SS Bremen (1896)

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SS Bremen in 1905
German Empire
Name: SS Bremen
Namesake: Bremen
Owner: North German Lloyd
Port of registry: Bremen
Yard number: 583
Launched: 14 November 1896
Fate: Handed to Great Britain as war reparations 4 April 1919
United Kingdom
Name: SS Bremen
Acquired: 1919
  • SS Constantinople 1921,
  • SS King Alexander 1924
Fate: Broken up Italy 1929
General characteristics
Class and type: Barbarossa class ocean liner
Tonnage: 10,525 GRT.
Length: 550 ft (170 m)
Beam: 60.2 ft (18.3 m)
Draft: 34 ft (10 m)
Speed: 15.5 knots (28.7 km/h; 17.8 mph)
Complement: 250

The SS Bremen, later renamed Constantinople and then King Alexander, was a German Barbarossa class ocean liner commissioned in 1897 by Norddeutscher Lloyd.


The SS Bremen was built by F. Schichau of Danzig for the Norddeutscher-Lloyd line. She started her maiden voyage on 5 June 1897, traveling from Bremen to New York with a stopover at Southampton. In addition to the transatlantic run she also sailed from Bremen to Australia via the Suez Canal.[1]

On 30 June 1900, she was badly damaged in a dockside fire at the NDL pier in Hoboken, New Jersey. The fire was started by spontaneous combustion of a bale of cotton. The Lloyd ships SS Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse, SS Saale and SS Main were also damaged in the fire, with the SS Saale sinking, whilst the Bremen ran aground. After the fire she was rebuilt by AG Vulcan Stettin, lengthened to 575 ft, and her tonnage was increased to 11,540 GRT. She reentered service in October 1901.[1]

On 20 April 1912, while sailing from Bremen to New York City, SS Bremen passed through the debris field left by the sinking of the RMS Titanic. Passengers and crew reported seeing hundreds of bodies floating in the water as well as many deck chairs and pieces of wood. Since there was already a ship specially chartered by White Star line to retrieve any bodies, the Bremen did not stop to recover any. [2][3][4][5]

Bremen was laid up during World War I. After the war she was given to the British P&O line as part of the war reparations. Two years later she was sold to the Byron S.S. Co. and renamed Constantinople, and operated on the Piraeus-New York City route. By 1924, she was renamed King Alexander. She was scrapped in 1929.[1][6]


  1. ^ a b c Arnold Kludas. Great Passenger Ships of the World Vol 1 1858-1912. Patrick Stephens Ltd. p. 18. ISBN 0-85059-174-0. 
  2. ^ "UK | Scotland | Picture of 'Titanic iceberg' unveiled". BBC News. 2002-07-28. Retrieved 2017-01-25. 
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ [2][dead link]
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 January 2007. Retrieved 9 February 2007. 
  6. ^ Sue Swiggum (2005-02-05). "National Greek Line - Byron SS Co". Retrieved 2017-01-25. 

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