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The Fleets

Compagnie de Navigation Sud-Atlantique

A concern entitled the SOCIETE D'ETUDES DE NAVIGATION was founded in 1910 by the French shipowners Cyprien Fabre, Fraissinet and the Société Générale de Transports Maritimes in conjunction with two French banks. On 27 May 1910 they submitted a request to the French Government to be allowed to undertake all the mail services then maintained by Messageries Maritimes.
Messageries Maritimes had done very little since 1904 to improve their South American service.
After the French authorities had had private discussions with both Messageries and the Societe d'Etudes, contracts were signed on 11 July 1911 and were to be effective from 22 July 1912. Messageries were allowed to retain all their mail services except the one to South America which was to be transferred to the Societe d'Etudes. They, for their part were required to build four 18 knot passenger liners with a minimium length of 175 metres and provide six paquebots mixtes in order not only to maintain a fortnightly mail service but also a fortnightly intermediate service between Bordeaux and Buenos Aires. However these arrangements were not confirmed by the French Parliament until 31 December 1911, thus allowing an unreasonably short time for the appropriate ships to be acquired. Nevertheless, orders were placed next day with the Chantiers de l'Atlantique at St. Nazaire for the 14,000 ton LUTETIA and with Forges & Chantiers de la Mediterranee at La Seyne for a similar ship, the GALLIA, both to be delivered in 1913.
On 8 February 1912 the Societe d'Etudes de Navigation changed its name to Compagnie de Navigation Sud-Atlantique, its capital being 15 million francs (£600,000). Its board of directors consisted of prominent bankers and shipowners, among whom were Andre Berthelot, Cyprien Fabre, Alfred Fraissinet, Comte Arrnand, Pellerin de la Touche and Hubert Giraud. The inaugural date of the service was, not surprisingly, postponed from 22 July to 22 September 1912 and, of course, a number of second hand ships had to be acquired in order to open it.

In 1914, the company was placed under the control of the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique and was taken over in 1916 by Chargeurs Réunis. In 1928 Chargeurs Réunis took over Sud Atlantique's intermediate service.

Messageries Maritimes took over the South American service in 1962 with the only two ships still left (LAENNEC and CHARLES TELLIER), this was the end of the Compagnie de Navigation Sud-Atlantique

Many thanks to Henk Jungerius and Ted Finch for their 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:

