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S/S Bergensfjord of the Norwegian America Line

Description and pictures of the legendary Norwegian passenger liner

We are working on the documentation of this legendary ship. We are looking for pictures, descriptions and accounts from life on board the ship. If you think you can contribute please contact webmaster@norwayheritage.com

The Bergensfjord was the second ship built for the Norwegian America Line's passengers service between Norway and America. The first ship, the Kristianiafjord launched in 1912 and the Bergensfjord launched in 1913 were sister-ships. The Kristianafjord was short lived, as on June 28 1917 she was wrecked and lost in a storm. The Bergensfjord however, stayed in the transatlantic service for the N.A.L. till 1940. During her service she brought thousands of emigrants and travelers back and forth across the Atlantic. In the summer season she was also used for tourist cruises along the Norwegian coast. The steamers were considered modern and efficiently equipped for the utmost safety and comfort of passengers. To insure steadiness in rough weather the ships were equipped with bilge keels. They were heated and ventilated by the thermo-tank system and electric lights were fitted throughout. They also had the Marconi system of wireless telegraphy.

Four berth stateroom on the S/S Bergensfjord

3rd class accommodations (steerage)

The staterooms for the 3rd class passengers were located on the Upper Main Deck and on the Main Deck, and provided accommodations for 860 passengers in staterooms arranged for 2, 4 and 6 persons. The berths of galvanized iron (Hoskin's System) are furnished with mattresses, pillows, sheets and blankets. The staterooms were also fitted with wash-basins, mirrors etc., as can bee seen on the picture. The 3rd class cabins were located at the abaft and forward parts of the ship, and were connected to commodious sitting rooms and smoke rooms. The large, airy dining saloons located on the Upper Main Deck had seating accommodations for 354 passengers. Well-prepared meals were served by the ship's stewards, and every provision was made for the comfort of the passengers.

2nd class accommodations

The Second Class state rooms, were located on the Shelter Deck amidships. They were all well ventilated and neatly furnished, and rooms could be secured for two or four persons. The Second Class Dining Saloon was located on the Shelter Deck aft, and was furnished in polished birch, and highly decorated with seats for 120 passengers. The 2nd class Music Room and Smoke Room were located on the Promenade Deck.

1st class accommodations

The First Class staterooms, with all modern improvements, were all outside and located amidships on the Promenade Deck, accommodating 100 passengers. Two sumptuously furnished Cabins de Luxe en-Suite were located on the Upper Promenade Deck, each comprising an exceptionally large sitting room, bedroom, private bath and toilet, assuring the maximum of comfort and luxury. The First Class Dining Saloon, well ventilated and extending the entire width of the vessel, was furnished with small tables, and all first class passengers dined at one sitting. The decorations were tastefully carried out in white and gold with panels of Norwegian scenery. The handsomely appointed Lounge, Music Room, Reading and Writing Rooms were located on the Promenade Deck. The Smoking Room on the Upper Promenade Deck, finished in Australian oak, was arranged in cozy alcoves and adjoining the Smoke Room was the popular Veranda Café. The spacious Promenade Decks afforded opportunity for participating in open-air recreation and deck games.

Bergensfjord (1) deck-plan, main deck, abaft, showing 3rd class (steerage) accommodation

Deck-plan: Main deck, forward, showing 3rd class (steerage) accommodation on the S/S Bergensfjord (1)

Deck-plan: upper main deck, abaft, showing 3rd class (steerage) accommodation on the S/S Bergensfjord (1)

Deck-plan: Upper main deck, forward, showing 3rd class (steerage) accommodation on the S/S Bergensfjord (1)


Other Related Articles :

The Transatlantic Crossing:

emigrants departure
This is the story about how the majority of emigrants going to America would travel. It also gives some insight to the amazing development in how ships were constructed and the transportation arranged
    1:   Early Norwegian Emigrants
    2:   Steerage - Between Decks
    3:   By sail - daily life
    4:   Children of the ocean
    5:   Sailing ship provisions
    6:   Health and sickness
    7:   From sail to steam
    8:   By steamship across the ocean
    9:   The giant express steamers

Hunting Passenger Lists:

emigration contract
An article describing how, and where, to look for passenger information about Norwegian emigrants
    1:   Emigration Records - Sources - Timeline
    2:   Canadian Records (1865-1935)
    3:   Canadian Immigration Records Database
    4:   US arrivals - Customs Passenger Lists
    5:   Port of New York Passenger Records
    6:   Norwegian Emigration Records
    7:   British outbound passenger lists
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