Norway Heritage logo
The Thingvalla Line Main Page >>

The Thingvalla line was founded in Denmark in 1879. The aim of the company was to maintain a route between Scandinavian ports and America. Before the company was established, German shipping companies like HAPAG and North German Lloyd, had conveyed the majority of Danish passengers. The new competition from the Thingvalla Line was not very popular. Their westbound route started off at Copenhagen calling at Kristiania (Oslo) and Kristiansand before crossing the Atlantic to New York. By including the Norwegian ports of Kristiania and Kristiansand, the Thingvalla Line also became an important competitor not only to the German companies, but also the British based companies. It is obvious that it was more convenient for Norwegian emigrants, living in the surrounding areas to Kristiania and Kristiansand, to travel directly from Kristiania or Kristiansand to New York, rather than going via Germany or Britain. Other advantages were of course, that the crew and customs on board was Scandinavian, and the composition of passengers was more homogeneous. However, there were disadvantages too, as the ships were smaller and slower than most of the ships of the great German and British companies. This did not seam to bother the Scandinavian passengers too much, as the line soon became quite popular. What was much worse for the company, was that it had a series of accidents, and that became a setback for the line.

The Thingvalla Line did not become as popular to those living in the western and northern parts of Norway, as to those living in the southern regions, probably because the advantage of travelling directly was not an option to them, as they would have to travel a long way by ship or train to be connected to the ships at Kristiania or Kristiansand. For them, travelling via Britain could be just as convenient as travelling via Kristiania or Kristiansand.

In 1898 the Thingvalla Line was acquired by the DFDS, and the Scandinavian-American passenger service was operated under the name Scandinavian America Line.

Thingvalla Line announcement
Thingvalla line announcement
by the general agent in Norway, Frederik Lie

Look for pictures of Thingvalla Line ships, or upload pictures: The Thingvalla photo album

Special articles:
The Collision between the S/S Thingvalla and the S/S Geiser, Details of the disaster
The Thrilling Story of the Sinking of the Gesier, The S/S Thingvalla arrives in port. From the Halifax Morning Herald Sat. Aug 18, 1888
The collision between the S/S Thingvalla and the S/S Geiser - STORY OF THE SURVIVORS
The Thrilling Story of the Sinking of the Gesier, The S/S Thingvalla arrives in port. From The Halifax Morning Herald Mon. 20 Aug. 1888. THE CATASTROPHE OFF SABLE ISLAND, Captain Møller's Version. – A Passenger says The Thingvalla Officers Are to Blame. – A Woman's Heart-rending Story.
A. B. Wilse's journey on the S/S Geiser in 1888 (Oslo 1936)
The collision between the S/S Thingvalla and the S/S Geiser - A passenger account of the disaster
Collision between the S/S Thingvalla and the S/S Geiser - excerpts from the NEW YORK TIMES
Excerpts from an article in the NEW YORK TIMES. It is dated Friday, August 17, 1888, page 2, column 3. Transcribed and contributed by Jeanne Nelson.
A REMARKABLE MARINE DISASTER - collision between the Thingvalla and Geiser in 1888 - This article and engraving of the S/S Thingvalla was printed in the Scientific American in November 1888
The Sinking of the S/S Danmark
A newspaper account concerning the sinking of the S/S DANMARK. It has been transcribed and submitted by Kristin Brue.
This transcript of an article printed in The Alexandria Post on Thursday 21 July 1904, was submitted by Debbie Dahl-Cole. Tom Solberg who is a genealogist for the Douglas County Historical Society in Minnesota furnished the article.
The Sinking of the Norge - This article was forst printed in the Budstikken, May 2005. The Budstikken is a publication of the Valdres Samband. The article was transcribed for this site by Jo Anne Saddler, and is reprinted here with kind permission of Valdres Samband and Dan Hovland
The S/S Norge disaster - newspaper reports - The New York Times July 4 - 6. Transcribed by Jo Anne Sadler 2006. This is the story of the sinking of the Norge as reported day by day in the press. The ship went down on June 28th 1904, and by July 4th the news were all over the front pages of the mayor newspapers. Jo Anne Sadler has transcribed the reports from The New York Times spanning from July 4th to July 6th. The same stories were also printed in the Norwegian newspapers.

A Thingvalla Line promotional pamphlet 1887A Thingvalla Line promotional pamphlet 1887 - This booklet was issued by the Thingvalla Line in 1887, and gives an interesting insight in the progress of emigration. This is promotional pamphlet which was forwarded to potential travelers and emigrants. The booklet is written in Danish and Swedish, and is partly translated to English here. It gives a short introduction of the company, and it's fleet. It gives a short description of the conditions aboard the ships with details about the menu on the different classes. It has many details about the different matters an emigrant should be concerned with in connection with the purchase of tickets, the ocean travel, the arrival to Castle Garden and the inland voyage. There are also many interesting pictures.

Fleet list:
 TypeName of ship  SortYear Built   SortConstruction Shipyard   SortTonnage (burthen)   Sort
  S/SAmerika1872 Harland & Wolff 3 867 gross 
  S/SDanmark1880 C. Mitchell & Co. 3 414 gross 
  S/SGeiser1881 Burmeister & Wain 2 831 gross 
  S/SHarald1875 Burmeister & Wain 1 532 gross 
  S/SHeimdal1882 Dobie & Co. 2 024 gross 
  S/SHekla (1)1881 Kockums Mekaniska Värkstads 2 788 gross 
  S/SHekla (2)1884 Scott & Co 3 258 gross 
  S/SIsland1882 Burmeister & Wain 2 844 gross 
  S/SNorge1881 Alexander Stephen & Sons 3 310 gross 
  S/SThingvalla1873 Burmeister & Wain 2 524 gross 

You can click the Sort icon icon to sort the table by different parameters.
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.

Emigrant Ship databases

Agents & Shipping lines
Shipping lines, Norwegian agents, authorizations, routes and fleets.

Emigrant ship Arrivals
Trond Austheim's database of emigrant ship arrivals around the world, 1870-1894.

Norwegian departures
100 Years of Emigrant Ships from Norway - indexed by year 1825-1925
Passenger lists
Norwegian Emigrants 1825-1875 Pre 1875 Norwegian emigrants, passenger lists
  >> Steamships
       arranged by shipping line
  >> Sailing ships
  >> Historic Documents
       & passenger lists
  >> The Voyage
  >> Ports - harbors
  >> Yards & Construction
  >> Miscellaneous
  >> Pioneers & Settlements
Images added during the last 14 days
You can add images of ships and other related motives by using the "Upload Image" link within the appropriate category.
A selection of articles dedicated to help you in your genealogy search for your Norwegian ancestors. Transcripts and pictures of historic documents in connection with the ships and emigration. Also including articles about Pioneers & Norwegian Settlements Around the World
Articles about selected ships ships and special events in their history. Descriptions of some of the great maritime disasters involving emigrant ships, like the wrecking of the steamer Atlantic of the White Star Line, sinking of the ocean liner Empress of Ireland and the Thingvalla line steamer Norge disaster. Check this section if you have an interest in shipwrecks.
This section contains articles describing the transatlantic voyage, the condition of the steerage accommodations and the experience of an ocean travel on an emigrant ship. You will find in-depth studies concerning the emigration process, statistics and facts, and information about the immigration processing centers line Castle Garden and Ellis Island.
10 last postings: