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This page belongs to greg krenzelok.


This is the ship that Paul and Elizabeth Krenzelok came to America on.

Paul Krenzelok entered Ellis Island on November 2 1909 and was 19 years old. You will find Paul's last name misspelled at Ellis Island as KRENZELEK instead of KRENZELOK. I have tried countless times to have them correct this but because they read the original ship manifest as KRENZELEK they will not change it.

Above picture: Paul Krenzelok (left) and his brother center and person unknown at the right. Believed to be taken in Poland at their leaving home for America . Posted by Ed Krenzelok and part of the picture collection of our Krezelok family in Poland that they let Ed borrow to have scanned. A lot of these pictures have never been seen by the American Krenzelok family and I will be posting them in the future.

Frank Kellner entered Ellis Island on July 6th 1907 under the name Franz Kellner age 25. Make sure you look for page 0398 line 6. Frank came to America ahead of his wife Frances and daughter Elizabeth. He went to Ladysmith Wisconsin where friends were working at the papermill and got a job also there. He later sent for his family to come to America

Kronprinzessin Cecilie in New York Harbor 1910. The same year Elizabeth and her mother arrived

Elizabeth, Frances and Frank Kellner taken around 1906 at Witkowitz, Moravia

Elizabeth ( Berta ) Kellner Krenzelok and her mother Frances ( Franciszka ) Kellner entered Ellis Island on March 15 1910 and was 11 years old ( age 13 is correct ) . This date has now been confirmed with Ellis Island records thanks to Alan Krenzelok, Ed's son . You can find Franciszka ( Frances ) and Berta ( Elizabeth ) Kellner in the Ellis Island record's website. Originally we were not able to locate them due to a miss spelling of their last name which was spelled Okellner. Alan found another person on the ship manifest for the date Frances and Elizabeth sailed and went through the manifest where he located them both.

Special note January 7 2005: I have been able to correct the spelling of Frances and Elizabeth's last name at Ellis Island and you will now find it spelled correctly ( Kellner )

The Anton Chvatal family was on the same voyage to America in November 1909.

Several years ago I received a e-mail from David Bond, he had found this website on the KRONPRINZESSIN CECILIE and was amazed to find that his grandfather Anton Chvatal had came across at the same time on the KRONPRINZESSIN CECILIE as my grandfather Paul Krenzelok. We thought how incredible it was that both of our grandfathers were on the same ship and on the same voyage. This has created a friendship and bond between our two families. We like to dream of what is was like for our grandfathers and families coming across on the KRONPRINZESSIN CECILIE which like the RMS TITANIC was a luxury liner of the first class in its day. Dave and his family has shared with us the wonderful story of his grandfather coming to America and will also be sharing the short diary written by his grandfather of the time spent on the KRONPRINZESSIN CECILIE with his family on the crossing. Anton Chvatal’s diary aboard ship was a pocketsize booklet published by the Bremen Line consisting of 15 pages. The first 6 pages were advertisements about the Bremen Line and the rest of the pages were for the diary. I would like to thank Dave and his family for sharing the diary and booklet with all of us, what a wonderful piece of KRONPRINZESSIN CECILIE amd family history this is!

Click on the below click to go to the Anton Chvatal Family webpage

Anton Chvatal family

Above picture: Anton Chvatal and his wife Frances with their son John and daughter Frances, picture dates sometime between 1915 and 1920 and taken outside their home in Calmar, Iowa

Kronprinzessin Cecilie was built in 1906 by A.G.Vulkan for Norddeutscher Lloyd (North German Lloyd) She was 19,360 gross tons, length was 707 feet long and her beam was 72 feet. She had 4 funnels, three masts and had twin screws with a speed of 22.5 knots. She had accommodations for 617 first class, 326 second class and 798 3rd class passengers. Launched on Jan 12 1906. Her maiden voyage was from Bremen to Southampton, Cherbourg and on to New York. She last voyage as a passenger ship was on July 28 1914 heading for New York. From New York she headed home but was call back to Boston harbor due to the out break of World War 1. She was seized by US authorities and became the transport "Mount Vernon". On Oct. 5 1918 she was torpedoed in the North Atlantic by a German U-boat with 36 deaths managed to reach port. In 1919 she was laid up and in 1920 went to the US Shipping Board. She was scrapped in 1940 at Baltimore harbor where she lay next to her sister ship the Kaiser Wilhelm.(See last picture) Remember Titanic was only a few years away from when our relatives set out and watching any movie on the Titanic will give you a pretty good idea what times were like. The Kronprinzessin was a luxury Liner too just a little shorter in length. Titanic was around 889 feet, Kronprinzessin was around 707 feet in Length.

Above picture: Kronprinzessin Cecilie at her 3rd Street dock at Hoboken New Jersey. When the US took over the Germany liners in WW I the troops still embarked from their old docks. May grandfather Leonard Murphy was in the Veterinary Corp and embarked from Hoboken on November 11 1918 on a ship carrying horses with Veterinary Hospital # 18 going to Sougy France southeast of Paris close to Nevers France.

In 1897, when the four-funneled Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse was launched, the Germans for the first time successfully challenged British supremacy on the North Atlantic. This North German Lloyd liner took the Blue Ribbon for speed away from Cunard liners. In all, five such German four stackers were built up to 1907 the Kronprinzessin Cecile was the last of the four stacked liner built.

In 1889, Germany's Kaiser Wilhelm II visited Britain's White Star line during a Naval review at Spithead. The Emperor was deeply impressed and for the next 25 years transatlantic passenger shipping would never be quite the same. Until then, the British had a monopoly on the trans ocean honors for the biggest, fastest and the grandest passenger ships. The Kaiser was envious and when her returned to Germany word quickly spread that Imperial maritime honor for Germany would be established. After all it was not simply a matter of out doing the British but of clearly showing Europe and the rest of the world that the German Empire was reaching a new zenith of industrial and technological might. Eight years later the Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse was commissioned in September 1897 in honor of the Kaiser's grandfather Kaiser Wilhelm I and began the age of the great ocean liners. She quickly grabbed the prized Blue Ribbon for speed from the British. It was a serious blow to the otherwise contented British Victorian pride. The Kaiser was delighted!

The North German Lloyd responded with no fewer than three successively large liners, all of them four stackers. The three new vessels had the deep interest of the Kaiser and so quite appropriately bore royal names. They were the Kronprinz Wilhelm named in honor of the crown prince, Kaiser Wilhelm II and the Kronprinzessin Cecile. The early projection to make the British liners as three stackers had to change; the new ships would have to be four stackers, just like the German ships. In 1907 the new pair of ships were commissioned as the Lusitania and the Mauretania and the largest and fastest went back to Britain.

A deluxe suite on the North German Lloyd liners could cost as much as 2500 dollars. First class contained the most space and included salons of carved wood and magnificent art, suites and staterooms with marble bathrooms and special sitting rooms. Second class was a modified version of first class but with far less opulence and space. The steerage quarters the most profitable to the company were given the smallest amount of space and certainly the least amount of comfort.

Kronprinzessin Cecile one of its many sitting salons around 1909 the same year Paul Krenzelok was on the her but down in steerage. Steerage passengers would not have access to first or second class areas.

