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The Fleets

Maatschappij Zeetransport / Oranje Lijn 1937 - 1970, Rotterdam

Anthony Veder aged 23 years founded on the 16th of July 1937 the N.V. Maatschappij Zeetransport or Oranje Lijn as it was later called. He had the idea to start transporting fruit and nuts from the south of Europe and the North of Africa. He bought two vessels from Norway, these vessels, so called Lakers were specially build for sailing on the Great Lakes the Harpefjell and Taborfjell were respectively renamed PRINS MAURITS and PRINS FREDERIK HENDRIK. The success of the Fjell Line from Norway, owned by Olson & Ugelstad between the Lake Ports and Western Europe did give Anthony Veder a opportunity to step in with his two specially built ships for this trade on 5th of June 1938 the PRINS MAURITS arrived in Chicago. During the winter season the ships were travelling on citrus trips to countries like Italy, Spain and Palestine. After the second World War the name Maatschappij Zeetransport was changed to Oranje Lijn.

In 1948 the Oranje Lijn opened a new service between Western Europe and the Canadian harbours Port Alfred, Quebec and Montreal with the new ships PRINS ALEXANDER en PRINS JOHAN WILLEM FRISO, The vessels were to large to sail on the Great Lakes, in 1959 after the docks were enlarged these ships could also sail to Chicago. In 1953 a larger cargo-passenger vessel the Prins Willem van Oranje was built. This vessel would give a new standard for many vessels and had accommodation for 60 passengers and the Oranje Lijn opened a new service between the Ports of Western Europe and North America and Canada. Once a week a passenger cruise left with many immigrants.

On the 16th of 1955 Oranje Lijn and Fjell signed a co-operation agreement in The Hague. Vessels from both lines carried the name of the new formed co- operation on their sides: Fjell- Oranje Lines. In 1958 the Koninklijke Pakket Maatschappij (KPM) bought all the shares of the Oranje Line. The Holland America Line (HAL) saw future in the new enlarged and re-opened Great Lakes Seaway in 1959 and decided to buy half of the shares of the KPM. The Oranje Lijn took over three ships from the KPM in 1967 and the older smaller ships were sold but the company had difficulty in surviving and made losses so was liquidated on 1 January 1970. The Fjell Line together with partner Fred Olsen continued sailing to the Great Lakes.

Many thanks to Henk Jungerius and Ted Finch for their assistance in collecting this data. The following list was extracted from various sources. This is not an all inclusive list but should only be used as a guide. If you would like to know more about a vessel, visit the Ship Descriptions (onsite) or Immigrant Ship web site.

  • Routes:
    • Rotterdam-Harbours Great Lakes
  • Abbreviations:
    • KJCPL :   Koninklijke Java China Paketvaart Lijnen
    • KPM :      Koninklijke Paketvaart Maatschappij
    • HAL :       Holland Amerika Lijn
    • OL :          Oranje Lijn
  • Note:
    • * : cargo ships with limited passenger accommodation
    • + : cargo-passenger ships

Funnel & Flag:

