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The Fleets

White Cross Line / Steinmann, Ludwig & Cie.

The White Cross Line was founded by Daniel Steinmann in Antwerp in 1854 as an emigrant and cargo service from Antwerp to New York with chartered sailing ships. He later extended his services to Brazil, Montevideo and Buenos Aires, still with chartered ships. In 1863 the company purchased their first ship, and in 1871 the firm became Steinmann, Ludwig & Cie. Their first steamship sailing was in 1872 to New York with a chartered vessel, and their first owned steamer was delivered in Oct.1872.

In 1879 Steinmann and Engels Line started joint services to New York under the title of White Cross Line. After several ship losses, competition from Red Star Line and a serious drop in passenger numbers, it was decided in 1884 to discontinue passenger services, and cargo voyages took place for another four years to Boston and New York. The joint agreement ended in 1888 and Ludwig also left the partnership the same year and the company reverted to Steinmann & Cie. No more ships were acquired by the company which still survives as shipbrokers and forwarding agents.

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 TheShipsList Ship Descriptions or the Immigrant Ship web site.

Routes: 1872-1894

  • Antwerp - New York
  • Antwerp - Halifax - New York
  • Antwerp - Quebec - Montreal (seasonal)
  • Antwerp - South America - New York
  • Antwerp - Boston - New York

1872 Black
1888 Black with reproduction of house flag (flag - red with white cross)

Vessel Built Years in Service Tons
August Andre 1874 1879 renamed Helvetia, 1885 sank off Cape Breton Island. 1,472
C.F. Funch 1871 ex- Alps, 1873 purchased from Glasgow & South American SS Co., renamed C.F. Funch, 1876 burnt out at Flushing. 1,501
Daniel Steinmann 1875 ex- Khedive, 1877 purchased from Smyers & Co., Antwerp, renamed Daniel Steinmann, 1884 sank off Nova Scotia, loss of 123 lives. 1,790
Helvetia   see August Andre.  
Henry Edye 1879 1881 went missing in Atlantic. 2,417
Hermann 1881 1894 sold to Norway, renamed Hero. 2,879
Hermann Ludwig 1870 ex- Andes, 1877 purchased from British owners, renamed Hermann Ludwig, 1878 went missing in Atlantic; loss of 50 lives. 1,505
Ludwig 1861 ex- Hansa, 1883 purchased from North German Lloyd, renamed Ludwig, 1883 went missing in Atlantic; loss of 70-80 lives. (Passenger list May 1883 and July 1883) 3,087
Selica 1872 1872 chartered from F.J.Servais, Belgium for one NY voyage. 908
Steinmann 1872 1877 sold to Belgian owners, renamed Alexandre Smyers. 1,263

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Last updated: February 02, 2005 and maintained by and M. Kohli