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Office of the HAPAG General Passenger Agent, 61 Brodway, New York
Office at 61 Brodway, New York
Hamburg America Line Pier, foot of Third St. Hoboken, S/S Wieland
Hamburg America Line Pier, foot of Third St. Hoboken S/S Wieland)
Deck view, Hamburg America Line Steamship ca. 1876
Deck view, Hamburg America Line Steamship ca. 1876
Saloon - First Cabin on the Hamburg America Line steamship Gellert, Herder, Lessing and Wieland
Saloon - First Cabin on the Hamburg America Line steamship Gellert, Herder, Lessing, Wieland)
Saloon - First cabin, Hamburg America Line ca. 1876
Saloon - First cabin, Hamburg America Line ca. 1876
Saloon - Second Cabin, Hamburg America Line ca. 1876
Saloon - Second Cabin, Hamburg America Line ca. 1876
Steerage accommodation, Hamburg America Line ca. 1876
Steerage accommodation, Hamburg America Line ca. 1876
Hamburg America Line landing stage in Hoboken, N. J.
Hamburg America Line landing stage in Hoboken
S/S Moltke
Passengers arriving New York on the Moltke
Passengers arriving New York on the Moltke
Augusta Victoria
Augusta Victoria, Nordlandfahrten Deutschland(3)
The S/S Deutschland(3)

All the Company's Ocean Steamers have been constructed on the river Clyde by the famous engineers and iron ship builders CAIRD & Co. in Greenock. R. NAPIER & SONS and ALEX. STEPHENS & SONS in Glasgow, and carry the Uniten States and European Mails. They are amnned by 142 mn, distrbuted as follows: 29 deckhands under 4 officers and 9 petty officers; 32 firemen, coalheavers and machinists under 8 engineers, and 57 stewards, cooks, helpers, trimmers etc. The Steamers of this Line leave New York from Hamburg Pier, foot of Third Street, Hoboken, Every Thursday and nearly every alternate Saturday, taking passengers for PLYMOUTH, LONDON, CHERBOURG, PARIS and HAMBURG. This arrangement renders the Line a means of direct transportation to England, France and Germany, and at the same time accommodates travelers an route for the Continent, who would avoid the discomforts of crossing the English Channel.

The Railway transit from Plymouth to London occupies only 6 hours from Cherbourg to Paris 8 hours. Returning the Steamers of the Hamburg Line leave Hamburg Every Wednesday and Havre Every Saturday. Passengers will be forwarded from Southampton or London to havre at the Company's expense. The time by rail from Paris to Havre being only 4 hours, a direct communication between France and the United States is formed, which offers every desirable facilities for Passengers coming from Paris or any other part of the Continent.

The First Cabin is fitted up in magnificent style-the walls are tastefully ornamented, seats and lounge are made in whatever upholsrers' and cabinetmakers' handicraft can provide. The space under the seats of the sofas in the different staterooms is 14 1/2 inches high. The staterooms, of which a large number are located amidships, are 7 to 9 feet in width. A Ladies Sitting-room and a fine Promenade Deck add to the comfort of these steamers.

The Second Cabin is on the same deck forward of the First Cabin; it is comfortably furnished and also heated by steam; the surrounding staterooms are well lighted and ventilated. Both Saloons have large staterooms set apart for ladies traveling alone, and Conversation and Smoking Rooms, elegantly fitted up, offering to gentlemen al the opportunities for social intercourse.

The Steerage is situated directly below the Second Cabin. It is spacious, light and well ventilated, and has separate compartments for single men, women and families. An efficient corps of stewards and servants, speaking several languages, is ready under the superintendence of experienced Chief Stewards and Stewardesses to attend the wants of the passengers. The Kitchens are on the upper deck, thereby avoiding odors generally so obnoxious to passengers. An experienced physician is attached to every steamer. For medical attendance and medicines no charge will be made. During preceding years the Steamers of the Hamburg-American Packet Company have maintained their splendid record for safety, speed and comfort, and proved themselves worthy of high repute in which they are held by the traveling public.