The Kronprinzessin Cecile the last of the four stackers to fly the German flag had four great mustard colored Stacks. She was the completion of the company's four liner express service and the best of its kind in the world. She provided a weekly sailing from either New York or Bremerhaven. It was a popular exact service that served thousands of passengers. She was one of the finest most luxurious liners of her day. Her first class accommodations were so luxurious that the suites included small separate private dining rooms for the more reclusive travelers. American millionaires frequently used this ship. The first class restaurant included a fish tank to provide fresh dinnertime selections. Of Course like her earlier German predecessors and other contemporaries. The Kronprinzessen Cecile also carried steerage passengers their facilities were in marked contrast to the upper deck luxuries of first class. The price of first class was as much as 2500 dollars and 25 dollars for steerage for the 5 day 20 hours passage to New York.

Above picture: Refueling coal was a cumbersome, dirty and time consuming process for each voyage. Kaiser Welhelm refueling coal at Bremem docks Germany get ready for another voyage across the Atlantic

The two and two funnels was a unique design concept that always made such German liners clearly recognizable. The scheme had more practical reasons: the pairing eliminated the need for funnel shafts in the first class restaurant and also provided better exhaust for the below deck boiler.

The travelers quickly thought the appearances of four stack liners as seen as both larger and safer. The theory of the day was ?The more stacks, the better the ship? The highly sought revenue producing immigrant trade of those thousands who were seeking one way passages to America used this system in selecting the ship for their ?Voyage of a lifetime? There were occasions when steamer companies mis-represented the ships as having more stacks than they had in reality, causing riots on the sailing day. Some passengers would stead-fastly refuse to sail until rebooked on a liner with at least three but preferably a four stacked or funnel liner.

The builders of the fourth sister were the Vulcan Shipyards in Stettin, Northern Germany. In July 1907, the dashing new Kronprinzessin Cecilie was planned to leave Bremerhaven on her maiden voyage. However, that would not be the case. Before the maiden voyage could take place, the ship sank in Bremerhaven harbor. Not until the next month on the 6th, had the ship been pumped out and repaired, and could finally set out on her maiden voyage.

The ship Kronprinzessin Cecilie was named after the wife of the German Crown Prince (Kronprinz). Cecilie Augusts Marie, The daughter of the Grand Duke Friedrich Franz III. of Mecklenburg Schwerin married the Kronprinzen Friedrich William, the oldest son of the last German emperor Wilhelm II in June 1905. The pair had six children. Empress Auguste Viktoria, pushed on a early marriage of the son as possible. With an examination of further possible connections the pair of emperors had become attentive on the princess Cecilie from the house Mecklenburg Schwerin. On the occasion of carefully arranged meeting it is to have been then love at first sight between the beautiful, blood-young Cecilie and the Kronprinzen. The wedding day on 6 June 1905 became for Berlin a memorable event.

The Kronprinzessin Cecilie was a virtual copy of the Kaiser Wilhelm II, having almost the same figure of tonnage. At last had the Germans an awaited four-ship express run over the Atlantic, and the Kronprinzessin Cecilie along with her sisters became very popular. Each of the ships had a service speed of between 22 and 23 knots, a very high figure when considering that the rate for achieving the Blue Ribbon was just above 23 knots. But the speed was not all that attracted passengers. The interiors of the four Norddeutscher Lloyd-sisters were something special. For example, the Kronprinzessin Cecilie had some of her first class suites fitted with private dining rooms for the reserved passenger. Also, a fish tank was placed in the kitchen, providing first class passengers with the freshest of fish. Added to this the entire ship was fitted with the best of craftsmanship Germany could offer; the salons were full of ornamented wood and gilded mirrors. The four sisters became the favorite ships for many distinguished passengers - especially American millionaires. Not only popular among the rich, the Kronprinzessin Cecilie earned popularity among the many emigrants also. Her four funnels represented safety, which was an important feature among the many European fortune-seekers. In comparison with a $2,500-first class suite ticket, the emigrant could sail on the Kronprinzessin Cecilie for a mere $25 - one hundred times cheaper.

The Kronprinzessin Cecilie's fate never reached German decision. When the war broke out she was in the middle of the Atlantic heading for Germany. By accident, the ship carried over $14 million in gold and silver destined to pay American industrial borrowings from British and French banks. The commanding officer, Captain Pollack, realized what danger of confiscation his ship would encounter if he was to trick his way into the Baltic Sea. In mid-ocean he decided to turn his ship back towards the still neutral United States. In order not to expose the vessel to any risks he asked for volunteers to better his all-buff funnels with a black top.

If a British ship would spot a four-stacker with buff black-topped funnels, he might mistake the Kronprinzessin Cecilie for the British White Star Line's Olympic. Some of the passengers were furious about going back to America, and a couple of American millionaires even offered to buy the ship so she could hoist the American flag and safely enter delicate European waters. Others were pleased with participating in this adventure'. The cunning Pollack reached the American coast without any problems and docked in safe Bar Harbor, Maine. If no Englishman had had the opportunity of being fooled by the Kronprinzessin Cecilie's new colors, the residents of Bar Harbor was astonished to see the Olympic' be anchored outside the tiny port.

Kronprinzessin Cecilie disguised as White Star Line's Olympic at Bar Harbor, Maine, upon her return to the US. The Kronprinzessin Cecilie, a luxury German ocean liner, was halfway across the Atlantic in August 1914 when war broke out in Europe. Rather than risk capture by British or French warships, the Cecile's captain reversed course, seeking a safe port in the United States. Three days later, under cover of darkness, he anchored his boat at the small resort town of Bar Harbor, Maine.The reason for this unorthodox port call soon became apparent. The majestic ship, her master concerned over the possibility of being captured on the high seas by British or French cruisers, had been nearing Liverpool, England, when she received telegraphic orders to come about and return to the neutral United States, making for the nearest port, which, in view of the liners diminishing coal supply The announcement here of the arrival of the North German liner Kronprinzessin Cecilie at Bar Harbor [Maine] at 6 a.m. yesterday solved the mystery in which the ship, with its gold freight of more than $10,000,000, has been involved since her sailing on Tuesday of last week for Bremen. With a cargo of $10,000,000 in gold and $3,400,000 in silver, consigned to [British and] French bankers, with an estimated value of over $5,000,000 in herself, the Kronprinzessin Cecilie has constituted probably the finest sea prize open to capture. [The captain said], 'We have reached an American port in safety and that was more than I had dared to hope. We have been in almost constant danger of capture, and we can consider ourselves extremely lucky to have come out so well.

Men and women needed not only transportation, but money also, and in this particular there is an interesting story to tell. The German steamer KRONPRINZESSIN CECILIE, bound for Bremen, had sailed from New York before the outbreak of the war, carrying about 1,200 passengers and a precious freight of gold, valued at $10,700,000. The value of the vessel herself added $5,000,000 to this sum. What had become of her and her tempting cargo was for a time unknown. There were rumors that she had been captured by a British cruiser, but this had no better foundation than such rumors usually have. Her captain was alert to the situation, being informed by wireless of the sudden change from peace to war. One such message, received from an Irish wireless station, conveyed an order from the Bremen Company for him to return with all haste to an American port.

It was on the evening of Friday, July 31st, that this order came. At once the vessel changed its course. One by one the ship's lights were put out. The decks which could not be made absolutely dark were enclosed with canvas. By midnight the ship was as dark as the sea surrounding. On she went through Saturday and on Sunday ran into a dense fog. Through this she rushed with unchecked speed and in utter silence, not a toot coming from her foghorn. This was all very well as a measure of secrecy, but it opened the way to serious danger through a possible collision, and a committee of passengers was formed to request the captain to reconsider his action. Just as the committee reached his room the first blast of the foghorn was heard, its welcome tone bringing a sense of security where grave apprehension had prevailed.

