SA Vaal

The S.A. Vaal (30,212 grt, 760 ft. long) was originally the Transvaal Castle, sailing on her maiden voyage from Southampton to South Africa for Union-Castle Line in January 1962.

Four years later she was taken over by South African Marine Corporation (Safmarine) though remaining on the same route and still managed by Union-Castle.

In February 1966 registry was transferred to Cape Town. She made her last voyage for Union-Castle-Safmarine on 2nd September 1977 and was withdrawn from service on her return and sold to Festivale Maritime Inc. a subsidiary of Carnival Cruise Lines of Miami.

Rebuilt at Kawasaki with extra decks and renamed Festivale she joined the Mardi Gras (ex Empress of Canada) on their 'Fun Ship Cruises'.

In 1978 she cruised in the Caribbean based in San Juan, Puerto Rica and in 1982 was based in in Miami operating 7 day cruises to Nassau - San Juan - St Thomas.

She was acquired by Premier Cruises of Port Canaveral in 1996 and renamed Island Breeze operating for her owners in the Caribbean during the northern winter and on charter to Thomson Holidays in the Mediterranean during the summer.

At the beginning of 2000 she was renamed Big Red Boat III as part of Premier's corporate identity. However, in September 2000 Premier Cruises ceased trading and the ship was seized by creditors for non payment of debts.

Vessel

Built

Years in Service

Tonnage


SA Vaal


1961

Ex Transvaal Castle,

1966 Transferred from Union-Castle,

1977 sold to Carnival Cruise Line, Miami, renamed Festivale.


32697

Celebrity Passenger - 1974

The SA Vaal Flappers

New Propellors to Cut Vibration - 1966

Reminds me of the story of the lady passenger who approached an officer and asked why the ship vibrated so much. He replied “Madam, if you have two shafts revolving 110 times per minutes stuck up your bottom, believe me, you too would vibrate!”

