ms balorean
MS Baloeran
1929 - 1943


The Baloeran was built by Fijenoord NV, Rotterdam for Rotterdam Lloyd, Rotterdam principally for use on services between the Netherlands and the Dutch East Indies (Java) at a cost of 12 million guilders. The maiden voyage commenced on April 16th 1930 from Rotterdam to India

It was one of several ships used by Marconi for his experimental broadcasts.


An overhead view of the Baloeran under steam, taken from a postcard produced by its owners.

1930: April 16th, maiden voyage from Rotterdam for Batavia.
1930: May 14th at Singapore for Batavia.
1930: May 20th whilst at Singapore (Tandjong Pagar wharves) on her maiden voyage eastbound a party were entertained in the first class dining room, followed by an inspection of various parts of the ship. These included the engine room. the open-air swimming pool, the glass fronted upper-promenade deck and the sports deck.
1930: June 6th at Singapore for Rotterdam.
1930: September 12th at Singapore for Rotterdam.
1930: December 19th at Singapore for Rotterdam.

1931: March 4th at Singapore for Batavia.
1931: March 18th (Sourabaya) - a collision occurred off Sourabaya between the Balorean and the MV Silverbeech, a British cargo ship. The Balorean sustained damage on the starboard side but continued on to West Java ports. The Silverbeech sustained a big dent at the stern below the water line and returned to Sourabaya.
1931: March 27th at Singapore for Rotterdam, arrived Rotterdam on April 13th (or is this Marseilles & Southampton on April 18th), in a record 25 days from Batavia (the previous record of 28 days was also held by the Baloeran). Mail from Singapore reached London in eighteen days.
1931: May 26th at Singapore for Batavia.
1931: June 19th at Singapore for Rotterdam.
1931: August 25th at Singapore for Batavia. Two days out from Aden (August 15th) a Miss A C Fraser was reported missing from the Baloeran. Miss Fraser was the 28 year old English nurse to the children of the Dutch Minister to China, Mr Dhorbecke. It is presumed she fell overboard undetected.
1931: September 14th at Singapore for Rotterdam.
1931: departed Marseilles October 30th, November 17th at Singapore for Batavia. Passengers included the Sultan & Sultana of Johore.
1931: December 4th at Singapore for Rotterdam.

1932: January 27th departed Rotterdam, February 23rd at Singapore for Batavia.
1932: March 11th at Singapore for Rotterdam.
1932: May 10th at Singapore for Batavia.
1932: May 27th at Singapore for Rotterdam, passengers included the Crown Prince & Princess of Belgium returning to Europe. They had been on a three month tour of the Far East including Malaya, Siam, French Indo-China, the Philippines and the Dutch East Indies.
1932: August 2nd at Singapore for Batavia.
1932: August 18th at Singapore for Rotterdam.
1932: October 25th at Singapore for Batavia. Whilst at Tangjong Pagar wharves passengers on the Baloeran and other vessels saw a native Malay diver attacked by a shark, the injuries sustained later led to the death of the diver. It was common practice for passengers to throw coins from docked ships, the coins being collected by local divers.
1932: December 13th at Singapore for Rotterdam.

1933: January 16th at Singapore for Batavia.
1933: April 10th at Singapore for Batavia.
1933: April 28th at Singapore for Rotterdam.
1933: July 4th at Singapore for Batavia.
1933: July 21st at Singapore for Rotterdam.
1933: September 26th at Singapore for Batavia. A short six day roundtrip cruise from Colombo to Sabang for RS200 (1st Class) or RS 120 (2nd Class) was offered by the Nederland & Rotterdam Lloyd Lines, including the use of the Baloeran.
1933: October 13th at Singapore for Rotterdam.
1933: December 19th at Singapore for Batavia.

1934: January 5th at Singapore for Rotterdam.
1934: March 13th at Singapore for Batavia.
1934: April 8th (?) at Singapore.
1934: June 5th at Singapore for Batavia.
1934: June 29th at Singapore for Rotterdam.
1934: August 28th at Singapore for Batavia.
1934: September 14th (?) at Singapore for Rotterdam.
1934: November 20th at Singapore for Batavia.
1934: December 8th at Singapore for Rotterdam.

1935: March 26th at Singapore for Batavia.
1935: April 12th at Singapore.
1935: June 18th at Singapore for Batavia.
1935: September 10th at Singapore for Batavia.
1935: September 27th at Singapore for Rotterdam. Fares between Singapore & Southampton were 1st Class S$754 single, S$1,320 return, 2nd Class S$549 single S$960 return.
1935: December 3rd at Singapore for Batavia.

