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Norway America Line

History

The 1905 dissolution of the union between Norway and Sweden created a patriotic desire to see the Norwegian flag on the North Atlantic. In 1910 Den Norske-Amerikalinje (The Norwegian America Line) was founded. Many of the original shareholders were Americans of Norwegian descent. Two 11,000 ton passenger ships were ordered from Cammell Laird in 1911 and were delivered in 1913 as Kristianiafjord and Bergansfjord, establishing the company's naming policy.

As Norway remained neutral during WW1, the ships operated westbound at near capacity because of returning Americans in the early years of the war. The demand was so great that in January 1915, the company ordered a third liner from Cammell Laird. As the U-Boat campaign had not built-up its full intensity, the ordered was accepted, but later cancelled by the British Government. Sadly Kristianiafjord was wrecked near Cape Race in 1917 and after considerable diplomatic pressure the British Government agreed to re-instate the order, which became the Stavangerfjord (13,156 grt) of 1918. During the war the company also bought 6 freighters and a coastal steamer and chartered other ships to carry supplies from North America to Norway. All these war-time activities generated large profits for the new company.

After WW1 the company continued with its two passenger ships but rapidly expanded its cargo fleet and had 19 ships by 1923. Like many other shipping companies, NAL suffered from the depression in the late 1920s and the curtailment of immigration by the USA. The company successfully diversified into cruises however, and in 1936 ordered a better adapted dual purpose ship, Oslofjord (18,673 grt) from Germany, which entered service in 1938.

At the outbreak of WW2 Stavangerfjord was in Oslo and was captured during the German invasion. The new Oslofjord was mined off South Shields in 1940. Bergansfjord survived the war, but was sold to Home Lines when she was released from war duties. Stavangerfjord survived, was refitted in Sweden and resumed transatlantic passenger operations in 1946. Eight cargo ships survived the war and others were added to the fleet.

A new Oslofjord (16,844 grt)was built in Holland and delivered in 1949. An elegant, modern, single funnel liner, she set the style for the remaining passenger ships built for the company. She was joined in 1956 by a new Bergansfjord (18,739 grt) built by Swan Hunter. There was a short post-war peak of transatlantic journeys in the 1950s, but business took a downturn in the 1960s. Stavagerfjord was withdrawn in 1963 and scrapped the following year. Sagafjord (24,002 grt) was delivered from France in 1965. For the first time the company had a ship suitable for the up-market American cruise market, with private bathroom facilities for every cabin and full air-conditioning.

In 1967 company ships only performed 15 North Atlantic sailings, reducing to 7 in 1968. NAL tried to sell Oslofjord but were unable to find a buyer. She was chartered to Greek Line for 1968, operated cruises for NAL in 1969 and chartered to Costa in 1970. In July 1970 she suffered an engine room explosion, caught fire and sank 140 miles off Las Palmas. NAL had greater success selling Bergensfjord, which went to French Line in 1971. The company’s final liner, Vistafjord (24,292 grt) was delivered by Swan Hunter in 1973. Towards the end of the 1970s NAL disposed of its cargo liners and during the 1980s began to invest in car carriers, both directly and through a 70% shareholding in Norwegian Specialised Autocarriers (NOSAC) and bulk carriers through the Trinity Bulk Carrier Pool.

In 1980 the 2 remaining cruise ships were transferred into Norwegian American Cruise Line and the following year the company was sold to Leif Hoegh, who sold it on to Cunard in 1984.

By 1995 NAL operated 5 car carriers and NOSAC a further 12. In that year the company was bought by Wilh. Wilhelmsen and absorbed into its structure. Both NAL and NOSAC were wound-up in 2000.

