The Norwegian America Line was founded in 1910. The aim of the company was to
maintain a mail, cargo and passenger route between Norway and America.
The first ship of the line was launched on the 23rd of November 1912 by Cammel, Laird
& Co. at Birkenhead, Liverpool. She was steamship of 11,000 gross tons (16,000 Displacement). This first ship was named
Kristianiafjord (1) after the fjord now called Oslofjord, where the Norwegian capitol is located. In 1913 the 2nd ship was launched from the same yard, an identical twin and sister-ship for the Kristianiafjord. This ship was named Bergensfjord (1). It became a tradition to name the ships of the line after the many Norwegian fjords.
The 3rd ship was launched from the same shipyard on the 21st of May 1917, she was the 12,500
ton steamer named Stavangerfjord. The company also had 3 freight steamers, they were the
S/S Trondhjemsfjord, the S/S Drammensfjord, and the S/S Romsdalsfjord, all of 12,000 tons displacement. These freight steamers are known to occasionally have taken a small number of passengers. The company also had a smaller coastal steamer, the S/S Friefjord.
Only the Kristianiafjord, Bergensfjord and Stavangerfjord were built for taking passengers on a regular route.
ACCOMMODATIONS AND SERVICE (1916):
At the time of building, the 3 new passenger steamers of the Norwegian American Line were modern and efficiently equipped for the utmost safety and comfort of the passengers. The ships had bilge keels were fitted to insure steadiness in rough weather. The thermo-tank system of heating and ventilation was installed and electric lights were fitted throughout. The Marconi system of
wireless telegraphy was also operated.
The First Class staterooms were with all modern improvements of those times. They were all facing out with a window and situated amidships on the Promenade Deck and had a capacity of accommodating 100 passengers. Two sumptuously furnished Cabins de Luxe en-Suite were situated 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 was well ventilated and extended the entire width of the vessel. It was furnished with
small tables, and all first class passengers could dine at one sitting. The decorations were tastefully carried
out in white and gold with panels of Norwegian scenery. On the Promenade Deck there was a handsomely
appointed Lounge, a Music Room, as well as Reading- and Writing Rooms. The smoking saloon on the Upper Promenade Deck was finished in Australian oak, and was arranged in cozy alcoves. Adjoining the smoking saloon was the popular Veranda Café.
The spacious Promenade Decks afforded opportunity for passengers to participate in open-air recreation and deck games.
The Second Class state rooms were located on the Shelter Deck amidships, and were well ventilated and neatly furnished. State rooms could be secured for two or four persons.
The Second Class Dining Saloon, on the Shelter Deck aft, was furnished in polished birch and highly
decorated. It had a capacity of seating 120 passengers. The second class Music Room and Smoking Saloon were both situated on the Promenade Deck.
Four berth stateroom on the S/S Stavangerfjord
Third Class accommodations were provided for 860 passengers and the staterooms were arranged for 2, 4 and 6 persons.
The berths were of galvanized iron (The Hoskin's System) and were furnished with mattresses, pillows, sheets and
blankets. The staterooms were all fitted with wash-basins, mirrors etc. Commodious sitting rooms and smoking saloons were also provided for passengers traveling on the third class. The large airy dining saloons had a capacity of seating 354 passengers.
Well-prepared meals were served by the ship's stewards, and every provision was made for the comfort of passengers.(From a 1916 N.A.L. booklet)
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Some companies may have had additional ships in their fleets to those mentioned above. They might not have been included if the ships were not engaged in the conveyance of emigrants. Some ships mentioned in the fleet lists may have been chartered from other companies, see the ship's description and history for more details.