Archive for the ‘Maritime history’ Category


SMY Hohenzollern II was built by AG Vulcan Stettin, it was 120 m long, 14 m wide and 5.6 m deep, and had 9,588 HP.

It was in use as Imperial Yacht from 1893 to July 1914. Emperor Wilhelm II used it on his annual prolonged trips to Norway. In total he spent over four years on board.

The Emperor with members of his family on board of the imperial yacht Hohenzollern

At the end of July 1914 it was put out of service in Kiel. The ship became property of the Weimar Republic in 1918, was struck in February of 1920 and scrapped in 1923.

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Flying Cloud was a clipper ship that set the world’s sailing record for the fastest passage between New York and San Francisco, 89 days 8 hours. The ship held this record for over 100 years, from 1854-1989.

Flying Cloud was the most famous of the clippers built by Donald McKay. She was known for her extremely close race with Hornet in 1853; for having a woman navigator, Eleanor Creesy, wife of Josiah Perkins Creesy who skippered Flying Cloud on two record-setting voyages from New York to San Francisco; and for sailing in the Australia and timber trades.

World record voyage to San Francisco during Gold Rush

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Within six weeks of launch Flying Cloud sailed from New York and made San Francisco ’round Cape Horn in 89 days, 21 hours under the command of Captain Josiah Perkins Creesy. In July, during the trip, she ran the following nautical mileage, 284, 374 and 334 for 992 nautical miles total over the three consecutive days. In 1853 she beat her own record by 13 hours, a record that stood until 1989 when the breakthrough-designed sailboat Thursday’s Child completed the passage in 80 days, 20 hours. The record was once again broken in 2008 by the French racing yacht Gitana 13, with a time of 43 days and 38 minutes.

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In the early days of the California Gold Rush, it took more than 200 days for a ship to travel from New York to San Francisco, a voyage of more than 16,000 miles.Flying Cloud’s better-than-halving that time (only 89 days) was a headline-grabbing world record that the ship itself beat three years later, setting a record that lasted for 136 years.

Woman navigator

Flying Cloud’s achievement was remarkable under any terms. But, writes David W. Shaw, it was all the more unusual because her navigator was a woman, Eleanor Creesy, who had been studying oceanic currents, weather phenomena, and astronomy since her girlhood in Marblehead, Massachusetts. She was one of the first navigators to exploit the insights of Matthew Fontaine Maury, most notably the course recommended in his Sailing Directions. With her husband, ship captain Josiah Perkins Cressy, she logged many thousands of miles on the ocean, traveling around the world carrying passengers and goods. In the wake of their record-setting transit from New York to California, Eleanor and Josiah became instant celebrities. But their fame was short-lived and their story quickly forgotten. Josiah died in 1871 and Eleanor lived far from the sea until her death in 1900.

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Loss of the ship

On June 19, 1874, Flying Cloud went ashore on the Beacon Island bar, Saint John, New Brunswick, and was condemned and sold. The following June she was burned for the scrap metal value of her copper and iron fastenings.

Text from Wikipedia

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Images found on JustACarGuy

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QSMV Dominion Monarch was a British refrigerated cargo liner. Her name was a reference to the Dominion of New Zealand. The unusual prefix "QSMV" stood for quadruple-screw motor vessel.

The ship was built in England in 1937–39, and when new she set a number of records for her size and power. She operated between Britain and New Zealand via Australia in civilian service 1938–40 and 1948–62 and was a troop ship 1940–47. She spent half of 1962 in the Port of Seattle as a floating hotel for the Century 21 Exposition and was then scrapped in Japan.

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Dominion Monarch was the world’s most powerful motor liner. She was powered by four William Doxford & Sons five-cylinder two-stroke single-acting diesel engines, each of 28 916 inches (72.5 cm) bore by 88 916 inches (2.25 m) stroke. Two engines were built by Swan Hunter and two under licence by Sunderland Forge. The engines were the largest that Doxford’s had constructed. Together they gave her a rating of 5,056 NHP or 32,000 bhp, a top speed of 21.5 knots (39.8 km/h) and cruising speed of 19.2 knots (35.6 km/h) at an engine speed of 123 rpm.

The ship had four 100 lbf/in2 double-ended auxiliary boilers. Onboard electricity was supplied by five six-cylinder 900 bhp Allan diesel engines, each powering a 600 kW 220 volt generator. Much of her cargo space was refrigerated. Her navigation equipment included wireless direction finding, and echo sounding device and a gyrocompass.

Dominion Monarch was completed on 12 January 1939. On 28 January, she had her sea trials off St Abb’s Head, Berwickshire, Scotland. before sailing to London, where she was docked at the King George V Dock in the evening of 29 January. She was then handed over to her owners, who registered her in Southampton.

