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Post-war-built ship nearly a belated war casualty in the 1960s

HAL’s S.S. Maasdam hit shipwrecks in German river

Tags: Immigration

Of the all passenger ships that took immigrants from the Netherlands to Canada and the U.S.A., the ss Maasdam is one of the very few that still sailed the Atlantic Ocean as a passenger ship in the late 1970s. The Polish Ocean Lines operated the ship as a cruise ship then known as the Stafan Batory until approximately 1980.

Originally, the Maasdam was designed as a passenger ship which could also double as a freighter. When she was launched in 1952, the ship was christened the Maasdam IV by the Holland America Line. On the August 11, the Maasdam departed Rotterdam on her maiden voyage to New York.

In 1963 the Maasdam nearly became a belated war statistic. While sailing up the mouth of the Weser River into a German port, she ran into two submerged ships wrecks, one British and one Russian. The damage to the hull was serious enough to warrant the evacuation of 500 passengers who took to the lifeboats. After she was repaired, the Maasdam resumed her voyage two months later.

In 1966, the Maasdam was assigned to the HAL route between Rotterdam and Montreal. This route continued until the HAL sold the ship to the Polish Ocean Lines. On April 11, 1967 the ‘Stefan Batory’ began her route between the ports of Gdynia and Montreal.

The Maasdam and the ss Ryndam II are sister ships. Both were built by Wilton-Feyenoord of Schiedam. The Maasdam was built on dockyard 733, had 15,024 GRT, measured 153.2x21.1 metres, was outfitted with a single propeller, and had a maximum speed of 16,5 knots. The ship required a crew of 300, and had a capacity of 39 first class passengers and 842 in its tourist class.