(From a booklet issued by the line about 1876)

The Hamburg America Line was the first German transatlantic steamship line, established in 1847. The people behind the foundation of the company was ship broker August Bolten, ship owner Ferdinand Laiesz and banker Adolph Halle. With support from other Hamburg business leaders they founded the company under the name Hamburg Amerikanische Packetfahrt Actien Gesellschaft (HAPAG). In Norway this company was first referred to as August Bolten's steamship line.

Many Norwegian emigrants traveled via Germany on their way to North America. This was not the most common route, as most Norwegian emigrants traveled via Britain. The majority of Norwegians traveling on the German ships, had to make the first step of their voyage on a feeder ship to Germany. There were regular routes between Norwegian ports and the German ports of Hamburg and Bremen. The main transatlantic companies operating routes between German ports and North America was the Hamburg America Line (HAPAG), and the North German Lloyd (Norddeutcher Loyd). The North German Lloyd (NDL) had a service between Bremen and New York.

By 1896 the line owned a fleet of 102 vessels, with an aggregate of 269,502 tons. It was at the time the only line maintaining a twin-screw express service between the continents of Europe and America. The company maintained nineteen separate steamship services, besides winter and summer cruises with twin-screw express steamships. The Hamburg America Line operated routes between Hamburg and New York. Some years their ships also called at Southampton to take on passengers. The Southampton service was not very popular with the British companies. For several years the Hamburg America Line also operated a route between Stettin, Copenhagen and New York. This route was in sharp competition to the Danish company, the Thingvalla Line, later called the Scandinavian America Line. The Hamburg America Line also maintained a direct service between Norwegian ports and America, in the years 1893 - 1895. Their ships had departures from the ports of (Christiania) and Christiansand, mainly from Christiansand. They operated in Norway under the name Scandia Line. The service was taken up again in the summer of 1903, and continued till the autumn of 1904.

The fleet of twin-screw express steamships of the company which operated the service between New York to Plymouth, Cherbourg and Hamburg, and from Hamburg, Southampton, and Cherbourg to New York, were the Auguste Victoria and the Furst Bismark, built by the Vulcan Shipbuilding Company at Stettin, the Columbia, built by Laird Bros., in Birkenhead, and the Normannia built by the Fairfield Shipbuilding Company, in Glasgow. With these vessels the company maintained a weekly express service, offering the public the convenience of traveling between America and the European Continent with absolute safety, in the shortest possible time, and with a degree of comfort that was unexcelled.

"The problem which the owners and designers intended to solve in building these magnificent vessels was to produce ships which would offer absolute safety, and at the same time, be able to make the swiftest voyages with the greatest comfort to the passengers. To realize this, they spared neither trouble nor expense, and have now the satisfaction of seeing before them, in heir new steamships, models of the latest phase if marine architecture, advancing far beyond anything previously attempted; as beautiful in outline as they arc practical in their interior arrangements, and absolutely perfect in the three requirements of modern ocean travel, safety, Speed and Comfort.

What first strikes the observer are the graceful lines which run from the sharp, straight, stem to the well-rounded stern. Three funnels rise from the hurricane deck, which, although of huge dimensions, only serve to bring out the symmetry of the whole. The COLUMBIA has three masts, the AGUSTE VICTORIA, FURST BISMARCK and NORMANNIA two, which are low and without yards, so as to offer the least resistance. So beautiful are the lines of these ships that it is difficult for the spectator to realize their immense size. These leviathans have a length of 465 to 525 feet, a width of 56 to 58 feet, and a depth of 38 to 40 feet; are of 7 578 to 8 874 tons register, and their engines develop the force of 23 000 to 16 000 horses. They have five decks, constructed solidly of steel and teak wood, the upper decks ending in strong turtle-backs at the bow and stern. These steamships are the largest and fastest ships of the German merchant marine. The first consideration which the builders had in view was that of absolute safety, and they have built ships which are practically unsinkable. Many novel features have been introduced to bring this about, of which the principal ones are here set forth.

