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S/S Kronprinz Wilhelm, Norddeutscher Lloyd Main Page >>

BurdenBuiltShipowner or operator Dimensions
14,908 gross 1901 at Stettin by AG Vulcan Norddeutscher Lloyd, Bremen, Germany 637.3ft x 66.3ft 

Kronprinz Wilhelm, Norddeutscher Lloyd steamship - Capt. Richter
Kronprinz Wilhelm, Norddeutscher Lloyd steamship - Capt. Richter
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Kronprinz Wilhelm, Norddeutscher Lloyd steamship
Kronprinz Wilhelm, Norddeutscher Lloyd steamship
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Kronprinz Wilhelm, Norddeutscher Lloyd steamship - at Cherbourg
Kronprinz Wilhelm, Norddeutscher Lloyd steamship - at Cherbourg
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S/S Kronprinz Wilhelm, Norddeutscher Lloyd, emigrants embarking
S/S Kronprinz Wilhelm, Norddeutscher Lloyd, emigrants embarking
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In the autumn of 1901 a new leviathan express steamer the "Kronprinz Wilhelm" was placed in service. She was launched at the yard of the Vulcan Co. on March 30, of the same year. The "Kronprinz Wilhelm" was a twin screw steamship of 202 meters in length, 20.1 meters in width and 13.1 meters, the register tonnage was about 15,000 tons gross, the displacement when fully loaded, 21,300 tons. The steamer belonged to the same type as the "Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse". In external appearance the "Kronprinz Wilhelm" much resembled the "Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse", and like the latter had four huge funnels. There was accommodation for about 650 first class, 350 second class and 700 steerage passengers. The staterooms of the first class were all amidships on the main, upper and promenade decks, and fitted with all conveniences for passengers', comfort. There were four "cabines de luxe", consisting of sitting, bed, and bath room, also eight special staterooms, with bed and bath room. Like the first. the second class accommodation was very comfortably, though more simply, appointed.

Kronprinz Wilhelm, Norddeutscher Lloyd steamship - 1st class Dining saloon
Kronprinz Wilhelm, Norddeutscher Lloyd steamship - 1st class Dining saloon
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Every imaginable provision for safety was made in the construction of the steamer. In addition to a double bottom extending nearly the entire length of the ship, and consisting of 24 water-tight sections, the hull was divided into 17 water-tight compartments, by means of 15 transverse bulkheads reaching to the upper deck, and a longitudinal bulkhead in the engine room. Of a similar high efficiency were the pumping arrangements, the appliances for fire extinction, and the lifeboat outfits. To secure smooth working the engines were balanced on the Schlick system, and the steamer was furnished with bilge keels. The vessel was lighted throughout by electricity for which purpose some 1,900 lamps were required, supplied by four steam dynamos, each of 825 amperes and 100 volts. The vessel was equipped with 18 life boats and 6 semi-collapsible boats.

The Kronprinz Wilhelm had two immense six-cylinder quadruple expansion engines, aggregating 33,000 horse power, giving a speed of from 22½ to 23 knots. The necessary steam was generated in 16 huge boilers, of which 12 were double and 4 single ended. The coal consumption was about 500 tons per day. The bunkers had a capacity of 4,450 tons. The crew consisted of about 500.

Second class Smoking Room on the Norddeutscher Lloyd express steamer Kronprinz Wilhelm The first cabin saloon was a masterpiece of interior architecture. The dining room, which had 414 seats, was finished in green, with bronze panels. The ceiling was decorated with allegorical paintings representing the seasons, day and night, etc. The paintings on the walls represented among other subjects, the Prince's house, the old palace and the military school in Plön, where the Crown Prince received his education. The walls in the adjoining dining rooms were adorned with views of Potsdam, Sans Souci, Plön, Bonn, and surroundings. A highly artistic effect was produced by the light shaft surmounted by a fine glass dome. Masterpieces of plastic art adorned its facades, and a gallery with graceful arches enclosed the sides towards the stairway, which ascended through several decks, and the railings of which displayed rich-ornamental decoration.

