Kraków (ship, 1919)

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Kraków p1
Ship data
flag DenmarkDenmark Denmark Poland
other ship names

Fredrikshavn (1919-1920)

Ship type Cargo ship
home port Danzig
Owner Towarzystwo Żeglugowe Sarmacja
Shipyard Frederikshavn Værft , Frederikshavn
Build number 169
Keel laying September 2, 1918
Launch May 10, 1919
Whereabouts February 7, 1922 sunk in the Baltic Sea due to ice drift
Ship dimensions and crew
42.6 / 58.0 m ( Lüa )
width 7.5 m
Draft Max. 3.9 m
measurement 426 GRT , 240 NRT
crew 14th
Machine system
machine Two-cylinder double expansion machine
300 hp
8.0 kn (15 km / h)
propeller 1
Transport capacities
Load capacity 550 dw

The Kraków was a cargo ship built in 1919 and, after Polish independence was regained, the first Polish seagoing ship in the Baltic Sea . In 1922 it sank off the Danish coast due to ice drift .

Construction and technical data

The ship was laid down on the Frederikshavn Værft in Frederikshavn under the hull number 169 on September 2, 1918 on the order of the Danish shipping company AO Andersen . Due to the lack of steel, the hull was made of composite , the outer skin was planked with wood. The launch and the christening under the name Fredrikshavn took place on May 10, 1919. On November 6, 1919, the shipyard handed over the ship to the shipping company.

According to various sources, the length of the ship was 42.6 meters or 58.0 meters with a width of 7.5 meters and a draft of 3.9 meters. The deckhouse was above the engine at the stern, with the two holds in front of it. It was measured with 426 GRT or 240 NRT and had a load capacity of 550 tons. The drive consisted of a double expansion machine with an output of 300 hp . This acted on a screw , the steamer reached a speed of just 8.0 knots . The crew consisted of 14 men.


After delivery to AO Andersen, it is only known that the shipping company used the small steamer in the Baltic Sea and sold it again on February 2, 1920 after less than two months.

The new owner of the ship was the Polish shipping company Towarzystwo Żeglugowe Sarmacja ("Schifffahrtsgesellschaft Samarcja"), founded in 1919 - the first shipping company for sea trade established in Poland after independence. Their first ship was named Kraków after the city of the same name, Kraków , in which the shipping company was also based. After Polish barges, the Kraków was the first merchant ship to fly the red and white flag in the Baltic Sea and the first Polish ship in Gdansk . It exemplarily reflects the initial difficulties of the beginning Polish sea trade. Since the country only had the port of Puck , which was too small for the ship , Gdansk became the ship's home port. The crew initially consisted of Austrian and German or Danzig seafarers, the colloquial language on board was German. Polish seafarers increased the crew over the next two years.

A fundamental restriction in the operation of the ship was essential: the shipping company was not able to handle Polish sea trade via Danzig due to the legal situation. Towarzystwo Zeglugowe Sarmacja therefore chartered Kraków for six months to a British company, for which it transported coal from Newcastle to the ports of northern France. After expiry of the charter that drove Kraków in the tramp shipping to Scandinavia , upgraded several times freight to Latvia and British Coal in the Netherlands . The freight orders were so profitable for the shipping company that they wanted to buy another ship with the profits they had made. This no longer played a role for Kraków : on another voyage with English coal from Hull to Helsingborg in Sweden , the ship got caught in drift ice off the Danish Baltic coast in early February 1922 . The ship was no longer free and sank in the ice on February 7, 1922. The crew were able to save themselves on land.


  • Jan Piwowoński: Flota spod biało-czerwonej [Fleet under white and red] , Nasza Księgarnia Publishing House, Warsaw 1989, ISBN 83-10-08902-3 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Photo and technical data of Kraków at
  2. a b c Sławek Zagórski: The catastrophe of "Kraków". How did the Polish shipping company "Sarmacja" go under? at
  3. a b c Piwowonski, p. 16