The new vessels have their whole working machinery duplicated. There are two distinct sets of boilers, two engines, two shafts, and two screws, both sets working independently of each other, and separated by a longitudinal bulkhead dividing the vessel into two non-communicating halves, each of which is fully equipped to propel the ship. This is the great principle of twin-screw steamships and the extraordinary degree of safety secured by this system is obvious, for an accident to one side of the ship can in nowise affect the other, whose machinery will continue to work and propel the ship with perfect ease and at a high rate of speed.

Each side of the ship is again subdivided into numerous watertight compartments, which do not communicate with each other. The hull of the ship has a double bottom, the space between being divided into chambers, which can be filled with water or emptied by means of automatic pumps, thus increasing or decreasing the draught at will, and guarding against accidents from grounding. The enormous engines of 6 000 to 8 000 horse-power each. The screws are of manganese bronze, with three or four blades.

The Hamburg-American Line holds the record for fastest time across the Atlantic from New York to Southampton and the continent. The best time accomplished was 6 days 10 hours 32 minutes between New York and Southampton. The landing arrangements at Plymouth are considered superior to those of any other port in England, and the Hamburg-American Line's special trains starting from the landing place await the passengers there. During past years these steamships have maintained a regular fast weekly express service between New York, Southampton, and Hamburg, and lately between New York, Plymouth, Cherbourg and Hamburg, taking passengers to London within 7 days, while the actual average ocean passage is reduced to a little more than 6 days.

Passengers leaving New York on Thursday are landed in Plymouth and Cherbourg on the following Thursday, reaching Paris and London on the same day, thus bringing them from New York to London in less than a week (it has been done in 6 days 14 hours, a feat not equaled by any other line). This shows the wonderful convenience which these steamships offer to the travelling public.

The fastest runs were about 20 knots per hour, which is equal to 2318 English miles, and exceeds the speed of transcontinental trains."

For passengers traveling on HAPAG ships via Hamburg the Norwegian Emigration Protocols will only give the name of the ship that brought the emigrants from Norway to Hamburg. Note that some Norwegians traveling on German ships would choose a rout from Norway to Denmark by ship, and from Denmark to Germany by train, the Hamburg America Line also called at English ports. See also Scandia Line.

Hamburg America Line picture gallery
Go here to read the passenger list for the Gothia leaving Christiansand on 28th July 1894