The upper vestibule lead to the drawing room which was decorated with a life size portrait of the Crown Prince Wilhelm, painted by Professor Hanns Fechner. A delightful glimpse was furnished by the uppermost part of the light shaft with its beautiful plastic figures, the walls of the drawing room covered with the finest silk brocade, forming a suitable background. A highly artistic effect was produced by the views shown in the drawing room of Prussian cities, such as Berlin, Breslau, Königsberg, Magdeburg, Hannover, Cologne, Frankfurt and Stettin. A costly Steinway piano was the delight of every connoisseur. The reading and writing room was executed in the baroque renaissance style, the chairs and couches had mignonette coloured upholstering of striped "velour de gênes". The table covers were embellished with embroidery, the curtains were of old gold silk, and a costly Smyrna carpet covered the floor. Large bookcases contained the best works of universal literature, and prettily painted representations of the Muses decorated the walls and ceiling. Equally striking in effect was the smoking room, executed in the Renaissance style. The ceiling consisted of blue stained oak beams with panels decorated with white relief ornaments. Below the ceiling were white stucco friezes and gilded panels, with decorative paintings. The woodwork of the walls, tables, sideboards and the large portal (with a clock and barometer) which extended to the dome, was of blue stained oak. The table covers were of old gold cloth, the window curtains of blue silk, the chairs and couches were also upholstered in blue. A large glass dome supplied light and ventilation. On the walls there were several splendid paintings representing incidents from the history of the Hohenzollerns, executed in the-Delft style. In addition a large allegorical painting by Arthur Fitger decorated the room, exemplifying the Emperors saying: "Our future lies upon the water."

The staterooms were real gems of decorative art, especially in respect of the colouring, the different effects in the various rooms was particularly successful. At the same time everything had been designed and arranged with a view to the greatest practical convenience. The second class saloon was also very tastefully appointed.

The steamer "Kronprinz Wilhelm" contained a number of remarkable new technical appliances. Thus, an extensive telephone system enabled the captain to communicate with the various departmental heads of the steamer. There was also a large chief steward’s office, which in this steamer very much resembled the office of a modern hotel of the time, where passengers could obtain information on all matters concerning the journey, tickets, baggage, rooms etc. Particular attention had been bestowed upon the storerooms, kitchens etc. The refrigerators for the storage of the provisions were larger than upon any of the previous steamers. The necessary low temperature for the cold storage and the various refrigerators and water coolers was furnished by two powerful Linde refrigerating machines. The kitchen was provided with every modern appliance for the preparation of "Meals to meet the most fastidious taste". A welcome innovation was also the placing of the electric bell push, which on other steamers was fixed near the door, over every berth, enabling passengers to summon a steward without rising from their berths. A like convenience was the placing of the electric light switch in the same position. It may also be mentioned that the state cabins and "cabines de luxe" had telephonic connection with the chief steward's office. On the "Kronprinz Wilhelm" it was not necessary to climb the outside of the mast in order to reach the crow's-nest, access was gained to it by a ladder fixed within the mast. The crow’s-nest was connected with the bridge by a speaking tube an arrangement which added to the efficiency of the service, and consequently to the general safety. All the clocks in the saloons, vestibules, kitchen etc., were regulated by electric current from a central station in the chart room. She was also fitted with an apparatus for wireless telegraphy. Another important innovation was the Dörr door closer, which made it possible to close simultaneously from the bridge all the doors in the bulkheads under water by simply pressing a button.

In September 1902 the "Kronprinz Wilhelm" broke all previous records westward. The steamer left Cherbourg on September 10, at 9.10 P.M., and arrived off Sandy Hook lightship on September 16, at 4.7 A.M.; after a voyage of 5 days, 11 hours, 57 minutes, i. e., at an average speed of 23.09 knots. The distances covered upon the different days were respectively 349, 574, 574, 581, 573 and 396 knots. This splendid performance was the more remarkable, as the steamer was by no means favoured by the weather. During the first day the engines had to be slowed down several times, as may be gathered from the low run made on that day. Only on the second day did the weather allow the steamer to go at full speed, which was maintained until she arrived in New York. The engines worked perfectly.

Kronprinz Wilhelm of the Norddeutscher Lloyd arriving at Bremerhaven
Picture showing the S/S Kronprinz Wilhelm of the Norddeutscher Lloyd arriving at Bremerhaven


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