A group of financiers were on board who offered to buy the ship and sail her under American colors. But to all such proposals Captain Polack turned a deaf ear. He said that his duty was spelled by his orders from Bremen to turn back and save his ship, and these he proposed to obey. A passenger stated:

"There were seven of the crew on watch all the time, two aloft. This enabled the captain to know of passing vessels before they came above the horizon. We were undoubtedly in danger on Sunday afternoon. We intercepted a wireless message in French in which two French cruisers were exchanging data in regard to their positions."

The captain told me that he imagined those to be two vessels who regularly patrolled the fishing grounds in the interest of French fisheries. If the captain of either of those vessels should have come out of the fog and found us, his share of the prize in money might have amounted to $4,000,000. Did privateer ever dream of such booty!

"Early on Saturday our four great funnels were given broad black bands in order to make us look like the Olympic, which was supposed to be twenty-four hours ahead of us. There was a certain grim humor in the fact that the wireless operator on the Olympic kept calling us all Friday night. Of course we did not answer."

On Tuesday, August 4th, the great ship came within sight of land at the little village of Bar Harbor, Mount Desert Island, off the coast of Maine; a port scarce large enough to hold the giant liner that had sought safety in its waters. Wireless messages were at once flashed to all parts of the country and the news that the endangered vessel, with its precious cargo, was safe, was received with general relief. As regards the future movements of the ship Captain Polack said:

"I can see no possibility of taking this ship to New York from here with safety. To avoid foreign vessels we should have to keep within the three-mile limit, and to accomplish this the ship would have to be built like a canoe. We have reached an American port in safety and that was more than I dared to hope. We have been in almost constant danger of capture, and we can consider ourselves extremely lucky to have come out so well"

I know I have been criticized for making too great speed under bad weather conditions, but I have not willfully endangered the lives of the passengers. I would rather have lost the whole ship and cargo than have assumed any such risk. Of course, aside from this consideration, my one aim has been to save my ship and my cargo from capture.

"I have not been acting on my own initiative, but under orders from the North German Lloyd in Bremen, and although I am an officer in the German navy my duty has been to the steamship line."

I was able to find the real picture of the above Postcard of the Kronprinzessen Cecilie at the Bremem dock. Who knows maybe Paul, Elizabeth or her mother Frances is in this picture. Notice how the train came right up to the dock here at Bremem. This picture is of the right period for Paul, Elizabeth or her mother Frances traveling to America and you can bet that it looked very much like this the day they left for America.This picture was taken around 1910.

Note: Greg, I noticed that you have two images on your page: a color postcard of the ship at the Bremen dock and the matching black & white photo. Though the card is labeled Kronprinzessin Cecilie the ship pictured is actually Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse or Kronprinz Wilhelm (easy to tell if you count the decks). The identical card can be found labeled with each of the names of all four of NDL's four-stackers - it was quite common for steamship companies to intentionally "miss-label" postcards. Titanic postcards are more often than not pictures of Olympic; and Lusitania and Mauretania are very often confused. - Ered Matthew/Cabin Class Collectibles

The British knew about the Kronprinzessin Cecilie's load and now wondered where she had gone. The inhabitants of Bar Harbor had telegraphed New York and asked about the Olympic. They were told that she was safely berthed at her ordinary Pier 59, and when the British authorities received the news they realized that the second Olympic' was none other than the Kronprinzessin Cecilie - now out of their reach. A week after her arrival in Bar Harbor, the ship was escorted to Boston where she and the crew were interned. The Kronprinzessin Cecilie remained in the United States since the Germans thought it was a safe place for one of their latest merchant achievements.

Unfortunately for the Germans, they were wrong. In 1917, the Americans entered the war on the British side. All German ships in American harbors were confiscated. This included the enormous 54,000-tonner Vaterland, the Kaiser Wilhelm II, the Kronprinz Wilhelm - and the Kronprinzessin Cecilie. The only of the four sisters not seized by the Americans was the Kaiser Wilhelm .

Kronprinzessin Cecilie at sea

New York Harbor.

Kronprinzessin Cecilie (German Passenger Liner, 1906-1940) Later USS Mount Vernon (ID # 4508)

Kronprinzessin Cecilie, a 19,503 gross ton passenger liner built at Stettin, Germany, was completed in 1906. She operated on the North Atlantic during the next eight years, making regular passages between Europe and the United States. The ship was at sea, en route to Germany, when World War I broke out in early August 1914. Since the risks of interception by British cruisers were very great, she turned back and found safety at Bar Harbor, Maine. Laid up soon afterwards, Kronprinzessin Cecilie was seized by the United States Government when the U.S. entered the conflict and was later renamed Mount Vernon. As such, she served as a U.S. Navy transport from mid-1917 until September 1919, and was subsequently a U.S. Army transport. Laid up in the early 1920s, Mount Vernon was too old to be of use during World War II and was scrapped in 1940.

The U.S. Army Transport Mount Vernon was originally the 19,503 gross ton passenger liner Kronprinzessin Cecilie, built at Stettin, Germany, in 1906. She operated as USS Mount Vernon beginning in 1917 and was transferred to the War Department when the Navy placed her out of commission in September 1919. While in Army service she made one round trip voyage to the Russian Far East and be laid up. Mount Vernon was in reserve, generally in the Chesapeake Bay region, for the next two decades. She was scrapped in 1940, after it was decided that she was too old to be worth reconditioning for World War II employment.

The Kronprinzessin Cecilie was renamed Mount Vernon for military purposes. When the Americans got hold of the ship, several wartime changes were made. The most visible was the addition of extra guns for defense, modification of the bridge and an added crow's nest on the main mast. The entire ship was repainted in dazzle paint camouflage. The pattern had been designed by the American Everett Warner.

The Kronprinzessin Cecilie started to serve the Allies as a troopship, and on one occasion in September 1918, when the steamer was loaded with wounded US- soldiers and returning to the Americas, not half way across the Atlantic, she was torpedoed by U-82 in September 1918, the German U-boat in her aft engine room. The explosion killed 34 men, but due to the vessel's thorough safety equipment she managed to stay afloat and even steam back to Brest, France at 15 knots!

When the war finally ended later that year, the ex-Kronprinzessin Cecilie remained under American authority. She made one voyage to Vladivostok through the Panama Canal in order to evacuate refuges and soldiers.On her return, Mount Vernon was transferred to the United States Shipping Board and laid up in the Patuxent River. The ship was never taken any advantage of, and when World War II was about to become a fact in 1939, the Americans offered the former Kronprinzessin Cecilie to the British as a troop-transport, but they considered her too old. The steamer remained in Chesapeake Bay and lay there rusting until 1940, when she was finally towed away and scrapped at Baltimore.

U.S. Navy Troop Transports at sea, 10 November 1917 These ships, steaming in convoy from New York City to Brest, France, are (from left to right): USS Mount Vernon (ID # 4508), USS Agamemnon (ID # 3004) and USS Von Steuben (ID # 3017). The Agamemmon was the Kronprinzessin Cecilie's sister ship the Kaiser Wilhelm II and the Von Steubon the former Kronprinz Wilhelm all three former Great four Stack Luxury Liners of North German Lloyd of Bremem before World War One. Note the damage to Von Steuben's bow, the result of a collision with Agamemnon on the previous day.

USS Mount Vernon (1917-1919) Steaming towards Brest, France, after she had been torpedoed by German submarine U-82 in the eastern Atlantic on 5 September 1918. An escorting destroyer is laying a smokescreen in the background.