Ships

Altafjord

Altafjord
Click image for enlarged view

Basic Data

Item Value
Type Cargo Ship (Ref)
Original Owners and Managers Det Norske Amerikalinje A/S
Country First Registered Norway
Shipbuilder Bergens MV
Shipyard Bergen
Country where built Norway
Yard Number 427
Official Number 15679
Call Sign N/K
Classification Society N/K
Gross Tonnage 8,355
Deadweight (DWT) 11190
Net Tonnage N/K
Length 127.4 Metres
Overall Length 140.6 Metres
Breadth or Beam 19.3 Metres
Depth N/K
Draught N/K
Engine Type Diesel Engine
Engine Details N/K
Engine Builder N/K
Engine Builder Works N/K
Engine Builder Country N/K
Boiler Details N/K
Propulsion Type Single Screw
Power N/K
Maximum Speed 17

Career Highlights

Date Event
5 May 1962 Launched
11 August 1962 Completed

Crew and Capacity Information

Item Value
Crew N/K
Passengers N/K
Cargo Capacity N/K

Status and Service History Information

Item Value
Status Broken Up
Service History Information Size increased to 143/140.5 Metres and 8,719 GRT/13,107 DWT 1969. Change of name to Punta Norte and owner to A.Bottacchi SA de Nav 1978, change of name to Norte 1985. Taken to Porto Alegre 18 January 1986 for breaking by Estaleiro So

Bergensfjord

Bergensfjord
Click image for enlarged view

Basic Data

Item Value
Type Passenger Ship
Original Owners and Managers Den Norske Amerikalinje A/S
Country First Registered Norway
Shipbuilder Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd
Shipyard Wallsend
Country where built UK
Yard Number 1849
Official Number 5042120
Call Sign N/K
Classification Society N/K
Gross Tonnage 18,739
Deadweight (DWT) 4450
Net Tonnage 10,047
Length 578.3 Ft.
Overall Length N/K
Breadth or Beam 72.2 Ft.
Depth 27.6 Ft.
Draught N/K
Engine Type Diesel Engine
Engine Details Two 2SCDA 8 cylinder oil engines with cylinders of bore 720mm and stroke 1,200mm
Engine Builder Nv Gebr Stork & Co
Engine Builder Works Hengelo
Engine Builder Country Netherlands
Boiler Details N/K
Propulsion Type Twin Screw
Power 18,800 BHP
Maximum Speed 20

Career Highlights

Date Event
18 July 1955 Launched
14 May 1956 Completed

Crew and Capacity Information

Item Value
Crew N/K
Passengers 878
Cargo Capacity N/K

Status and Service History Information

Item Value
Status Sunk/foundered (Peacetime)
Service History Information Change of name to De Grasse and owner to Cie Generale Transatlantique 1971, change of name to Rasa Sayang and owner to Thoresen & Co Ltd & Bruusgaard Kiosterud & Co 1973, change of name to Golden Moon and owner to Sunlit Cruises Ltd 1978, change of name to Rasa Sayang and owner to Aphrodite Maritime Co 1980. The vessel caught fire at Perama on 27 August 1980 while being refitted for new owners and, while being towed to Kynosoura, capsized and was beached at position 37°56'54"N, 23°.34'18" E

Edvard Grieg

Edvard Grieg
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Basic Data

Item Value
Type Cargo Ship
Original Owners and Managers Norwegian Government
Country First Registered Norway
Shipbuilder Bethlehem Fairfield Shipyard Inc
Shipyard Baltimore
Country where built USA
Yard Number 2139
Official Number 5243645
Call Sign LKPH
Classification Society N/K
Gross Tonnage 7,176
Deadweight (DWT) N/K
Net Tonnage 4,380
Length 422.8 Ft.
Overall Length N/K
Breadth or Beam 57 Ft.
Depth 34.8 Ft.
Draught N/K
Engine Type Triple-expansion Steam Engine
Engine Details Cylinders of bore 24 1/2", 37", 70" and stroke 48"
Engine Builder Ellicott Machinery Corp
Engine Builder Works Baltimore
Engine Builder Country USA
Boiler Details N/K
Propulsion Type Single Screw
Power N/K
Maximum Speed 11

Additional Construction Information

  • Ship design EC2-S-C1
  • 2 decks and cruiser stern
  • Fitted for oil fuel. Part electric welded construction
  • Fitted with radio direction finding and echo sounding equipment