Pre-war service

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The new ship sailed from North East England to London to load cargo for her maiden voyage. Facilities there had been upgraded in preparation for her, with eight new three-ton capacity electric cranes having been installed on the north quay of the King George V Dock. She left London on 17 February 1939, and made her first call at Southampton where she embarked passengers for Australia and New Zealand. She then called at Tenerife in the Canary Islands for bunkers, Cape Town and Durban in South Africa; and Fremantle, Melbourne, and Sydney in Australia. On 24 April 1939 she reached Wellington in New Zealand, where she had a slight collision with the crane vessel Hikitia. Dominion Monarch also visited Napier, New Zealand. Her voyage set more records, including fastest passage from Britain to Australia via the Cape of Good Hope, largest ship to serve Australia, and largest ship to serve New Zealand. On the Durban to Fremantle leg, she averaged 19.97 knots (36.98 km/h).

a12091_Dominion Monarch_06After her maiden voyage, Dominion Monarch switched from Tenerife to Las Palmas for her regular refueling stop in the Canary Islands. Her regular journey time between Southampton and Wellington was 35 days. Shaw, Savill and Albion promoted the service as "The Clipper Route", and fares began at £58. With the break bulk cargo handling techniques of her era the ship was able to make three round trips a year, spending almost as much time unloading and loading in Britain and New Zealand as voyaging at sea.

Post-war civilian service

Dominion Monarch returned to the Tyne where Swan Hunter refitted her as a civilian liner again. This took 15 months, during which she was converted to carry 508 passengers, all First Class. The refit cost £1,500,000 – as much as she had cost to build. She resumed civilian service on 16 December 1948, leaving Britain with passengers and 10,000 tons of cargo for Australia and New Zealand. The crew was a motley collection, there were fights among them and the ship was nicknamed the "Dominion Maniac" or "The Bucket of Blood".

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Of the 508 passenger berths, 100 were set aside for passengers between Britain and Cape Town. These were priced at £150 8s 0d, only slightly more than the fare on the competing Union-Castle Line service.

The New Zealand Cricket Team sailed from Wellington on Dominion Monarch on 26 February 1949 for their summer tour of England. They arrived at Southampton on 2 April. Following a tour of South Africa, the All Blacks rugby union team departed from Durban on 23 September 1949 for their return home. In 1950 the ship was fitted with a new set of propellers, which gave her quieter a12091_Dominion Monarch_07running. She spent 5–23 May 1953 at Wallsend slipway for an extensive overhaul. The South African cricket team arrived at Perth, Australia in Dominion Monarch on 14 October 1953 for a tour series.

In 1955 the 20,204 GRT Southern Cross was completed and joined the Shaw Savill fleet, displacing Dominion Monarch as flagship. The two ships inaugurated a round the World service in alternate directions, extending the London – Cape Town – Australia – Wellington route via Fiji, French Polynesia, Panama and Curaçao back to London.

On one occasion in the latter part of 1961 Dominion Monarch collided with the end of the pier in Sydney Harbour. The damage caused minor flooding in the crew quarters during a storm while crossing the Great Australian Bight.

On 27 June 1961 Vickers-Armstrongs on the Tyne launched Dominion Monarch ‘​s replacement, the 24,731 GRT Northern Star. Dominion Monarch left London for the last time on 30 December 1961. In February 1962 she was sold to Mitsui for £400,000 and on 15 March she left Wellington for the last time. She arrived at Southampton on or about 22 April. After disembarking her passengers, she sailed to London to unload her cargo. On 10 July Northern Star entered service in her stead.

Century 21 Exposition and scrapping

From June to November 1961 Mitsui leased Dominion Monarch as a floating hotel and entertainment centre for Seattle’s Century 21 Exposition, along with the Mexican-owned Acapulco and Canadian-owned Catala. She arrived at Seattle on 29 May 1962. Accommodation demand was less than predicted, Dominion Monarch ‘​s US charterer lost $200,000 and her charter was reduced by several weeks. The exhibition closed on 21 October and the ship arrived in Osaka, Japan on 25 November to be scrapped.

Text from Wikipedia

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The ‚Piako‘ was built by Stephens, of Glasgow, in 1876-7 for the New Zealand Shipping Company and was one of the last three of 1,000 ton sister ships built for that firm. Launched in December 1876, she sailed on her first voyage under Captain Fox on February 5th, 1877 leaving the Thames for Lyttelton, New Zealand.

Painting by Jack Spurling (British, 1871-1933) – Found on Adventure of the Blackgang – Text from Wikimedia Commons

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The USS Guard was a wooden hulled harbour craft built for the United States Revenue Cutter Service at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard in California.

