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The Fleets

China Trans-Pacific SS Co.

Formed in 1873, this was a short lived company and was the first British shipping company to operate services between the Far East and America. Founded when the Pacific Mail SS Co. announced that they would no longer discharge at San Francisco, but would instead travel to Panama where cargoes would taken to the Eastern States by their own trans-isthmus transport and Atlantic steamers. The Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railroads then needed a steamship company to operate from the Far East to San Francisco and the China Trans-Pacific SS Co came into operation. Passengers were few and 14-1st class seems to have been the maximum number. However, up to 600 coolies were carried on each voyage. The company was killed off by the railroads when in Nov.1874 they announced the formation of the Occidental & Oriental SS Co., using chartered White Star Line ships. The China Trans-Pacific SS Co. then chartered their two ships to the Pacific Mail SS Co. and later sold them.

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.

Routes: 1874 Hong Kong - Yokohama - San Francisco


Vessel Built Years in Service Tons
Vasco de Gama 1873 1874 chartered to Pacific Mail, 1878 sold to Royal Mail S.P. Co. renamed Trent. 2,912
Vancouver 1874 1874 chartered to Pacific Mail, 1879 sold to Royal Mail S. P. Co. renamed Tamar. 2,923
Altona 1872 1874 chartered from von Pustow, Germany for one voyage. 1,814

List of sailings (all 1874)
Vasco de Gama - Left Hong Kong 9th Jan, 3rd Mar, 17th Jun, 3rd Sep. Left San Francisco - 21st Feb, 16th May, 26th Jul.
Vancouver - Left Hong Kong 16th May, 10th Aug. Left San Francisco 25th Jun.
Altona - left Hong Kong 27th Jun.

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Last updated: February 05, 2005 and maintained by and M. Kohli