On 5 September 1918 the 29,650-ton transport Mount Vernon was en route back to the United States after delivering troops to the European war zone. While underway in convoy some 200 miles west of France, she spotted a periscope and opened fire. However, unlike many such incidents, this time the periscope was real, belonging to the German submarine U-82, which launched a torpedo. Though she attempted to evade, Mount Vernon was hit amidships. The resulting explosion blew a large hole in her side, putting half her boilers out of action. Thirty-six of her crew were killed and another thirteen injured, but damage control efforts contained her flooding and kept her underway. Mount Vernon steamed back to Brest, France, where she was dry-docked for initial repairs. Later she crossed the Atlantic to Boston, Massachusetts, to undergo further work. The ship was again ready for service in February 1919, three months after the November 1918 Armistice had ended the fighting, but in time to help bring American service personnel home from France.

USS Mount Vernon (1917-1919) At the New York Navy Yard, 8 July 1918, after having been painted in pattern camouflage.

USS Mount Vernon (1917-1919) View in the ship's smoking room, 1918, showing elegant decor left over from her days as the German passenger liner Kronprinzessin Cecilie. These are the first pictures that I have ever found of the interior on the ship. I am trying to find more.

USS Mount Vernon (1917-1919) View in the ship's hospital ward, 1918, showing elegant decor installed when she was the German passenger liner Kronprinzessin Cecilie. This was one of the first Class dining rooms.

In dry-dock at Brest, France, after she was torpedoed by a German submarine on 5 September 1918. USS Prometheus is in the right distance, inside the breakwater.

USS Mount Vernon (1917-1919) Drydocked at Brest, France, after she was torpedoed by German submarine U-82 on 5 September 1918

Hole in the ship's hull made by the German submarine U-82 torpedo that hit her on 5 September 1918. Photographed in drydock at Brest, France.

USS Mount Vernon (1917-1919) Stokers at work in the ship's Number Four Fireroom, circa 1919

U.S. Army Transport Mount Vernon Moored outboard of the Navy hospital ship Comfort, at the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 2 January 1920. Robert's son Bob worked at Mare Island and says some of the building are still there that are in the above pictures. The building on the right is the lead shop and the old coal bins are in the middle of this picture.

U.S. Army Transport Mount Vernon Moored outboard of the Navy hospital ship Comfort, at the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, in January 1920. I was very happy to find these pictures of the Kronprinzessin Cecile call the Mt Vernon in WW I at Mare Island. Mare Island in not to far from the California Krenzelok's home in Walnut Creek. My brothers and I have fished where this picture was taken and never imagined the Kronprinzessin Cecile ever came to the West Coast. I always think of Grampa and Gramma Krenzelok when I see her.

The Kronprinzessin Cecilie steamer(On the Right) remained in Chesapeake Bay with her sister ships and lay there rusting until 1940, when she was finally towed away and scrapped at Baltimore

Kronprinzessin Cecilie steamer in Chesapeake Bay in about 1940


"This photograph of the ship’s bell is courtesy of the Bar Harbor Historical Society in Bar Harbor Maine. In addition to this photograph they have an oil painting of the ship, a portion of the ship’s railing, the ship’s flag and photographs on display. The bell itself is at the Port of Newark facility of the Seaman's Church Institute but it is not currently on display." - D.H.

To visit their website click on below link.

Bar Harbor Historical Society Museum Website


My father Bill and I would like to share this portrait of the SS Kronprinzessin Cecilie with you and all the others who love this ship. - Stephen Wilch. Source: Wilch Family Collection, all rights reserved.

October 2014

Hello Greg,
Found your page dedicated to the great German Liner SS Kronprinzessin Cecilie. A family heirloom has been given to my 90 year old Father recently. The heirloom is a portrait of the SS Kronprinzessin Cecilie. My Father had seen this portrait when he was a child, and had admired it so. In 1943 he fought in WWII, traveling to England on the Mauretania. He survived D-Day and fighting in France, coming home on the great Liner Europa. My dad and I have written a book about his war time experiences. Then recently, the Kronprinzessin Cecilie portrait was given to him as a gift, since he had traveled on two ocean liners in his youth.

Dad said it hung in a paper factory shipping office here, named- Diamond International Paper Company. My Dad was born in 1924, and used to look at it in awe, when he was about 5 years old. It must have been around 1930 or so, when he first gazed upon it. He included - no one knew exactly who originally brought the painting into the shipping office. My Dad's father and uncle, (my grandpa and great uncle) worked there, and took my dad there on visits. My dad told me many men that worked in the paper factory, would walk to the shipping office, to just gaze in wonder at this portrait. When the office was torn down in the 1960s, my dad's cousin still worked there, and brought the portrait home and kept it in his basement. This past August, his cousin gave the portrait to my dad, after he learned my dad sailed in WWII on the Mauritania and Europa.

I can tell you my father's (Bill) portrait is some sort of print, onto a hard board like materiel. It is still rich in colors. You can tell it is not an oil based painting, there are no raised paint- from brush strokes. This portrait does not have a smooth surface, though it does feel the same texture, all along whatever its paint is made of. I believe it is a copy of some beautiful original.

The overall dimensions are 38 1/2 inches tall, 28 3/4 inches wide. The frame is not plastic, but real wood, and there are some small nicks and scratches along the raises edges from age and movement. I cannot assess how it rate it, as a portrait, or if there were just a few like this made in this style of print it represents. My father believes this portrait is from the WW I era (1919). He had always wondered if some U.S. military officer after that war had ended, taken & brought this portrait here from somewhere in war torn Europe. I would guess there is no way in knowing, as its original owner is unknown.

My father and I would like to share with you, a photo of this portrait. The portrait appears to be not an original oil painting. I am unsure if it has been noted elsewhere. One interesting feature is that it has its original frame. Inlaid is- NORTH GERMAN LLOYD SS CO. Photos attached, with photo of one with, the partially obscured name of painter.

My Father and I look forward to anything your contacts might know in identifying the print. We hope it adds something good to the history of this beautiful liner. We realize how fortunate we are to have been given this heirloom, and we will treat it with great care always.


Bill and Stephen J. Wilch


Dear Bill and Stephen,
This is really incredible! I have never heard or seen anything like this before. It is pre-1919 and my guess would be when the Kronprinzessin Cecilie was in service from 1906 to 1914. I believe it was hanging in one of North German Lloyd's offices or maybe in one of their travel offices and is related to the travel poster and postcard that was produced at the time. It is possible that it was found and brought to the U.S. after WW1. I have been contacted by other people whose relatives returned to the U.S. with Kronprinzessin Cecilie related items. Another possibility is that when the ship was gutted and turned into a troop transport during WW1 it may have been hanging on the ship originally. No one seems to know what happened to the contents of the ship but things do pop up every once in a while. I believe this is an extremely important piece of art and history. Thank you for sharing it with all of us who love this ship. It is definitely a museum piece. Is there any way I can get a picture of it hanging on the wall so people can understand really what it is and not just a poster?

Thank you so much Stephen.


NOTE: If anyone can help identify exactly the origin and use of this wonderful print, please contact me. – Greg Krenzelok at

The portrait hanging on the wall at dad's home. Wilch Family Collection, all rights reserved.

Wilch Family Collection, all rights reserved.

Close-ups of the SS. Kronprinzessin Cecilie . Wilch Family Collection, all rights reserved.

The partially obscured name of painter. Wilch Family Collection, all rights reserved.

Update: We now believe the portrait is by renowned artist, marine/naval painter, illustrator, designer and creator Hans Bohrdt (1857 - 1945).

