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With Reuben Goossens
Maritime Historian, Cruise‘n’Ship Reviewer, Author & Maritime Lecturer
Please Note: All ssMaritime and other related maritime/cruise sites are 100% non-commercial and privately owned. Be assured that I am NOT associated with any shipping or cruise companies or any travel/cruise agencies or any other organisations! Although the author has been in the passenger shipping industry since 1960, although is now retired but having completed around 680 Classic Liners and Cargo-Passengers Ships features I trust these will continue to provide classic ship enthusiasts the information the are seeking, but above all a great deal of pleasure! Reuben Goossens.
Please Note: All photographs and images are from the author’s private collection, unless otherwise noted.
Prior World War Two the Germans were famed for their grand Trans Atlantic liners and it had always been a battle between the British, the Germans and the French as they were always trying to outdo each other with bigger, more luxurious and ever faster ships. Then came the American’s with the fastest Trans Atlantic liner in history, the magnificent SS United States, although she may not have quite measured up in the luxury department according to some, having been built entirely out of steel and aluminium. Although glamorous in many ways, for Europeans she was considered a bland ship without much interior appeal, but I believe she was, and is still a great ship indeed!
Now with WW2 concluded and the German fleet in
tatters, the Germans had to rebuild their fleet. The German Atlantic Line was
officially formed in 1958 when they purchased the magnificent RMS Empress of
three funnelled RMS Empress of
She was built as a three funnelled liner, but she looked grand with her lengthened and heightened superstructure
The Empress of Scotland was given a refit and
was transformed into the magnificent SS Hanseatic. She entered into service
Two fine SS Hanseatic Photographs
Hanseatic having departed from
Photo by & © David Meare
Photographs above and below by & © copyright David Meare:
“In early 1966 whilst serving
as Radio Officer on the tanker ST London Tradition (London &
Overseas Freighter s Ltd) we were on passage from Tuapse on the
Thank you David for these two fine photographs! Please note: These photographs are used with kind permission, but they are owned and protected under the international photo © copyright laws by David Meare. They may not be copied or reproduced by any means and used on any media, be it for personal use, the net or another media. Just enjoy them!
Hanseatic seen sailing for
Photo by & © David Meare
Sadly whilst berthed in
With the loss of the Hanseatic (1) the German Atlantic Line had been searching for a new and suitable ship to replace her. They decided that they required a much newer vessel that was more suited to cruising and in 1967 they purchased the magnificent Zim Lines liner SS Shalom.
The Israeli Zim liner SS Shalom seen in July 1967 just before being purchased by German Atlantic Line
Photo by & © Harry Wolf
Hanseatic (II) she was given a minor refit and she was
placed on the
SS Hanseatic (2), ex Shalom
SS Hanseatic (II) proved a popular ship in so many ways and she eventually sailed side by side with the company’s newest ship the TN Hamburg, until the company’s eventual passenger shipping demise in 1974. The Hanseatic was sold in 1973 to become the Home Lines SS Doric.
directors of the German Atlantic Line had already been
discussing about a second ship in their fleet as far back as the early sixties
and they had already commenced raising funds for a new ultra modern ship. They
had concluded that their new ship should be 23,500
We know today that this of sheer genius would
become the TS Hamburg, a ship that had one of the most unusual funnels ever
seen on any ship! It sort of looked like if there was a flying saucer hovering
just over top of it, and that (as well as her spacious interiors) is why she was
called “The Space Ship.” However, many do not know that there were
several other funnel styles were considered; including a rather dull regular
funnel as well as twin up pipes, like those on the SS Rotterdam, but shorter.
But as plans drew to a close a whole new look came into being and the
In November 1966 the new ship was officially
ordered to be built by “Howaldtswerke” in
The Ultra modern German cruise ship is launched on February 21 1968
TS Hamburg accommodated 652 passengers and a
crew of 403. After being fitted out and completed she ran her sea trials in
February 1969. The
The TS Hamburg was noteworthy for being the very first German liner to be built since 1939, but sadly she was never really a successful ship for owners, the German Atlantic Line.
Builders: Howaldstwerke Deutsche Werft, Hamburg.
Yard No: 825.
Cost: £5.6 million.
Launched: February 21, 1968.
Maiden voyage: March 28, 1969.
Tonnage: 23,500 as built
– Maxim Gorkiy 24,962
Speed: 20 knots – Max 23 at trials.
Length: 195m - 642ft.
Width: 27m - 90ft.
Draught: 8.27m - 27.2ft.
Passengers: 790 as built – Maxim Gorkiy 840.
Crew: 340 as built - Maxim Gorkiy 400.
Hamburg seen in
The Alster Club & Bar
The Midships Pool
TS Hamburg the cruise ship
Photographer unknown – See photo notes at bottom of page
Outside two bedded cabin
A Grand suite
TS Hamburg seen at Bora Bora Tahiti during a world cruise
(From a brochure)
I due course I will add another page with her further details, but in the meantime I will conclude with her final days, for this fine ship has now left all our shores for good!
Sold in 1974 to the Black Sea Shipping Company and renamed - Maxsim Gorkij / Maxim Gorkiy
Gorkiy seen during a world cruise at
Photograph by & © Reuben Goossens
Sydney – International passenger Terminal - Maxim Gorkiy on yet another world cruise in 2007
Photograph by & © Kosta Specis
Having had a notable career with various
charters, sadly toward the end of her days she was to become Marco Polo II and
become part of a revived Orient Line, but that did not eventuate. Then, there
were moves in
Maxim M is seen beached at the same beach that broke up SS Norway (Blue Lady) “Priya Blue”
Photo provided by Michel Perrin
Such a modern and a magnificent ship that had so many more years left in her went far too soon!
Three YouTube Video’s to watch:
Video One: - SS Hamburg. It is in German but a great viewing!
Video Two: - Maxim Gorkiy seen in Dry Dock at Blohm & Voss Hamburg
Video Three: - Maxim Gorkiy as seen from the MS Amadea on 30.09.2008,
Water Liners sailing to the distant shores.
I watched them come, I watched them go and I watched them die.”
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Where the ships of the past make history & the 1914 built MV Doulos Story
Please Note: ssmaritime and associated sites are 100% non-commercial and the author does not seek funding or favours and never have and never will.
Photographs on ssmaritime and associate pages are either by the author or from the author’s private collection. In addition there are some images and photographs that have been provided by Shipping Companies or private photographers or collectors. Credit is given to all contributors, however, there are some photographs provided to me without details regarding the photographer or owner concerned. Therefore, I hereby invite if owners of these images would be so kind to make them-selves known to me (my email address can be found at the bottom of the page on www.ssmaritime.com), in order that due credit may be given.
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