Fleet: 1937-1966 1966-1970
Vessel Built Years in Service Tons
Nieuwaal 1936 built by E.J. Smit & Zoon's, Westerbroek | ex- Remark, coaster, 1940 purchased rebuilt as a refrigerated ship renamed Nieuwaal, 1950 sold to Rederi A/B Valborg, Finland renamed Kallsö, 1958 sold renamed Devina, 1971 sold to Gibraltar renamed Noreen, 1972 sold to Panama same name, 1975 sold renamed Ramalbert, 1978 stranded and total loss. 396
Prins Alexander * 1947 built by Scheepswerf & Machinefabriek De Merwede, Hardinxveld Giessendam | 1969 sold to Cia Nav. Marminik, Greece renamed Prosperity, 1970 sold renamed Ioannis, 1974 sold renamed Ioannis B, 1977 renamed Apostolos B, 1980 sold to Cyprus renamed Poliaigos, 1980 struck reef at Shadwan Island and lost. 2,322
Prins Casimir * 1955 built by Scheepswerf & Machinefabriek De Merwede, Hardinxveld Giessendam | 1959 lengthened 1,962 BRT, 1967 sold to Greece renamed Atlantic Klif, 1974 sold to Singapore renamed Hong Eng, 1981 renamed Unison II, 1985 sold to Panama renamed Seree 2, 1992 scrapped. 1,599
Prins Frederik Hendrik (1) 1936 built by Frederiksstad Mek. Verksted A/S, Frederikstad | ex- Taborfjell, 1937 purchased from Olsen & Ugelstad, Oslo renamed Prins Frederik Hendrik, 1941 in Irish Sea bombed and sunk by German airplanes with the loss of 8 lives. 1,288
Prins Frederik Hendrik (2) * 1947 built by Scheepswerf & Machinefabriek De Merwede, Hardinxveld Giessendam | 1966 sold to Impresa Maritime Fratelli Frassinetti, Italy renamed Citta di Atene, 1967 sold idem, 1977 sold to Cyprus renamed Krantor, 1978 sold to Greece same name, 1979 sold idem, 1979 scrapped at te Piraeus. 1,557
Prins Frederik Willem * 1951 built by Scheepswerf & Machinefabriek De Merwede, Hardinxveld Giessendam | 1966 sold to Francesco Garofano & Cie., Italy renamed Michelle Garofano, 1977 during bad weather struck breakwater at Benghazi and abandoned. 1,598
Prins Johan Willem Friso * 1948 built by Scheepswerf & Machinefabriek De Merwede, Hardinxveld Giessendam | 1968 sold to Alco Shipping, Greece renamed Notis, 1973 sold renamed Vorras, 1978 scrapped at Gadani Beach. 2,338
Prins Maurits (1) 1936 built by Frederiksstad Mek. Verksted A/S, Frederikstad | ex- Harpefjell, 1937 purchased from Olsen & Ugelstad, Oslo renamed Prins Maurits, 1956 sold to E.A. Levers, Germany renamed Carl Levers, 1959 sold not renamed and hulked, 1966 scrapped in India. 1,287
Prins Maurits (2) 1961 built by P. Lindenau, Kiel | 1969 sold to Greece renamed Varykino Adventurer, 1969 damaged by fire, repaired, 1970 sold to Liberia renamed Tara, 1972 sold to Greece same name, 1982 sold to Panama renamed Misha S Amity, 1984 sold to Greece renamed Stefans, 1987 sold to Honduras renamed Marilia, 1988 scrapped at Alang. 3,995
Prins Philips Willem (1) * 1929 built by A.G. Weser Werk Seebeck, Bremerhaven | ex- Agira, ex- Spree 1936 built for Norddeutscher Lloyd, 1946 allocated to Dutch Government renamed Hedel (Mij. Zeetransport manager), 1949 purchased renamed Prins Philips Willem, 1952 sold to Belgium renamed Nilla, 1953 sold renamed Villa, 1954 sold to Liberia same name, 1960 scrapped at Grays. 2,065
Prins Philips Willem (2)   see Prins Willem van Oranje (1)  
Prins Philips Willem (3) 1950 built by Eriksberg M/V A/B, Gothenburg | ex- Havfalk built for A/S Meyers Tankrederi A/S, Oslo, ex- Rugdefjell 1964, 1966 purchased from Olsen & Ugelstad, Oslo renamed Prins Philips Willem, 1969 sold to Greece renamed Capetan Giorgis, 1972 sold same name, 1976 sold idem, 1979 scrapped at Kaohsiung. 4,942
