11 postcards of the Oranje line fleet


11 postcards of the Oranje line, in black and white. This shows Prince Willem George Frederik 2x, Prince Want II, Prince Willem van Oranje, Prince Johan Willem Friso, Prince Frederik Willem, Prince Willem III, Prince Willem IV, Prince Alexander, Prince Casimir and Prince Frederik Hendrik.

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The Oranje Lijn was founded in 1937 as Maatschappij Zeetransport by the famous Rotterdam shipping company Anthony Veder. The ships were named after members of the royal family. The company focused primarily on transporting special ships (lakers) to and from the ‘Great Lakes’ in Canada and the United States. This was a difficult route over the sea and over canals with locks with the risk of getting frozen when winter came. The shipping company was inventive and concentrated during the winter months on fruit transport in the Mediterranean. The trick was to stay ahead of the competition in the spring and to reach the Great Lakes again as early as possible. Later the shipping company expanded and also sailed at other ports. On most ships there was room for about 10 passengers. For a short time (1959-1964) the shipping company also had three combined cargo passenger ships in service for more than 100 passengers to and from Canada. After the completion of the St. Lawrence Seaway, however, the advantage of the custom built ships disappeared and got society is struggling. In 1958 the company was sold to the Koninklijke Paketvaart Maatschappij (KPM). In 1959, 50% of the Oranje Line shares were taken over by the Holland America Line (HAL). Continued unsatisfactory results led to reorganizations in 1964 and 1968, in which the three passenger ships were successively sold and management and nautical services were transferred to the HAL as a whole. The takeover of the remaining shares of the KPM by the HAL in 1970 marked the definitive end of the Oranje Line.