One interesting feature is that it has its original frame. The frame is not plastic, but real wood, and there are some small nicks and scratches along the raises edges from age and movement. Inlaid is- NORTH GERMAN LLOYD SS CO. Wilch Family Collection, all rights reserved.


Stan Miller Family Collection, all rights reserved.

Hello Greg
My father, who is since deceased, brought back from WWII many souvenirs among them was a decoupage of the SS Kronprinzessin Cecilie. It is a print of this vessel on an oblong pine board about 11"L x 5 3/4"W and very nicely painted into an ocean scene. I was quite surprised to have searched on the internet and found it. I thought you might be interested since your family came over from Poland on that vessel.

Best regards,
Stan Miller


The Painting of Crown Princess Cecilie at the Palace of Cecilienhof museum, Germany and in the First Class Drawing Room on the SS Kronprinzessin Cecilie.

Dear Mr. Krenzelok,
I found the photo above (right) on your website in the Internet and it really - I am not exaggerating - meant a sensation for the staff of the museum palace of Cecilienhof in Potsdam, Germany, because they have a version of the portrait of Crown Princess Cecilie in the back and always tell their visitors, that the original was painted for the "S.S. Kronprinzessin Cecilie", which is expected to be lost. But the staff of the museum palace never knew, how this original version was presented in its original setting and they now want to show that to their visitors by this photo.

Will it be possible, that you scan the photo for us from the original 76 page hardbound book filled with pictures of the inside of the Kronprinzessin Cecilie, owned by you and that you send the scan to me by e-mail. The quality will then be most perfect. It would meant a lot to us. I hope you are prepared to help us.

Both versions of the painting were painted by Caspar Ritter (1861-1923), the one in Cecilienhof was painted in 1908. The Architect of the ship interior was Johann Georg Poppe (1837-1915).

Yours sincerely

Kees van der Sluijs


Kronprinzessin Cecilie, Louis Scheyder Family Collection.

February 24, 2015

Hi Greg,
I ran across your very interesting site recently. My grandfather Louis Scheyder was born in Germany and worked on a number of ships. He was working on the German Liner SS Kronprinzessin Cecilie as a steward when the First World War began.

The ship went to Bar Harbor Maine and then to Boston. My grandfather never went back to Germany. That part of the ships history was written about in a book titled "The Magic Ship" by Sandra Paretti and also in Yankee magazine in 1965. That Yankee magazine article I ran across when it was reprinted in one of Bar Harbor's local newspapers. In with your information is a poster of the ship.

I also have a copy of that poster on one of my walls. Attached is information that I have that you might be interested in. I am not sure there is anything new here for you. Still there might be.


Ken Scheyder

Kronprinzessin Cecilie, Louis Scheyder Family Collection.

The ship was the last four-stacker to fly the German flag. The S.S. Kronprinzessin Cecilie was a North German Lloyd ship which was the latest and most luxurious ship of the fleet at the time. Built in 1906 at Stettin Germany. The ship's weight was 19503 tons and the ships dimensions were 685 feet X 74 feet. She had three masts and four funnels. From keel to top of funnels she was 131 feet high. Her maiden voyage was from Bremen – Southampton - New York 6 August 1907. By 1910 the cost of a weeks passage to America ranged from $2500 for a top suite in first class to $25 in steerage class.

During the summer of 1914 the ship was on its way from New York harbor back to Bremerhaven Germany when Germany, Austria, England, and France declared war. It was the start of the 1st World War. The United States had yet to enter the war. At the time the ship carried 1216 passengers and nearly 600 crewmen. It also carried 40 tons of gold and silver, coins and bars. The English knew about the treasure on board. Both the English and French had war ships in international waters off the coast of the United States waiting for the cruise ship to appear.

Captain Pollak, realizing the danger, brought the cruise ship up the coast and anchored her in Frenchmans Bay at Bar Harbor Maine. The date was 4 August 1914. The ship remained there in the neutral port of Bar Harbor for the remainder of the summer. The adventure was written about in a book titled "The Magic Ship" by Sandra Paretti. The passengers were sent home.

Toward the end of October the ship's owners and the United States government agreed to move the S.S. Kronprinzessin Cecilie to Boston. The British and French governments, for their part, promised not to seize her, provided that the ship remain in United States jurisdiction for the remainder of the war. In turn Captain Pollak gave his word that he would not try to slip away from his naval escorts and steam for Germany. On November 6th the S.S. Kronprinzessin Cecilie left Bar Harbor for Boston. Throughout much of the war the ship and most of her crew remained in Boston's Chelsea shipyard.

On 28 July 1917 the United States entered the war. The United States government quickly seized the vessel and confiscated the gold and silver which had been stored for the previous three years in various banks. The crew were sent to detention camps. Louis Scheyder eventually became a United States citizen. The ship was stripped of her finery and her royal name. The S.S. Kronprinzessin Cecilie was rechristened the USS Mount Vernon. It was converted from a cruise ship into a troop transport ship.

During World War I she transported more than 35,000 troops to the battlefields of Europe.

The German Kaiser was very upset about the fact that a German ship was being used to transport US soldiers. He sent a U boat specifically to sink the ship. Once while returning from Europe with injured on board, she was torpedoed. This occurred 5 September 1918 off the coast of Newfoundland. She managed to limp back into Brest France, but the lives of 36 were lost when it became necessary to close the water tight bulkheads of the engine room.

Once peace was declared, the old liner was mothballed at a berth near Patuxent Naval Station, in Maryland, where she rusted for 20 years until, in 1940, her vast hull was sold for scrap, reduced to munitions in preparation for yet another war.

By John Mason
Yankee Magazine, September 1965

Although the world didn't know it, Germany was all set to launch World War I in 1912 - two years before it actually did begin. The following incident proves it.

When the North German Lloyd Steamship Company commissioned its new, fast, trans-Atlantic flagship, Kronprinsessin Cecilie, they called Capt. Charles Polack into their private chambers to meet some officers of the Imperial German Navy. One officer handed Capt. Polack a large manila envelope, sealed with the Imperial Crest. "This packet" he said "contains sealed orders, but you must never open them unless you receive a wireless from Berlin, saying that some member of the Imperial Family is ill. That message will be signed Sigfried and is the code for you to open the envelope.

On a spring day in 1912 Capt. Polack put the manila packet in a vault in his private cabin on the Kronprinsessin Cecilie and thought no more of it. Whatever Germany's plans were for launching the war in 1912, they misfired, and it wasn't until early in 1914 that things began to shape up. At that time Germany and Austria had large amounts of solid cash scattered around the world for safekeeping and investment. Suddenly Berlin ordered all this hard money shipped back to the fatherland. Also in 1914 there were hundreds - if not thousands - of German diplomats, officers of the Army and Navy, and high priority professional men traveling in Italy, England, France, and the United States. In June and July they received unexpected orders to come home at once. Many of them and a large slice of Germany's fortune were aboard the Kronprinsessin Cecilie when Capt. Polack eased her out of her berth in New York City a little after midnight on Tuesday, July 28, 1914, bound for Bremen via Plymouth, England, and Cherbourg, France.

She carried 1200 passengers and 2800 bags of mail; and down in her deep-dark hold there were $4,500,000 in gold coins that had been shipped in wooden kegs from the Guaranty Trust Company of New York plus over $3,000,000 from the National Trust Company also of New York and a stack of silver bars that the newspapers said was worth $5,000,000 and weighed upwards of 40 tons.

