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The Fleets

Rickmers Line / Rickmers Reismühlen, Rhederei & Schiffbau AG

R. C. Rickmers commenced shipbuilding in 1836 in Bremen and later in Geestemunde. In 1848 he moved into shipowning in partnership and then on his own account. The company's main voyages were to East Asia, although they traded to other parts of the world, notably the California - Europe wheat trade. The company moved into steamships in 1889 when they commissioned the SOPHIE RICKMERS, but continued to use sailing ships for several years. By 1899 Rickmers had sold their Far East ships to North German Lloyd and HAPAG and in 1903 sold their fleet of eight Far Eastern coastal steamers to NGL. The remainder of the fleet was chartered to Reis und Handels-AG, Bremen until 1909 when Rickmers now owned a fleet of unemployed ships, but commenced a new service to Vladivostok which soon flourished. In 1912 the headquarters of the firm was moved from Bremen to Hamburg and the remainder of the sailing ships were sold. The following year Rickmers purchased the services of the British Bell Line to the Levant and in 1914 the Siberia trade extended to the Straits, China and Japan. The Great War resulted in the loss or confiscation of most of the company's ships and it wasn't until 1920 that they resumed operations with the new SOPHIA RICKMERS which was the first German steamer to dock in New York after the war. Services to East Asia soon resumed and passengers were carried for the first few years. At the beginning of the Second World War, Rickmers owned seven steamers, but by 1945 owned none and it was not until 1951 that services resumed to China and the Far East. In 1964 the company entered into partnership with the French Delmas-Vieljeux Line which opened trading to West Africa. In 1966 a joint shipping company was formed with DDG Hansa and in 1969 the partnership with Delmas-Vieljeux was dissolved. Hapag-Lloyd and Rickmers agreed on a joint liner service to East Asia in 1974. In 1987 the company withdrew from shipowning.

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:

  • Worldwide tramping.
  • Germany to Siberia and Far East.

Funnel:
Black with white band containing representation of the house flag.

Fleet:

