Built for the Hook of Holland-Harwich day service of the Zeeland Steamship Company (SMZ), the motor ship Koningin Wilhelmina was delivered in January 1960 from the De Merwede shipyard in Hardinxveld. Fitted with a bow thrust unit and stabilisers, the ship was as modern as her futuristic appearance suggested - except for the fact that she was primarily a passenger, rather than a vehicle, ferry. Although the ship was actually built with a small side-loaded car garage with space for 45 vehicles, the Hook-Harwich route was still very much geared towards the large numbers of often train-connected foot passengers rather than motorists. At this time the original agreement, as reached between SMZ and the LNER in 1927 when the former had moved their services to Harwich from Folkestone, was still in force, with the Dutch ships covering the day services with the British operating overnight.

Joined on the route, operating the night service, by British Railway's
Avalon of 1963, this pair were the final 'classic' passenger-only ships for the Hook of Holland service, and were relegated to secondary status with the 1968 delivery of the new purpose-built car ferries St George and Koningin Juliana. The Koningin Wilhelmina subsequently operated as a reserve ship as well as providing peak season support and extra sailings. This continued until 1978 when the new Prinses Beatrix was delivered and the 'Wilhelmina' was finally retired on 28 June.

Sale followed fairly speedily, with the Greek Ventouris family acquiring the ship, renaming her
Captain Constantinos and deploying her on their Piraeus-Syros-Tinos-Mykonos operations. She was further renamed Panagia Tinoy in 1981, remaining with Ventouris Sea Lines although the name on the bow was later amended to Panagia Tinou. The ship spent a spell in the late 1980s operating under the AK Ventouris brand of one of the other branches of the Ventouris family, but she later returned to VSL. Finally replaced as a ferry in 1994, the ship was retained and transferred for operations as a day cruiser based in Crete under the name Artemis. With the collapse of Ventouris in late 1995, the ship was acquired by Minoan Cruises (a branch of Minoan Lines) and retained on her Cretan cruises. The end finally came in early 2001 and she fairly speedily arrived in India for breaking under the shortened name Temis.
Koningin Wilhelmina
SMZ/Sealink
Top: Koningin Wilhelmina in her early years.
e-mail: matt@hhvferry.com
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Above: Seen from astern whilst operating the day service from Harwich, the Koningin Wilhelmina's speedster looks were topped off by the unusually low, long funnel.
CLICK HERE FOR PRE-SERVICE ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE INTERIOR OF KONINGIN WILHELMINA
CLICK HERE AN ORIGINAL KONINGIN WILHELMINA DECKPLAN
Above: Another view of the ship in her original condition. This shot shows a pair of the old-fashioned railway containers stowed on the forecastle.
Above: Seen as Panagia Tinoy in the 1980s, the ship shows few external structural changes from her original guise as Koningin Wilhelmina.
Above & below: Panagia Tinou in the later full Ventouris Sea Lines livery. (Picture below courtesy Richard Seville)
CLICK HERE FOR PRE-SERVICE ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE INTERIOR OF KONINGIN WILHELMINA
CLICK HERE AN ORIGINAL KONINGIN WILHELMINA DECKPLAN
Above & below: Panagia Tinou during the spell in the late 1980s when she wore AK Ventouris colours.