Augusta Victoria (ship)

Augusta Victoria ( before conversion ), c.1890

The Augusta Victoria was a fast steamer, which was the largest German passenger ship from 1888 to 1889. He drove for the Hamburg-American Packet ride Actien Society ( Hapag ). With this ship, the Hapag hosted the first-ever cruise. Was named the ship after the German Empress Auguste Victoria. There was a sister ship, the Columbia, and the two slightly larger sisters Normannia and Prince Bismarck.

Records and first descents

  • Fastest maiden voyage across the Atlantic Ocean in the east-west direction (19 May 1889)
  • First cruise (January to March 1891), this passage from Gibraltar as the biggest previous trading ship, the first twin-screw steamer people, and first Hapag ship.


Liner service and cruises for HAPAG

The ship was originally called Normannia. It was then, though not entirely accurate, named after the present at the launch of Empress Auguste Viktoria.

The on December 1, 1888 spilled stack of Augusta Victoria was handed over to the Hapag on April 24 in 1889 and began her maiden voyage from Hamburg to Southampton to New York on May 10 at. She was at that time the third double -screw steamers on the North Atlantic by the British steamer City of Paris and City of New York of the Inman Line, which were bigger and faster.

The Augusta Victoria and delivered in June of Laird Columbia did their service reliable and fast. However, in the winter a sufficient public interest in the crossing of the North Atlantic. In its first winter, the fast steamer were therefore presented. Albert Ballin decided for the next winter, offering a cruise at that time. From 22 January to 21 March 1891 Mediterranean cruise of the Augusta Victoria and from Cuxhaven was offered to 241 people, including 49 foreigners and 67 female passengers, took part. About Southampton, Gibraltar and Genoa, Alexandria was run, where the ship remained 5 days. Next targets were Jaffa, Beirut and Constantinople Opel with four days stay. On the way back Piraeus, Malta, Palermo, Naples, Lisbon and finally Southampton were started. In the ports with longer stays there excursion programs eg to Cairo, Jerusalem, Damascus, Athens and Rome. 1892 and in 1893 a similar tour was conducted. On 16 Jui 1894, the Augusta Victoria ran out to the first North Country trip that led to Spitsbergen, from Hamburg. 1896 led the sister ship Columbia through the first West Indies cruise. As a " pleasure trips " offered these trips have become an integral part of the offer of Hapag next to the regular service.

As of August 1892, the Hapag - ships had a problem because of the cholera epidemic in Hamburg and the strict quarantine regulations in New York. The fast steamer ran at this time only to Southampton. When in September again briefly appeared increasingly cholera cases, Wilhelmshaven was for a while the end point of the fast steamer traffic.

The North German Lloyd ( NDL) continued his fast steamer in winter of a Mediterranean ports to New York. This idea was the Hapag 1893 and the Augusta Victoria was launched on March 15, 1894 for the first time on the route Genoa - Naples - Gibraltar - New York.

In June 1895, the Augusta Victoria and her sister ship Columbia were used to transport the guests of honor at the opening of the Kiel Canal. On October 22, 1896 she sailed from Hamburg to New York, to be subsequently rebuilt in the UK. The Augusta Victoria was the slowest ship in the series and it was hoped that by using an extension to the measure of the two later Schnelldampfer a higher speed.

Reconstruction in 1897

The steamer was renewed in winter 1896/97 at Harland & Wolff in Belfast on 163.1 m where the survey increased to 8,479 GRT, and the central mast were removed and covered the bridge. The name was changed to " Auguste Victoria ", as this was the correct name of the Empress.

In April 1897, the ship was put back into service and used in the old scale. However, the four Hapag - fast steamer had been surpassed by the appearance of the Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse of the NDL by now, and also the Hapag looked for new ships and left the building like Germany. They were therefore in 1898 the Columbia and the Normannia to Spain from as auxiliary cruisers. Auguste Victoria remained in the service of Hapag and expired on January 16, 1904 for the last time from Hamburg to New York.

In 1904 she was then as her two remaining sisters in the Hapag Columbia and Prince Bismarck sold to Russia and transferred in May to Libau.

Use with the Russian Navy

The Russian Navy purchased the ship in 1904 in order to use it in the Russo- Japanese War as an auxiliary cruiser; it was given the name Kuban ( after the river in the Caucasus ). During the upgrading works ( armament, modification and expansion of the coal deposits ) took place on July 12 in an accident in the dock, so that the auxiliary cruiser for a planned inspection trip in the Atlantic Ocean with its sister ship Terek (formerly Columbia) precipitated. The Kuban ran out two weeks after the arising of the Baltic Fleet Second Pacific Squadron from Libau and ran alone towards East Asia. She was now armed with two 12- inch guns, four 7.6 inch Armstrong guns and eight 5.7 cm Vickers rapid-fire guns. On November 30 they reached Dakar and charred at sea from the German steamship Friesland, since the French authorities did not allow a supply in the harbor. From January 2, Madagascar in 1905 the Kuban was then a part of the Second Pacific Squadron on the way to the Far East. In early May she was discharged prior to the Battle of Tsushima from the Squadron Association to interfere as raiders east of the Japanese islands vessel traffic towards the USA and Canada.

They controlled more neutral steamers and received from them information about the outcome of the battle. She ran back to Indochina, where the French are open to only a supply for the way to Vladivostok. The Kuban happened on June 18, 1905 and reached Singapore on 1 July Djibouti. From German ships supplied with coals, she ran through the Red Sea towards Suez and continue raided merchant ships to cargoes to Japan. 15-16. July, she passed the Suez Canal. After a stopover in Algiers she reached on August 3, Libau, which she had left on 28 October 1904. In 1907, the ship was sold for demolition and disassembled in Szczecin.

Pictures of Augusta Victoria (ship)