Three days later on the evening of Friday, July 31, at exactly 10:08 a commercial message that was coming over the ship's radio was suddenly broken into right in the middle of a sentence. The radio operator grabbed his pencil and at 10:09 copied down the following strange message: URGENT & CONFIDENTIAL FOR CAPT. POLACK. BERLIN. JULY 31st. ERHARD HAS SUFFERED SEVERE ATTACK OF CATARRAH OF THE BLADDER. SIEGFRIED.

The radio operator typed out the message, sealed it in an envelope, and sent it by messenger to Capt. Polack on the bridge. As it was marked URGENT AND CONFIDENTIAL, Capt. Polack took the message to his private cabin and after bolting the door tore it open and read it.

"Erhard" he said to himself. "Who is this Erhard? And why should I care about him? Siegfried? Ah! I remember. The sealed orders in the vault." After fumbling with the combination he opened the safe, and way down under a lot of papers and charts he found the manila envelope that had been handed to him in the spring of 1912.

Quickly he broke the seal and pulled out a smaller envelope, carefully wrapped in waterproof silk; and from that he withdrew a single sheet of heavy white paper, in which was scrawled in bold handwriting these words: WAR WITH FRANCE, ENGLAND, AND RUSSIA IMMINENT. TURN BACK.

That message had been prepared TWO FULL YEARS in advance! The only error was that Russia had not declared war on Germany at that time. Capt. Polack put all the papers back in the vault, locked it, returned to the bridge, and gave the order to turn back at once toward the United States. He then ordered the radio silenced but told the operator to keep his earphones on for any message concerning the Cecilie. Wiping the cold sweat from his brow, the captain forced A faint smile as he went down to the main ballroom, where the passengers were dancing. he mounted the stage, motioned the orchestra to stop playing, and said; "Ladies and gentlemen, I have bad news. War has been declared, and I have been ordered by the Imperial German Government to take this ship to a neutral port in the United States. Everyone must go to his or her stateroom. Smoking on deck is verboten. You cannot use the wireless, as that would give away our position. Darken all portholes or put out the lights - all of them! That is all."

As he turned to leave, a steward handed him another bulletin from the radio room. Capt. Polack smiled grimly: "I may as well tell you, ladies and gentlemen, that our wireless operator just heard a French warship give our position to two British destroyers. At this very moment we are being chased by two warships – maybe more." Thus did the news of World War I come to many Americans on the high seas on the night of July 31, 1914.

Like wildfire, the news spread over the steamship. All Lights were dimmed, and women stuffed sweaters into the portholes. High above the decks in total darkness sailors quickly painted the four big smokestacks to resemble British ship marks. A boson’s chair was swung over the side, and the workmen chipped off the big gold letters on the bow that spelled Kronprinsessin Cecilie. With her mighty engines throbbing and a long white wake behind her the 19,000 - ton luxury liner plunged through the dark night at full speed.

Then came the fog early on the morning of August 2nd. Capt. Polack refused to slacken speed, but he did order the whistle to be blown every few seconds. The deep guttural moan of the foghorn sounded incessantly for seven hours. The passengers became so frightened that they wrote a pleading letter to the captain, begging him to slow down. A group of men, anxious to get to Europe for important business deals, learned that the ship was worth about $5,000,000 and offered to buy it - then and there. Capt. Polack said he was sorry but he couldn't sell the Cecilie without permission from Berlin and that would mean using the wireless, which could mean a brush with the enemy. So they kept on and on through the thick, wet mist and scudding showers.

As with all travelers the men had a pool on the hour and Minute that they would reach England. Now the pool was changed, and the betting was heavy on the harbor where they would drop anchor in America. Nobody guessed right. For it was Bar Harbor, Maine, where they came to rest after a record-breaking run of nearly 4000 miles, piloted there by a member of Bar Harbor's Eastern Yacht Club, who happened to be a passenger on board. Within a short time the ship was surrounded by smaller craft, and the passengers were paying as high as $10 for a newspaper!

The nearest US Customs officer was in Portland far down the coast. What a job he had! First, there was the mail – 3000 bags of it - to be taken care of; then there were 2000 excited men, women, and children who wanted to get ashore and home now that their European trips were over; and in the hold (in vaults) were $16,000,000 in silver bullion and gold coin. President Woodrow Wilson ordered US Navy destroyers to Bar Harbor to protect "the Treasure Ship" (as the newspapers termed it). Secretary of the Treasury William Gibbs McAdoo assigned custom officers to look after her cargo. Dozens of doctors were rushed over the road to check on passengers before they were allowed to depart Bar Harbor. Then special trains were made up in Portland and Bangor to take them to New York City, their original point of departure.

The little steamer J. T. Morse brought a party of German Officials to Rockland, where they took a train to Boston. When the passengers had been taken off the Cecilie, the Coast Guard cutter Androscoggin moved alongside to transfer the treasure to the Bar Harbor wharf, where specially-guarded trains were waiting to take it back to New York City. Photographers were eager to make pictures of all that money piled up on the pier, but soldiers from Portland, marines from Boston, Secret Service agents from Washington, and Sheriffs from all over Maine wouldn't let anyone near the place. The wooden kegs filled with gold coins were stacked up on the wharf like so many barrels of lobsters; and the silver bullion was piled up like so many bricks.

Sometime later the Kronprinsessin Cecilie was towed to Boston (her crew having sabotaged the engines), where she was repaired and interned until the United States entered the war three years later. At that time she was taken over, rechristened the Mt. Vernon and put to work for the American war effort. During World War I she transported more than 35,000 troops to the battlefields of Europe. Once, while returning with wounded men, she was torpedoed but managed to limp back into Brest in France.

The climax of her long and thrilling career, however, came in April 1919, when she proudly steamed into Boston Harbor with more than 600 khaki-clad boys of the Yankee Division lining the rails and clinging like flies to the ropes and rigging. She was later scraped, melted down, and served in World War II in the form of bombs and bullets. Many New Englanders who served in the Army or Navy remember this ship as the Mt. Vernon. Yet folks in Maine recall her as the big German liner that landed $15,000,000 in gold on the Bar Harbor wharf - all because of a certain manila envelope sealed two years before.

Kronprinsessin Cecilie ship’s bell. Louis Scheyder Family Collection.

Kronprinsessin Cecilie ship’s manifest for Tuesday 4 August 1914. Bar Harbor, Maine Louis arrives aboard the S.S. Kronprinsessin Cecilie. Louis Scheyder Family Collection.


Restored model of Kronprinzessin Cecilie at the Mariners' Museum, Newport News — at The Mariners' Museum & Park. Source: Ered Matthew/Cabin Class Collectibles

February 14, 2015

Dear Mr. Krenzelok,

I have very much enjoyed your pages dedicated to the German four-stacker Kronprinzessin Cecilie. I stumbled upon them while researching the vessel's history for an ongoing project that I thought might be of interest to you. I am presently restoring a very large (213 cm/7 feet) 1:100 scale vintage model of the ship. The model was built in Nuremberg circa 1907 by the Fleischmann Toy Company and was almost certainly displayed in the Chicago offices of the Norddeutscher Lloyd.

The model was built to scale, and even though she was produced by a toy company she is a truly masterful work. Fleischmann's 1908 catalog advertised the model as being offered from lengths between 100 cm and an amazing 300 cm (9.8 feet)! The advert boasts that the ship's rigging is perfectly correct and that she is built to such a degree of accuracy that she could be used for educational purposes at university.

Sometime in the 1920s the model was "converted" to resemble SS Columbus. - the Lloyd, of course, having lost their four-stackers in WWI. Two of the Cecilie's funnels were removed and her upper deck was re-worked. Following that indignity, and though her long history is unclear, she was apparently lost and forgotten in a damp basement for some 80 years.