Fleet list:
 TypeName of ship  SortYear Built   SortConstruction Shipyard   SortTonnage (burthen)   Sort
  S/SAbessinia1900 Palmer‘s Shipbuilding & Iron Co. Ltd. 5753 gross 
  S/SAcilia1900 Palmer‘s Shipbuilding & Iron Co. Ltd. 5693 gross 
  S/SAdria1896 Palmer‘s Shipbuilding & Iron Co. Ltd. 5458 gross 
  S/SAlbano1886 Harland & Wolff 3747 gross 
  S/SAlbert Ballin1922 Blohm & Voss 20815 gross 
  S/SAlbingia (1)1881 Dobie & Co. 1848 gross 
  S/SAlbingia (2)1893 Harland & Wolff 4630 gross 
  S/SAlesia1896 Flensburger Schiffbau 5476 gross 
  S/SAlexandria1900 Palmer‘s Shipbuilding & Iron Co. Ltd. 5692 gross 
  S/SAllemannia (1)1865 C. A. Day & Co 2695 gross 
  S/SAllemannia (2)1881 Dobie & Co. 1846 gross 
  S/SAllemannia (3)1892 Harland & Wolff 4630 gross 
  S/SAmalfi1881 M. Pearse & Co. 2345 gross 
  S/SAmbria1896 Flensburger Schiffbau 5463 gross 
  S/SAmerika1905 Harland & Wolff 22225 gross 
  S/SAndalusia1896 Palmer‘s Shipbuilding & Iron Co. Ltd. 5457 gross 
  S/SAntonina1898 Blohm & Voss 8099 gross 
  S/SArabia1896 Harland & Wolff 5446 gross 
  S/SAragonia1897 Flensburger Schiffbau 5446 gross 
  S/SArcadia1896 Harland & Wolff 5442 gross 
  S/SArmenia1896 Palmer‘s Shipbuilding & Iron Co. Ltd. 5458 gross 
  S/SArtemisia1901 Palmer‘s Shipbuilding & Iron Co. Ltd. 5739 gross 
  S/SAssyria1898 J. C. Tecklenborg 6581 gross 
  S/SAsturia1896 Palmer‘s Shipbuilding & Iron Co. Ltd. 5285 gross 
  S/SAthesia1899 Reiherstieg Schiffswerfte & Maschinenfab 5751 gross 
  S/SAugusta Victoria1881 AG Vulcan 7661 gross 
  S/SAuguste Victoria1881 AG Vulcan 7661 gross 
  S/SAustralia1881 C. Mitchell & Co. 2119 gross 
  S/SAustria1857 Caird & Co. 2684 gross 
  S/SBadenia1902 Furness, Withy & Co. 6416 gross 
  S/SBarcelona1896 Harland & Wolff 5446 gross 
  S/SBarmen1889 Armstrong, Mitchell & Co. 2646 gross 
  S/SBatavia1899 Blohm & Voss 10178 gross 
  S/SBaumwall1890 Blohm & Voss 2811 gross 
  S/SBavaria1856 Caird & Co. 2405 gross 
  S/SBayern (2)1921 Bremer Vulcan 8917 gross 
  S/SBelgravia1899 Blohm & Voss 10155 gross 
  S/SBlucher1902 Blohm & Voss 12334 gross 
  S/SBohemia (1)1881 A. & J. Inglis 3410 gross 
  S/SBohemia (2)1902 Harland & Wolff 8370 gross 
  S/SBolivia1889 Armstrong, Mitchell & Co. 2646 gross 
  S/SBorussia1855 Caird & Co. 2131 gross 
  S/SBosnia1899 Palmer‘s Shipbuilding & Iron Co. Ltd. 7436 gross 
  S/SBrasilia1897 Harland & Wolff 10336 gross 
  S/SBulgaria1898 Blohm & Voss 10237 gross 
  S/SCalifornia1883 Armstrong, Mitchell & Co. 2690 gross 
  S/SCanadia1889 Reiherstieg Schiffswerfte & Maschinenfab 2404 gross 
  S/SCap Frio1899 Reiherstieg Schiffswerfte & Maschinenfab 5732 gross 
  S/SChemnitz1889 Alexander Stephen & Sons 2758 gross 
  S/SCheruskia1890 Robert Stephenson & Co. Ltd 3250 gross 
  S/SChristiania1890 Blohm & Voss 2811 gross 
  S/SCimbria1867 Caird & Co. 3037 gross 
  S/SCincinnati1908 F. Schichau 16339 gross 
  S/SCleveland1908 Blohm & Voss 16960 gross 