She was launched October 20, 1913 and would be stationed at Friday Harbour, WA., and Seattle, WA.

She served in the U.S. Navy during World War I, returned to the Coast Guard in 1919; decommissioned and sold in 1943. Displacement 52 tons. 67’7” length, 12’6” beam, 6’3” draft. One triple-expansion steam engine, fitted for oil. Compliment of 10 men.

Text and image from AdventureOfTheBlackgang

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France 24 – International News – 19 February 2015
Written by Chris Oke & Erin Byrnes

© AFP / by Chris Oke, Erin Byrnes | The MV Liemba, a century old gunship used during the reign of Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, seen in Lake Tanganyika, Tanzania


On Lake Tanganyika, a century-old relic of World War I that became the stuff of Hollywood legend still plies the slate-grey waters — but it is not clear for how much longer.

Once a feared gunship defending the African lake for Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, the legendary vessel — which inspired the 1951 classic “The African Queen” — has been sunk and refloated twice, renamed and repurposed as a ferry.

As it marks 100 years of service, the MV Liemba, originally a symbol of colonial power, is now an essential lifeline for the people who live along the lakeshore.

“Liemba is the only safe means of transport along the lake,” said Mathew Mathia Mwanjisi, the ship’s captain. “Historically it’s very important to Tanzania as a country, but again it’s very important for the people along the coast of Lake Tanganyika.”

The tale of the warship and the battle for lake Tanganyika inspired British novelist C.S. Forester to write his 1935 novel “The African Queen”, later adapted by Hollywood in the movie of the same name starring Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn.

Piled high with pineapples, maize and rice — as well as up to 600 passengers — the MV Liemba navigates the world’s longest lake every two weeks, from Kigoma, Tanzania, in the north to Mpulungu, Zambia, in the south.

The journey of some 600 kilometres (350 miles) is meant to take some three days, but is often longer as the ship hops from village to village, transforming into a lively aquatic carnival at each stop.

Children in leaky canoes paddle alongside to sell fresh mangos. Farmers and fishermen haggle over prices. Launches laden with revellers come to welcome newlyweds home.

In Context:

The African Queen is a 1951 adventure film adapted from the 1935 novel of the same name by C. S. Forester. The film was directed by John Huston and produced by Sam Spiegel and John Woolf. The screenplay was adapted by James Agee, John Huston, John Collier and Peter Viertel. It was photographed in Technicolor by Jack Cardiff and had a music score by Allan Gray. The film stars Humphrey Bogart (who won the Academy Award for Best Actor – his only Oscar), and Katharine Hepburn with Robert Morley, Peter Bull, Walter Gotell, Richard Marner and Theodore Bikel.


The African Queen has been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry in 1994, with the Library of Congress deeming it “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant”. The film currently holds a 100% “Fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 37 reviews. The film led to an Academy Award for Best Actor awarded to Humphrey Bogart.

Text and images from Wikipedia

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SS La Touraine
was an ocean liner that sailed for the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique from the 1890s to the 1920s. Built in France in 1891, she was primarily employed in transatlantic service on the North Atlantic. The liner was scrapped in Dunkirk in October 1923.


La Touraine was laid down by Compagnie Générale Transatlantique in Saint-Nazaire and launched 21 March 1890. Built for France to New York service, she was the fifth-largest steamer in the world at the time of her launch. She had a 8,893 gross tonnage (GT) and measured 158.55 metres (520 ft 2 in) long between perpendiculars, and was 17.07 metres (56 ft 0 in) wide. Equipped with twin triple-expansion steam engines driving two screw propellors that drove her at 19 knots (35 km/h), she was outfitted with two funnels and four masts. La Touraine was initially equipped with accommodations for 392 first-class, 98 second-class, and 600 third-class passengers. La Touraine sailed on her maiden voyage from Le Havre to New York on 20 June 1891.

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In September 1892, a cholera outbreak, traced to a United States immigrant brought aboard the Hamburg-Amerika steamer Moravia, caused all steerage traffic to be suspended and CGT’s New York traffic to depart from Cherbourg for the next two months.

From November 1900 to January 1902, La Touraine was refitted at Saint-Nazaire to 8,429 GT. Her engines were overhauled, she had bilge keels installed, and two masts removed. Her third-class passenger capacity was increased to 1,000. On 21 January 1903, La Touraine was damaged at Le Havre by a fire that destroyed her grand staircase, the first-class dining room, and her "de luxe" cabins, all of which were later rebuilt. In 1906, La Tourainewas still on the New York route, sailing opposite La Savoie and La Lorraine. In 1910 her passenger capacity was reduced, accommodating 69 first-, 263 second-, and 686 third-class passengers. In 1912 while on a transatlantic voyage La Touraine was one of a number of ships that related wireless radio warnings about icebergs to the RMS Titanic shortly before that ship’s now-famous collision with an iceberg.