1936: February 25th at Singapore from Rotterdam. Whilst on his way to Java as a passenger on the ship was Rear-Admiral H. Ferweda, the new Commander-in-Chief of the (Dutch?) navy in Netherlands India. He would meet the new British Commander-in-Chief of the China Station, Vice-Admiral Sir Charles J C Little in Singapore on HMS Kent.
1936: March 13th at Singapore for Rotterdam.
1936: May 19th at Singapore for Batavia.
1936: June 5th at Singapore for Rotterdam.
1936: August 11th at Singapore for Batavia.
1936: August 27th at Singapore for Rotterdam.
1936: November 20th at Singapore for Rotterdam.

1937: the Baloeran underwent a 75 day stay at Rotterdam to allow a modernisation of the first class passenger cabins. The passenger cabins on 'A' deck were reduced in number from 78 to 58. The extra space allowed for roomier cabins, some two-berth cabins, several of which were luxuriously appointed suites, with 14 cabins having private bathrooms and toilets.
1937: March 30th at Singapore for Batavia.
1937: April 16th at Singapore for Rotterdam, expected at Southampton on May 9th with many passengers travelling for the Coronation.
1937: June 22nd at Singapore from Rotterdam.
1937: July 8th at Singapore for Rotterdam. A motor launch carrying at least twelve people from the Baloeran, anchored in the Outer Roads, headed to Clifford Pier was struck by a naval motor-boat proceeding to HMS Herald, also anchored in the Outer Roads. The collision occurred at about 8pm, the launch from the Baloeran, valued at S$900, quickly sank, with the navy launch rescuing its passengers and crew.
1937: October 26th at Singapore.

1938: January 18th at Singapore for Batavia.
1938: February 4th at Singapore for Rotterdam.
1938: April 12th at Singapore for Batavia, passengers disembarking included the Ceylon cricket team.
1938: July 22nd at Singapore for Rotterdam.
1938: September 27th at Singapore for Batavia.
1938: October 13th at Singapore for Rotterdam.
1938: July 22nd at Singapore.

1939: January 6th at Singapore for Rotterdam.
1939: March 14th at Singapore for Batavia. Passengers included Viscount Tredegar, British millionaire/author and his bride, formerly the Russian Princess Olga Dolgorouky. They were married in the Singapore Registry Office and were honeymooning in Bali until May.
1939: March 30th (or April 4th) at Singapore for Rotterdam.
1939: June 6th at Singapore for Batavia.
1939: June 23rd at Singapore for Rotterdam.
1939: August 29th at Singapore for Batavia. Approximately thirty passengers disembarked at Singapore whilst boarding passengers included ten Germans, local authorities reported there were fewer than ten Germans remaining in Singapore apart from the staff at the Reich Consulate-General.
1939: September 14th (?) at Singapore for Rotterdam via Belawan, Sabang and the Cape of Good Hope. Whilst at Singapore access to the vessel was severely restricted.

On troopship duty early in 1941 between Liverpool & Cape Town

On May 11th 1941 during the invasion of Holland the ship was captured by the German Navy and renamed MS Strassburg, serving as a hospital ship.

On September 1st 1943 the Strassburg collided with a mine off Ijmuiden whilst on a voyage from Rotterdam to Hamburg and was beached. Three weeks later British bombers (or torpedo boats?) set the vessel on fire, becoming a total loss (wreck site 52.32.63N, 04.32.35E), preventing salvage of the wreck. One source says the ship despite is hospital status was equipped with anti-aircraft guns.

Sister ship 'Dempo' built by De Schelde, Vlissingen. Torpedoed March 17th 1944 near Algiers during the Allied invasion of North Africa.




Details:
Built: Fijenoord NV, Rotterdam 1929/30
Launched: Maiden voyage April 16th 1930, Rotterdam to India
Tonnage: 16,981 tons
(Lloyds: Gross tons 17,001; below deck 12,123; nett 10,173.)
Length: 167.98 metres (551 ft)
Breadth: 21.44 metres (70.4 ft)
Draught: 9.10 metres (41.6 ft)
Propulsion: Two single acting Schelde Sulzer 10ST76 ten cylinder engines producing 7,000hp each at 100rpm
Auxiliary engines: Four x 6SS38 engines totalling 3,120hp at 170rpm
Screws: 2
Speed: 18 knots
Crew: 330
Passengers: 236 1st class, 253 2nd class, 30 3rd class, 68 4th class & 27 convertible to 1st or 2nd class.

Page added June 3rd 2006
Last updated May 29th 2007

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