Master

From

To

N M Lloyd

12/1962

6/1970

AA Freer

Relief Master

3/1967

4/1967

R M Wright

Relief Master

5/1969

6/1969

A A Freer

Relief Master

8/1970

10/1970

D Sowden

10/1970

3/1975

H Dryden

Relief Master

7/1971

8/1971

P St Q Beadon

Relief Master

3/1972

4/1972

P St Q Beadon

Relief Master

12/1972

1/1973

R J Miller

Relief Master

4/1974

6/1974

R Kelso

Relief Master

7/1975

8/1975

R Thomson

Safmarine

8/1975

10/1977

Permanent Masters shown in bold

Transvaal

Castle

Left Southampton

31 December

For South Africa

Master

N M Lloyd

Staff Commander

R Lofts

Chief Officer

M Turner

Second Officer

P Jordan

Extra Second Officer

C Brown

Third Officer

S Watson

Fourth Officer

J King

Carpenter

J Wilson

Bosun

L Walker

Master-at-Arms

L Langley

C Cordall

First Radio Officer

R Brew

Second Radio Officer

J Walker

Third Radio Officer

I McKinnon

Fourth Radio Officer

R Wilson

Surgeon

M MacNamara

Nursing Sister

Miss A Dunne


Chief Engineer

A Mailer

First Engineer

W Patrick

Second Engineer

A Martin

Int Second Engineer

A McCarroll

Jnr Second Engineer

C Meek

J Hill

S Morrison

Snr Third Engineer

B Liebenberg

Int Third Engineer

D Keen

Jnr Third Engineer

J Inkersole

Snr Fourth Engineer

C Mears

Jnr Fourth Engineer

D Garland

Junior Engineer

J Smith

J Carruthers

G Baker

G Liesching

G Du Toit

T Brown

Chief Frig Engineer

G McGregor

Second Frig Engineer

R Bintcliffe

First Electrician

D Thorpe

Second Electrician

F Thomas

Third Electrician

C Rayner

ER Storekeeper

C Pyne

ER Leading Hand

H Spicer

Chief Purser

M Bain

Purser

A Hodge

Purser Catering

D Wickenden

Second Purser

M Morley

Second Purser Catering

G Green

Third Purser Catering

A Quarrie

Asst Pursers

J Ingram

Purser’s Clerks

G Musgrave-Brown

M Irwin

Miss M Telford

Miss B Green

Jnr Purser Catering

N Brown

N Clarke

Hostess

Miss A Oelofse

Children’s Hostess

Miss A Ackrill

Chief Barman

F Hubbard

Storekeeper

M Gunner

Linen Steward

A Lydford

First Tourist Steward

W Jackson

Head Waiter (Tourist Class)

R Furness

Band Leader

J D Gray

Laundryman

A Burroughs

Chef

V Moakes

Baker

A Brohamer

Butcher

H Cooke

Shopkeeper

S Lewin

Rescue of Man Overboard - 1970

A Passenger’s Recollections

I was on board the ship and watched with my parents as the lifeboat went to his aid. He had removed his shirt to wave as a signal. The photograph confirms my Father's assertion that Honeywill was still wearing his shoes. I remember my Father also stating, that when Honeywill was spotted, a lifebelt with smoke marker was dropped from the ship. The Vaal then continued past for a considerable distance, before turning round.

The newspaper claim that after nearly 12 hours, he had drifted only 80 yards from the ship's course, is hardly credible. It is more likely that captain Freer and his crew steered a course, based on knowledge of tides and current, to predict where he might have drifted to.

How he came to fall off the ship seems never to have been explained.

John P Bushby

S.A.

Vaal

Left Southampton

24 July

For South Africa

Master

A Freer

Staff Commander

K Barry

Chief Officer

A Melia

Second Officer

A Stewart

Extra Second Officer

B Preece

Third Officer

D Clarke

Fourth Officer

H James

Cadets

C Smith

Carpenter

R Ross

Bosun

E Wheeler

Snr Master-at-Arms

H Clarke

Jnr Master-at-Arms

W Peckham

First Radio Officer

J Eager

Second Radio Officer

F Sharp

Third Radio Officer

M Eskins

Fourth Radio Officer

D Allen

Surgeon

I Williams

Nursing Sister

S Black

Chief Engineer

W Maitland

First Engineer

P Lovell

Second Engineer

J Mair

Extra Second Engineer

G Knox

Jnr Second Engineer

F Balshaw


Int Third Engineer

H Armstrong

Jnr Third Engineer

J Jarvis

Snr Fourth Engineer

M Davies

Int Fourth Engineer

M Brown

Jnr Fourth Engineer

R Brisland

Junior Engineer

M Rowen

D Stevenson

M Mills

I Bruce

C Compton

M Walker

Second Frig Engineer

S Tyrie

Third Frig Engineer

D Dale

First Electrician

D Thorpe

Second Electrician

R Roebuck

Third Electrician

V McClymont

Fourth Electrician

J Semple

J Greer

Plumber

J Flux

Senior Mechanic

P Japp

ER Storekeeper

K Pearson

ER Leading Hand

R Cutler

Chief Purser

A Hodge

Purser

B James

Purser Catering

D Gilbert

Second Purser

B Reynolds

Second Purser Catering

W Fleetwood

Third Pursers

P Fealey

Third Purser Catering

W Fleetwood

Junior Pursers

C Peel

P Ryder

V Parker

B Taylor

G Parker

Junior Purser Catering

C Phillips

Children’s Hostess

A Ackrill

Chief Barman

F Hubbard

Storekeeper

J Glintenkamp

Linen Steward

R Ross

Head Waiter (1st Class)

S Sullivan

First Tourist Steward

R Chandler

Band Leader

J Gray

Laundryman

J Beavis

Chef

L Creed

Baker

A Brohamer

Butcher

A Painter

Shopkeeper

S Loveland

Captain Alan Freer with William Honeywill safely back on board

From Clansman - April1974

Rescue of Woman Overboard - 1973

S.A.