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In May 1913, she began sailing from Le Havre to Montreal via Quebec carrying only second- and third-class passengers. In October 1913, while still on this route, she was one of ten ocean liners that came to the aid of the stricken Uranium Line steamer Volturno that had caught fire. During the rescue efforts, La Touraine came within 15 feet (4.6 m) of colliding with the Red Star liner Kroonland, also participating in the rescue attempt. La Touraine began her fifth and final round trip on the Montreal run in June 1914.

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At the outbreak of World War I, the French government took over many of CGT’s liners—including La Touraine—for a variety of duties. At some point after being released from government service, La Touraine resumed Le Havre–New York service, and again carried first-class passengers, until March 1915. After the German invasion of France in April 1915, CGT shifted its base of operations to Bordeaux; La Touraine began Bordeaux–New York service in at that time, remaining on that route until September 1919, when the war’s end allowed the resumption of departures from Le Havre. After resuming Le Havre–New York service, La Touraine carried cabin- and third-class passengers only through her last voyage in September 1922. With the post-war boom in North Atlantic traffic over, CGT sold La Touraine. The liner was scrapped in Dunkirk in October 1923.

Text from Wikipedia

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S/S Oslo, Wilson Line
Burden Built Shipowner or operator Dimensions
2,296 gross 1906 at Hull, England by
Earle‘s Shipbuilding & Engineering Co.
Wilson Line, Hull, England 290ft x 39.1ft x 25.3ft
Year Remarks
1906 Launched April 9th for the Oslo (Kristiania)-Kristiansand-Hull route


Kristiania – Kristiansand – Hull  


Kristiania – Kristiansand – Hull  


Kristiania – Kristiansand – Hull  


Kristiania – Kristiansand – Hull  


Kristiania – Kristiansand – Hull  


Kristiania – Kristiansand – Hull  


Trondheim – other to Hull  


Kristiania – Kristiansand – Hull  


Trondheim – other to Hull  


Kristiania – Kristiansand – Hull  


Trondheim – other to Hull  


Kristiania – Kristiansand – Hull  


Kristiania – Liverpool  


Trondheim – other to Hull  


Kristiania – Hull  


Aug 21; torpedoed by U-87 off Shetland
on passage Trondheim-Liverpool
1 passenger and 2 crew lost

The information listed above is not the complete record of the ship. The information was collected from a multitude of sources, and new information
will be added as it emerges

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Morgenbladet Thursday May 24th 1906
(submitted by Per Helge Seglsten)

The new steamer which now will depart on her first voyage from Norway to England, has by all maritime authorities received a great deal of praise. The ship is built specially for the Christiania route, and is equipped with all remedies which modern shipbuilding techniques can offer to these new floating hotels.

The first class dining salon, library, ladies saloon and smoking saloon is located amidships. None of these saloons are equipped with te same luxury as the great steamers, but the tasty arrangements, and the English elegance has made these bright saloons the most comfortable and wonderful places to stay during a voyage at sea. The saloon is seldomly nice, held in a light English oak, without any paint and gold. In stead of curtains, the windows are decorated with sash stained glass-paintings with Norwegian prospects.

Also the 2nd class is specially comfortable equipped, with cabins on the lower deck, equipped with toilet and bathroom. On 3rd class there are 15 nice cabins with accommodation for 90 passengers, and on the steerage there is accommodation for 410 passengers. Also here the equipment is nice and proper, with bright and well ventilated rooms. The ship is built by Earles shipbuilding & engineering Co. It is the highest class in the British Lloyds, is 290 feet of length, 39 feet breadth and on trails the 12th of May achieved a speed of 13½ miles.

It is worth mentioning that the ship is equipped with modern installations as a smart device which controls the electric lanterns, which can nor go out without setting off an alarm which will notify the duty officer. The ship is mastered by captain Pepper, who before was the master of the Christiania route ship "Montebello"

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It can’t have made a lasting impression on the boating crowd, because when I tried to find out something more about this nifty amphibious vehicle I drew a compete blank. Not a word, not another picture – Ted

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Donald Campbell has broken the world water speed record, becoming the first man to break the world land and water speed records in the same year.

He reached an average speed of 276.33mph (444.71km/h) in his speedboat, Bluebird, this afternoon on Lake Dumbleyung in Perth, Western Australia. The feat shatters his previous world record of 260.35mph (418.99km/h) at Lake Coniston, Cumbria, in 1959.

