Ferry van Eeuwen
In 1972 the Holland America Lines purchased the s.s. Argentina (1958) from Moore McCormack Line and renamed the ship to s.s. Veendam. The ship was refurbished by the Lloyd Werft in Bremen, Germany and I arrived there on board first to inspect the radio station, later to supervise the installation of the new equipment and the commissioning of same. The Argentina carried all RCA branded transmitter and receiver equipment which I found were of an excellent quality. Amazing to me was the power of the medium wave radio transmitter. I was used to aerial currents on the frequency of 500 kHz of let's say 10 Amperes. This baby showed something like 30 Amperes on the aerial current meter. I thought that something was wrong, but no. Something like the experience as from moving from a normal 4 cylinder car to an overpowered 8 cylinder car. Technically speaking the ship could have sailed with this equipment perfectly well. However, radio requirements between countries were not harmonised in any way so we had to install new equipment which was approved by the Dutch government, but in several ways they were of a lesser quality. Nice..... Every country had its own little list op type approved equipment and there was no escape from that. Even if the equipment was identical, small required governmental changes to the equipment made it prohibitive to keep it on board or to install. For example, if the ship had been sailing under Belgium flag, our neighbouring country, then the equipment also had to be stripped and renewed. Crazy but true. But for us it was an easy way to sell some equipment.
I also attended the sea trials of the ms Prinsendam and ms Volendam (ex s.s. Brasil). Furthermore, during my sea-going days, I served as a 3rd Radio Officer on two other Holland America Line passengers ships: the ms Rijndam and the ms Maasdam.
The s.s. Argentina (1958) was purchased in 1972 from Moore McCormack Line and renamed to s.s. Veendam (3). This is the 3rd Veendam in the Holland America Lines fleet. The ship was chartered in 1975 to Monarch Cruise Lines and renamed to Monarch Sun. For the technical details and the complete time line see further on.
The ship in front the s.s. Volendam and at the back the s.s. Veendam. The construction at the back - two masts or dummy smoke stacks, interconnecting walkover, with another mast in the middle - has been added by the new owners probably to create a kind of s.s. Rotterdam look.
The passenger liner s.s.
Argentina was built in 1958 as newbuild 468 by Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi and delivered to Moore-McCormack Lines on
12th December, 1958. The ship arrives in New York Harbour on her maiden voyage in New York Harbour
in 1958. The Moran tug "Pauline L. Moran" is towing from the bow, with
two other Moran tugs alongside.
The compulsory tour of the wheelhouse as part of the passenger entertainment.
Dimensions: 188,22 x 25,61 x 8,30 m
1958 (12th March) Launching of vessel.
As regards to the ship breakers in Alang, India I somewhere read the following statement: At Alang, in India, on a six-mile stretch of oily, smoky beach, 40,000 men tear apart half of the world's discarded ships, each one a sump of toxic waste. Environmentalists in the West are outraged. The ship breakers, of course, want to be left alone -- and maybe they should be.
June 22: As the last keel plates of the STELLA SOLARIS (ex CAMBODGE, STELLA V) and MAYAN EMPRESS (ex WINSTON CHURCHILL) are sent off to Indian smelters, the NEW ORLEANS (ex ARGENTINA, ENCHANTED ISLE, etc.) is now down to the final stages of dismantling with only a waterline height segment of her aft quarters remaining.
The s.s. Argentina seen here lying alongside the Moore-McCormack Canal Street Pier 32.