Vaal

Left Southampton

9 February

For South Africa

Master

D Sowden

Staff Commander

K Bennett

Chief Officer

R Flint

Second Officer

R Clarke-Halifax

Extra Second Officer

R Gebbie

Third Officer

R Lord

Cadets

R Pawley

P Le Sueur

Carpenter

P Bell

Bosun

W Arnold

Snr Master-at-Arms

M Gleeson

Jnr Master-at-Arms

J Kitcher

First Radio Officer

R McCormick

Second Radio Officer

F Sharp

Third Radio Officer

R Diamond

Fourth Radio Officer

I Scott

Surgeon

A Duff

Nursing Sister

R Raban-Williams


Chief Engineer

R Crook

First Engineer

R Brown

Second Engineer

W Chirnside

Extra Second Engineer

J Cruttwell

Jnr Second Engineer

A Heygate

S Back

Snr Third Engineer

D Cox

Int Third Engineer

T Norris

Jnr Third Engineer

D Milsom

Snr Fourth Engineer

R Skee

Int Fourth Engineer

J Fisher

Jnr Fourth Engineer

I Hutton

Junior Engineer

G Collins

W Caitens

A Skinner

K Hislop

N Carrington

Chief Frig Engineer

G McGregor

Second Frig Engineer

A Shaw

First Electrician

D Thorpe

Second Electrician

G Young

Third Electrician

J Barnes

Jnr Electrician

J Carder

Senior Mechanic

E McCall

ER Storekeeper

W O’Bree

ER Leading Hand

R Cutler

Chief Purser

O Parry-Williams

Purser

M Mears

Purser Catering

G Waugh

Second Purser

M Warner

Second Purser Catering

P Stubbs

Third Pursers

D Stanyer

C Peel

Third Purser Catering

J Ross

Junior Pursers

D Chilver

A Donald

P Gourley

S MacDonald

Junior Purser Catering

R Cleal

Children’s Hostess

A Ackrill

Chief Barman

F Hubbard

Storekeeper

J Hunt

Linen Steward

B Ross

Head Waiter (1st Class)

S Sullivan

First Tourist Steward

R Smith

Band Leader

H Taylor

Laundryman

D Dennis

Chef

L Creed

Baker

A Brohamer

Butcher

A Painter

Shopkeeper

J Burton

Clansman - April 1973

As Festivale

As Island Breeze

Life after Safmarine

As The Big Red Boat III

Almost gone - At the breakers in Alang in 2000

Calling at Gibraltar for bunkers on her way to the breakers as The Big Boat

Clansman - June 1976

The Opening of Richards Bay - April 1976

S.A.

Vaal

Left Southampton

12 March

For South Africa

Master

R McA Thomson

Staff Commander

K Bennett

Chief Officer

H Jones

Second Officer

W Brown

Extra Second Officer

B Richmond

Third Officer

R Whitehead

Fourth Officer

J Ross

Cadet

G Spires

Carpenter

C Breward

Bosun

A Weaver

Snr Master-at-Arms

E Jaffray

Jnr Master-at-Arms

M Caley

First Radio Officer

R McCormick

Second Radio Officer

W MacIntosh

Third Radio Officer

I Shaw

Fourth Radio Officer

A Horsburgh

Surgeon

R Evans

Nursing Sister

A King

Chief Engineer

R Crook

First Engineer

W Maitland

Second Engineer

J Field

Extra Second Engineer

D Wilkins

Jnr Second Engineer

D Smithson

C Meek

Extra Third Engineer

F Cundy

Int Third Engineer

D Hayes

Jnr Third Engineer

D Dawson

Jnr Fourth Engineer

A Carmichael

Junior Engineer

J Halligan

G Putnin

C Garth

G Pace

A Coleman

Chief Frig Engineer

G McGregor

First Electrician

S McLean

Second Electrician

A Reid

Third Electrician

A Sneddon

Extra Third Electrician

D Tomlinson

Fourth Electricians

M Coupe

Plumber

M McArthur

ER Storekeeper

J Broadwell

Chief Purser

D Wickenden

Purser

C Dellar

Purser Catering

W McGrady

Second Purser

J McFadyen

Second Purser Catering

N Nussey

Third Pursers

A Donald

D Tooze

Third Purser Catering

C Cumine

Extra Third Purser Catering

A Atherton

Junior Pursers

J Platt

F White

J Clark

G Fraser

Hostess

A MacIntosh

Children’s Hostess

J Nelson

Chief Barman

F Hubbard

Storekeeper

J Hunt

Head Waiter (1st Class)

S Sullivan

Head Waiter (Tourist)

D Cross

Band Leader

H Taylor

Laundryman

R Allen

Chef

P King

Baker

A Brohamer

Butcher

A Painter

Shopkeeper

J Burton

She was sold in 1977 to Carnival Cruise Lines, rebuilt and renamed Festivale for Caribbean cruising from 1978.

S.A.Vaal was withdrawn in Southampton on October 10th, 1977 and sold to Carnival Cruise Line, who rebuilt her in Japan with extra decks, almost doubling the passenger capacity.

The external appearance was not spoilt, however, and she has remained the handsome ship of Union-Castle days. Internally, the public rooms were much changed from the traditional liner.

She returned to service in 1978 as Festivale, on Caribbean cruises in partnership with ex-Canadian Pacific liners Mardi Gras and Carnivale, revolutionising the cruise industry.

Farewell to The Mail Service - 1977

This is not the last crew list, but is probably pretty near it and was the last one available in Clansman

Leaving Southampton on her way to Japan and her new life

S.A.

Vaal

Left Southampton

7 April

For South Africa

Master

R McA Thomson

Staff Commander

E Talbot

Chief Officer

H Jones

Second Officer

G Koch

Extra Second Officer

A Neville

Third Officer

B Smith

Fourth Officer

A Commerford

Cadets

P Hemer

Bosun

H Dilley

Snr Master-at-Arms

E Jaffray

Jnr Master-at-Arms

V Hood

First Radio Officer

R Hough

Second Radio Officer

W MacIntosh

Third Radio Officer

A Willis

Fourth Radio Officer

P Rushworth

Surgeon

R Evans

Nursing Sister

A King

Chief Engineer

R Crook

First Engineer

E Sartori

Second Engineer

J Field

Extra Second Engineer

J Austermuhle

Jnr Second Engineer

D Smithson

R Hurst

Extra Third Engineer

D Hayes

D Dawson

Int Third Engineer

F Cundy

Jnr Third Engineer

N Lindsay

Int Fourth Engineer

M Fishlock

Junior Engineer

M Crane

B Carlyon

R Barnes

R Bendall

G Coppock

Chief Frig Engineer

S Tyrie

First Electrician

E Wilson

Second Electrician

A Reid

Third Electrician

M Coupe

Senior Mechanic

P Grigg

Plumber

M McArthur

ER Storekeeper

G Lothian

ER Leading Hand

R Cutler

Chief Purser

A Hodge

Cruise Purser

J McFadyen

Purser

C Dellar

Purser Catering

W McGrady

Second Purser

P Shallcross

C Brown

Second Purser Catering

K Hanson

Third Pursers

D Sutton

Third Purser Catering

K Dixon

Junior Pursers

F Sutton

P Robertson

Children’s Hostess

J Nelson

Chief Barman

F Hubbard

Storekeeper

A Haymes

Linen Steward

C Bosman

Head Waiter (1st Class)

C Gyue

Band Leader

N Gray

Chef

P King

Baker

A Brohamer

Butcher

R Martin

Shopkeeper

J Burton

Cape Town Marriage - 1975

Clansman - February 1976

Renaming Ceremony - 12 January 1966

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