I never thought we had the chance of a snowball on the desert of cracking it today

Donald Campbell, record breaker


Mr Campbell has been trying to realise his record-breaking attempt for months at various locations in Australia. Each time he has been frustrated. The weather at his first choice of location, Lake Bonney in South Australia, proved too unpredictable.

Then, he moved to Lake Dumbleyung, near Perth, on 16 December, only to be delayed by wild ducks which could not fly away because they were moulting. The weather was the next setback, as persistent easterly winds raised waves up to 2ft (61cm) high, making any attempt impossible.

With time running out for him to achieve his goal of breaking both speed records in the same year, he began considering a move to a third lake just south of Perth.

‘Let’s go, skipper!’

Then suddenly, on the last possible day, the winds eased and the lake became flat calm. Conditions were rated 95% suitable, and the chief mechanic, Leo Villa, radioed to Mr Campbell, "I think it’s worth a try – let’s go, skipper!"

Several hundred people gathered on the shores of the lake to watch, among them Mr Campbell’s wife, Tonia Bern. When she heard that he had done it, she dived into the lake and swam out to embrace him as he brought Bluebird in.

As he stepped ashore, Mr Campbell told his supporters, "It’s amazing that we clinched it. I never thought we had the chance of a snowball on the desert of cracking it today."

Mr Campbell broke the land speed record in July on Lake Eyre salt flat in central Australia, with a speed of 403.1mph (648.72km/h). However, the record was short-lived: on 27 October an American, Art Arfon, drove his jet car across Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah at an average speed of 536.71mph (863.75km/h).

In Context

Donald Campbell attempted to break his own speed record a little over two years later, on 4 January 1967. A split second before his jet-powered boat, the Bluebird K7, broke the record, travelling at more than 300mph (483km/h) on Coniston Water, the boat’s nose lifted and it was catapulted 50ft (15m) into the air.

Mr Campbell was killed instantly as the boat hit the water and disintegrated. He was 46 years old. His body was not recovered for another 34 years, until 2001. His remains were buried near Coniston Water.

Donald Campbell is still the only person to break both land and water speed records in the same year. He remains the last British man to break the world water speed record. In 1978, it passed to Australia, when Ken Warby reached a speed of 317.6mph (511.1km/h).

Text from BBCs OnThisDay

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Marion Steaming on Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond is the largest expanse of freshwater in the British Isles. The loch is 22½ miles long, its greatest breadth near the southern extremity is about 5 miles and its greatest depth 623 feet. The River Falloch enters Loch Lomond from Glen Falloch at the head of the loch and the River Endrick near Balmaha in the south-east. At Balloch which is situated on the southern shore, the River Leven connects the loch to the Firth of Clyde. The Loch Lomond steamers apart from the second-hand P.S. Princess Patricia and P.S. Queen Mary, were built at various shipyards on the upper and lower Clyde and, with the exception of P.S. Maid of the Loch which was dismantled and re-assembled because of its large size, were either sailed or hauled up the River Leven to enter the loch.

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Loch Lomond Steamer Prince of Wales in Loch Lomond Company Colours

The first steamer appeared on Loch Lomond in 1818 just a few years after Henry Bell’s pioneering steamship The Comet was launched in 1812. David Napier inspired by Bell’s Comet built the Marion, a 60 ft. wooden steamer, and plied the loch carrying tourists. Loch Lomond and The Trossachs were made popular by the works of Sir Walter Scott such as his novel Rob Roy and his narrative poem Lady of the Lake published in 1810. A few years later a group of businessmen established The Loch Lomond Steam Boat Company buying a rival steamer, The Lady of the Lake. Competition was fierce with a succession of companies being formed and new and bigger steamers capitalising on the newly emerging tourist trade. With the arrival of the railways in Balloch in July 1850, the steamers connected with the passenger trains making Loch Lomond accessible for many people.

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An early 20th century holiday snap with a note on back:
“Photo taken on a Loch Lomond steamer. On camp stool my dear wife, with Grace and Wilfred on either side.”

Cruising remained popular and The Loch Lomond Steam Boat Company was eventually taken over by the North British Steam Packet Company. Through a succession of acquisitions and nationalisation of the railways, the last steamer, Maid of the Loch, transferred to Caledonian MacBrayne and was withdrawn from service in 1981. Maid of the Loch, the last conventional paddle steamer to be built in Great Britain has been in the ownership of The Loch Lomond Steamship Company, a registered charity, since 1996 and is undergoing renovation with the aim of returning the Maid to steam operation in 2013.

