was almost right....Oldenbarnevelt...JVO is much easier. There were just over 1000 passengers on board 132 died...dont think I ever heard of crew casualties although I am sure that there would have had to have been some. She sank whilst under tow to Gibraltar, just capsized and went down quickly.She apparently sank very close to the last resting place of her sister ship the "Marnix van sint Aldegonde"
The Lakonia and Yarmouth Castle incidents caused a major inquiry into safety standards and precautions and equipment and ultimately caused the withdrawal of many old ships from the market.

20th March 2005, 08:09
Hi Doug - close but no cigar eh! The Dutch certainly like to use some long names. Can you tell me when "Lakonia" sank? I can remember it happening but not when it was. The other ship the "Marnix van sint aldegonde".... was she sunk during the war? I was unaware that JVO had a sister ship so thanks for that

Jan Hendrik
20th March 2005, 09:48
This vessel was built in 1929 By NDSM Amsterdam for "Stoomvaart Maatschappij Nederland" (Neth Steamship Co) .
GRT 19040 pass: 770
She was named after a Dutch Statesman Johan van Oldenbarnevel(d)t - 1547-1619 who resisted the Spanish during the war at the time but was executed in The Hague.
The statue in Rotterdam is spelled with .....velt, although he is mostly referred to .....veldt, same meaning in Dutch.
The vessel, as far as I can guess, is spelt .....velt, don't think anybody cares abt this lesson in history.
She was mainly used during WW 2 and carried thousands of migrants to Australia in the 50's where she is still fondly remembered as "Johan"
She was sold to Greek interests in 1963 , renamed "Lakonia" and burnt out in the Mediterranean in Dec 1963 whereby 128 people lost their lives.

Indeed there was a sistership called "Marnix van St. Aldegonde", named after another Statesman and writer.
This vessel got struck by a torpedo in Nov 1943, but luckily all 3300 people on board (crew, gunners, troops) were picked up by other ships.

The photos here are from the site of Stoomvaart Mij Nederland, no copyright is claimed and I guess they allow us to show these photos as these are the most common ones you see in all literature and maritime books.
This company , founded in 1870, amalgamated with a number of other Dutch shipping lines in 1970 and then operated as "Nederlandse Scheepvaart Unie" , or "Union of Dutch Shipping".
Much later again it all became what is known today as : "Nedlloyd"

The photos even show two spellings and so is all the literature you can find about the Statesman.

Doug Rogers
20th March 2005, 09:56
So there you have it, thanks Jan, I am redudant and will go pedal my bike elsewhere!!.

Jan Hendrik
20th March 2005, 10:05
Do you mean redundant??
I am a dumb migrant so tried to find redudant in the dictionary, no such thing....
Or can you teach me some English here?

Doug Rogers
21st March 2005, 00:57
Its broad Essex man, dont you know they drop characters the same as us Ozzies do??.
Perhaps some typing lessons may help me though!!.

21st March 2005, 01:08
I remember the JVO, her with the square funnels she spent a lot of time in Liverpool during the war,rumour had it that the crew sabotaged the engines a couple of times to prevent her putting to sea. anyone else with these recollections. Tell

21st March 2005, 01:11
maybe I'm mistaken about the square funnels tho, That may have been the Felix Rousel.as she was here around the same time. Tell

Jan Hendrik
21st March 2005, 03:37
Tell, as far as I know there were no square funnels on the JVO.
Never seen square funnels on pass boats....send some pics if you can find them.

You have sort of rectangular or square funnels on modern cargo/container ships of course.

And Doug, I have been in beautiful Essex, can't remember they talk that "broad"?
Aussies do and they shorten a lot of words and expressions.
I am not an Aussie you know, I just happen to live there...

Essex, I mean the village Essex, they have that hill with ruins from where you can see the shipping channel.

Doug Rogers
21st March 2005, 04:27
Ah but you see they do..or did...I trained with a guy from a little hamlet in North East Essex and no-one could understand him at college, very broad drawl. I hailed from Essex as well, not as far north east and was always accused of speaking like an Aussie..and that was long before I settled out here, so now I have an excuse..if I needed it, and the dual citizenship to prove it. I think a lot of people think there is no accent in Essex because so much of it close to London, but certainly 30 years ago it was quite obvious. Cheers Doug

21st March 2005, 21:10
Jan I corrected myself in a later post, I'm sure it was the Felix Rousel that had the square funnels she had cowlings on top of them also, I'm sorry I can't supply any photos tho. Tell

Dick Eburne
22nd November 2005, 20:27
I attach, I hope because this is my first attempt, a picture taken in the 1st Class Dining Room of the Willem Ruys in 1960.

I am the one in the dark jacket.


PS. Third attempt to get a reasonable image.

Jan Hendrik
22nd November 2005, 20:54
Gee, you changed a lot over those years Dick.....
Did you look at the camera or at that fancy girl accross the table?

Dick Eburne
22nd November 2005, 21:07
Gee, you changed a lot over those years Dick.....
Did you look at the camera or at that fancy girl accross the table?

The young lady was 14 years old at the time. I was 16.

The others at the table were my mother, next to me; a Dutch rubber planter transferring to another ship to go on to Indonesia; the young lady and her parents (He was a professor in the University at Canberra).

I was more interested in the ladies of the staff. Most of staff attending to the passengers were young students of hotel management on the voyage around the world as part of their studies. I suppose that meant that the shipping line paid them next to nothing.


Noel Martin
2nd October 2011, 10:02
This file as been inactive for a number of years but being the "Willem Ruys" I have some engineering questions I need help with. She had 8 Sulzer diesel engines 4 engines per propeller shaft. Twin screw( 2 propellers) Now these engines would be started then coupled to the shaft via either a magnetic or hydraulic coupling and disconnected in the same way. The "Graff Spee" had a similar configeration? Can anybody talk to me . regards Noel Martin.

2nd October 2011, 12:30
Here a link to a Willem Ruys painting:


4th November 2012, 11:00
Hi there
I was a 5 year old immigrant with my parents in 1959. Just checking my mothers diary which I still have for that year. We left Southampton on Willem Ruys 17 May were in Port Said 23 May ,Suez Canal 24 May, Colombo 31 May, Singapore 4 June ,Melbourne 12 June where we nearly missed the ship due to the tour bus being late back ot the ship ,had to use the food provisions gangway . Sydney 15 June and arrived in New Zealand our new country , docking in Wellington 19 June.
I remember eating grated chocolate on toast for breakfast which I thought was pretty good and standing up on the deck in Sydney with my dad and people tossing lots of streamers. i think he picked me up as I could barely see over the rails and it was quite windy to balance standing. There were 16 lovely old rocking horses on board had been there for years but sadly on our voyage there were rough Dutch youths aboard and they vandalised all but one of them and threw them overboard. parents were not entirely happy leaving their childen in the nursery because of this.
I still have our old strong leather cases with the Rotterdam-Lloyd labels on!