  • France - South America

Funnel:
Buff with black top

Fleet:   1911-1931 1931-1962
Vessel Built Years in Service Tons
Alba 1912 built by Bremer Vulkan, Bremen | ex- Sierra Ventana built for Norddeutscher Lloyd, 1919 seized by France, 1920 purchased from French Government renamed Alba, 1926 sold to Chargeurs Reunis renamed Amerique, 1936 scrapped. 8,324
Alesia   see La Bretagne.  
Burdigala 1898 built by F. Schickau, Danzig | ex- Kaiser Friedrich, 1912 purchased from Norddeutscher Lloyd renamed Burdigala, 1913 laid up, 1917 mined and sunk near Mykonos. 12,480
Charles Tellier 1952 built by Ateliers & Chantiers de La Loire, St. Nazaire | 1962 transferred to Messageries Maritimes not renamed, 1967 sold to Hong Kong owners (Panama flag) renamed Le Havre Abeto, 1978 laid up, 1984 scrapped. 12,007
Divona 1887 built by Fairfield Shipbuilding Co., Glasgow | ex- Ormuz, 1912 purchased from Orient Steam Nav. Co. renamed Divona, 1919 laid up, 1922/23 scrapped. 6,405
Gallia 1913 built by Forges & Chantiers de la Mediterranee, La Seyne | 1914 armed merchant cruiser later troopship, 1916 torpedoed and sunk as a troopship by German submarine U-35 with the loss of 600+ lives. 14,966
Garonna 1897 built by Fairfield Shipbuilding Co., Glasgow | ex- Avondale Castle, 1912 purchased from Union Castle Line renamed Garonna, 1920 scrapped. 5,531
La Bretagne 1886 built by Chantiers de Penhoet, St. Nazaire | ex- La Bretagne, 1912 transferred from Cie. Generale Transatlantique not renamed, 1919 renamed Alesia, 1923 sold for scrapping towed away and lost. 7,112
La Gascogne 1886 built by Forges & Chantiers de la Mediterranee, La Seyne | ex- La Gascogne launched as L'Algerie, 1912 transferred from Cie. Generale Transatlantique not renamed, 1918 reverted to CGT, 1919 scrapped. 7,395
Laennec 1952 built by Ateliers & Chantiers de La Loire, St. Nazaire | 1962 transferred to Messageries Maritimes not renamed, 1966 sold to Hong Kong owners (Panama flag) renamed Belle Abeto, 1976 destroyed by fire. 12,007
L'Atlantique 1931 built by Chantiers de l'Atlantique, St. Nazaire | 1933 damaged by fire, 1936 scrapped at Port Glasgow. 40,945
Liger 1896 built by Fairfield Shipbuilding Co., Glasgow | ex- Tintagel Castle, 1912 purchased from Union Castle Line renamed Liger, 1923 scrapped. 5,562
Lutetia 1913 built by Chantiers de l'Atlantique, St. Nazaire | 1914 troopship, 1915 armed merchant cruiser, later hospital ship and again troopship, 1919/20 refitted and in 1920 returned to service, 1938 laid up and scrapped. 14,783
Massilia 1914 built by Forges & Chantiers de la Mediterranee, La Seyne | Completed in 1920, 1940 laid up at Marseilles, 1944 scuttled by Germans, wreck later scrapped. 15,147
Meduana 1923 built by Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson, Wallsend on Tyne | 1928 to Chargeurs Reunis renamed Kerguelen, 1940 seized by Germany renamed Winrich von Kniprode, 1945 reverted to France renamed Kerguelen, 1955 scrapped. 10,123
Mosella 1922 built by Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson, Wallsend on Tyne | 1928 to Chargeurs Reunis renamed Jamaique, 1954 scrapped. 10,123
Pasteur 1939 built by Chantiers de l'Atlantique, St. Nazaire | 1940 placed under Cunard-White Star Management, 1945 returned to owners, 1957 laid up, 1957 sold to Norddeutscher Lloyd renamed Bremen, 1971 sold to Chandris Line, renamed Regina Magna, 1974 laid up, 1977 floating hotel at Djeddah renamed Saudiphil 1, 1980 renamed Filipinas Saudi 1, 1980 sunk in tow to the breakers. 29,253
Samara 1894 built by Harland & Wolff, Belfast | ex- Staffordshire, 1912 purchased from Bibby Line renamed Samara, 1922 scrapped. 6,055
Sequana 1898 built by Workman & Clark & Co., Belfast | ex- City of Corinth, 1912 purchased from Ellerman's City Line renamed Sequana, 1917 torpedoed and sunk by German submarine UC.72. 5,443
    Chartered Ships  
Vessel Built Years in Service Tons
Atlantique 1899 built by Messageries Maritimes, La Ciotad | Chartered for one round voyage in 1912, 1921 renamed Angkor, 1933 scrapped. 6,479
Flandre 1914 built by Chantiers de l'Atlantique, St. Nazaire | Cargo ship, 1914 chartered from Cie. Generale Transatlantique, 1940 mined and sunk at mouth of Gironde. 8,503
Floride 1907 built by Chantiers & Ateliers de Provence, Port de Bouc | Cargo ship, 1915 chartered from Cie. Generale Transatlantique, 1915 captured and sunk by German surface raider Prinz Eitel Friedrich in South Atlantic. 7,029
Guadeloupe 1907 built by Chantiers de l'Atlantique, St. Nazaire | Cargo ship, 1915 chartered from Cie. Generale Transatlantique, Laid down as Point a Pitre, 1915 captured and sunk by the German surface raider Kronprins Wilhelm. 6,586
La Champagne 1885 built by Chantiers de Penhoet, St. Nazaire | Chartered in 1912 from Cie. Generale Transatlantique, 1915 aground St.Nazaire and wrecked. 7,087
Perou 1907 built by Chantiers de l'Atlantique, St. Nazaire | Cargo ship, 1914 chartered from Cie. Generale Transatlantique, laid down as Fort de France, 1934 scrapped. 6,599
Valdavia 1911 built by Chantiers & Ateliers de Provence, Port de Bouc | Chartered in 1913 for one year from Société Générale des Transports Maritimes à Vapeur (SGTM), 1933 scrapped. 7,168

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