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S/S Deutschland (3), Hamburg America Line Main Page >>

BurdenBuiltShipowner or operator Dimensions
16,502 gross 1900 at Stettin by AG Vulcan Hamburg America Line 660.9ft x 67.3ft 
 1900 Jan. 10, launchedAtlantic Journey ID 2431
 1900 July 4, maiden voyage Hamburg-Plymouth-New YorkAtlantic Journey ID 2432
 1900 Record passage Eddystone-Sandy HookAtlantic Journey ID 2433
 1901 June, eastbound New York – Plymouth record passage 5 days, 12 hours and 16 min.Atlantic Journey ID 4846
 1902 Dec; eastbound New York – Hamburg damage on starboard machine. Repaired in HamburgAtlantic Journey ID 4892
 1911 Became HAPAG cruising yacht Victoria LuiseAtlantic Journey ID 2434
 1914 Became auxiliary cruiserAtlantic Journey ID 2435
 1920 Damaged by fire during reconditioning, renamed HansaAtlantic Journey ID 2436
 1920 New tonnage: 16,333 tons gross, accommodation: 36 cabin, 1,350 steerage passengersAtlantic Journey ID 2437
 1922 Rebuilt: accommodation: 224 cabin, 1,065 steerageAtlantic Journey ID 2438
 1925 Scrapped at HamburgAtlantic Journey ID 2439
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

Deutschland (3), Hamburg America Line steamship
Deutschland (3), Hamburg America Line steamship
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S/S Deutschland (3), Hamburg America Line
S/S Deutschland (3), Hamburg America Line
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Deutschland (3),sectional view and deck plans
Deutschland (3),sectional view and deck plans
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The Deutschland was built by the Vulcan Shipbuilding Company of Stettin. She was guaranteed for an average speed of 23 knots. The Deutschland was fitted with quadruple expansion engines, twin screws, and six decks, she was 686˝ ft. long, 67˝ ft. wide, and 44 ft. in depth. The engines were of 35,000 horse power. The original registry of the vessel was 16,000 tons and the displacement 23,000. At the time of launching she was second in size to the White Star Line steamship Oceanic.

In the interior there was a noticeable departure from the methods of decorating that had been employed in other vessels launched by German builders till then. Cabins, saloons, and corridors lacked the gilt and display for which the Deutschland's sister crafts were notable, and the main dining room, instead of being covered With white and gold, was finished in sombre Mahogany, with only a few bronze statuettes and tablets as decorations. The ship had a grill room from where food and drink could be procured from early morning until midnight; thus 1st class passengers who had good appetites did not have to go hungry between regular meals. In the children's room were many small tables and chairs, suitable for little ones of anywhere from three years old up, and as beautiful as though they were built for infant Princes and Princesses. In the ladies parlor everything was of the most elegant quality, chairs, grand piano, and divans. From one end of the room a lifesize portrait of the German Emperor smiled down upon those who used it. An other notable addition to the Deutschland was the Vienna Café on the bridge deck. Tea, coffee, and chocolate were passed around by a Turk in a red fez and yellow bloomers. The Deutschland was originally built to accommodate 467 passengers in the first cabin, 300 in the second cabin, and 300 in the steerage. For the latter there were regular staterooms, a saloon, a bar, and other conveniences. Bilge keels on the ship's bottom minimized the discomforts of sea-sickness. and there was enough deck space on board to accommodate nearly twice as many people as the cabins could hold. Her crew originally totaled 620 persons.
S/S Deutschland (3) cross section, Hamburg America Line
S/S Deutschland (3) - cross section
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In 1900, the same year as she was launched she won the Blue Riband from the Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse of the North German Lloyd, crossing the Atlantic Ocean in just a little over five days. The Deutschland was the first and only four-stacker built for the Hamburg America Line. Her service speed was 22 knots. She made another record in August/September, departing from Hamburg on Aug. 25th to Southampton and Cherbourg. She departed Cherbourg the 26th and was abreast of the Mole at exactly 9:55 o'clock in the evening. The distance from Cherbourg to New York is 3,050 knots, and was sailed in 5 days 12 hours and 29 minutes. An average speed of 23.02 knots per hour was maintained and 36,000 horse power was recorded from the engines. The vessel arrived off the Sandy Hook Lightship at 5:24 in the morning of September 1st. The record of daily runs was 337, 566, 570, 570, 584, and 423 knots. The Deutschland burned about 600 tons of coal per day on this trip. By September 1900 six records were held by the liner which had commenced her maiden voyage only two moths earlier (July 1900). They were as follows:

