Lounge on the Captain Cook immigrant ship

The corridor lounge on the port side of the Captain Cook. 

The Captain Cook brought assisted immigrants to New Zealand via the Panama Canal from 1952 to 1960.  See community contributions below for more information.

Community contributions

133 comments have been posted about Lounge on the Captain Cook immigrant ship

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Posted: 18 Sep 2020

Unsettled after returning from a two-week holiday in the Austrian Tyrol in 1953 left my friend and work colleague unsettled. What next? An advert in a national newspaper decided our future. On 13th July 1954 we travelled from London to Glasgow to board the 'Captain Cook' on a voyage to New Zealand, arriving in Wellington on Thursday 19th August.. I was fortunate enough to be employed by the New Zealand Government Tourist and Publicity Department on Lambton Quay. The next two years were the happiest and most carefree of my life. In 2011 I wrote and self-published in diary form (through Troubador Publishing Ltd) an account of my adventures from the moment we had stepped on the ship to the day in November 1956 when I departed for Australia . If anyone is interested A Fantasy Ago - New Zealand Memoir 1954-56 has now been uploaded onto Apple for pre-order on its iBooks store until 22nd September at which point it will be released for general e-book sale. I also have six printed copies at home here in London.

Andy McGinty

Posted: 13 Sep 2020

My family and I were emigrated to NZ on the Captain Cook departing Glasgow 17/6/58, yes we were segregated male and female, me and my dad shared with about eight or nine other males and my mum and sisters were with other females, I learnt later that there was a ballot system for men to spend time with their wives and everyone else vacated the cabin for an hour.I was eight years old and my sisters and I had a great adventure on that trip, we went back to the UK (on the RMS Rangitoto) two years later as many did and two years after that we came back to NZ on the MV Oranje, a lot of sea time for a young lad.

Martin Logan

Posted: 02 Sep 2020

I am looking for information on the Immagrant Ship the Captain Cook that sailed from Glasgow Scotland in February 1958 to Wellington New Zealand. I am trying to locate the list of passengers in relation to family history.


Posted: 11 Jul 2020

Sailed on the Captain Cook from Glasgow to Wellington in March 1955 via the Panama Canal. Great fun for a six year old boy. The day after arriving we sailed to Lyttelton on the Maori and then went to Roxburgh Hydro for two years. Then to Wairakei and Taupo. Loved growing up in New Zealand. Been in Australia since 1975.

Paul Kerr

Posted: 03 Jul 2020

Jacqueline please contact us, using the following email, as you were on the same sailing as our mother and we are hoping to hear of memories, stories and to hopefully get to see some photos of your sailing, for our family research - [email protected] - thank you.

John Lowe

Posted: 01 Jul 2020

I sailed aboard the "Captain Cook" in 1956 but unlike most others I was travelling from Singapore to UK. My father was serving in the British Army in what was then Malaya. After the ship left New Zealand it went to Singapore to pick up returning British Army personnel. Due to the Suez Crisis in 1956 the canal was closed and we had to go via the Cape of Good Hope. We stopped firstly in Cape Town and then Freetown, Sierra Leone, followed by Dakar, Senegal. After 6 weeks we eventually reached Liverpooĺ. I remember the green pistachio ice cream we were served and if Iclose my eyes can still bring the taste to mind. Sadly I had other abiding memories. I cut an artery in my foot and the duty doctor didn't give me penicillin. I was to develop stitch abscess aboard ship. The wound kept breaking open and the artery sprayed blood everywhere. It happened again and again. I was.only 4 years old. The medical staff aboard ship were at a loss what to do. They decided that if they could totally immobilise the foot that would give the wound time to heal. If that didn't work the only option was to amputate my foot. My foot and leg was encased in plaster of Paris which fortunately worked. My parents were glad.when the 6 week voyage finally ended.

Denise Selchouk (nee Drew)

Posted: 07 Jun 2020

On 17th June 1953 we sailed from Southampton to Wellington, New Zealand, on the TSS Captain Cook and the voyage took 6 weeks. I had just turned 9 y.o. and my Mother and Stepfather were
joining a sister of my Mother and her family who had sailed from the U.K. previously. When we entered the Suez Canal, a young Mother was taken off our ship, by stretcher, as she had contracted Polio and I remember the heart wrenching sobbing of her young son as he accompanied her down the ganplank to a hospital in a foreign land. Although our ship was quarantined, as a young girl I was never bored during our voyage and looked forward to the arrival gift of a bicycle, my parents had promised. I remember my Mother calling me to view the first sighting of New Zealand. As I stood on deck, looking at the mountainous outline, I wondered how on earth I would be able to ride my bike up and down the terrain. On board I remember my parents being friendly with a Scottish couple and their young son, with the surname Forsyth. On disembarkation we travelled to Hamilton by train for the reunion with my Aunt and Uncle who then drove us to their new home in Tokoroa.
According to an online record I found years ago, it was a Captain James Cook who was master
of that voyage.

I read that Eileen Lewis (Chadwick) was also on that sailing, according to her post of
26/6/16. I was passenger listed under my Stepfather's surname: Denise Codd.

John Thompson

Posted: 06 Jun 2020

My family sailed on this ship to nz in 1952. We were from Liverpool and our family consisted of mum , dad and my sister and I . We did not know anything about NZ and still don’t know where they got the courage to set out on this a venture with 2 children under 4 . I don’t remember anything of the voyage other than we landed in Wellington and caught the train to:Auckland. My parents passed away years ago and my family moved to Brisbane , my brother is in Perth and my sister is still in NZ . Emigrating was the best thing they ever did

Andrew Morrison

Posted: 02 Apr 2020

Have not been on this forum since , October 2018 , but with a lot more enforced 'home time' due to the current world health crisis we all find ourselves in at the moment , I have found two things that might be of interest. First is a recorded interview , with the now sadly deceased Secretary/Treasurer of the 'Captain Cook Club ' Alan Chaddick . Alan came out on the Captain Cook on one of the passages my father served on. It is 'The ten pound pom' -oral interview , by Stuart Birks , Manawatu Heritage. The second is a book 'From the other end of the Word' edited by R.K. Dean published by GWW Services and features the accounts of passengers who sailed on the Captain Cook between 1952 and 1955. It also includes the experiences of those who came out on other vessels right up till 1965.I found Carol Symingtons story of particular interest as she sailed from Glasgow on the 10th December 1952 , which was my fathers first run out on the Captain Cook.Like Him she remembered the 'man overboard'incident


Posted: 18 Mar 2020

My name is Jacqueline Carter nee Barrett. I arrived aged 7 with my brother aged 5 and my mother and father from Middlesex England in June 1958 on the TSS Captain Cook. Our family settled in Dallington Christchurch. Everyone else in the family is now deceased .