Norddeutscher Lloyd (NDL) SS Zeppelin 1915 to 1919 - Orient Line RMS Ormuz (2) 1920 to 1927 - NDL SS Dresden 1927 to 1934
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Maritime Historian, CruisenShip Reviewer & Author
Please Note: All ssMaritime and other related maritime/cruise sites are 100% non-commercial and privately owned. Be assured that I am NOT associated with any shipping or cruise companies or any travel/cruise agencies or any other organisations! Although the author has been in the passenger shipping industry since 1960, although is now retired but having completed over 690 Classic Liners and Cargo-Passengers Ships features I trust these will continue to provide classic ship enthusiasts the information the are seeking, but above all a great deal of pleasure!
The R.M.S. Ormuz 2
The Orient Steam Navigation Co., Ltd., built
one of the most exciting new ships back in 1886, being a sailing
steamship, thus its four tall masts, she was the RMS Ormuz.
As the Orient Line had signed a contract with the Government of
New South Wales in
Here we see the RMS Ormuz (I) in March 1987 during her maiden voyage
However, this page features the second ship to
be named, the RMS Ormuz, which was originally to be named the
Orford, but Orient Line changed their mind, as the
name Ormuz was generally greatly loved in
The ship that became the Orient Lines RMS Ormuz
was originally launched and named the SS Zeppelin on June 9, 1914
a passenger liner for Norddeutscher Lloyd (NDL). The Zeppelin was
constructed and launched at the Bremer Vulkan Ship-Yards at
Upon completion the Zeppelin was handed over to her owners on January 21, 1915 but due to due to the war having commenced, NDL decided to keep her safely laid up throughout the war and intended to bring her out of retirement soon after the hostilities.
SS Zeppelin seen being delivered to her owners on January 21, 1915
The Zeppelin was a steamer built for the North
German Lloyd in order to be operated on the
However let us briefly look forward: The SS Zeppelin had a varied career after the war, although mostly short ones. She was laid up for 5 years, then she was used as an American troop ship for 19 months, after which she was then handed over to the Orient Line and renamed her the RMS Ormuz (2) in 1920. Having given her an extensive refit, Orient Lines placed on the Australian migrant service. Then 1927 she was restored to her original owners NDL, who renamed her SS Dresden, but sadly she had a tragic end in 1934. But all the details of the aforementioned will be fully described below!
SS Zeppelin the Troop Ship:
The SS Zeppelin was officially surrendered as war reparations to the UK Government in March 28, 1919, who placed her under the management of the White Star Line. She was rapidly commissioned by the United States Navy to be used as a troop ship, USS Zeppelin (ID 4042) on March 25, and assigned her to the New York Division of the Transport Force with Commander William W. Galbraith to be her master. She remained manned by a Cunard crew, but she had an American Captain and Officers.
USS Zeppelin made two round-trip voyages
Naval C-Type Blimp greets the USS Zeppelin as she arrived in
She completed her commission and returned to
The SS Zeppelin was renamed the
Ormuz on December 10, 1920, although originally the
Orient Line was going to name her the Orford but
decided that Ormuz was a name greatly loved Down
Under! However, she was not acquired by the Orient Steam
Navigation Company until March 28, 1921 and she was rapidly
refitted to be restored as into a passenger liner. When she was
completed, the Orient Line placed her in service on the service
Here we see the RMS Ormuz on the Thames Australia bound!
Her itinerary was as follows, however it varied
from time to time:
Ormuz 2 is seen at Fremantle (
Although this ship when built had 2,165 passengers in four Classes with the majority in steerage. When the Orient Line refitted her, they decided on just two classes, First 293 passengers and Third Class 882 passengers, thus a good one thousand passengers less that on the Zeppelin, for on the Orient Line all passengers had cabins, although some would have multiple berths. Both classes had spacious lounged on Promenade Deck for First Class and for Third Class on A Deck aft, as well as Dining Rooms on D Deck fore and aft. However, sadly I have not been able to obtain any photographs of her public venues, neither a Deck plan at this stage. When I do, I will place it online.
A fine view of the RMS Ormuz bow on as she arrives in port
The RMS Ormuz 2 continued her return voyages to
In 1927 NDL bought Ormuz back and had her
refitted to upgrade much of the third class accommodation to
first class or tourist class. NDL renamed her SS Dresden and
placed her in service on the
we see the SS Dresden outbound for
KdF cruise and Loss:
In 1934 the Nazi Kraft durch Freude
meaning Strength through Joy Organization commenced
to operate cruises and they decided to charter the SS Dresden, as
they considered her to be the perfect German ship for their
needs. The SS Dresden departed on her first KdF cruise on June
11, 1934. However, it was if LORD above was not pleased with
those Nazis for on June 20, the SS Dresden on her KdF Cruise,
struck a rock off Aregrunden by the Norwegian
However, in the early hours of June 21, the
Above & below: A tragic Nazi cruise gone wrong and the SS Dresden is seen on her side after her tragedy with 4 lives lost!
A total of six ships/vessels came to the rescue of the 975 passengers and the ships 323 crew, such as the Kong Haakon I mentioned before, the French vessel Ardente and the Norwegian ships; Kong Harald, Kronprinsesse Martha, Kvitsoy and Stavanger.
In August of 1934 the wreck of the
Specifications for:1 = SS Zeppelin, 2. = RMS Ormuz, 3. = SS Bremen.
Bremer Vulkan Ship-Yards at
Yard No: 579
Names & Tonnage: 1. Zeppelin 14,167 GRT.
. 2. Ormuz 14,588 GRT.
. 3. Dresden 14,690.
Length: 550ft - 173.7.
Beam: 67.2ft - 20.5.
Draught: 26.6ft - 8m.
Draft: 35.1ft - 10.7m.
Engines: Two Quadruple-expansion Steam Engines by Vulkan.
Propellers: Twin Screws - 9,500 IHP.
Speed: 15.5 knots - Maximum 17 knots.
Passengers: 1,319 1st.class, 156 2nd.class & 1,348 steerage.
. 2. 293 1st.class & 882 3rd.class.
. 3. 399 1st.class, 288 tourist class & 284 3rd.class.
Crew: 340 to 398.
The Ship in Summery:
Norddeutscher Lloyd SS Zeppelin built & laid up 1915 - 1919
SS Zeppelin was a fine American Troop ship for just several months 1919
Line RMS Ormuz 2 made 68 return voyages to
Dresden operated voyages from
Then it took KdF Nazi cruises to see her on the Rocks on their first cruise 1934
Also visit Page One the RMS Ormuz (I) Story
Water Liners sailing to the distant shores.
I watched them come, I watched them go and I watched them die.
Water Liners sailing to the distant shores.
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