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

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

What do you know?

Mitchell Mullin

Posted: 16 Apr 2019

Hello. I am researching my great Grandfathers time in the Merchant Navy and have been told he served on HMS Cook. I am looking for anyone who was a member of the serving crew anywear between 1939 - 1955 who may be able to help me out. He was called Charles Mullen and was from Glasgow, Scotland. He had my grandfather in 1951 and aunties and uncle a couple of years after. From what I can gather my great grandfather did not like to speak about his time in the merchant navy and never told my grandfather or his siblings a lot about what he used to do. He died in September 2013 in Dumbarton.

If you or a family member may be able to assist me in my search it would be much appreciated.
You can reach me at - mitchellmullin@outlook.com

Alan (Archie)Dawson Auckland, New Zealand

Posted: 08 Feb 2019

On the 5th November 1959, I sailed to Malaya from Wellington on the TSS Captain Cook with the Nz Army as a 20 year old soldier... We had a day visiting Freemantle in Australia on the way and then sailed up through the Sunda straights past Sumatra and Java, taking 19 days for the trip. With families on board, the total would have been around 1000 - 1200 people on the trip. Most of the trip was smooth sailing, the only problem was the crew watered down the beer and when we reached the bottom of the 50oz glasses it was more water than beer. Our Colonel had to sort the problem out with the ships captain to prevent any more problems between soldiers and the ships crew. Enjoyed the trip overall and in 1961 flew home by RNZAF DC 6 aircraft.!

Lindsay Morrison

Posted: 24 Jan 2019

My parents met on the Captain Cook, my father from Glasgow was a steward on the ship and would have known the Lounge (from the picture posted) very well. My mother was an NZ nurse, they met on the voyage in 1953/4 not sure exactly, got engaged in Curacao, married in St Paul's Cathedral in Wellington later (THE St Paul's as my mother liked to say). They are both deceased now but my Dad was proud of the 'Cook' until the end, no tugs or bow thrusters needed for the Cook .....

Brian mccallum

Posted: 15 Dec 2018

Trying to find anybody that possibley sailed with my dad dugald mccallum

Andrew Morrison

Posted: 29 Nov 2018

For Malcolm Greig

Thanks for your information regarding the 'man overboard' incident.She was a very lucky lady to be rescued.My father said he used to chat to her afterwards , when he came up on deck from the engine room for fresh air, and she seemed none the worse following her ordeal.My father remembered the occurrence because it was his first voyage on the Captain Cook.Sadly my father passed away in September aged 92 , but I have his merchant navy discharge book , and a lot of photos and items from his time on the Captain Cook , including dinner menus.

steve jones

Posted: 20 Nov 2018

I'm Steve Jones I came to NZ with my family in 1958 aboard the Captain Cook. I was 9 years old. Nov 2018 will be 60 years.

Malcolm Greig

Posted: 03 Nov 2018

To Helen Blanchard (nee Duff).

Got my geography slightly confused. On each trip to NZ the first port of call was Balbao on Curaçao where the ship took on fuel. A short two day trip then took us to the Panama Canal where we would proceed through the canal to the Pacific Ocean followed by the longer leg of the journey to Wellington, NZ.

Malcolm Greig

Posted: 02 Nov 2018

For Andrew Morrison.

I was an Assistant Cook on the voyage when the young Nurse jumped from the after deck. The Ship’s Carpenter was walking across the after deck when he saw her clinb the safety rail. He threw a lifebelt overboard. The Bridge were alerted, it took about a mile and a half to bring the vessel to a halt whereupon the Duty Crew launched the Duty Boat which was on the davits on the port side of the ship. They went back to the scene where they found the young lady in the water surrounded by dolphins. The dolphins were surrounded by sharks. A safe rescue was completed and the voyage continued to New Zealand.

Malcolm Greig

Posted: 02 Nov 2018

This is in answer to Heather Blanchard (nee Duff). My name is Malcolm Greig, I was an Assistant Cook on the Captain Cook when you sailed on her.

The Panama Canal operates 12 hours east-west followed by 12 hours west-east. Depending on what time we arrived at Balbao we would either have tied up or joined the traffic going through the canal. If we went straight through the Canal we tied up at Panama City.

Any more questions you can get in touch via my daughter Lindsay.


Morag Hamilton, nee James

Posted: 30 Aug 2018

I was 8 years old when we sailed from Glasgow on the SS Captain Cook, via Curacao, Panama Canal, and was introduced to John Christian at Pitcairn, by Jas Cook, the skipper, and was on the bridge when we came into Wellington harbour in 1953. Because my dad had been in the Navy during the war, we were placed at the Purser's table, and the Captain took a shine to me. I have the menu from the last evening, signed by captain and crew.