Hamburg Atlantic Linie


German Atlantic Linie

The Hamburg Atlantic Linie

Hamburg Atlantic line was founded by the Dane Axel Bitsch Christensen. Christensen lived since 1952 in Hamburg. His boss and friend Nicos Vernicos Eugenides, owner of the Home Lines, made available 6 million DM as a foundation capital for a new shipping company to him. With this money one succeeds Christensen in drawing a guarantee more than 16.5 million DM in November, 1957 out of the Hamburg mayor Max Brauer.


Then on the 6th of January, 1958 the Hamburg-Atlantik Linie GmbH was officially founded and already 17th of January, 1958 was acquired by the Canadian Steamship Ltd the Empress of Scotland. The ship was completely altered and renovated. On the 19th of July, 1958 the ship under the new name "Hanseatic League" could begin his maiden voyage. August, 1958 the hamburger cigarette manufacturer Phillip Reemtsma with 4 million DM took part in that. Now officially the shipping company was put down as "Hamburg-Atlantik navigation society mbH", there remained in the business dealings, however, with the old name. In 1962 Axel Bitsch Christensen thinks because of the success Hanseatic League about the construction of an other ship. When he after an other guarantee asked one was not interested in the city hall. Indeed, the finance senator gave to recognise one can think about it if the shipping company 30 million DM of company capital would raise. 


As a result Christensen sketched with, to his financial adviser the draught of a write-off society. 750 Hanseatic Leagues passengers were written up by those 256 within 2 weeks 20 million DM of capital accepted. On the 01th of December, 1965 the "German Atlantic-navigation society became a GmbH & Co." Founded and 212 private investors 30 million DM although did not draw assents on state aid yet were given. From now on The shipping company was called the German Atlantic line. In February, 1966 the alliance gave it the assent about a guarantee. 


Then happened a misfortune: In New York Hanseatic League burnt out. The already booked cruises were carried out by the ship chartered by the French Renessaince. 


Then in September the senate of Hamburg also gave OK for a renewed guarantee and in October the society meeting of the German Atlantic tuned line to a new building to with the German shipyard was ordered. In the beginning of 1967 a new owner's society which was put "Hanseatic League navigation society mbH" their capital again by former Hanseatic League passengers was founded. From this money it is bought in May, 1967 in Israel the Shalom and is put in service in November also under the name Hanseatic League as a substitute with the burnt-out ship. Hamburg had be launched in February, 1968 as an new building of the shipping company and could start his maiden voyage at the end of March, 1969. But already in autumn, 1969 the end of the shipping company appears in outlines. By the revaluation of the German mark the German Atlantic lost line an amount of money. Because nearly 75% of the income of the shipping company were made in US dollar meant every % of revaluation a loss of more than 200,000 DM. In addition, the personnel expenditure clearly rose - from 1968 to 1973 about 70% - what meant also big losses.


In 1970 could gain the DAL still 16 million DM of turnover. A year later only 14 millions. The fuel prices rose by 50% and the dollar fell in comparison to the marks on and on. Now the shipping company is in so big financial miseries them negotiations with the Hapag-Lloyd AG takes up to combine with that. Nevertheless, this declines. Then in July, 1973 Hanseatic League (ex Shalom) had to be sold to the Home Line to turn away the bankruptcy. The ship was renamed as Doric and was on his duty for the Home Line till 1981. Then it was sold to the royal Cruise Line and was put in service after rebuildings under the name royal Odysee. Here the ship remained till 1988 as it to the Regency Cruises is sold and there as a regent Sun undertakes cruises. In 1996 the ship is renamed as Sun venture and stands for the sales. Because of the bad state sales to the premier Cruise does not come about in 1997. In 1998 a company called „Internationally Shipping of partner buys“ the ship and renames it as Sun 11. in service, however, the ship does not come any more. In the 7/26/2001 former Hanseatic League on the way sings to the Abwrackwerft. 


The debts of the German Atlantic line rise on and on and become respected in September, 1973 on 50 - 70 million DM. Kurt Körber, advisory board chairperson of the shipping company did not call the situation difficult, however, hopelessly. On the 25th of September, 1973 the shipping company renamed Hamburg in Hanseatic League and now offered also Hanseatic League ex. Hamburg for the sales in. Moreover negotiations with the Hapag-Lloyd were entered. The finances of the shipping company will see worse and worse thus this the companions in October, 1973 no other way out to decide as the resolution of the shipping company. Hanseatic League should be sold for 50 millions to the Hapag-Lloyd with which all obligations last compared with the state covered, indeed, the companions her inserts and advances would have lost. 


