Hamburg America Line (HAPAG)



The normal Anglicised version of the name of this company was Hamburg American Line, but its correct title was Hamburg – Amerikanische Packetfahrt Aktien Gesellschaft and the usual abreviation was Hapag. All except one of the ships in the Allen collection are post war cargo ships, but the company has a long and distinguished history.

Hapag was founded in 1847 to operate wooden-hulled sailing ships carrying emigrants from Hamburg to New York. Its first steamship was built in 1854 by Caird of Greenoch as Hammonia (the latinised name for Hamburg). She established a tradition for the use of latin names for the company’s steamships that was maintained until the end of the century, when nationalistic names were adopted.

Although the company expanded, it had a chequered financial history until it employed Albert Ballin as passenger manager in 1886. This remarkable 22-year-old developed Hapag into one the world’s leading shipowners. The company entered into a revenue sharing agreement with J P Morgan’s IMMC and thereby maintained independence from this doomed American attempt to establish a North Atlantic shipping monopoly.

Hamburg America was actually a part of the Hapag Lloyd group - strictly speaking it is Hamburg-Amerika. It has been kept as a separate category as it has its own flag and was classified separately by  the Allens.


Vessel Type Launched/Completed Tonnage DWT Builder
Bavaria Cargo 750,600 G. 1966 Gross: 8092 Net: 4724 Blohm & Voss, Hamburg
Borussia No Info 1965
Essen Cargo / Passenger 23/03/1953 Yard No: 652 Gross: 6766 Net: 3973 9949 Deutsche Werft A/G. Hamburg
Frankfurt No Info
Freiburg Cargo / Passenger 1956. Yard No: 476 Gross: 3270 Net: 1773 Lubecker Henderwerke, Lubeck
Hagen Cargo / Passenger 511,339 G. 1967 Gross: 5620 Net: 3455 6710 Rheinstahl Nordseewerke, Emden
Hammonia No Info
Hannover Cargo 1967 Gross: 7570 Net: 6700 8800 Howaldtswerke, Hamburg
Hanau No Info 1967
Hattingen No Info 1967
Havelland Cargo / Passenger 535,720 G. 19/12/1957 Yard No: 722 Gross: 6646 Net: 3774 8182 Deutsche Werft A/G. Hamburg
Heidelburg No Info 1967
Heilbronn No Info 1967
Holsatia No Info
Marburg Cargo / Passenger 346,000 G. 18/12/1958 Yard No: 539 Gross: 3308 Net: 1694 4845 Orenstein-Koppelund Lubecker, Maschinenbau.
Munchen No Info 1972
Munsterland No Info 1960
Nurnberg Cargo / Passenger 613,060 G. 1961 Gross: 6842 Net: 3806 8425 Howaldtswerke, Hamburg
Rheinland Cargo 535,720 G. 1959. Yard No: 754 Gross: 6703 Net: 3793 Deutsche Werft A/G. Hamburg
Saarland Cargo / Passenger 535,720 G 25/11/1957 Yard No: 721 Gross: 6516 Net: 3729 8190 Deutsche Werft A/G. Hamburg
Speyer Cargo / Passenger 511,339 G 1967. Yard No: 852 Gross: 7382 8800 Blohm & Voss, Hamburg
Thuringia No Info 1966
Travestein No Info 1964
Trier No Info 1967
Uckermark Cargo 612,000 G. 1930 Gross: 7012 Net: 3535 Blohm & Voss, Hamberg
Vogtland No Info 1956
Weimar Cargo / Passenger 594,621 G. 1957. Yard No: 719 Gross: 6388 Net: 3675 8235 Howaldtswerke, Hamburg
Westfalia No Info 1964
Wolfsburg Cargo / Passenger 613,060 G. 17/04/1962. Gross: 6850 Net: 3789 8425 Howaldtswerke, Hamburg

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