Voyage from Plymouth to New York, completed on July 12th 1900, in 5 days 16 hours and 46 minutes. This was the Deutschland's maiden trip (Capt. Adolph Albers, Commodore of the Hamburg-American Line fleet).
Voyage from New York to Plymouth, made on Aug. 14th 1900, in 5 days 11 hours and 45 minutes, which was better by 2 hours and 21- minutes than her previous record of July 24.
Voyage from Cherbourg to New York, ended Sept 1st as described above.
Best hourly average, 23.32 knots, recorded for the voyage ended at Plymouth on Aug. 14th 1900.
Best day's run, 584 knots—made on Aug. 8th 1900.
Best time for a maiden trip, made between July 6 and 12.

However, her engines were so powerful that they caused severe vibrations in her passenger accommodations. This made her unpopular with passengers and she soon became known under the nickname "The Cocktail Shaker". In August 1900 the ship was more then 24 hours delayed to New York due to problems with to much friction to the pistons of her starboard machinery, causing the captain (Albers) to shut it down.

In March 1902 she was carried Prince Henry, the brother of the Kaiser back to Europe from a highly publicized visit to the United States, she was prevented from using her Slaby-d'Arco system of wireless telegraphy as the Marconi radio stations refused its radio traffic through their nets and blocked the rival system. Prince Henry, who tried to send wireless messages to both the US and Germany, was outraged. During a later conference, the Marconi company was forced to give access to their stations to other companies. This incident turned out to be one of the important moments in the early history of wireless transmission.

In April 1902 Capt. Adolph Albers fell dead from heart disease in the charthouse of the Deutschland as she was approaching the port of Cuxhaven. He expired in the arms of his first officer, who caught him as he fell. As the senior Captain of the Hamburg American Steam Packet Company, Capt. Albers expected to retire after a few more trips. The Deutschland had been disabled at sea by the loss of her steering when the stern post and ruddes were torn out on the voyage from New York to Hamburg. It was believed that the death of Capt. Albers was brought about by the struggle caused by the accident to his ship. The ship had to be steered by the use of her screws. The Deutschland had to be laid up for repairs till November the same year as a result of the accident. Thorough and extensive repairs had to be made. After repairs she sailed from Hamburg for New York on Nov. 6th 1902, now commanded by Capt. Barends. The voyage was very rough. On the day she left Cherbourg, while she was driving along against a heavy northwest gale, a high sea broke over the starboard rail, smashed in the iron bulwark forward on the promenade deck for a distance of fifteen feet, broke the port ladder from the promenade deck to the well, and carried away a port ventilator forward. One very high sea dashed into the crow's nest and drenched the lookout. Fortunately nobody was injured then or during the four succeeding days, when gales and rough seas prevailed. As the liner passed Nantucket in the morning of November 13th, a cylinder of the starboard engine was fractured as a bolt of the third crank shaft bearing broke, whereby the low pressure cylinder cover was cracked. By immediate action of the engineer in charge, who shut off the main steam valve, further damage was avoided. The noise of the accident awakened most of the passengers on the steamship, and there was some alarm on account of the sudden stoppage of the vessel. The stewards were sent about the decks to reassure the frightened passengers, but the excitement did not subside until the vessel again got under way after an hour's delay. The liner proceeded to port under half speed.

