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

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

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Posted: 05 Sep 2011

I was one of about five hundred service personnel who came back from Christmas Island on the Cook in 1957. We sailed via Honolulu, Panama and Curacao. Sailed through the hurricane Carrie on our way to Liverpool. German sailing ship the Pamir with cadets on board went down about two hours infront of us. Rumour was a tanker picked up one or two survivors. Think we were going backwards with the storm lol. Made it safely to Liverpool. Saw the Cook on tv going to the scrapyard.

rory hennessy

Posted: 25 Aug 2011

I emigrated to NZ with my mother and brother. I was 5 and brother was 3. Dad had joined the NZ army we came out in 1954 on the tss Captain Cook. My mother told me the ship's crew had some trouble with some curacoans and were told to ship out or end up in jail. Had good first time drinking pineapple juice in curacao and dressing up for for king neptune


Posted: 25 Aug 2011

I emigrated to NZ with my Dad & Mum brother and sister on the Tss Captain Cook on her second to last voyage to NZ before she was scrapped. As a 9 year old it was an adventure of a liftime. There were serveral times when the engines failed and the ship went in circles until repaired. Crossing the equator was a party on deck with King Neptune! Someone came on board with measels and that travelled through the ship from stem to stern, I didn't get it as I had already had it, The crew were all so kind and helpful and deck quoits were a great game. We arrived in Wellington about March 1960. New Zealand seemed like paradise to us kids, we even soon were running around in bare feet, this my mother was horrified to see when we first arrived, she said those poor, poor children they have'nt even got any shoes! There is an identicle cabin to ours at the Maritime Museum here in Auckland which brings back may memories.

Tony Briggs

Posted: 11 Jul 2011

As a seventeen year old I sailed from Glasgow in January 1954 arriving in Wellington in February 1954 with a two year work contract in the Dairy Industry near Tirau in the Waikato. I had a berth in a cabin of six with 5 Irish guys who were due to work in the Hotel and NZ Post Office jobs, but have long since lost contact details. I must have been on the same passage as Susie who also posted comments on the trip out to NZ

Graham Lowe

Posted: 10 Jun 2011

Emigrating to New Zealand on my own in June 1958 at the age of nineteen without any costs and the promise of a job upon arrival was too great an opotunity not to miss. My voyage on the SS Captain Cook started at Glasgow on Tuesday 17 June and finished at Wellington NZ via the Panama Canal.There were six of us sharing a cabin, some of them Danish. I joined the Entertainments Commitee and also played records on the ships PA system acting as a DJ. We arrived at Wellington on 24 July and I continued my elected journey to Auckland. Many friendships were made including a James Patrick Harland from Ireland. I would realy like to make contact with him again.

Carol Moore (nee Adams)

Posted: 04 Mar 2011

I came out when I was 14 on the Captain Cook in 1958 with my parents and young brother. We left Glasgow in the snow in February and arrived in sunny Wellington at Easter. I remember sitting in that port side lounge, praying the ship would stop rolling so I could move! I distinctly recall the smell of the ship, not that unpleasant but very memorable. The crew were Scottish and always gave me an extra orange at mealtimes. My mum and dad were separated at night during the journey and we were in Cabin B94 with 2 other women, one of whom I recall smelled of baby powder! Is there still a group of immigrants who get together in NZ?


Posted: 18 Feb 2011

My parents (Derek & Ethel Masters & daughter Elizabeth) came to New Zealand on the Captian Cook, Mum & Dad stayed in touch with a lot of the friends she made on that ship, they were on assisted passage and moved on to Christchurch after the ship arrived in Wellington. I have a few pieces of memorabilia that she kept from the trip,Menus with Autographs, a post card of the inside just like the picture on this page. There are also some lovely pictures that they took while they were stopped at Curacao. I believe that they arrived in February 1954.

George Hale

Posted: 23 Sep 2010

I came on the same voyage as Olavi Hanninen in October 1954.I was just 18 months old, my parents Lucy and Hughie always made comment about the big strapping Finnish men on the voyage. Dad was seasick and was never so glad as when he stood on dry land at the stop in Curacao, I think he had to be dragged back on board.


Posted: 19 Sep 2010

I came out on the 'Captain Cook' in 1955 The Cook had been refurbished as ours was the last trip to N.Z. before it went on a Canadian run.Arriving March 3rd.There were a 100 single women on board and a fuss was made of us, as in the November 1954 headlines in one of the London papers read "Forty thousand unattached males in N.Z." - we left in the January but being the first ship to leave U.K. for N.Z. we were of interest to the media, Headlines in the Dominion with a photo reading 'Marriage plans "Oh No" greeted us as we stepped ashore in Wellington.A number of the women had families to go too, I was one and going to relatives in Hamilton.We had a good trip out, hit a rough patch a few miles from Wellington otherwise very pleasant.

Jim Henderson

Posted: 14 Sep 2010

My Mother brought us to New Zealand in 1957 on the Captain Cook,three boys and one girl after my father was drowned of Ardamurchan Point in 1949. We have all had a great life here and all have our own children. Mum passed on two years ago at age ninty eight sad she did not make the ton. We went by train from Wellington to the big city of Takapau where mum cooked for Mrs Rolleston at Oruawharo Homestead till the sixties when Mrs Rolleston died.