The mother of all impulse buys

This computer industry guy saw a decommissioned ship for sale while surfing on Craigslist and decided he just had to have it. Nice lines but geez, a staggering amount of work is needed to bring this one back to life.

Seen here in her original role, carrying passengers from Hamburg to the island of Helgoland in the German Bight:

Day cruiser “Wappen von Hamburg” (1955) while de-boarding passengers on Heligoland roads outside the east jetty. Photo taken June 1958.
Photo: Oxfordian Kissuth

She had a long and complicated history, with many owners, many different functions and a lot of failed plans of restoration.
Here is a detailed history from a thrusted Swedish website:

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any idea what the plan for her is IF the restoration is complete?

Charters or cruises possibly, or follow the fate of the Queen Mary in Long Beach. He hasn’t said. He has a video out and Facebook presence. The owner realized at some point that he and his girlfriend couldn’t do it all by themselves so he decided to go public. He is now looking for funding and volunteers to “adopt” specific projects such as a refurbishing a stateroom or part of the ER. I have no intention to contribute to the project but I admire his ambition and wish him godspeed.

was she ever U.S. flagged? im just curious if that will be an issue in the future if he tries to run cruises locally in the U.S.

Buying an old ship is exactly the same as buying an old house. The first thing to look at is the basement --in the case of ships, the tanks. In old ships the double-bottom tanks are usually rotted out, and the price of repair steel work–shell-plating, bulkheads, frames, piping, everything internal and underwater–is the biggest expense. No different than buying that old house with “nice bones”–that is rotted out from termites, eating away those old bones from the basement up.

You can always tell a clueless ship buyer because he talks about restoring furnishings and missing ships wheel, instead of talking about scheduling marine chemists and the cost of wheeled-and-primed steel.

The best thing to do when contemplating buying a 70-year old ship is have a couple of shipyards bid on replacing 75% of the steel in way of the double-bottom tanks. If you can’t afford it, walk away.


In the video “stationary hotel and restaurant” is mentioned as possible future use.
Looking at the condition as seen in that video and years of neglect and pilfering, that is probably the only thing that is feasible.
Bringing back some of the original, or near eqv. equipment, may be OK as a “museum ship”, but to get her back in Class and re-certified for passenger carriage would take a lot more.

Besides, she was built in Germany, would she be able to operate domestic US cruises?

that was something I was also curious about. I would assume she couldnt do any sort of U.S. domestic cruising even if she was ever able to be recertified in any capacity (which I think would be a miracle unless hes got endless funds)

Yes, but exactly when she became so is not very clear.
From the Fakta om Fartyg posting:
“1982. Sold to Pan Aleutian Seafoods, Seattle, USA. Used as a factory vessel for crab fishing”.
She appears to have been in WCUS ever since, but never in operation since 1984 at least.

She is listed as US flagged now. I’m sure someone that know their ways around the US ship registry can find out when she was first entered there.(??)

Here she is as Faithful in 2008, when purchased by Christopher Willson:

Not true. Lots of ships were built in both West and East Germany before 1955.
Some of them are still sailing and in regular service.

She was the first ship built at Blohm&Voss after WWII, however.

This was the next one at B&V:

She is still sailing Svalbard Cruises in the summer season.

Restoring an old ship seems like a nice hobby to pass the time.

Even if the ship couldn’t stay afloat for ever they could put it into a permanent dry dock like the TSS Duke of Lancaster:

PSIX only shows a single COD issued in 1990.

As Xanadu:
Xanadu_cruise_ship That is my size

She’s lucky to have been picked up by a landlubber. No sane mariner would consider spending more than a dime on this hulk no matter how elegant the lines are. Who knows, maybe he’s star eyed enough to pull it off.

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