Prins Willem George Frederik * 1954 built by A.D.M., Amsterdam | 1959 lengthened 1,960 BRT, 1967 sold to Panama renamed Aruana, 1976 sold to Greece renamed Alimos, 1978 scrapped at Piraeus. 1,599
Prins Willem II (1) 1939 built by Frederiksstad Mek. Verksted A/S, Frederikstad | 1941 torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U 98 in Atlantic Ocean with the loss of 12 lives. 1,304
Prins Willem II (2) 1943 built by Permanente Metals Corporation, Richmond | ex- Mary M.Dodge standard ship type liberty EC2-S-C1 built for United States War Shipping Administration, 1947 purchased by Dutch Government renamed Molengraaff, (Mij. Zeetransport manager), 1950 purchased renamed Prins Willem II, 1953 sold to Claymore Shipping Co., Cardiff, Engeland renamed Dayrose, 1956 sold to Sociedad de Navigacion Albion ( N.J. Goulandris), Liberia renamed Areti S, 1963 sold to Lebanon renamed Dimos,1969 scrapped. 7,229
Prins Willem II (3) * 1955 built by Scheepswerf & Machinefabriek De Merwede, Hardinxveld Giessendam | 1960 lengthened 1,960 BRT, 1967 sold to Parnon Shipping Corp., Panama renamed Amaryllis, 1969 renamed Gothic Prince, 1971 sold to Greece renamed Xeni, 1975 destroyed by fire. 1,599
Prins Willem III (1) * 1939 built by Scheepswerf & Machinefabriek De Merwede, Hardinxveld Giessendam | 1943 in Mediterranean damaged by German aerial torpedo and later sunk with the loss of 11 lives. 1,524
Prins Willem III (2) * 1948 built by Scheepswerf & Machinefabriek De Merwede, Hardinxveld Giessendam | 1966 sold to Gilnavi Societa di Nav., Italy renamed Citta di Carrara, 1977 sold to Greece renamed Agia Irini, 1978 sold same name, 1978 sunk in Mediterranean south off Zakynthos. 1,591
Prins Willem IV * 1946 built by Scheepswerf & Machinefabriek De Merwede, Hardinxveld Giessendam | 1942 casco transported to Germany and rebuilt into Sperrbrecher 179, 1946 returned to OL rebuilt and in service, 1966 sold to Impresa Maritime Fratelli Frassinetti, Italy renamed Citta di Beirut, 1971 sold renamed Tremco Sun but sale was cancelled, 1973 sold still as Citta di Beirut, 1973 sold renamed Gilnavi, 1974 scrapped in Italy. 1,535
Prins Willem V (1) * 1949 built by Scheepswerf & Machinefabriek De Merwede, Hardinxveld Giessendam | 1943 casco transported to Germany and rebuilt into Sperrbrecher 105, later sunk as a block ship at Maassluis, 1945 raised, 1949 back in service for OL, 1954 sunk after collision in Lake Michigan at Millwaukee. 1,525
Prins Willem V (2) * 1956 built by A.D.M., Amsterdam | 1959 lengthened 1,938 BRT, 1967 sold to Verina Shipping Corp., Greece renamed Mina, 1969 renamed Gaelic Prince, 1971 renamed Mina, 1971 sold to Livadia Shipping Corp., Cyprus renamed Marinos, 1973 sold to Greece renamed Araxos, 1979 sold to Maharaj Brothers, Port Elisabeth, South Africa same name, 1979 burnt out at Durban and scrapped in 1981. 1,617
Prins Willem van Oranje (1) 1938 built by Frederiksstad Mek. Verksted A/S, Frederikstad | 1953 renamed Prins Phillips Willem, 1957 sold to E.A. Levers, Germany renamed Auguste Levers, 1959 sold not renamed and hulked at Bombay, 1966 scrapped in India. 1,303
