Simplon - The Passenger Ship Website -
Simplon facebook - Simplon Home - - Recent Updates - Search Simplon - Copyright Information - Contact Simplon
This website has no connection with any shipping company, cruise line, boat operator or other commercial organisation - There are no postcards for sale on this website

Willem Ruys - Achille Lauro
This page is devoted to postcards and photographs of the Royal Rotterdam Lloyd liner Willem Ruys, later Achille Lauro of Lauro Lines and Starlauro.
The Willem Ruys was laid down in January 1939, shortly before the outbreak of WW2. Little work was carried out during the war, often held up by resistance groups. Willem Ruys was finally launched in July 1946, and delivered in November 1947, with the maiden voyage Rotterdam-Indonesia starting on December 2nd. This service was operated until December 1957, when political changes caused its cessation. Willem Ruys ran a number of transatlantic crossings before being rebuilt for a round-the -world service, which started in 1959. This was not a great success, and she was sold to Lauro Lines in 1964. She was named after her new owner, but did not enter service until April 1966 following an explosion and fire during conversion work. The route was from North Europe (Bremerhaven, Rotterdam, Southampton)-Genoa-Sydney-Wellington, which operated until 1972 when Achille Lauro became a fulltime cruise ship. Lauro Lines were in financial trouble by the late 1970s, and the Achille Lauro was arrested in Tenerife in 1982. She lay there for a year, until the Italian Government arranged to have her brought back to Genoa. After a further year's lay-up, a joint charter arrangement for Mediterranean cruises was made between Lauro Lines and Chandris Lines. Chandris pulled out after the much-publicized hijacking in October 1985 affected passenger numbers. Lauro struggled on until 1987, when it was bought by the Swiss-based Mediterranean Shipping Company, who rebranded the company as StarLauro Cruises. This venerable ship served with them until November 1994, when she caught fire on a Genoa-South Africa cruise. The ship was abandoned, and sank two days later.
Ship Names on this Page:-
Willem Ruys - Rotterdam Lloyd 1947-64
Achille Lauro - Lauro Lines 1964-87
Achille Lauro - Starlauro 1987-94
Associated Pages:-
Simplon Facebook Page - Simplon Postcards facebook page
Chandris Lines
Lauro Lines
Rotterdam Lloyd
StarLauro Cruises
Ocean Liner Postcards
Cruise Ship Postcards
Simplon Postcards Home Page

Willem Ruys
(Rotterdam Lloyd: 1947-64)
Official Rotterdam Lloyd card of Willem Ruys.
This official Royal Rotterdam Lloyd card shows Willem Ruys after rebuilding for the Round-the-World service.
This official Royal Rotterdam Lloyd card shows Willem Ruys after rebuilding for the Round-the-World service.
Ern.Thill, Bruxelles, postcard of Willem Ruys at Antwerp.
A modern poster reproduction, published by Art Unlimited, Amsterdam (serial A9498) is shown below.
The poster shows the Willem Ruys and her route, is by James Greig and dates from ca.1948.
A painting of Willem Ruys by Willem Johan Hoendervanger -
Click to open larger copy in new window
WILLEM RUYS by Willem Johan Hoendervanger -

A modern card of Willem Ruys published by Vormgeving, Rotterdam, using a painting by Robert E.Murk.
This is a modern card, showing earlier condition, published by the Rotterdam Maritime Museum.
The following pictures of Willem Ruys are taken from a souvenir book published for the Round-the-World service in 1959. The front and back covers are shown below. Harold Nicholson, and his wife Vita Sackville-West, travelled on her to Java in 1957, and he wrote the travel book Journey to Java about the experience. Included is the following description of the ship:-
"V. And I find this boat one of the best designed that we have ever seen. The cabins are wonderfully comfortable, the bunks resilient, the water hot, the lighting and ventilation perfectly arranged. The public rooms-the saloon, the smoking room and bar, the library and the gallery that connects them-all open into each other and should serve as a model of design for an Embassy or Government House. The furniture is soft and unobtrusive, the carpets of thick grey pile, and the decoration restful. The rooms are so skilfully lit that one can read even small print and yet there is no glare at all".
Willem Ruys in the Panama Canal.
Achille Lauro
(Lauro Lines: 1964-87)
The Round-the-World service was not a great success, and Rotterdam Lloyd sold the Willem Ruys to Achille Lauro in 1964. After a lengthy rebuild, she returned to service with her owners name in 1966.
Official Lauro Lines postcard of the liner Achille Lauro
Official Lauro Lines postcard of the liner Achille Lauro
Official Lauro Lines postcard of the liner Achille Lauro
Official Lauro Lines postcard of the liner Achille Lauro
TFC Charter
The following details on TFC were supplied by Derek Walker:- TFC was a South African travel agency which basically pioneered the cruising industry in South Africa in the 1980's. The Achille was brought out by them to operate the December to January season for local cruise fans. Usually there were short Durban-Cape Town voyages with a Christmas and a new years cruise to Mauritius. I sailed on her in 26/12/1986 - 03/01/1987 on the New Year cruise and after I returned she did a voyage to Australia which could be where this particular postcard originates from. There were problems with South Africans and visa's on that voyage and I do not recall her going to Australia for a few years afterwards. TFC folded following the sinking of the Oceanos. They had been bought out by another group and the scandal from the Oceanos sunk the company. The last ship they brought out was the Aegean Dolphin in 1992. The previous owners of TFC formed Starlight Cruises and have successfully brought out the Achille, Symphony, Rhapsody and Monterey.
This card of Achille Lauro at Sydney has the logo TFC. Note P&O's Sea Princess in the background.
Another card of Achille Lauro at Sydney, photographed just after the one above.
This one is published by Marine Photographic.
Croisieres Notre Temps Charter
Croisieres Notre Temps postcard of Achille Lauro, published for their 20th anniversary.
Chantry Classics modern postcard CC/S34 of Achille Lauro at Capetown
Photograph: © Errol Cornish.
Achille Lauro
(Starlauro: 1987-94)
Official Starlauro postcard of the liner Achille Lauro.
Official Starlauro postcard of the liner Achille Lauro.
A Starlight Cruises postcard of the liner Achille Lauro, with the title, "Returning to Cruise South African Waters Nov 94 to April 95".
Unfortunately, the ship never made it to Souths Africa, since it was in November 1994 that she caught fire and sank on the way down to take up this charter.
Simplon Postcards sc2038, released August 1993, of Achille Lauro at Antwerp.
Photograph: © Phillipe Holthof.
CT Publishing modern postcard 086 of Achille Lauro at Capri.
Photograph: © Richard Weiss.
Photograph of Achille Lauro (right) and Chandris Lines' Romanza at Kusadasi in 1988.
Photo: © Francesco Galantino.
Achille Lauro and an 8-year old Francesco in 1991, photographed from Monterey.
Photo: © Francesco Galantino.
Chandris Lines - Rotterdam Lloyd - Lauro Lines - StarLauro Cruises
Cruise Ship Postcards - Ocean Liner Postcards - Simplon Postcards Home Page
Free Web Counter
Times viewed since 01/02/2011: