The Great Liners (Episode 22)


Ships to New Zealand (Part 5)

Homeward Bound

There are so many ships to be seen in this fifth part of our story, “Ships to New Zealand” we continue to do exactly that, looking at the ships both in port and at sea. Perhaps we shouldn’t have placed this production under the banner of ‘Ships to New Zealand’, because in truth, very few ships went on straight-line voyages to New Zealand and back.

Most ships featured in this production either called at ports in the Mediterranean, Suez, Aden, South Africa, the Far East and Australia before finally reaching New Zealand, or they sailed there via the Caribbean, America, Panama and various South Sea Islands, so we’re really talking about most of the Shipping Companies in the world. In this episode called ‘Homeward Bound’, we watch the ships as they sail in and out of ports collecting their cargoes before finally sailing for home.

All the film used in the making of this programme is extremely rare and never been made public before, but film of those old ships sailing for the very last time is not only extremely moving to watch but is something we never dreamt we would ever be able to see again.

In this episode we take a final look at ports crammed full of ships operated by Companies that were once household names, such as Blue Star, Ellerman’s, New Zealand Shipping Company, Federal Steam, Port Line, P&O, Nederland Line, Shaw Savill and many more.

We both watch the ships sailing for home and then actually join them on their long voyages, almost as if we are there for real. We show life aboard ships both above and below deck, including some amazing engine room footage, the likes of which, we never thought we would ever be able to see. Everyone who had anything to do with ships has their own very special story to tell, for those days were for most of us ‘the best days of our lives’.

I give you now another chapter in this story about the ships that once sailed to the Southern Dominions. I hope you will enjoy the rare archive film we have somehow managed to find and restore and I hope that this story will help you to open the covers to your own very special book of memories. For ship lovers and enthusiasts everywhere, this really is an amazing production.

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