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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With Reuben Goossens
Maritime Historian, Cruise‘n’Ship Reviewer, Author & Lecturer
Please Note: All ssmaritime and my other related ssmaritime sites are 100% non-commercial and privately owned sites. Be assured that I am NOT associated with any cruise or shipping companies or travel/cruise agencies or any other organisations! The author has been in the passenger shipping industry since May 1960 and is now semi-retired, but continues to write article on classic liners and cruise ships in order to better to inform cruise and ship enthusiasts for their pleasure!
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 I. 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
The remarkable and innovative RMS
Ormuz made an amazing 70 return voyages to
Orient Line planned for a second liner and it
was intended for this ship to be named the “Orford,” but Orient
Line changed their mind, as the name “Ormuz” had been greatly loved
Norddeutscher Lloyd (NDL) ordered
for a 14,000 GRT passenger liner to be constructed 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 Great War having commenced, NDL decided to keep her safely laid up throughout the war and they intended to bring her out of retirement as soon as the hostilities had ended.
SS Zeppelin seen being delivered to her owners on January 21, 1915
The Zeppelin was a steamer built to
be operated on the
However let us briefly look
forward: After the war, the Zeppelin had a varied career, although they were mostly
short ones. She was then laid up for 5 years, then she was even used as an
American troop ship for 19 months, after which she was handed over to the
Orient Line who renamed her the “Ormuz” (2) in 1920. Having given
her an extensive refit, Orient Lines placed on the
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
A Naval C-Type
Blimp greets the USS Zeppelin as she arrived in
She completed her commission and
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 between
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 and from
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
Here 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.
Built by: Bremer Vulkan Ship-Yards
Yard No: 579
Names & Tonnage: 1. Zeppelin 14,167 GRT.
. 2. Ormuz 14,588 GRT.
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 … 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.”
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