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Maid of the Loch at Balloch pier


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Year Remarks
1917 May 21: Launched
1918 Apr. 29: sailed from Birkenhead on her maiden voyage to New York
1918 Laid up in New York until she sailed for Kristiania (Oslo) on Sept. 11
1918 Oct. 5: departed Kristiania for her fist voyage on the Kristiania – Bergen – New York service
1918 Kristiania – Kristiansand – Stavanger – Bergen – New York
1919 Kristiania – Kristiansand – Stavanger – Bergen – New York  
1920 Kristiania – Kristiansand – Stavanger – Bergen – New York
1921 Kristiania – Kristiansand – Stavanger – Bergen – New York  
1922 Kristiania – Kristiansand – Stavanger – Bergen – New York
1923 Kristiania – Kristiansand – Stavanger – Bergen – New York  
1924 Converted from coal to oil fuel and her accommodation altered to carry cabin and 3rd class passengers only
1924 Kristiania – Kristiansand – Stavanger – Bergen – Halifax – New York
1925 Oslo – Stavanger – Bergen – Halifax – New York
1930 Refitted to 147-cabin, 207-tourist and 820-3rd class and her tonnage increased to 13,156 tons
1937 Modernized, fitted with shorter funnels
1939 Dec. 9: commenced her last crossing from New York to Bergen and Oslo, where she was laid up
1940 Sept. 20: Requisitioned by Deutche Kriegsmarine – became a troop depot ship until August 1945
1945 August: became a troopship, used between Norway and New York
1946 Refitted to accommodate 122-1st, 222-cabin and 335-tourist class passengers
1946 May 31: departed on her first sailing on the Oslo – Bergen – New York service after the WW2
1953 Dec. 9: rudder carried away in rough weather mid-Atlantic, escorted to Bergen, first by the NAL cargo ship Lyngenfjord which had to give up, then by British tug Turmoil, she was able to maneuver by the use of her twin screws
1956 Refitted to carry 66-1st, 184-cabin and 402-tourist class passengers
and her tonnage increased to 14,015 tons
1963 Nov. 18: Last voyage in NAL service Oslo – Copenhagen – Stavanger – New York (dep 3rd Dec) – Bergen – Oslo
1964 Scrapped at Hong Kong by Patt, Manfield & Co. Ltd.
The information listed above is not the complete record of the ship. The information was collected from a multitude of sources, and new information
will be added as it emerges

The Stavangerfjord was 12 977 tons gross, 9 814 under deck and 7 527 net.
Poop 21 feet long, Bridge and Forecastle on Shelter deck 464 feet long, two funnels, two masts, 2 steel decks & steel shelter deck sheathed in wood, 3rd deck in No. 1, 2 & 3 holds, cruiser stern, 10 cemented bulkheads, cellular double bottom 480 feet long, 1,580 tons, Deep Tank, aft 80 tons, Forward Peak Tank 179 tons, Aft Peak Tank 197 tons, flat keel. She was fitted with electric light & wireless.
Propulsion: quadruple expansion engines with 8 cylinders of 26 1/2, 37 1/2, 53 & 76 inches diameter each pair, stroke 54 inches, operating at 220 p.s.i.; 1 567 nominal horsepower, 8 single ended boilers, 32 corrugated furnaces, grate surface 630 sq. ft., heating surface 24 640 sq. ft., forced draught. Twin screws and a speed of 16 knots. The engine was built by the same company as the hull.
Master: Captain K.S. Irgens, appointed to the shipping line in 1913 and to the ship in 1918.
Call sign: MSJR. There was accommodation for 88-1st, 318-2nd and 820-3rd class passengers.


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Ocean Terminal, Southampton Docks – brochure issued by the British Transport Commission, Docks and Inland Waterways Board, c1950

A wonderful view of the now sadly lost Ocean Terminal that gave a real touch of trans-Atlantic glamour in the years when liners were the way to travel. The terminal opened on 31 July 1950 and allowed easy transit between liners and direct trains to London Waterloo – in almost airport like facilities. The Terminal was demolished in 1988.

Seen here is one of the ‘regulars’ – the Cunard liner "Queen Elizabeth".

Image and text found on Adventures of the Blackgang

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Transatlantic steamer La Bourgogne entering the port of Le Havre, France, ca. 1895

Image found on AdventuresOfTheBlackgang

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1920_Königlicher Hollandischer Lloyd_01
1920_Königlicher Hollandischer Lloyd_03Founded in 1899 to carry cattle and cargo between Amsterdam and South America. The cattle trade ceased in 1903 when the British Government prohibited the import of live cattle due to the outbreak of foot and mouth disease in Argentina and in 1906 the company started emigration voyages from Amsterdam to Buenos Aires with calls at Boulogne, Plymouth, Coruna, Lisbon, Las Palmas, Pernambuco, Bahia, Rio de Janeiro, Santos and Montevideo. Between 1917 and 1919 the company also made a few calls at New York. Passenger services ceased after 1935, but the company continued to run a cargo service to South America and is now incorporated in the NEDLLOYD group.

