Friday, 1 July 2011

The real Passenger Liner

Since I was a young kid I always loved ships and as I was living at 10 minutes walk from the port of Amsterdam, called 't IJ  often my friends and me could be found wandering the along this water. were we saw the large cargo vessels from the Stoomvaart Maatschappij Nederland, VNS, Vinke or the smaller ships from the KNSM passing on their way to far and exotic shores. For us it was a real treat to see a SMN passenger liner like the "Oranje" or "Johan van Oldenbarnevelt". These were elegant, beautiful ships with pleasing lines and I am sure that ship lovers worldwide will agree with me that the ships built till the late eighties still looked like what they were, ships. Think about the passengers ships of the German HAPAG, the or the Dutch Holland Amerika Lijn. A passenger ship was an ocean going ship with a hotel on board, offering all kinds of comfort, vessels meant to carry both goods and passengers.  The great French liner "Ile de France" was such. Who did not like to see the l;ast great French liner "France" cut through the waves,  the "United States" or "Rotterdam". Today the passenger ship, or cruise liner as they are now called look like condominiums floating on the water, square and ugly looking monsters with inside a kind of holiday resort. The time they spend at sea is limited to a minimum, mostly a few hours only, just long enough to sail from one touristic attractive port to another. To see how a real passenger liner should look, one must go to the port of  Rotterdam to see the last real Holland Amerika Lijn passenger liner, the "Rotterdam", or perhaps, in a far future the once proud "United States". I sincerely hope that this example of the art of ship building will be saved. It might be possible as long as politicians with their hypocrisyand double talk do not get involved.

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