Deutschland (3), Hamburg America Line steamship at Cuxhaven
Deutschland (3), Hamburg America Line steamship at Cuxhaven
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S/S Deutschland (3), Hamburg America Line in dry dock
S/S Deutschland (3), Hamburg America Line in dry dock
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This was not the last misfortune to the ship that year. On Dec. 21st 1902 the Deutschland arrived Plymouth with her starboard engine disabled. The steamer came into port using her port engine alone, at a speed of sixteen knots. When she was nearing the Scilly Islands a cylinder burst and the starboard engine was badly damaged. One engineer was rather badly scalded. The accident happened at 1:30 o'clock in the morning. For a time the vessel was in complete darkness and was filled with escaping steam. The passengers were greatly alarmed and rushed from their cabins, anxiously making inquiries as to what had occurred. Excellent discipline was maintained, however. Everybody was assured that there was no danger, the excitement gradually subsided, and the passengers returned to their rest. With the exception of the engineer who was caught in the escaping steam no other member of the engine staff was seriously injured. She was able to leave at 3 o'clock in the afternoon for Hamburg and was again laid up for repairs. The Deutschland did not return to New York again before on May 29th of 1903. When departing back to Europe she grounded in the Gedney Channel. After sticking twenty-three hours and forty-seven minutes in mud and sand she was pulled back into deep water by a fleet of powerful oceangoing tugs and the pilot boat New Jersey. She next returned to New York on June 26th and when departing back to Europe July 2nd she went back to her builders to be overhauled.

When she returned to service again all ocean records westward were smashed. The Deutschland left Hamburg on Sept. 1st and reached Sandy Hook Lightship September 8th at 1:20 o'clock in the morning. Her time was 5 days 11 hours and 54 minutes, lowering her own best previous record by 69 minutes. The excitement among the liner's passengers caused by the record attained was heightened by a collision with the schooner "Lavinia M. Snow", which occurred just as the Deutschland was leaving Quarantine. The schooner which was going up the Bay under sail ran into the stern of the liner, with the result that the frame protecting the steamship's propeller stove a hole in her bow. The schooner then scraped against the Deutschland, and her topsails and upper rigging were ripped away by the liner's railing. Instantly the schooner's crew were in a panic, and intense excitement reigned among the Deutschland's passengers. It was seen that the little vessel was in danger of sinking and while the liner lowered a boat to assist her crew, a Hamburg America Line tug was signaled and promptly responded. The tug took the "Lavinia M. Snow" to Clifton where her crew was taken off, and the damaged vessel settled till her decks were awash. The only damage to the liner was the scraping off of a few square feet of paint.

She collided again on June 27th 1904, in dense fog, when she struck and sank the Glochester fishing schooner "Harry G. French" near Nantucket Lightship. All of the crew were saved and there was no damage to the liner.

On July 1906 13th the Deutschland was damaged while leaving the pier at Dover. The accident was due to the breaking of a hawser from one of the tugs which was helping guide the ship. The Deutschland bumped into the side of a granite bulkhead in the Prince of Wales Dock, staving in her bow on the starboard side. She did not return to service again before in September 1906.

Deutschland (3), Hamburg America Line steamship
The Deutschland (3) on the Hudson opposite Hoboken
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Deutschland (3), Hamburg America Line steamship - calling at Dover
Deutschland (3), Hamburg America Line steamship - calling at Dover
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In April 1907 the ship was laid up for another overhauling at Hamburg. As noted above, the Deutschland had earned a reputation of being a "Cocktail Shaker" because of her vibration caused by the clutch of the propeller blades in the water. The engineers began experimenting with a view of reducing to a minimum the racking and shaking that kept the ship from being a general favorite among the travelers. After a great deal of work the engineers adopted the simple expedient of changing the pitch of one of her propeller blades so that each propeller had a slightly different speed. They made a slight change in the pitch of the blades of one propeller of the port screw. A difference of about eight revolutions a minute was brought about. The Deutschland's propellers were of four blades each. The four on the port propeller had to be taken off separately and each readjusted to the new pitch or angle upon which the engineers had agreed. It took twenty-four hours to move the four, as each blade weighed five tons.