The model is now in my hands and in the final stages of her restoration. The process has been long and complicated, but also amazingly rewarding. I now find that she may be one of only two structurally complete 213 cm models in existence - the other presently in the hands of the Mariners' Museum, Newport News, VA. That model, having been damaged and restored in the 1970s, has been entirely repainted and sadly retains none of her original, hand-enameled detail work.

As you may know there are a number of models of the ship pictured online; however they are almost exclusively the smaller, 1:140 scale version (5 feet). Some pictured are incorrectly identified as the 213 cm ship. The Schwabach Museum, which houses an "History of Fleischmann" exhibit, displays an interesting model built with the same components as the 1:100 scale model, but severely shortened from 7 feet to 5 feet in length. Even though still impressive (with her original paint largely intact) she definitely looks more like a toy than a scale model!

By the way, a Fleischmann expert opines that the larger models were almost certainly made-to-order only. He suggests that, even though offered in the catalogue, it is probable that no 9-foot models were ever produced.

In closing, I will attach some images of the model as she appeared when found. I will also attach an image of her taken two weeks ago. Although her funnels are not yet in place she still looks quite impressive. The ship has now been dismantled one final time so that her superstructure, deck-by-deck, can be painted. I will be spending the next few weeks honing my hand-enameling skills so that I might accurately apply her final colors. All of her decks and bulkheads were lined by hand with tremendous accuracy, and her Boat Deck structures were meticulously decorated with faux wood grain paneling.

Thank you again for your wonderful pages on the ship. I have been searching for an example of that large ticket office portrait owned by the Wilch family for some time. These were produced in large quantities and hung in countless travel agencies. Most were destroyed when the US entered the war.

Though you may already know, the Mariners' Museum, in addition to the model has some interesting items including some beautiful carvings that came from the balconies/galleries surrounding the 1st Class dining room.

Kind regards,

Ered Matthew
Classic Liners

p.s. I am penning an article documenting the restoration for Seaways Ships in Scale magazine, and about 100 photos of the process are now posted on the Cabin Class Collectibles Facebook page. EM Click on the below Links:

Cabin Class Collectibles

Follow the restoration:
Kronprinzessin Cecilie Model Restoration Project


Could this be the model...? The NDL display at the St. Louis World's Fair, 1904. My model was found in a basement mid-way between St. Louis and Chicago. After much research my opinion is no.....but an interesting thought, nonetheless! Source: Ered Matthew/Cabin Class Collectibles

The Cecilie in "as-found" condition - even under extreme magnification absolutely no evidence of her name remained. It is possible she was meant to represent Kaiser Wilhelm II. Sadly, Fleischmann have been unable to provide any information regarding the production of these magnificent models. Source: Ered Matthew/Cabin Class Collectibles

Following WWI the model was converted two a two-stacker in order to represent Columbus. I have been able to locate two other models (1:140 scale) so modified - however they both had new "squat" funnels fitted a la Bremen/Europa. Thankfully this model kept two of her originals! Source: Ered Matthew/Cabin Class Collectibles

The engine room skylights (right of center) used to occupy the space aft where a domed structure now appears. The large mast table visible at left is a Columbus-style fitting and not original to the model. Source: Ered Matthew/Cabin Class Collectibles

The best and the worst truly looked worse than it actually was. One piece of true gold: a single lifeboat davit survived of the original 45 fitted to the model. Source: Ered Matthew/Cabin Class Collectibles

The boats as they appeared jumbled in the forward well with broken masts, rail and rigging - this photo from a series posted in the original auction listing. Photos taken from another angle show a fifth boat sitting on the fo'c's'le, but this was apparently lost along the way. Source: Ered Matthew/Cabin Class Collectibles

The Cecilie's four surviving 3.5"/8.9 cm boats - three will be salvaged and seventeen replacements will need to be fabricated. Source: Ered Matthew/Cabin Class Collectibles

Lifeboat forensics: Cecilie's four surviving boats reveal a number of colors applied over a period of time - the most recent coat being a metallic silver or aluminum. However I was able to confirm what I had assumed to be the original paint scheme: white with an ivory interior. Source: Ered Matthew/Cabin Class Collectibles

The stripped hull with the main deck in place. Three curved plates (two visible in the photo) were found, unattached, within the hull. Originally, the screws/bolts from the mounting cradles went up through the hull and passed through these plates for strength. (The securing nuts remained in the hull as well). Unfortunately, the stands were removed at some time, and since there was no easy access to the inside of the model, the bolts and plates remained loose inside the hull. Source: Ered Matthew/Cabin Class Collectibles

The stripped 215cm/7' hull sits in the shop. The Mariners' Museum model is the only other complete 1:100 scale example I have been able to locate - all others are either the 1:140 scale version or the shortened, 5' version of this model. Source: Ered Matthew/Cabin Class Collectibles

This morning the 7-foot hull was wet-sanded. Then the model was carefully leveled on her temporary cradle so her waterline could be scribed. A coat of gloss black was applied to her upper hull. Source: Ered Matthew/Cabin Class Collectibles

Following a late night in the shop the Cecilie appears this morning with her portholes and props fitted and now permanently mounted on her new oak plinth with original nickel cradles. Source: Ered Matthew/Cabin Class Collectibles

And what a little TLC can do...! Source: Ered Matthew/Cabin Class Collectibles

Bridge and Captain's these pre-airbrush and pre-lithography days everything was hand-painted. Note the faux wood grain...simply beautiful. It is unfortunate that this detail was not preserved on the Mariners' Museum model. Source: Ered Matthew/Cabin Class Collectibles

The Smoking Café - again illustrating the hand-painted faux wood grain. Also the stamped brass windows. A large hole was drilled in the top of this structure to accommodate Columbus' mast. Source: Ered Matthew/Cabin Class Collectibles

Officers' Quarters (left) and the Non-Smoking Cafe with Radio Shack above. The location of the shack has puzzled me as it should be further aft as on the actual vessel. Perhaps just an error in construction? Source: Ered Matthew/Cabin Class Collectibles

Hundreds of photos have been recorded of the dismantling of the model. Each step throughout the restoration will be carefully documented. Though a bit darkened over time, this funnel displays the original paint - the color is fantastic! Source: Ered Matthew/Cabin Class Collectibles

A look at the construction of her main deck houses. Fleischmann paid attention to detail - the three small structures along the bulkhead at center are ventilator shafts that align perfectly with the cowl vents on the deck above. This photo also illustrates the three different brass windows & ports found on the ship: round, rectangular and arched. Some were painted green and others grey-black. Source: Ered Matthew/Cabin Class Collectibles

A close-up of the model's superstructure showing the hand-painted detail lines on the bulkheads. The deck was hand-lined as well to simulate teak planking - this was done with such consistency and accuracy that it is difficult to believe it was not lithographed. Source: Ered Matthew/Cabin Class Collectibles

The Kronprinzessin Cecilie is assembled so that her Boat Deck railings can be added. I took the opportunity to set all of her completed deck houses in place in order to check the fit of her new components. Source: Ered Matthew/Cabin Class Collectibles

Following the installation of her elaborate upper deck railing, the model will be disassembled one final time so that painting of her upperworks can begin. Source: Ered Matthew/Cabin Class Collectibles

The multi-stage process of installing stanchions, wire rail and cap rail on the aft island deck has begun. Source: Ered Matthew/Cabin Class Collectibles

A mix of old and new: Very little remained of the model's port & starboard accommodation ladders. The original, salvaged parts were joined with the new. Source: Ered Matthew/Cabin Class Collectibles

Reproduction of a 1908 Fleischmann catalogue page showing the Cecilie - note that the model was offered in various sizes up to 300 cm (3 meters/9 feet)! A Fleischmann expert suggests that, as these models were made to order, it is possible that no 9-foot models were ever produced. The German text states that the running rigging is exactly correct and that the model is so precise it can be used as a teaching tool at university. Source: Ered Matthew/Cabin Class Collectibles

Note: Continue to follow the fine craftsmanship of Ered Matthew of Cabin Class Collectibles on this Facebook page:

Follow the restoration:
Kronprinzessin Cecilie Model Restoration Project

I would like to thank Ered for giving us the permission to post this wonderful project. It has help me to understand what it was like on board the SS Kronprinzessin Cecilie for my relatives who traveled on her.