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Text from TheShipList

Ship on the poster

1920_Königlicher Hollandischer Lloyd_02

built by Alexander Stephen & Sons Glasgow,
Yard No 436

Port of Registry: Amsterdam
Propulsion: Steam – triple expansion – 14 knots
Launched: Tuesday, 26/04/1910
Built: 1910
Ship Type: Passenger Cargo Vessel
Tonnage: 7958 grt
Length: 440 feet
Breadth: 55 feet
Owner History:
Koninklijke Hollandsche Lloyd Amsterdam
Status: Scrapped – 1936
Remarks: Maiden voyage 21st July 1910
Amsterdam to South America
Requisitioned by the US Government in March 1918 returning to Dutch service in 1919
Laid up February 1935

1920_Königlicher Hollandischer Lloyd_05

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1922_British Indian Steam Navigation

1922_British Indian Steam Navigation7
British India Steam Navigation Company
("BI") was formed in 1856 as the Calcutta and Burmah Steam Navigation Company. The company had been formed out of Mackinnon, Mackenzie & Co, a trading partnership of the Scots William Mackinnon and Robert Mackenzie, to carry mail between Calcutta and Rangoon. It became British India SN Co in 1862. Under the hand of Lord Inchcape (James Lyle Mackay) who had become chairman in 1913, the company 1922_British Indian Steam Navigation3became part of the P&O group of companies in 1914 through a complex amalgamation, but continued with its own identity and organisation for another nearly 60 years until 1972, when it was entirely absorbed into P&O.

1922_British Indian Steam Navigation65As one of the largest shipowners of all time, the company owned more than 500 ships and managed 150 more for other owners. At its height in 1922, BI had more than 160 ships in the fleet, many built on Clydeside, Scotland. The main shipping routes of the line were: Britain to India, Australia, Kenya, Tanganyika. The company ran services from India toPakistan, Ceylon, Bay of Bengal, Singapore, Malaya, Java, Thailand, Japan, Persian Gulf, East Africa and South Africa. BI had a long history of service to the British and Indian governments through trooping and other military contracts. In the last decade of its operational existence BI carried thousands of school children on educational cruises.

1922_British Indian Steam Navigation8The cargo vessel Gairsoppa, carrying silver bullion, pig iron and tea, which was sunk at great depth by the U-boat U-101 some 300 miles (480 km) southwest of Galway Bay, Ireland, carried the richest cargo of any sunken ship in world history[1] Some of the company’s better known passenger ships included Rajula, Dunera,Scindia, Sirdhana, Leicestershire, Dwarka, the sister ships Kampala and Karanja, and Kenya and Uganda, and Dara, which was sunk by a terrorist bomb in 1961.

1922_British Indian Steam Navigation5Nevasa of 1956 was the final passenger vessel built for BI. Serving as a troopship until redundant in 1962, Nevasa was assigned new duties with the BI educationalcruise ship flotilla until 1974, when she became surplus and was scrapped in 1975. Having earlier been joined in this trade by the more economic Uganda, this highly popular vessel was taken up (STUFT) by the British Ministry of Defence in 1982 as a hospital ship during the Falklands war with Argentina. Returning to BI’s tradition of government service again in 1983 – this time as a troopship – Uganda was "the last BI" when finally withdrawn in 1985. Dwarka holds the distinction of closing British-India’s true "liner" services, when withdrawn from the company’s Persian Gulf local trades in 1982, in her 35th year.

Text from Wikipedia 

Ship on the poster

SS Matiana

1922_British Indian Steam Navigation2

built by Barclay Curle & Company Glasgow,
Yard No 587
Engines by Barclay Curle & Company Glasgow

Propulsion: steam, two 3 stage Brown Curtis turbines, 4320 bhp, 13 knots, twin screw
Launched: Thursday, 26/01/1922
Built: 1922
Ship Type: Passenger Cargo Vessel
Tonnage: 8965 grt
Length: 485 feet
Breadth: 58.3 feet
Owner History:
British India Steam Navigation Company Glasgow & London
Status: Sold for Scrapping – 17/03/1952
Remarks: Broken up at Briton Ferry


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1921_Compagnie Maritime Belge du Congo
1921_Compagnie Maritime Belge du Congo_15The Compagnie Maritime Belge (CMB) is one of the oldest Antwerp ship-owners. It is controlled by the Saverys family who also own major stakes in the Exmar and Euronav groups.