Prins Willem van Oranje (2) + 1953 built by Boele's Scheepswerven & Machinefabriek, Bolnes | 1965 sold to Deutsche Seereederei, East Germany renamed Ferdinand Freiligrath , 1968 renamed F. Freiligrath, 1974 sold to Cyprus renamed Freijo, 1974 sold to Panama renamed Universal Honolulu, 1976 renamed August 8Th, 1977 damaged by fire and laid up, 1979 scrapped at Kaohsiung. 7,328
Prinses Anna * 1954 built by Bijker's Aannemingsbedrijf N.V. IJsselwerf, Gorinchem | ex- Schouten built for KPM, 1966 transferred to KJCPL and rebuilt for use on the Great Lakes, 1967 transferred to Oranje Lijn renamed Prinses Anna, 1969 sold to Somalia renamed Hwa Po, 1972 south off Cape Sata capsized and sunk. 4,116
Prinses Emilia * 1954 built by P. Smit Jr., Rotterdam | ex- Roggeveen built for KPM, 1966 transferred to KJCPL and rebuilt for use on the Great Lakes, 1967 transferred to Oranje Lijn renamed Prinses Emilia, 1969 sold to Greece renamed Boulgaria, 1970 sank after collision in dense fog north off Cherbourg. 4,115
Prinses Irene + 1959 built by Scheepswerf & Machinefabriek De Merwede, Hardinxveld Giessendam | 1964 chartered to Cunard, 1964 sold to Indonesia rebuilt into a passenger ship for pilgrims and renamed in 1965 Tjut Njak Dhien, 1978 sold to Indonesian Navy renamed Tanjung Oisina 972, 1979 rebuilt into a troop transport ship, 2001 still extant as derelict beached. 8,526
Prinses Margriet + 1961 built by Scheepswerf & Machinefabriek De Merwede, Hardinxveld Giessendam | 1964 sold to the Holland America Line (HAL), 1970 sold to Nauru Government renamed Enna G, 1975 rebuilt to take containers, 1983 laid up,1990 scrapped at Thap Sakoe. 9,336
Prinses Maria * 1954 built by Boele's Scheepswerven & Machinefabriek, Bolnes | ex- Van Waerwijck built for KPM, 1966 transferred to KJCPL and rebuilt for use on the Great Lakes, 1967 transferred to Oranje Lijn renamed Prinses Maria, 1969 sold to Hellenic Lines, Greece renamed Roumania , 1982 scrapped at Gadani Beach. 4,116
    Managed Ships, for Dutch Government  
Vessel Built Years in Service Tons
Breskens 1898 built by Austin & Sons Ltd., Sunderland | ex- Harrington, ex- Calgarth 1899, ex- Sampan 1912, ex- Sudsee 1923, 1948 to Dutch Government renamed Breskens, Mij. Zeetransport manager, 1948 sold to Stoomschip Hannah renamed Houtlaan,1948 capsized and sank near Boisto, Finland. 1,857
Buys Ballot 1943 built by Burrard Dry Dock Co. Ltd., Vancouver | ex- Fort Orleans 1943 standard Empire ship built for Canadian Government, 1946 sold to Montship renamed Mont Sorrel, 1948 purchased by Dutch Government renamed Buys Ballot Mij. Zeetransport manager, 1949 renamed Laagkerk (VNS manager), 1952 purchased by VNS, 1959 scrapped at Hong Kong. 7,141
Hedel   see Prins Philips Willem (1)  
Molengraaff   see Prins Willem II (2)  
Salando 1920 built by J. Readhead & Sons Ltd., South Shields | ex- Trewyn built for Hain Steamship Co., ex- Moni Rickmers1937, 1940 seized by Dutch Government renamed Salando (Rotterdamsche Lloyd manager), 1946 Mij. Zeetransport (Oranje Lijn ) manager, 1949 sold to Avni Nuri Meserretcioglu, Turkey and renamed Meserret, 1958 sold to A. Veder, Holland, 1959 sold to Hakki Marmara, Turkey and renamed Yeni Meserret, 1960 sold to Deniz Nakliyat ve Ticaret Limited Sirketi, Turkey, 1.9.1962 driven ashore at Green Island, Hong Kong during typhoon Wanda, 6.9.1962 refloated and beached at Gin Drinker's Bay where she was broken up by Hong Kong Chiap Hue Manufactory Co. Ltd. 5,241

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