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The Fleets

Engles Line

The Engles Line was formed in Antwerp in 1859 and operated a fleet of sailing ships, mostly to South America. The company purchased it's first steamship in 1870 and initially put it on the India service, before making New York voyages in 1871. They seriously entered the North Atlantic passenger trade in 1878 and in 1879 commenced joint services with Daniel Steimann under the description of the White Cross Line. Passenger activities ceased in 1884 and in 1888 the joint agreement expired. Engels continued cargo operations until 1894 when their last ship disappeared at sea.

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.


  • Belgium - India and East Indies.
  • Belgium - South America.
  • Antwerp - New York

Yellow, with black top.


Vessel Built Years in Service Tons
De Ruyter (1) 1870 1873 sold to Royal Mail Steam Packet Co., renamed Larne. 1,645
De Ruyter (2) 1873 ex Tromp, 1875 renamed De Ruyter. 1879 White Cross Line joint service, 1884 last passenger voyage, 1894 went missing at sea; loss of 37 lives. 2,280
Jan Breydel 1880 1880 White Cross Line joint service, 1888 sold to Thingvalla Line, renamed Danmark. 3,414
Mercator 1878 1879 White Cross Line joint service, 1880 went missing at sea. 1,958
Pieter de Coninck 1881 1881 White Cross Line joint service, 1889 sold to Thingvalla Line, renamed Norge. 3,310
Plantyn 1879 1879 White Cross Line joint service, 1883 sank in Atlantic. 2,328
Tromp 1873 sailed under Dutch flag, 1875 renamed De Ruyter (2) and transferred to Belgian flag. 2,280

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Last updated: October 05, 2007 and maintained by and M. Kohli