The steamer arrived to New York as the Deutschland for the last time on October 1st, 1910. She then went back to the Vulcan Dockyard in Stettin to undergo reconstruction, and to be converted into a tourist steamer. After the refitting she would carry only first-cabin passengers. Her machinery was thoroughly overhauled, and her speed was reduced from the old maximum of about 23 knots to about 17 knots. The reduction in speed enabled the removal of a large number of boilers and coal bunkers and the space was devoted to the installation of a proportionate number of new passenger saloons and cabins. Much of the space which had been used for freight was reconstructed to enlarge her accommodations, as the ship would not carry cargo on cruises. The second cabins and steerage accommodations were also removed and staterooms to accommodate 500 persons installed. The promenade deck was extended from one end of the ship to the other, 686 feet, making her the first ship so equipped. The sun deck was also lengthened and her decks were thus carried uninterruptedly from bow to stern. This gave a total deck area of 25,000 square feet, nearly two thirds protected from the weather. She was equipped with Frahm anti-rolling tanks in order to reduce the rolling of the vessel. The device consisted of two U-shaped tanks, extending the width of the vessel, partly. filled with water and so contrived that the water counteracted the roll of the ship. A number of spacious public cabins, including writing rooms, smoking rooms, and a palm garden was fitted. The main dining room, which extended the full width of the ship, was refurnished and decorated, and could accommodate all passengers at one sitting. The second-class smoking room was refitted as a gymnasium equipped with Zander electric apparatus. The ship was also fitted with electric lighted baths, shower baths, laundry, photographer's dark room, library, bookstall, and an information bureau. Finally the ship was renamed "Victoria Louise".

The Victoria Louise made her first visit as a cruising steamer to New York in October 1911. She was then the largest cruising steamer in the world, with a length of 686 feet, 60 feet beam, and registered tonnage of 17,000. The Hamburg-American Line announced that the Victoria Luise was to make a round the world cruise in 1912. She made a few cruises from New York to the West Indies and the Panama canal in the first part of 1912. In the summer and autumn she was cruising along the Norwegian coast to Spitzbergen (Nordlandfarthen). In 1913 she started the season with cruises to the West Indies and the Panama canal again, calling at Havana, Colon, Kingston and Isthmus. The passengers were brought by special train from Isthmus to Panama to see the canal before it was flooded. In the summer she went back to cruises along the Norwegian coast and in February of 1914 she was again on the West Indies.

Victoria Luise, Hamburg America Line steamship
The Deutschland as the cruising yacht Victoria Luise photographed at
Cross-Bay on a cruise along the Norwegian coast to Spitzbergen
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The Deutschland as the Victoria Luise in cruising color
The Deutschland as the Victoria Luise in cruising color
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Victoria Luise - white hull, Hamburg America Line steamship
Victoria Luise - white hull, Hamburg America Line steamship
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Victoria Luise, Hamburg America Line
Hamburg America Line steamship built 1900 at Stettin by AG Vulcan.
On this image from Hamburg she is seen with only two funnels.
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At some point the Victoria Luise was painted all white, but on photographs from 1912 (at Spitzbergen) and 1913 (at Panama) she appears with a black hull and four funnels. On some other images she appears with a white hull, and on one photograph she is seen with a white hull and only two funnels. From the picture is looks as if the first and forth funnel had been removed. It has not been possible to establish the exact time when these changes were done to the ship.

In June 1914 the Victoria Luise sank in the dockyard in Hamburg, where she was undergoing repairs. Divers were sent down to close the portholes through which the water poured into the ship and to pump out the flooded compartments. The water laden vessel was so heavy that four powerful tugs working all day were unable to bring her upright. However, they succeeded in pumping her out and she was again floated. The United Kingdom declared war on Germany, on August 3rd 1914, and WW1 was a fact. Little is known about the life of the ship during WW1, but it is believed that she remained laid up in Hamburg till after WW1 due to the pour condition she was in. After WW1 she was overhauled in the Vulcan yards in Hamburg. In October of 1920, during the work at the Vulcan yards she was damaged by a fire in the refrigerator room. After this the ship was rebuilt and converted back to a passenger and cargo liner and renamed "Hansa".

On November 7th 1921 the ship arrived New York for the first time after WW1. The ship was scarcely recognizable. The rusty looking steamship Hansa was nothing like the elegant cruising yacht Victoria Luise. All the fine public rooms, with their paintings, carved panels, silken hangings, rich rugs and carpets, had been removed. She two new funnels which were smaller then the old ones and the foremast had been moved abaft the bridge. Several of her boilers had been taken out, but she could average sixteen knots at full speed. The vessel had also been converted into an oil burner. The Hansa was sold for scrap only 4 years later in 1925.

Hansa (2), Hamburg America Line steamship
Hansa (2), Hamburg America Line steamship
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Hansa (2), Hamburg America Line steamship
The Victoria Luise was rebuilt and renamed Hansa (2),
two new funnels had been fitted and main mast moved
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