- Greg Krenzelok


March 12, 2015

Hi Greg,
The page looks great! Work on the model is progressing, although there is much less to do now so I generally accomplish only one or two steps per day and then must let the paint dry! Today the cowl ventilators will receive a final coat of NDL "caramel" and the newly installed railings on the Sun Deck will receive a coat of primer. After re-examining the photos I took when the model arrived, I have come to the conclusion that the model's funnels and ventilators were probably painted a light color (HAPAG yellow) originally. This is (was) of course not technically correct. It looks like they may have been re-painted the darker, NDL ochre in the 1920s, at the time she was converted to represent SS Columbus. I have chosen to use the more correct shade, although this may not be a perfectly accurate representation of how the model originally looked. I continue to search for an old photo from a ticket office that shows one of these models in place. Even though it would be black & white, the grey value would be a clue to the original tone. It was a challenge to find the right color. The colors on North German Lloyd and Hamburg-America Line postcards from the period tend to look very similar even though the colors differ significantly.

I estimate less than 2 weeks before the upper decks can be permanently mounted to the hull. I am anxiously awaiting the completion and arrival of the new funnels. In the meantime I have ordered the cherry dowels from which I will shape the ship's masts and cargo booms. I made another fortuitous discovery: I was puzzling over how to fabricate the ship's shrouds and ratlines. I happen to own a 2' Fleischmann toy ocean liner (visible on the window sill in some of the recent Cecilie photos). This toy was manufactured at the same time as the Cecilie and happens to have shrouds and ratlines of exactly the same materials and construction method, which I will now be able to copy perfectly.

Sincere regards,


Update March 26, 2015:

Source: Ered Matthew/Cabin Class Collectibles

Hi Greg,
Thought you might like to see the attached photo (above). It took about 3 hours to suspend the superstructure from pulleys mounted in the ceiling, move the hull into position underneath it and then very slowly lower the superstructure onto the hull.


My reply to Ered:

Wow, very neat Ered! She looks beautiful, I love it!

Thanks for sharing


Update April 28, 2015:

Hi Greg,

Just a note to let you know I have built and published a new website specifically for the model - and also for those who avoid Facebook! It is: . I think it tells her story a bit more succinctly without having to view all 100+ photos.



Click on the below link:
Kronprinzessin Cecilie Model Restoration Project

Note: This is an excellent website that Ered has created! - Greg Krenzelok


SS Kronprinzessin Cecilie steamer c1908.

SS Kronprinzessin Cecilie steamer c1908.

SS Kronprinzessin Cecilie steamer, date unknown

SS Kronprinzessin Cecilie steamer c1910.

March 2015

Also, I found the photo labeled "SS Kronprinzessin Cecilie steamer c1910" puzzling as the vessel pictured is not the Norddeutscher Lloyd's Cecilie but a much, much smaller ship - most likely a coastal or river steamer. Do you have any info on her? I checked the register of North German Lloyd ships and it appears that the company only used the name once, so the ship in the photo must have belonged to another line. Arnold Kludas does not mention her in his reference books, indicating that she measured less than 10,000 GRT.

- Ered Matthew/Cabin Class Collectibles


Mystery solved! SS Kronprinzessin Cecilie was an 8,689 ton liner (single funnel, twin masted) built in 1905 for Hamburg-America Line. She sailed to Cuba and South American ports. She was seized by Great Britain in 1914 and renamed Princess. I was able to locate a couple of postcard images and they match your photo.

- Ered Matthew/Cabin Class Collectibles

Follow Ered's classic ship models restoration work:

SS Kronprinzessin Cecilie steamer c1911.

SS Kronprinzessin Cecilie steamer c1911.

SS Kronprinzessin Cecilie steamer c1911.

SS Kronprinzessin Cecilie steamer c1911.

Pier no. 1 North German Lloyd, c1911.

Hoboken N.J., North German Lloyd Docks.

Hoboken N.J., North German Lloyd Docks c.1907.


Length: 707 feet (216 m)

Beam: 72 feet (22 m)

Tonnage: 19,360 gross tons

Engines: Steam quadruple expansion machinery powering two propellers.

Service speed: 22.5 knots

Passengers: 1,970 people

The giant ship, 1907 in service posed and with 19.360 BRT presumptuously, was equipped with four four-fold expansion steam engines, whose efficiency could not be increased and only by the steam turbine was exceeded later. These steam engines gave 45,000 HP to achievement and lent to the ship a speed of 23 knots (1 kn = 1.852 km/h). But 180 heaters had nevertheless to dig for 500 t coal (!) in 24 hours into the unersaettlichen boilers. For a journey from Bremerhaven to New York in five days and 20 hours one loaded hoppers 5600 t coal, the charge of 500 railway trucks. To the comparison: a mine in Oelsnitz promoted around 1900 approx. 1000 t of rough coals on the day, it supplied with thus one week long to coals, in order to bring the steam ship over the ocean.

U-82 torpedoed the Mount Vernon (Kronprinzessin Cecilie) in September 1918


Mittel U - German U-Boat

Shipyard Germaniawerft, Kiel (Werk 252)

Ordered 23 Jun, 1915 Laid down 31 Aug, 1915

Launched 1 Jul, 1916 Commissioned 16 Sep, 1916

Commanders 16 Sep, 1916 - 29 Apr, 1918 Hans Adam 30 Apr, 1918 - 11 Nov, 1918 Heinrich Middendorf

Career 11 patrols 21 Nov, 1916 - 11 Nov, 1918 IV Flotilla

Successes 35 ships sunk for a total of 108.630 tons (warships excluded).

Fate 16 Jan, 1919 - Surrendered. Broken up at Blyth in 1919-20.


This is the ship that Frank (Franz) Kellner came over on. Enter New York on July 6 1907. He went through Ellis Island. He left from the port of Bremen Germany

Built for North German Lloyd, German flag, in 1900 and named the Main. Bremerhaven-New York service. Laid up at Antwerp 1914-18 owing to World War I. Scrapped in 1925

Built by Blohm & Voss Shipbuilders, Hamburg, Germany, 1900. 10,067 gross tons; 520 (bp) feet long; 58 feet wide. Steam quadruple expansion engines, twin screw. Service speed 14.5 knots. 3,451 passengers (369 first class, 217 second class, 2,865 third class).

Built for North German Lloyd, German flag, in 1900 and named Main. Bremerhaven-New York service. Laid up at Antwerp 1914-18 owing to World War I. Scrapped in 1925


Beer Glasses from the Kronprinzessin Cecilie

In the fall of 1909 at the same time as the Reims Meet in France, Orville Wright, accompanied by Katharine, board the steamer Kronprinzessin Cecilie to Germany to negotiate and instruct two pilots for the German Wright company, Flugmaschine Wright Gesellschaft

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