Passenger and cargo steamer “COLUMBUS” (1923–1939)

On April 22, 1924, the “COLUMBUS” was put into service as the new flagship of North German Lloyd. With a length of around 236 meters, she was the largest and, at 21.5 knots, the fastest ship in the German merchant fleet at the time. The “COLUMBUS” initially operated mainly between Bremerhaven and New York. Due to the falling number of emigrants, it was also increasingly used for cruises.

On the “COLUMBUS”, North German Lloyd had abolished the mass accommodation of emigrants on the intermediate deck with the large dormitories. Instead there was now a III. Class with sleeping cabins. There the emigrants had access to simple, functional built-in cabins for 2-4 people with washing facilities and electric lighting.

Technische Daten



F. Schichau, Danzig

Year of construction:



Passenger and Freight transport

Shipping company:

Norddeutscher Lloyd Bremen


236,37 Meter


25,3 Meter

Gross room content:

32.565 Gross register tons




After the outbreak of war on December 19, 1939, it was sunk by its own crew as ordered.

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Modell der "COLUMBUS"

Model of the “COLUMBUS”

Schnittmodell der "COLUMBUS" mit Auswandererdocks

Cutaway model of the “COLUMBUS” with emigrant docks

Die "COLUMBUS" in Bremerhaven, 1926

The “COLUMBUS” in Bremerhaven, 1926

Auswanderer vor der "COLUMBUS", 1926

Emigrants in front of the “COLUMBUS”, 1926