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S/S Thingvalla

DFDS 1866-1991, p. 236, shown by the kind permission of Søren Thorsøe]

Thingvalla was built in 1874 by Burmeister & Wain, in Copenhagen for A/S Sejlog Dampskibsselskabet af 1873 (F.W. Kiørebo, Copenhagen). She was launched in October 1874 for East Asian service. Her tonnage was 2,524 tons gross, 1,745 under deck and 1,630 net. She was 301.5 feet long, x 37.4 foot beam and holds 21.6 feet deep. She had one funnel and three masts. Originally she was rigged as a bark, later probably as a barquetine. in the 1887-88 Lloyd's Registry of Shipping, she is listed as being schooner rigged. She was an iron construction, and had a single screw. There were 2 decks and spar deck, 6 cemented bulkheads and partial double bottom 600 tons. Aft Peak Tank and Forward Peak Tank repairs to damages in 1880 and 1881. She had a compound engine with 2 inverted cylinders of 30 and 60 inches diameter respectively, stroke 36 inches, operating at 60 p.s.i. delivering 225 horsepower (900 indecated horesepower) giving her a speed of 10 knots. The engine was built by the same company as the hull.

There was passenger accommodation for 50-1st, 50-2nd and 900-3rd class. There is no evidence that she was used as a passenger ship before being bought by the Thingvalla Line in 1880. She commenced her first voyage for the Thingvalla Line in April 1880, when she sailed from Copenhagen to Newcastle and New York. On August 14th, 1888 she collided with and sank the Thingvalla Line vessel "Geiser" off Sable Island with the loss of 105 lives. (Read more about the accident on the "Geiser" page. The Thingvalla was seriously damaged, but after transferring her 455 passengers to the Hamburg American liner Wieland, was able to proceed under her own steam to Halifax for repairs. Due to the heavy damages to the bow section she backed most of the way to Halifax. After being repaired she resumed service and continued to sail for the Thingvalla Line, and its successor, the Scandinavian-American Line, until she was sold in 1900. On 19/5/1890 she was slightly damaged in collision with an iceberg and on 15/9/1898 sailed from Stettin on her last voyage to Copenhagen, Christiania, Christiansand and New York.

S/S Thingvalla after the collision with S/S Geiser

Information about the S/S Geiser and newspaper account of the collision

In 1898 she went to the Scandinavian American Line and on 9/11/1898 commenced her first voyage for these owners from Copenhagen to Christiania, Christiansand and New York. On 26/5/1900 she commenced her last voyage from Stettin to Copenhagen, Christiania, Christiansand and New York. She was sold to Norwegian owners the same year and renamed ASLAUG. In September 1903, she stranded at Torgfjord, on passage from Narvik to West Hartlepool with iron ore. In September she arrived at Trondheim for repairs. November 26th arrived at Antwerp and later sold for demolition.

The ship was named after the field in Iceland where the old assemblies of the people were held according to Norse custom and usage, and where resolutions were passed for the benefit of their commonwealth. The year 1874 when the "Thingvalla" was built marked the 10th centenary of settlement in Iceland.

North Atlantic Seaway by N.R.P.Bonsor, vol.3,p.1050, subm. Ted Finch][Lloyd's register of shipping, subm. Gilbert Provost][Lloyd's registry of shipping, subm. Gilbert Provost][DFDS 1866-1991 by Søren Thorsøe a.o., p. 236]


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