The Stoomvaart Maatschappij Nederland once operated colonial services linking Amsterdam with Jakarta (Batavia) via the Suez Canal. By 1950 however, relations between Indonesia and the mother country had become troubled, and the company employed their Oranje and Johan van Oldenbarnevelt on the emigrant trade to Australia.
The service was successful enough that the two ocean liners were refitted and upgraded in 1959 for around-the-world services, coordinating schedules with their competitor, Royal Rotterdam Lloyd. The new route was from Holland via the Mediterranean and Suez to Australia then across the Pacific to the Panama Canal, Florida and return across the Atlantic. Each ship made three or four circuits per year, interspersed with occasional cruises.
They were an alternative to the British liners, carrying a share of the post-war migrant traffic as well as northern Europeans wanting to see the world on a leisurely schedule.
Oranje was sold to Lauro Lines of Italy, renamed as Angelina Lauro and converted to carry 1,500 passengers in two classes on service from Northern Europe via the Mediterranean and Suez to Australia.
Built: 1939 by Nederlandsche SB Mij, Amsterdam, Holland
Johan van Oldenbarnevelt
Built: 1930 by Nederlandsche SB Mij, Amsterdam, Holland