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The Fleets

Carr Line

Established in Hamburg in 1879-80 as a tramp ship company, they expanded into the emigrant business in 1881 with a fleet of cargo liners. Speed was not a consideration and most westbound passages to New York took 17-19 days. By offering cheaper fares, Carr Line entered into cut throat competition with other Atlantic passenger companies and in 1886 amalgamated with Robert Sloman's Union Line under the title Carr-Union Line. In 1888 the Hamburg America Line purchased four Carr Line ships, together with their half interest in the Union Line. The remaining ships were bought by Hamburg America in 1890-91.


  • 1880-1886 Hamburg - Baltimore - Philadelphia.
  • 1881-1886 Hamburg - New York.

Many thanks to Ted Finch for his assistance in collecting this data. The following list was extracted from various sources. This is not an all inclusive list but should only be used as a guide. If you would like to know more about a vessel, visit the Ship Descriptions (onsite) or Immigrant Ship web site.

Black with broad white band.


Vessel Built Years in Service Tons
Africa 1880 cargo ship. 1883 went missing in North Atlantic. 1,495
America 1881 1882 went missing en route New York - Hamburg; loss of 34 lives 2,118
Asia 1880 cargo ship. 1880 wrecked Socotra Island, Gulf of Aden. 1,540
Australia 1881 1888 purchased by Hamburg America Line. 2,119
California 1883 1888 purchased by Hamburg America Line 2,196
Europa 1879 cargo ship. 1891 purchased by Hamburg America Line 1,533
India 1882 1890 purchased by Hamburg America Line 1,551
Polaria 1882 1888 purchased by Hamburg America Line 2,724
Polynesia 1881 1888 purchased by Hamburg America Line 2,196

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Last updated: February 06, 2005 and maintained by and M. Kohli