Tonnage: 9,975 tons gross, 6,518 under deck and 6,093 net. Dimensions: 500.8 feet long, 58.3 feet beam and holds 29.2 feet deep, poop 44 feet long, bridge 176 feet long and forecastle 59 feet long. She was constructed in steel, had one funnel, two
masts (Schooner), twin screws and a speed of 15 knots. She had 2 decks and awning deck, was fitted with
electric light and refrigerating machinery. Water ballast. Propulsion: triple expansion engines
with 6 cylinders of 30, 50 and 80 inches diameter each pair; stroke 54 inches, 940 nominal
horsepower. The engine was built by the same company as the hull. There was accommodation for 150-1st, 140-2nd and 900-3rd class passengers. The S/S Oscar II, S/S Hellig Olav
and the S/S United States
were sister ships. These three steamers were all built at the famous shipyards of Alexander Stephen and Sons, on the Clyde, Scotland. All of them have double cellular bottoms divided into 10 watertight compartments, and in addition to that they were divided from bottom to deck by 10 other watertight compartments. They also had bilge keels to insure maximum steadiness at sea.
ACCOMMODATIONS FIRST CLASS
First cabin accommodations on these steamers were located amidships on the promenade and saloon decks. The staterooms were of liberal size, and well ventilated. They contained washstands, wardrobes and sofas. Hotchkiss Patent berths were installed throughout, permitting the upper berths to be closed out of sight when out of use. The "Oscar II" had two "chambres de luxe", located on the promenade deck. These were luxuriously furnished, with silk hangings and draperies, and equipped with brass beds.
The first cabin dining room was a magnificent apartment, extending the full width of the ship. The walls were of polished oak and mahogany and the furnishings strikingly. Small group tables, dainty table furnishings and porcelain combined to produce a dining room of unusual attractiveness and beauty.
Located well forward on the promenade deck was the Music Saloon. On one side of the Music Saloon was located the Ladies' Saloon and on the other side a comfortable Library and Writing Room. Further aft, on the same deck was a Smoking Room. Numerous baths, showers and lavatories were conveniently located on the promenade and saloon decks. The cabin barber and hair dressing shop was on the saloon deck. The entire upper promenade and the forward part of the saloon promenade deck were reserved for the use and convenience of First Cabin passengers. Steamer chairs and rugs could be obtained from the deck steward.
THE SECOND CABIN ROOMS
The Dining Room, located on the saloon deck, was finished in polished oak, and in furnishings and attractiveness was comparable with the First Cabin Dining Room.
The Smoking Room and Ladies Room were likewise furnished and decorated with the idea of providing passengers with every comfort and most of the luxuries of the first cabin.
The Second Cabin Staterooms for two, three and four passengers were located on the saloon and upper decks, and were furnished in the same style as those in the First Cabin. There were also numerous baths and lavatories. Second Cabin passengers had the exclusive use of the amidships and aft part of the saloon promenade deck.
There was no steerage
on the ships, as they operated with a third class. The third class staterooms, all of which were spacious, and well ventilated, were comfortably furnished with iron beds, springs, mattresses, sheets, pillows and blankets, wash-stands, mirrors, towels, soap and water. They were also supplied with fresh drinking water, and kept in order by stewards and stewardesses. They could accommodate two, four and six passengers, enabling whole families to keep together. Meals were served by uniformed waiters in clean dining rooms at tables set with clean linen and porcelain tableware, and the food was of good quality, cooked in the palatable Scandinavian style, served plentifully, and with a wide variety in the menus. Ample deck space for open air promenading and exercise was reserved for the third class passengers. Ladies' saloon, well furnished comfortable smoking rooms, barber shops and many baths were a few of the conveniences furnished to those traveling in third class. The services of a physician and nurse, and the facilities of a well equipped hospital and dispensary were at the service of passengers. The same standards of courtesy and cleanliness that made traveling in the first and second cabins were also found in third class. Women and children traveling alone were in the care of a special matron and stewardesses.
A burial at sea on board the S/S Oscar II in 1911
- snapshots taken by Peder Georg Christian Pedersen in 1911, when he sailed as an officer on the S/S Oscar II. Pedersen served on the Scandinavian America Line steamships from 1902 till 1920, and became the master of the S/S C. F. Tietgen. The pictures were provided by Karsten Egeblad, one of Pedersen's descendants. The text to the pictures are in Pedersen's own words.