    Sailing Ships  
Vessel Built Years in Service Tons
Albert Rickmers (1) 1894 four masted barque, 1900 sold to Bremen as training ship renamed Herzogin Sophie Charlotte. 2,395
Albert Rickmers (2) 1905 barque, 1911 sold to Laeisz Line, Hamburg renamed Penang. 2,039
Alice Rickmers 1875 barque, 1896 sold to Bremen renamed Hansa. 1,270
Andreas 1864 ship, 1871 went missing in China Sea. 1,010
Andreas Rickmers 1873 ship, 1878 stranded off Madeira and sank. 1,560
Andree Rickmers (1) 1886 barque, 1896 caught fire and abandoned in Atlantic. 1,500
Bassermann 1848 brig, 1852 wrecked. 205
Deike Rickmers (1) 1872 barque, 1873 sold to Bremen owner renamed C. R. Bischop. 930
Deike Rickmers (2) 1874 ship. 1884 stranded off Harwich. 1,840
Doctor Petermann 1866 barque, 1873 sold to Bremen owner. 750
Dodo 1861 barque, 1868 sold to Denmark. 370
Elisabeth Rickmers (1) 1877 barque, 1894 wrecked near Ringkobing. 1,300
Ellen Rickmers (1) 1868 barque, 1875 sold to Elsfleth. 375
Ellen Rickmers (2) 1884 barque, 1891 left Newcastle for Peneg and went missing. 1,450
Energie 1860 barque, 1867 sold to France. 310
Erik Rickmers 1897 ship, 1899 wrecked in fog off Scilly Isles. 2,050
Ernst und Maria 1864 barque, 1872 sold to Arendal. 332
Erwin Rickmers 1882 barque, 1898 sold to Bremen owner renamed Brema. 1,460
Etha Rickmers (1) 1859 barque, 1864 sold to Norway. 435
Etha Rickmers (2) 1866 ship, 1870 wrecked on Goodwin Sands, all hands lost. 1,160
Etha Rickmers (3) 1871 ship, 1889 sold to Norway renamed Rubia. 1,036
Etha Rickmers (4) 1890 ship, 1904 sold to Italy renamed S. Amalia. 1,860
Grossvater 1862 barque, 1867 sold. 540
Helgoland 1860 ship, 1863 wrecked off Texel. 815
Laurita 1868 barquentine, 1873 sold. 270
Mabel Rickmers (1) 1898 ship, 1912 sold to Hamburg owners renamed Winterhude. 2,065
Madeleine Rickmers (1) 1879 barque, 1898 condemned at Port Natal after storm damage. 1,300
Maria Rickmers (1) 1868 barque, 1889 sold to Norway renamed Gratia. 585
Maria Rickmers (2) 1892 five masted barque, 1892 went missing on voyage Saigon to Bremerhaven; loss of 39 lives. 3,822
Paul Rickmers (1) 1876 barque, 1895 stranded Timor Islands. 1,250
Peter Rickmers (1) 1867 barque, 1884 sold to Finland renamed Widja. 720
Peter Rickmers (2) 1889 four masted ship, 1908 stranded on voyage New York - Rangoon. 2,926
R.C. Rickmers (1) 1868 ship, 1882 caught fire and abandoned off Madeira. 1,080
R.C. Rickmers (2) 1888 ship, 1901 sold to Italy renamed Teresa. 1,750
R.C. Rickmers (3) 1905 five masted barque, 1914 captured by Britain renamed Neath, 1917 sunk by U.66 off Fastnet. 5,548
Renee Rickmers (1) 1887 four masted barque, 1913 sold to Finland renamed Aland. 2,066
Richard Rickmers 1881 barque, 1899 sold Bremerhaven renamed Dora. 1,400
Rickmer Rickmers 1896 ship, 1912 sold to Hamburg owner renamed Max. 2,007
Robert Rickmers (1) 1866 barque, 1871 sold. 438
Robert Rickmers (2) 1888 four masted barque, 1904 went missing on voyage Philadelphia - Hiogo; loss of 26 lives. 2,277
Rudolf 1862 barque, 1865 sold to Hamburg owner, 1868 renamed Ida. 227
Sophie Rickmers (1) 1870 barque, 1871 confiscated by France in Saigon. 880
Sophie und Helene 1863 barque, 1869 lost off Hong Kong. 365
Willy 1859 ship, 1868 wrecked Gaspar Straits. 855
Willy Rickmers (1) 1868 barque, 1889 sold to Grimstad renamed Goodthab. 850
Willy Rickmers (2) 1895 four masted barque, 1912 sold to Bremen owners renamed Paul. 2,069
    Steamships  
Vessel Built Years in Service Tons
Aenne Rickmers 1911 1914 captured by Britain, 1915 renamed Anne. 4,083
Andree Rickmers (2) 1902 1906 sold to North German Lloyd renamed Locksun. 1,657
Andree Rickmers (3) 1907 1917 sold to Schleswig owner renamed Hilda Horn. 4,173
Baltrum 1900 trawler, 1903 went missing in Atlantic. 160
Bertram Rickmers (1) 1923 1941 sunk by Royal Navy in Red Sea. 4,188
Bertram Rickmers (2) 1979 1987 sold to Panama renamed Trade Candour. 14,442
Camilla Rickmers 1914 1917 seized by USA renamed Ticonderoga, 1918 sunk by U-Boat. 5,130
Claus Rickmers 1924 1947 seized by Britain renamed Empire Carron. 5,165
Deike Rickmers (3) 1896 1899 sold to HAPAG renamed Holsatia. 3,349
Deike Rickmers (4) 1908 1917 seized by China renamed Hwah Ting. 4,176
Deike Rickmers (5) 1910 ex- Cartagena , 1926 purchased from Hamburg owner renamed Deike Rickmers, 1927 sold to Japan renamed Tami Maru. 1,552
Deike Rickmers (6) 1912 ex- Aker , 1929 purchased from Norway renamed Deike Rickmers, 1938 sold to Moller Line, Shanghai renamed Helga Moller. 5,341
Deike Rickmers (7) 1944 1945 seized by Britain renamed Empire Concord. 1,923
Denderah Rickmers 1892 ex- Denderah , 1912 purchased from Kosmos Line, Hamburg renamed Denderah Rickmers 1912 went missing between Karatsu and Cebu. 3,066
Dorothea Rickmers (1) 1895 1899 sold HAPAG renamed Frisia. 3,738
Dorothea Rickmers (2) 1903 1903 sold to North German Lloyd renamed Anghin. 1.613
Dorothea Rickmers (3) 1907 1917 sold to Hamburg owner renamed Gallipoli. 4,177
