S.S. Cimbria


The S.S. Cimbria is the name of a Hamburg America Line ship that carried my ancestors from Hamburg Germany to New York in 1871. The Cimbria was built in 1867 at Greenock by Caird & Co. for the Hamburg America Line. The ship was of iron construction with tow sailing masts and weighed 3037 gross tons and utilized a two cylinder compound expansion engine fed from five boilers created all 600 horsepower. The engine generated straight steam turning a single screw propulsion system which was exhausted through one funnel on the top deck. The ship had a top speed of 12.5 knots.

The lifespan of the vessel was only sixteen years. Launched on January 21 of 1867, it sailed to Hamburg Germany for its maiden voyage. On April 13th, the Cimbria departed Hamburg on her maiden voyage helmed by Captain Wautman. The ship stopped  at Southampton, England on  April 17th. Ten days later it arrived in New York City carrying merchandise and 684 passengers including some of my ancestors.

One notable incident for the Cimbria later in 1867, while departing Southampton the ship lost her screw and was detained several days to make repairs. On August 14th,1889 she carried passengers from the wrecked S/S Germania while traveling eastbound. Finally on January 19th 1883, the Cimbria while being Captained by Julius Hansen, was sunk after colliding S.S. Sultan near Borkum Island as a result of dense fog, 389 lives lost according to some newspapers. Other newspapers reported 437 casualties. There were 120 crew members and 402 passengers on board. 65 people were saved, nearly all of the 72 women and 87 children on board were lost.


The SS Cimbria was a Hammonia class ocean liner of German design.