M 706 - SS Nieuw Amsterdam

SS Nieuw Amsterdam - M706

This is the Tri-ang Minic Ships model of the SS Nieuw Amsterdam, flag ship of the Holland America Line, which at the time of her construction by the Rotterdam Drydock Company was the largest liner ever constructed in Holland. She was one of the largest and most luxurious vessels ever built at the time and was the largest Dutch ship in service until 1951.

The construction of the SS Nieuw Amsterdam resulted from the active encouragement that many national governments gave to the construction of ocean liners both as a matter of national prestige and to ease the severe unemployment which resulted from the Great Depression. Indeed the 1930's witnessed a remarkable period of growth by the merchant fleets of many nations as a result of this practice.

The SS Nieuw Amsterdam followed the Art Deco trend of the time in both interior decoration and exterior design. Her sleek outline and two slim funnels provided a striking profile while her public rooms and cabins reflected the talent and craftsmanship of the Netherlands? best architects and interior designers. The public areas of the ship were decorated with many fine examples of modern Dutch art and handicrafts such as the massive cast aluminium bas-relief suspended from the ceiling of the Grand Hall and the bronze mermaids that formed the doorhandles to the Smoking room bar.

Her interiors were distinguished by aluminium motifs and gentle pastels illuminated by fluorescent lighting which created an understated elegance that would make the ship a favourite among transatlantic passengers. The ship was famed for her "Old World" service and continental cuisine and was one of the most popular ships on the Trans Atlantic service for nearly thirty years developing a loyal passenger following that lasted until her retirement.

SS Nieuw Amsterdam's maiden voyage commenced on 10th May 1938 and she immediately won adulation and acclaim upon her arrival in New York. Holland?s ?ship of peace? was not to enjoy the praise lavished on her for long however and in 1939, after only seventeen voyages, she was laid up at Hoboken, New Jersey after the German invasion of Poland.

The ship remained laid up until 1940 when she was requisitioned by the British Ministry of Transport as a troopship after Holland fell to Hitler?s armies. Despite being constructed without any consideration of being used in a military role SS Nieuw Amsterdam served as a troopship throughout the war years steaming over 530,000 miles and transporting over 350,000 troops before being decommissioned in 1946.

After a fourteen months refit to restore her to her pre-war condition SS Nieuw Amsterdam resumed her Trans Atlantic schedule in October 1947 and for the next twenty years enjoyed a loyal following and financial success. Indeed, despite fierce competition from Cunard, French Lines and the United States Line, SS Nieuw Amsterdam was one of the few money making Atlantic liners of her time.

Even after being joined by Holland-America Line's new ship, SS Rotterdam, in 1959 SS Nieuw Amsterdam still commanded a loyal following and her various refits ensured she remained in top condition despite being near thirty years old.

In the 1960s air travel had a severe impact on demand for Trans Atlantic services and SS Nieuw Amsterdam role was changed to Caribbean cruising but escalating operating costs and competition from newer cruise vessels soon drew the ship's career to an end and in 1974 she sailed to the breakers in Taiwan.


Owner: Holland-America Line
Builder: Rotterdam Drydock Company
Launched: 10th April 1937
Displacement: 36667 tons
Length (OA): 758 ft 6 in ( 231.2 m )
Beam: 88 ft ( 26.8 m )
Propulsion: Quadruple Single Reduction Geared Expansion Turbines, twin shafts, twin screws
Maximum Speed: 21.5 Knots
Crew: 700
Passenger Accommodation: 574 - 1st Class
583 - Tourist Class
Disposal / Demise: 1974 scrapped in Taiwan

Further details can be obtained from the following links -
Royal Regals Web Site http://www.bryking.com/hal/
Uncommon Journeys Web Site http://uncommonjourneys.com/pages/amsterdm.htm