Elisabeth Rickmers (2) 1896 1900 sold to North German Lloyd renamed Norderney. 4,777
Elisabeth Rickmers (3) 1903 1906 sold to North German Lloyd renamed Pongtong. 1,631
Elisabeth Rickmers (4) 1906 1917 sold to Lubeck owners renamed Hornhoh. 4,174
Ellen Rickmers (3) 1896 1900 sold to North German Lloyd renamed Borkum. 4,905
Ellen Rickmers (4) 1903 1903 sold to North German Lloyd renamed Samsen. 1,632
Ellen Rickmers (5) 1906 1914 scuttled off Tsingtau, 1915 salved by Japan renamed Rozan. 4,117
Etha 1958 ex- Munchen , 1970 purchased from HAPAG renamed Etha, 1975 renamed Etha Rickmers, 1981 transferred to Panama registry, 1986 scrapped. 12,669
Etha Rickmers (5) 1909 1914 seized by Russia renamed Kaca, 1918 returned to Germany renamed Etha Rickmers, 1919 to Britain as war reparations, 1922 renamed Croxteth Hall (Ellerman Hall Line) 4,101
Etha Rickmers (6) 1906 ex- Bito , 1926 purchased from Eftikhia SS Co, London renamed Etha Rickmers, 1938 sold to Moller Line, Shanghai renamed Gladys Moller. 5,149
Etha Rickmers (7) 1959 1964 sold to China renamed You Hao. 8,405
Etha Rickmers (8) 1975 see Etha.  
Hans Rickmers 1919 ex- Trelyon , 1938 purchased from Hain SS Co, St. Ives renamed Hans Rickmers, 1942 mined and grounded off Petsamo, destroyed by Russian artillery. 5,226
Helene Rickmers (1) 1889 1899 sold to HAPAG renamed Teutonia. 3,066
Helene Rickmers (2) 1903 1913 sold to Atlas Line, Hamburg, then to Deutsche Levante Line, renamed Rodosto. 3,543
Langeoog 1896 trawler, 1903 sold to Bremen owner. 142
Lilly Rickmers 1910 1917 sold to Dortmund owner renamed Hans-Wilhelm Hemsoth. 4,081
Mabel Rickmers (2) 1914 1917 sold to Hamburg owner renamed Franziska. 5,130
Madeleine Rickmers (2) 1901 1906 sold to North German Lloyd renamed Choising. 1,657
Madeleine Rickmers (3) 1908 1912 wrecked on Japanese coast. 4,170
Madeleine Rickmers (4) 1913 1917 sold to Schleswig owner renamed Minna Horn.
3,432
Mai Rickmers (1) 1910 1917 sold to Lubeck owner renamed Hornstein. 4,103
Mai Rickmers (2) 1935 ex- Merchant Knight (photo http://www.mariners-l.co.uk/ShipsIndex.html ), 1950 purchased from Drake Line, London renamed Mai Rickmers, 1962 scrapped. 4,743
Mai Rickmers (3) 1957 ex- Erik Blumenfeld , 1965 purchased from Hamburg owners renamed Mai Rickmers, 1972 transferred to Singapore registry, 1986 scrapped. 10,718
Maria Rickmers (3) 1896 1900 sold to North German Lloyd renamed Helgoland. 4,888
Maria Rickmers (4) 1902 1903 sold to North German Lloyd renamed Paklat. 1,657
Maria Rickmers (5) 1904 1912 sold to Atlas Line, Hamburg then to Deutsche Levante Line renamed Stambul. 3,559
Moni 1967 1969 sold to France renamed Mont Delmas. 2,838
Moni Rickmers 1919 ex- Trewyn , 1937 purchased from Hain SS Co, St. Ives renamed Moni Rickmers, 1940 seized by Holland renamed Salando. 5,272
Paul Rickmers (2) 1955 1972 transferred to Singapore registry, 1982 scrapped. 7,910
Peter Rickmers (3) 1913 1914 scuttled at Beirut as blockship. 5,162
Peter Rickmers (4) 1944 1945 seized by Britain renamed Empire Colne. 1,923
Peter Rickmers (5) 1962 1972 transferred to Singapore registry, 1986 scrapped. 10,223
R.C. Rickmers (4) 1921 1941 sold to Japan renamed Teifukku Maru. 5,198
R.C. Rickmers (5) 1957 1971 sold to Cyprus. 8,127
Renee Rickmers (2) 1980 1987 sold to Panama renamed Trade Concord. 14,441
Sabine Rickmers (1) 1894 1898 sold to Shell Transport Co, Hong Kong. 1,026
Sabine Rickmers (2) 1909 1914 seized by Russia renamed Nonni. 4,105
Senegal 1960 1965 purchased from Holland, 1969 sold to Italy renamed Andrea Cagnoni. 1,591
Shantung 1900 1901 sold to North German Lloyd. 1,687
Sophie Rickmers (2) 1889 1889 sold to HAPAG renamed Westphalia. 3,095
Sophie Rickmers (3) 1901 1916 seized by Portugal renamed Berlenga. 3,548
Sophie Rickmers (4) 1920 1940 scuttled in Sabang roads. 7,033
Sophie Rickmers (5) 1957 ex- Dresden , 1970 purchased from HAPAG renamed Sophie Rickmers, 1972 transferred to Singapore registry, 1987 scrapped. 12,494
Spiekeroog 1895 trawler, 1903 sold to Bremen owner. 131
Sui An 1899 1901 sold to HAPAG. 1,651
Sui Hsiang 1900 1900 sank after grounding near Chungking. 826
Sui Tai 1899 1901 sold to HAPAG. 1,651
Tsintau 1900 1901 sold to North German Lloyd. 1,685
Ursala Rickmers (1) 1911 1917 sold to Hamburg owner renamed Bosporus. 4,185
Ursala Rickmers (2) 1917 ex- Wheatmore , 1928 purchased from Johnston Line renamed Ursala Rickmers, 1941 sold to Japan renamed Teisen Maru. 5,050
Ursala Rickmers (3) 1931 ex- Gertrud Maersk , 1956 purchased from Maersk Line, Copenhagen renamed Ursala Rickmers, 1964 scrapped. 6,907
Wangerooge 1895 trawler, 1904 sold to Tsingtau renamed Lingsau. 131
Willi Rickmers 1954 ex- Kybfels , 1966 purchased from Hansa Line, Bremen renamed Willi Rickmers, 1969 resold to Hansa Line renamed Reichenfels. 7,003
Willy Rickmers (3) 1915 1917 sold to Hamburg owner renamed Gertrud. 5,091

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