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Porcelain bowl commemorating the maiden voyage of the NIEUW HOLLAND

Date: 1972
Dimensions:
Overall: 30 x 198 mm, 818.29 g
Medium: Porcelain, metal
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Bill Nix
Object Name: Bowl
Object No: 00047629
Place Manufactured:Nihon

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    Description
    A Japanese-made porcelain bowl, decorated in Hong Kong and encased in metal that is inscribed 'Presented by Royal Interocean Lines to mark the maiden voyage of NIEUW HOLLAND, 1972'.
    SignificanceThis porcelain bowl was created for the maiden voyage of the newly re-fitted NIEUW HOLLAND from Hong Kong to Australia. It represents a period of attempts to re-invent passenger-cargo ships in a diminishing market rapidly being displaced by air travel.
    HistoryThe NIEUW HOLLAND was originally the RANDFONTEIN, built by Wilton-Fijenoord, Schiedam in the Netherlands in 1958. The 13,694-ton liner became the largest Holland-Africa Line liner to be built.

    The RANDFONTEIN departed Amsterdam on its maiden voyage to South Africa in January 1959, calling at Southampton, Las Palmas, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, East London, Durban and return - a service maintained for the next eleven years.

    RANDFONTEIN was designed to accommodate a larger number of Tourist Class passengers, with a number of lounges and bars, and a fully tiled swimming pool - rare in passenger-cargo ships at this time.

    With an elegant atmosphere, the RANDFONTEIN was popular with Dutch, English and South African passengers, and was well patronised until the late nineteen-sixties when air travel became popular. It was decided to terminate the vessel's service in 1971.

    The ship was sold to RIL (Royal Interocean Lines) in 1971 and renamed NIEUW HOLLAND. Extensively refitted in Hong Kong, all cabins and public rooms for 390 passengers were upgraded to one class. Although NIEUW HOLLAND was still registered in the Netherlands, its home port was now Hong Kong.

    NIEUW HOLLAND replaced the smaller RIL vessel TJILUWAH (known colloquially as the 'elegant white yacht') on the Japan-Australia service. The NIEUW HOLLAND departed Hong Kong for her maiden voyage to Australia on January 21, 1972, arriving in Brisbane on January 30, Sydney February 2, and Melbourne February 7.

    Together with the TJIWANGI (TJILUWAH’s twin ship) NIEUW HOLLAND continued on the Australia-Japan-Hong Kong-Australia service. However with bookings to Asia dropping off, RIL decided to use the NIEUW HOLLAND as a cruise ship. In 1973, the NIEUW HOLLAND undertook its first, and what turned out to be the last cruise to New Zealand. Sailing with just over 200 passengers, the idea of a new service as a cruise ship was soon abandoned.

    With rapidly dwindling bookings, NIEUW HOLLAND commenced another new service departing from Adelaide, sailing to Risdon in Tasmania, Sydney, Port Moresby, Bali, Surabaya, Jakarta, Singapore, Penang Belawan, Singapore, and return to Adelaide. However, this service proved to be unpopular and was cancelled after just four round voyages.

    In the 1970s the age of combination-passenger liners was rapidly coming to an end. RIL decided they would pull out of the Australian market, and the NIEUW HOLLAND departed Sydney for the last time without any fanfare on October 22, 1974. RIL then sent NIEUW HOLLAND to Hong Kong without any passengers and the ship was laid up and placed on the market.
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