Career Highlights

Date Event
24 May 1943 Launched
May 1943 Completed

Crew and Capacity Information

Item Value
Crew N/K
Passengers N/K
Cargo Capacity N/K

Status and Service History Information

Item Value
Status Unknown
Service History Information Launched down for the US Government as Thomas F. Byard, she was completed for the Norwegian Government as Edvard Grieg. Change of owner to A/S Sobral 1951, change of owner to Brilliant Tptn Co SA 1951, change of name to Ultragaz Sao Paulo and owner to LPG Carriers Inc 1952, change of name to Mundogas Sao Paulo and owner to A/S Gasskib 1961, change of owner to Mundogas (Storage) Ince 1969, change of name to Utingas Sao Paulo 1972. The ship was hulked at Santos in February 1969 and deleted from registers in 1972 but was known to still be in use as late as June 1981 so her exact fate is unknown.

Kongsfjord

Kongsfjord
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Basic Data

Item Value
Type Cargo Ship (Ref)
Original Owners and Managers Den Norske Amerikalinje A/S
Country First Registered Norway
Shipbuilder Lithgows Ltd
Shipyard Port Glasgow
Country where built UK
Yard Number 1061
Official Number 5192808
Call Sign N/K
Classification Society N/K
Gross Tonnage 5,934
Deadweight (DWT) 8300
Net Tonnage 3,408
Length 449.7 Ft.
Overall Length N/K
Breadth or Beam 57.8 Ft.
Depth 25.7 Ft.
Draught N/K
Engine Type Diesel Engine
Engine Details B&W type oil engine with 5 cylinders
Engine Builder J.K. Kincaid & Co Ltd
Engine Builder Works Greenock
Engine Builder Country UK
Boiler Details N/K
Propulsion Type Single Screw
Power N/K
Maximum Speed 15

Career Highlights

Date Event
30 March 1951 Launched
June 1951 Completed

Crew and Capacity Information

Item Value
Crew N/K
Passengers N/K
Cargo Capacity N/K

Status and Service History Information

Item Value
Status Broken Up
Service History Information Change of name to Timur Star and owner to Thome & Co Pte Ltd 1972, change of owner to Timur Nav Pte Ltd 1974, change of name to Mariya and owner to Ajax Tpt Corp 1975. Taken to Pusan 24 September 1979 for breaking by Kyung-Il Industry Co

Oslofjord

Oslofjord
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Basic Data

Item Value
Type Cargo/Passenger Ship (Ref)
Original Owners and Managers Den Norske Amerikalinje A/S
Country First Registered Norway
Shipbuilder Nederlandsche D&SB
Shipyard Amsterdam
Country where built Netherlands
Yard Number 410
Official Number 5266221
Call Sign N/K
Classification Society N/K
Gross Tonnage 16,844
Deadweight (DWT) 5905
Net Tonnage N/K
Length 158.3 Metres
Overall Length 175.9 Metres
Breadth or Beam 22 Metres
Depth N/K
Draught N/K
Engine Type Diesel Engine
Engine Details N/K
Engine Builder N/K
Engine Builder Works N/K
Engine Builder Country N/K
Boiler Details N/K
Propulsion Type Twin Screw
Power N/K
Maximum Speed 20

Career Highlights

Date Event
2 April 1949 Launched
11 November 1949 Completed

Crew and Capacity Information

Item Value
Crew 271 at time of loss
Passengers 448 at time of loss
Cargo Capacity N/K

Status and Service History Information

Item Value
Status Sunk/foundered (Peacetime)
Service History Information Change of name to Fulvia 1969. On 19 July 1970, a fire broke out in the engine room of the ship after leaving Genoa for a 10 day cruise at a position about 140 miles north of Las Palmas. Ancerville arrived in response to an SOS call and took the passengers and crew on board. The vessel was taken in tow but sank on 20 July at position 29°57' N, 16°30' W.