Then in November an offer from Japan much higher than the offer of the Hapag-Lloyd comes in the middle of the negotiations with the Hapag-Lloyd is. On the 01th of December, 1973 the German Atlantic puts her company to line. - Hanseatic League ex Hamburg is put on in Hamburg and then on the 12th of December it is determined about the sales of the last ship. Two offers lay on the table. One of the Japanese Ryutsu Kaiun K.K. and one American Robin International Cooperation. The Americans wanted to acquire the ship as scarecrows for the Soviet state shipping company. It was decided to sell to the Japanese for 67.5 millions the ship, but on the contract of the Japanese the signature of the Ryutsu boss was absent. Thus the American company got the surcharge for 62 million DM. 


The Americans handed over the ship to the Soviet state shipping company and on the 25th of January, 1974 Hanseatic League became to the Black Sea Shipping Co. handed over and in Maxim Gorki renamed. After the Russians had taken over the ship vercharterten them to a film company the film "Juggernaut" (only 18 hours up to the eternity) aboard turned. A year later became Maxim Gorki Opfer of a terrorist attack. On a crossing to New York two bombs explode aboard. A serious damage was missing thank God and the ship could be repaired in Hoboken. Then there remained longer time quietly around the ship. 


In April, 1988 Maxim Gorki was modernised with Lloyd Werft in Bremerhaven and was handed over after the works in September in full charter to phoenix travelling. In June, 1989 the ship runs too fast in a drift ice field leakage hits and starts to sink. The captain allows to broadcast SOS and take ashore the passengers as well as 120 men of the occupying. At 3 o'clock in the morning the Norwegian coast guard ship Senja at the accident place arrives and supports the leakage protection work. In the course of the day one succeeds the ship already sunk up to the main deck in stabilising. At temperatures around the freezing point in the boats and partially on floes to enduring passengers are taken by the Senja aboard. Maxim Gorki is dragged in a bay and there temporarily sealed during the passengers to Dusseldorf become flown. Two weeks later Maxim Gorki from own strength on Lloyd Werft arrives in Bremerhaven and is repaired there during the next 6 weeks. 


Then in December, 1989 Maxim Gorki is in every one's mouth. Both presidents George Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev hold aboard her summit, while the ship anchors before Malta. Since 1991 the ship had various shipping companies and owners. Currently Maxim Gorki still for phoenix drives sea voyages.

 Copyright in 2003 Thorsten Totzke /

nach oben Maxim Gorki

The above report was made available to us to friendly manner by Thorsten Totzke

Surely many thanks.

The Ships:

17th of January, 1958 buying of 26.313 GRT of big 3 choral stone steamboat EMPRESS OF SCOTTLAND EMPRESS OF SCOTTLAND.jpg

The Empress of Scottland after occurred rebuilding in Hamburg as HANSEATIC LEAGUE

HANSEATIC I - Hamburg.jpg
The HANSEATIC LEAGUE Steubenhöft/Cuxhaven Hanseatic I - Steubenhöft.jpg
May, 1967, buying of the Israeli Shalom Shalom.jpg
Till November, 1967 rebuilding to Hanseatic League II Hanseatic II.jpg
In 1968 batch run of the new building March, 1969 maiden voyage of HAMBURG TS



TS Hamburg.jpg

30th of November, 2008 

Phoenix's trips does not extend the charter-party with the Russian shipping company any more and the TS MAXIM GORKIY retires from the phoenix's fleet! 


01st of December. 

In 2008 The rescue operation "SAVES HAMBURG" starts! 

16th of February, 2009 

It becomes clear that the rescue operation "SAVES HAMBURG" fails! 

25th of February, 2009 

Maxim Gorkiy, becomes in the early morning hours, for breaking on the beach driven! 


Chronik der Hamburg
back top


aktualisiert am: 11.12.18 19:21


Counter von Counter-Service Counter von Counter-Service

Homepage Club TS Hamburg. Im Netz seit: 26.06.2001
copyrights 2018 © by Uwe Noack