Hamburg-Süd sold to Maersk

Santa Teresa in RotterdamIt was announced on 1st December 2016 that the Danish company Maersk, said to be the world’s largest shipping company, is to buy Hamburg-Süd.

cap-polonio-3Once one of the premier companies on the route from Europe to South America, Hamburg-Süd was founded in 1871 by a combination of German and British entrepreneurs. It was well-known in the first half of the 20th century for operating such liners as Cap Arcona, Cap Trafalgar, Cap Polonio and Cap Norte.

Cap Trafalgar, whose maiden voyage was in March 1914, was conspicuous for the battle fought with Cunard’s Carmania in August 1914, when both had been converted to armed merchant cruisers.

Cap Arcona was bombed and destroyed in May 1945 when she was carrying several thousand evacuees and inmates from some of the concentration camps. At least 5,000 people were killed in the sinking, making it one of the worst maritime disasters in history.

In more recent years the company became part of the Oetker Group. Maersk stated that the company would keep its brand name, and would remain based in Hamburg.

maersk-containershipsIn a later statement, on 13th December, Maersk confirmed that the acquisition and operation of Hamburg-Süd would hopefully replace around 60% of the revenue that will be lost when Moller-Maersk separates off its Energy Division, to leave itself free to concentrate on transport and logistics. Last year the Energy Division added $9.8 billion to the conglomerate’s revenue: it is anticipated that Hamburg-Süd will generate some $6 billion.

Purser’s Locker celebrates Queen Mary

queen-mary-maiden-itemsOne of the best sources for ocean liner memorabilia and artefacts is The Purser’s Locker, owned by collector and dealer Jonathan Quayle. As well as a beautiful website detailing the many items he has for sale, he also features an occasional blog with fascinating items of information. The latest covers original items from Queen Mary‘s maiden voyage in 1936.

With Jonathan’s permission, here is a snippet from that blog – we highly recommend you head over to and read the full article.

“May 1936, Cunard White Star finally introduced the world to its new ship of state, RMS Queen Mary. It was the event of the year, anyone who was anyone wanted to be onboard that first voyage, from all walks of life, up and down the country.

A myriad of souvenirs were produced. Hundreds of companies celebrated the event by producing countless articles. All of those articles that survive today are highly prized and valuable, but perhaps the best of these are the items that Cunard White Star produced or commissioned themselves to be sold or given out on the day. The list of ‘official’ souvenirs was endless. Some of the more memorable items to find might be a set of 6 solid silver spoons produced by a Southampton jeweller or why not get an ash tray issued by the company who manufactured her four propellers, modelled as one of those props, the blades even turn!”

To read the full article, head to pursers