Sagafjord

Sagafjord
Click image for enlarged view

Basic Data

Item Value
Type Passenger Ship
Original Owners and Managers A/S Den Norske Amerikalinje
Country First Registered Norway
Shipbuilder Mediterranee
Shipyard La Seyne
Country where built France
Yard Number 1366
Official Number 16285
Call Sign N/K
Classification Society N/K
Gross Tonnage 24,002
Deadweight (DWT) 6253
Net Tonnage N/K
Length 168.1 Metres
Overall Length 188.9 Metres
Breadth or Beam 24.5 Metres
Depth N/K
Draught N/K
Engine Type Diesel Engine
Engine Details N/K
Engine Builder N/K
Engine Builder Works N/K
Engine Builder Country N/K
Boiler Details N/K
Propulsion Type Twin Screw
Power N/K
Maximum Speed 20

Additional Construction Information

  • Keel laid down 21 June 1963

Career Highlights

Date Event
13 June 1964 Launched
18 September 1965 Completed

Crew and Capacity Information

Item Value
Crew N/K
Passengers N/K
Cargo Capacity N/K

Status and Service History Information

Item Value
Status Broken Up
Service History Information Change of owner to K/S Norwegian America Cruise A/S 1980, change of owner to Cunard Line Ltd 1983, change of name to Gripsholm 1996, change of name to Saga Rose and owner to Saga Sg Co Ltd 1997. Taken to Jiangyin for breaking 29 May 2010.

Topdalsfjord

Topdalsfjord
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Basic Data

Item Value
Type Cargo Ship (Ref)
Original Owners and Managers Den Norske Amerikalinje A/S
Country First Registered Norway
Shipbuilder Lindholmens Varv
Shipyard Gothenburg
Country where built Sweden
Yard Number 1062
Official Number 5364853
Call Sign N/K
Classification Society N/K
Gross Tonnage 5,850
Deadweight (DWT) 7720
Net Tonnage N/K
Length 121.3 Metres
Overall Length 129.1 Metres
Breadth or Beam 16.5 Metres
Depth N/K
Draught N/K
Engine Type Diesel Engine
Engine Details N/K
Engine Builder N/K
Engine Builder Works N/K
Engine Builder Country N/K
Boiler Details N/K
Propulsion Type Single Screw
Power N/K
Maximum Speed 15.5

Career Highlights

Date Event
8 July 1959 Launched
November 1959 Completed

Crew and Capacity Information

Item Value
Crew N/K
Passengers N/K
Cargo Capacity N/K

Status and Service History Information

Item Value
Status Unknown
Service History Information Change of name to Boonkrong and owner to Mah Boonkrong Sg Co Ltd 1978, change of name to Jin Xian Quan and owner to China Ocean Sg Co 1981, change of owner to Shandong Province Marine Sg Co 1985, change of name to Changi and owner to Hawaii Sg Ltd 1996. Deleted from registers 2005 - exact fate unknown

Vindafjord

Vindafjord
Click image for enlarged view

Basic Data

Item Value
Type
Original Owners and Managers A/S Ornen &a,p; A/S Odd
Country First Registered N/K
Shipbuilder N/K
Shipyard N/K
Country where built N/K
Yard Number N/K
Official Number 5360209
Call Sign N/K
Classification Society N/K
Gross Tonnage N/K
Deadweight (DWT) N/K
Net Tonnage N/K
Length N/K
Overall Length N/K
Breadth or Beam N/K
Depth N/K
Draught N/K
Engine Type N/K
Engine Details N/K
Engine Builder N/K
Engine Builder Works N/K
Engine Builder Country N/K
Boiler Details N/K
Propulsion Type N/K
Power N/K
Maximum Speed N/K

Career Highlights

Date Event
N/K Launched
N/K Completed

Crew and Capacity Information

Item Value
Crew N/K
Passengers N/K
Cargo Capacity N/K

Status and Service History Information

Item Value
Status Wrecked
Service History Information Completed for A/S Ornen &a,p; A/S Odd as Thorscarrier. Change of name to Vindafjord and owner to Skibs A/S Malmtransport 1968, change of owner to Den Norske Amerikalinje A/S 1972, change of name to Nordave and owner to Frijoles Cia Naviera SA 1978. The vessel was ran aground on 21 June 1979 at position 24°14' N, 67°16' E whilst en route from Karachi to Kandla in ballast Heavy seas and monsoon conditions drove her a further 2 miles inshore. She was considered unsalvable and declared a constructive total loss.


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