  S/SColumbia1889 Laird Bros 7241 gross 
  S/SCorcovado1907 Germania Werft 8099 gross 
  S/SCremon1871 James Laing & Co. 1949 gross 
  S/SDalecarlia1882 Reiherstieg Schiffswerfte & Maschinenfab 1972 gross 
  S/SDalmatia1871 James Laing & Co. 1949 gross 
  S/SDania1889 AG Vulcan 4076 gross 
  shipDeutschland (2)1858  867 gross 
  S/SDeutschland (3)1900 AG Vulcan 16502 gross 
  S/SDeutschland (4)1923 Blohm & Voss 20602 gross 
  S/SEssen1889 Flensburger Schiffbau 2939 gross 
  S/SFranconia1872 Caird & Co. 3098 gross 
  S/SFrisia1872 Caird & Co. 3500 gross 
  S/SFurst Bismarck (1)1890 AG Vulcan 8430 gross 
  S/SFurst Bismarck (2)1905 Fairfield Shipbuilding & Eng. Co. Ltd. 8332 gross 
  S/SGellert1874 Alexander Stephen & Sons 3533 gross 
  S/SGeorgia1890 Barclay, Curle & Co. Ltd. 3143 gross 
  S/SGermania (1)1863 Caird & Co. 2123 gross 
  S/SGermania (2)1870 Caird & Co. 2876 gross 
  S/SGoethe1873 Robert Napier & Sons 3408 gross 
  S/SGothia1884 Raylton Dixon & Co. 2381 gross 
  S/SGraf Waldersee1898 Blohm & Voss 12830 gross 
  S/SGrimm1890 Charles Connell & Co. 2558 gross 
  S/SHamburg (1)1899 AG Vulcan 10532 gross 
  S/SHamburg (2)1925 Blohm & Voss 21133 gross 
  S/SHammonia (1)1855 Caird & Co. 2026 gross 
  S/SHammonia (2)1866 Caird & Co. 3035 gross 
  S/SHammonia (3)1881 J. & G. Thomson & Co. 4247 gross 
  S/SHansa (2)1900 AG Vulcan 16502 gross 
  S/SHansa (3)1922 Blohm & Voss 20815 gross 
  S/SHercynia1889 Armstrong, Mitchell & Co. 2630 gross 
  S/SHerder1873 Alexander Stephen & Sons 3494 gross 
  S/SHispania1890 J. C. Tecklenborg 2578 gross 
  S/SHolsatia (1)1868 Caird & Co. 3134 gross 
  S/SHungaria1884 Reiherstieg Schiffswerfte & Maschinenfab 2008 gross 
  S/SImperator1912 AG Vulcan 51969 gross 
  S/SItalia1889 Armstrong, Mitchell & Co. 3564 gross 
  S/SKaiser Friedrich1897 F. Schichau 12480 gross 
  S/SKaiserin Auguste Victoria1905 AG Vulcan 24581 gross 
  S/SKiautschou1900 AG Vulcan 10911 gross 
  S/SKlopstock1874 J. & G. Thomson & Co. 3659 gross 
  S/SLessing1874 Alexander Stephen & Sons 3496 gross 
  S/SMarkomannia1890 Edwards Shipbuilding Co. 3335 gross 
  S/SMeteor1904 Blohm & Voss 3613 gross 
  M/SMilwaukee1929 Blohm & Voss 16699 gross 
  S/SMoltke1901 Blohm & Voss 12335 gross 
  S/SMoravia1883 A. & J. Inglis 3739 gross 
  S/SNew York1926 Blohm & Voss 21455 gross 
  S/SNormannia (2)1890 Fairfield Shipbuilding & Eng. Co. Ltd. 8242 gross 
  S/SOceana (1)1890 William Denny & Co. 7859 gross 
  S/SOceana (2)1912 Bremer Vulcan 0 gross 
  S/SOregon1882 Charles Connell & Co. 3672 gross 
  S/SPalatia1894 AG Vulcan 7326 gross 
  S/SPallanza1891 C. S. Swan & Hunter 4606 gross 
  S/SPatria1894 AG Vulcan 7118 gross 
  S/SPatricia1899 AG Vulcan 13023 gross 
  S/SPennsylvania1896 Harland & Wolff 12891 gross 
  S/SPersia1894 Harland & Wolff 5857 gross 
  S/SPhoenicia1894 Blohm & Voss 7155 gross 
  S/SPickhuben1890 Barclay, Curle & Co. Ltd. 3143 gross 
  S/SPisa1896 Alexander Stephen & Sons 4967 gross 