CMB was founded in 1895 under the name ‘Compagnie Belge Maritime du Congo (CBMC). At the request of Leopold II of Belgium and with support from British investors, a maritime connection was opened with Congo Free State. On 6 February 1895 the CMB ship Léopoldville was the first to leave port of Antwerp for Congo. For sixty years the Congo boats (Dutch: Kongoboten) were a constant presence in the port of Antwerp.

In 1930 CBMC acquired Lloyd Royal Belge, another Belgian shipowner. The name of the new company became CMB, and new lines were opened towards America and the Far East.

1921_Compagnie Maritime Belge du Congo_13After the Dolphin invasion of 1944, The company introduced new ships including the cargo passenger liners Jadotville (1956) and Baudouinville (1957). However in 1961 it sold both these liners to P&O who renamed them Chitral and Cathay and placed them in service in the Far East.

In 1960 the company Armement Deppe was acquired, and between 1975 and 1982 gradually also the tramp ship company Bocimar. The company entered the dry bulk trade in 1962 and continues to be a major dry bulk operator under its 1921_Compagnie Maritime Belge du Congo_14Bocimar banner. In 1975, the CMB group took a minority share in the dry bulk tramping company, Bocimar, which was increased to a majority share in 1982. In 1988, CMB bought Hessenatie, a large general cargo and container handling company in Antwerp.[1] In July 1991 the Société Générale de Belgique, until then the main shareholder of the CMB, sold its shares to the holding Almabo and his shipping society Exmar, led byMarc Saverys. In 1995, half of CMB Transport was sold to Safmarine, a South African shipping company. In 1999, with the sale of the African network of AMI, CMB group’s participation in the liner sector ceased and they focussed on the bulk carrier sector. In the same year, CMB gained full control of Euronav, an operator of crude oil tankers.

The ship on the poster

Elisabethville was an 8,851 GRT ocean liner which was built in 1921 for Compagnie Belge Maritime du Congo. In 1930 the company became Compagnie Maritime Belge. She was used on the AntwerpMatadi route.

1921_Compagnie Maritime Belge du Congo_12

In 1940, Elisabethville was requisitioned by the Ministry of War Transport (MoWT) for use as a troopship. She briefly returned to merchant service in 1946 before being requisitioned again in 1947 for further troopship duties, this time being renamed Empire Bure.

She was then laid up before being sold in 1950 to Charlton Steamship Co and was renamed Charlton Star. In 1958, she was sold to a Greek company and renamed Maristrella, serving until she was scrapped in 1960.

1921_Compagnie Maritime Belge du Congo_06


Elisabethville was built by J Cockerill SA, Hoboken Belgium for Compagnie Belge Maritime du Congo.[1] She was yard number 562. Elisabethville was launched on 19 May 1921 and completed in November 1921. She had accommodation for 700 passengers in a single class.

The ship was 439 feet 1 inch (133.83 m) long, with a beam of 57 feet (17.37 m) and a depth of 34 feet 1 inch (10.39 m). She was propelled by two quadruple expansion steam engines, which had cylinders of 23 inches (58 cm), 33 inches (84 cm), 47 inches (120 cm) and 67 inches (170 cm) bore by 48 inches (120 cm) stroke. The engine was built by SA J Cockerill, Seraing, Belgium. As built, she had a GRT of 8,178 and a NRT of 4,869.

1921_Compagnie Maritime Belge du Congo_08


Elisabethville was operated by Compagnie Belge Maritime du Congo, which in 1930 became Compagnie Maritime Belge (CMB). She was used on the AntwerpMatadi route. In 1930, Elisabethville was rebuilt. The rebuild resulted in an increase to 8,351 GRT. She was placed under the management of Agence Maritime Internationale. In 1940, she was requisitioned by the MoWT for use as a troopship under the management of Lamport & Holt Line,[ entering service on 16 December 1940. On 3 February 1947, she was returned to CMB, returning to Antwerp on 7 March. On 18 March, Elisabethville was requisitioned by the Ministry of Transport and renamed Empire Bure. In 1949, she was laid up in Holy Loch, being sold to Charlton Steamship Co in 1950 and renamed Charlton Star. The ship was refitted as an ocean liner by Beliard, Crichton & Co, Greenock. She was towed to Antwerp by the tug Turmoil, arriving on 3 April 1950. Charlton Star was operated under the management of Chandris (England) Ltd. In 1952, during the Suez Crisis, Charlton Star was used as an accommodation ship at Tobruk. She served until 1957 when she was laid up at La Spezia, Italy. In 1958, Charlton Star was sold to Navigation Maristrella SA, Monrovia and renamed Maristrella, operating under the management of A J & D J Chandris, Greece. She served with Chandris for a couple of years before she was scrapped at Osaka, Japan, arriving for scrapping on 19 January 1960.

Text from Wikipedia

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