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Cruising from Europe to the Caribbean onboard the deluxe Dutch cargo-liners in the 1950s…

Cruising from Europe to the Caribbean onboard the deluxe Dutch cargo-liners in the 1950s…

Aerial view of the handsome Dutch passenger cargo liner ORANJE NASSAU, one of two sisters built in 1957 to the order of KNSM and used on North Europe to the Caribbean regular service until about 1972.

  • The largest passenger ships in the KNSM’s fleet, ORANJE NASSAU, and her sister were very popular with round-trip passengers as a cruise-like trip.
  • In 1974 she was sold to Cuba, renamed XX ANIVERSÁRIO and used as a troopship between Havana and Luanda, Angola.

MS ORANJE NASSAU, MS ORANJE NASSAU, “Kon Nederlandsche Stoomboot Mij. N.V.”, “K.N.S.M.”, Cargo Liners, Caribbean,

  • The “Kon Nederlandsche Stoomboot Mij. N.V.” from hereon referred to as’ “K.N.S.M.” was company with a large fleet of some 60 ocean-going ships in the 1940 & 50s, including two delightful 90 passenger-Cargo Liners the 5.100 GRT (GRT = Gross Registered Tons) M.S. Oranjestad, and the M.S. Willemstad, both having joined the fleet in 1950, but were initially built in 1937 with other names, and were radically rebuilt into fine Passenger-Cargo Liners in 1949/50.
  • Each ship accommodated 116 passengers in a One Class configuration, as well as there being a separate “Group Accommodation” section for 68 persons, each ship would have a competent crew of 100.
MS ORANJE NASSAU, “Kon Nederlandsche Stoomboot Mij. N.V.”, “K.N.S.M.”, Cargo Liners, Caribbean,

Public rooms and children’s playroom.

  • The M.S. Oranje Nassau and M.S. Prins Der Nederlanden respectively were beautifully fitted outliners, and they offered their passengers every possible comfort, as the interior decorators were some of the finest in the word and had done a fantastic job.
  • They provided some of the finest facilities and most beautiful Lounges and Bars that would be equal to any of the great Trans-Atlantic Liners, the only difference being, the ships being delightfully intimate, thus more luxurious!
MS ORANJE NASSAU, “Kon Nederlandsche Stoomboot Mij. N.V.”, “K.N.S.M.”, Cargo Liners, Caribbean,

Deluxe accommodations onboard the small liners.

  • Both vessels offered spacious Promenade Decks, being partially glass enclosed making for a beautiful Winter Garden style Verandas. Public Venues included a full-width Lounge and Dining Saloon.
  • Then there was also the delightful Smoking Room and Bar as well as a Library and Writing Room. The ships had both a Beauty Parlour and a Barber Shop as well as a ships shop
  • for those treasured passengers would obtain fro their voyages or additional items of need during their long voyage.
  • Children had their own exceptional facility and a Nursery, as well as their private play deck, and dining room.
  • Besides the Promenade Deck, there was ample open sports decks and space to enjoy the sun in a comfortable deck chair.
MS ORANJE NASSAU, “Kon Nederlandsche Stoomboot Mij. N.V.”, “K.N.S.M.”, Cargo Liners, Caribbean,

Accommodation or Deck Passengers who travelled between the Caribbean Islands.

  • Cabins onboard offered single berth and twin bedded cabins, while some cabins on A (Brugdek) Deck would have a fold away Pullman berth an additional passenger could be accommodated.
  • Also, most cabins on A Deck had a bathroom with a WC and shower. While on B (Bovendek) Deck all singles or twin bedded cabins had upper Pullman berths, thus they could be used as two, three or four berth cabins.
  • The ships had the traditional forced ventilation system, although the Dining Room on B Deck located forward of the Main Lobby was air-conditioned. However, thankfully within three years, both ships would be fully air-conditioned!

MS ORANJE NASSAU, “Kon Nederlandsche Stoomboot Mij. N.V.”, “K.N.S.M.”, Cargo Liners, Caribbean,

  • Also, both ships also had a separate section for what was called “Group Accommodations” which had space for 68 persons on each vessel and the Deck Plan reveals that their cabins were located on the starboard side on C ((tussendek)) Deck located directly forward of two smaller Dining Rooms.
  • One of these dining rooms on the port side is for the crew and the other on the starboard side for the group passengers.
  • These passengers had their deck space directly above located forward of the superstructure, and there was also a lounge and a bar aft of the forward deck housing.
  • There is not a great deal of information available when this section would be occupied and it could be based for individual educational bookings, etc., and possibly to transport locals between the Caribbean ports.
  • Cabins were mostly six berth cabins, but there were two of each of the following, two and four berth cabins.

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