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NAME

SS. GRIPSHOLM (BERLIN III)

CLASS

LINER

LAUNCHED

NOVEMBER 26th 1924

BUILT

ARMSTRONG WHITWORTH / NEWCASTLE / ENGLAND

WEIGHT

17,993 TONS

LENGTH

573 FEET

WIDTH

74 FEET

SPEED

17 KNOTS - DIESEL ENGINES - TWO PROPELLERS


Gripsholm was the Swedish America Line’s first new built liner. Their previous ships, Stockholm and Drottningholm, were both aging liners purchased from other companies. The Swedish America Line named Gripsholm after a 16th Century Swedish castle and designed her interiors in the Gustavian style from the reign of King Gustaf III, 1771-1792. As emigration laws had been changed in America during the early 1920s, the Swedish America Line intended to use Gripsholm mainly as a cruise ship and to provide a passenger service between Sweden and America in summer. Gripsholm’s maiden voyage from Gothenburg - New York November 21st 1925 saw her become the first diesel-powered liner to be operated on the Atlantic run.

Gripsholm

As Sweden had declared a state of neutrality at the outbreak of World War Two, Gripsholm was laid up until the United States chartered her to be used as an international Red Cross exchange ship in 1940. She served in that role-exchanging diplomats and prisoners throughout the war before being returned to the Swedish America Line in 1946. With Gripsholm’s design looking dated after 24 years in service, she was taken out of service in 1949 to undergo an extensive refit. This work involved reshaping her funnels and bow into a more modern design. Six years later, the North German Lloyd Line bought Gripsholm to be operated on the Bremerhaven - New York run under the name Berlin. As all of Germany’s large ships had been awarded to the Allies at the end of World War Two, Berlin was the first German liner to be operated on the Atlantic run since the end of the war. The North German Lloyd Line took their aging liner out of service in November 1966. After 41 years crossing the Atlantic, Berlin’s final voyage ended at the La Spezia scrap yard in Italy November 26th 1966.

Berlin

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