Gustav Mahler aboard

Gustav Mahler aboard at the piano

Steamship S.S. Kaiserin Auguste Victoria

  • Name: S.S. Kaiserin Auguste Victoria (1906-1919).
  • Owner: Hamburg America Line.
  • Operator: Germany.
  • Port of registry: Hamburg.
  • Builder: Vulcan AG shipyard in Stettin, German Empire.
  • Yard number: 264.
  • Launched: 29 August 1905 By the German Empress.
  • Maiden voyage: 10 May 1906.
  • Fate: Seized by the United States.

S.S. Kaiserin Auguste Victoria.

The SS Kaiserin Auguste Victoria was built by AG Vulcan Stettin in Stettin on the Baltic in 1905-1906. The new ship was ordered by the expanding Hamburg America Line. At 24,000 plus tons she was the largest passenger liner in the world from 1905 to 1907 until the advent of Cunard’s Lusitania.

When the keel was laid down as “Ship #264,” this vessel was intended to be named the SS Europa; she was to have been a sister ship to the SS Amerika which was being built by Harland and Wolff in Belfast during the same period. At the time of her launching on 29 August 1905, her only peer in size was the slightly smaller Amerika which had been launched days earlier.

The SS Kaiserin Auguste Victoria sailed under a German flag for eight years. German Empress Auguste Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein permitted the vessel to be named after her and participated in the launching ceremonies.

The 24,581-ton vessel had a length of 677.5 feet, and her beam was 77.3 feet. She had two funnels, four masts, twin propellers, and an average speed of 18 knots. The ocean liner provided accommodation for 472 first-class passengers and for 174 second class passengers. There was room for 212 third-class passengers and for 1,608 fourth-class passengers.

The SS Kaiserin Auguste Victoria left Hamburg on 10 May 1906 on her maiden voyage to Dover, Cherbourg, and New York under the command of Captain Hans Ruser. Thereafter, she regularly sailed the route between Hamburg and New York. In 1910 the ship was to be used in experiments for the world’s first ship-to-shore airplane flights by pilot John McCurdy. A special platform was built on Kaiserin Auguste Victoria to provide a runway for McCurdy’s plane. McCurdy abandoned the attempt when rival pilot Eugene Ely flew off the deck of the “USS Birmingham” off of Hampton Roads Virginia in 1910.

S.S. Kaiserin Auguste Victoria. Hamburg-Amerika Linie.

S.S. Kaiserin Auguste Victoria.

S.S. Kaiserin Auguste Victoria.

S.S. Kaiserin Auguste Victoria. Stairs in smoking room.

S.S. Kaiserin Auguste Victoria. Stairs in smoking room.

S.S. Kaiserin Auguste Victoria. Stairs.

S.S. Kaiserin Auguste Victoria. Socio salon.

S.S. Kaiserin Auguste Victoria. Ritz’s Carlton Restaurant.

S.S. Kaiserin Auguste Victoria. Smoking room.

S.S. Kaiserin Auguste Victoria. Wintergarden.

S.S. Kaiserin Auguste Victoria. Restaurant.

SS Augusta Victoria. 

SS Augusta Victoria. Music salon. 

SS Augusta Victoria. Salon. 

SS Augusta Victoria. Salon (detail).

SS Augusta Victoria.

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