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 Wikipedia entry and community contributions below for more information.

Community contributions

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

What do you know?

Paul Hollin

Posted: 08 Dec 2011

I emigrated to NZ 1n 1954 as a 17 year old I had a 2 year contract as a farm worker on a dairy farm near Palmerston North.This was the voyage where there was trouble at Curacao.I must have been on the same voyage as Tony Briggs, it seems we were also same age and same vocation, what a pity we never met.

Margaret Millar

Posted: 11 Oct 2011

My family, Father, Mother and brother and myself sailed from Glasgow 5th Feb 1952. Docking in Wellington in March.
It was the Captain Cooks maiden voyage after a complete refit and refurbishment.
We were lucky and had a family deck cabin. Despite the refit we had an enforced stop over in Curacao as there were boiler problems with the ship. Although I was only 7years old I had a great time. We younger children were well catered for with plenty to keep us amused, leaving parents to enjoy the adults entertainments. Food was fabulous after still living on post war rations. My family have heard some horrific tales about the Captain Cook, but they are at complete odds to our experience.


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.