  S/SPolaria1882 C. Mitchell & Co. 2724 gross 
  S/SPolynesia (1)1881 C. Mitchell & Co. 2196 gross 
  S/SPolynesia (2)1904  6022 gross 
  S/SPommerania1873 Caird & Co. 3382 gross 
  S/SPresident Grant1903 Harland & Wolff 18072 gross 
  S/SPresident Lincoln1903 Harland & Wolff 18084 gross 
  S/SPretoria1897 Blohm & Voss 12800 gross 
  S/SPrinz Adalbert1902 Bremer Vulcan 6030 gross 
  S/SPrinz August Wilhelm1902 Flensburger Schiffbau 4733 gross 
  S/SPrinz Joachim1903 Flensburger Schiffbau 4760 gross 
  S/SPrinz Oskar1902 Bremer Vulcan 6026 gross 
  S/SPrinzessin Victoria Luise1901 Blohm & Voss 4409 gross 
  S/SPrussia (1)1893 Harland & Wolff 5965 gross 
  S/SRavenna1901 N. Odero & Co. 4101 gross 
  S/SReliance1914 J. C. Tecklenborg 19582 gross 
  S/SResolute1914 AG Weser 19653 gross 
  S/SRhaetia (1)1882 Reiherstieg Schiffswerfte & Maschinenfab 3553 gross 
  S/SRhaetia (2)1904 Bremer Vulcan 6600 gross 
  S/SRhenania (1)1873 Caird & Co. 2989 gross 
  S/SRhenania (2)1880 Dobie & Co. 1846 gross 
  S/SRhenania (3)1904 Bremer Vulcan 6403 gross 
  S/SRugia (1)1882 AG Vulcan 3467 gross 
  S/SRugia (2)1905 Bremer Vulcan 6598 gross 
  S/SRussia1889 Laird Bros 3908 gross 
  S/SSarnia1882 Charles Connell & Co. 3728 gross 
  S/SSaxonia1857 Caird & Co. 2684 gross 
  S/SScandia1889 AG Vulcan 4243 gross 
  S/SSchiller1873 Robert Napier & Sons 3490 gross 
  S/SScotia1890 Charles Connell & Co. 2558 gross 
  S/SSicilia1890 Charles Connell & Co. 2922 gross 
  S/SSilesia1869 Caird & Co. 3142 gross 
  S/SSilvia1901 Flensburger Schiffbau 6506 gross 
  S/SSlavonia1883 Raylton Dixon & Co. 2215 gross 
  S/SSolingen1889 Reiherstieg Schiffswerfte & Maschinenfab 2844 gross 
  M/SSt. Louis1928 Bremer Vulcan 16732 gross 
  S/SSteinhoft1889 Reiherstieg Schiffswerfte & Maschinenfab 2404 gross 
  S/SStubbenhuk1890 Charles Connell & Co. 2922 gross 
  S/SSuevia1874 Caird & Co. 3609 gross 
  S/STeutonia1856 Caird & Co. 2693 gross 
  S/SThuringia (1)1870 Caird & Co. 3133 gross 
  S/SThuringia (4)1922 Howaldtswerke 11343 gross 
  S/SToledo1914 Reiherstieg Schiffswerfte & Maschinenfab 8611 gross 
  S/SVandalia1871 Caird & Co. 2810 gross 
  S/SVaterland1913 Blohm & Voss 54282 gross 
  S/SVenetia1891 Reiherstieg Schiffswerfte & Maschinenfab 2822 gross 
  S/SVictoria Luise1900 AG Vulcan 16502 gross 
  S/SVirginia1891 Blohm & Voss 2820 gross 
  S/SWandrahm1890 J. C. Tecklenborg 2578 gross 
  S/SWestphalia (1)1868 Caird & Co. 3158 gross 
  S/SWestphalia (3)1923 Howaldtswerke 11343 gross 
  S/SWieland1874 Alexander Stephen & Sons 3507 gross 
  S/SWurttemberg1921 Bremer Vulcan 8829 gross 
  S/SYpiranga1908 Germania Werft 8142 gross 

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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.

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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.
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