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D/S Kronprinsesse Märtha
later D/S Ryfylke (1942)
Det Stavangerske Dampskibsselskab, Stavanger

(Norwegian Homefleet WW II)

Back to Kronprinsesse Märtha on the "Homefleet Ships starting with K" page.

Post war picture, received from Bjørn Milde, Norway (from his postcard collection).
Note that she would have looked different during the war.

Tonnage: 898 gt.

Delivered in July-1929 from The International Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. Ltd. (Danziger Werft), Danzig, Germany as Kronprinsesse Märtha to Det Stavangerske Dampskibsselskab, Stavanger. Steel hull, 176,8’ x 31,2’ x 19,9’, 898 gt, 4cyl Double Compound Lentz-type (Danziger), 145 nhp, 900 ihp, 13 knots. Placed in the night time service Stavanger-Bergen, later in coastal service Stavanger-Oslo.

 WW II: 

Captain Johan Falnes. Ran aground near Bru north of Stavanger on Dec.19-1939, capsized and partly sank, a passenger died. Refloated 1940, repaired and back in service. Renamed Ryfylke in 1942. The Germans wouldn't allow any ships in service on the coast of Norway to carry names of the (exiled) Norwegian royal family, so ships carrying such names were renamed (for instance, Kong Haakon was renamed Kong Sverre). The original names were taken back after the war, and the Norwegians kept referring to them by those names even during the war.

J. Rohwer has a D/S Ryfylke, 898 gt, missed by 2 torpedoes from the Norwegian submarine Ula (Sars) at Listafjord on Febr. 25-1944.

Attacked off Lista on March 23-1944 by allied bombers, and although she was not hit, she developed several leaks after a bomb had exploded very close by, and had to be beached so as not to sink.

This attack is mentioned on March 24-1944 and March 25 in the book, "Norsk presse under Hakekorset" (The Norwegian Press under the Swastika), Vol. II, 1946 by Gunnleik Jensson, which is a collection of newspaper articles from the war years. The Oslo newspaper "Morgenposten" said Ryfylke was attacked by 2 British aircraft off the west coast of Norway. She was hit by an air torpedo, but the crew was able to beach her. All 24 were saved. There were no passengers on board, but she had 8, very valuable racehorses, which were saved the next day with the help of ropes attached to motorboats. In this way the horses swam over 300 meters to land, and escaped their ordeal in the cold water without harm. (These newspapers were German controlled and were generally full of propaganda). See also the account under D/S Narvik.

Ryfylke was refloated very soon afterwards, repaired and back in service(?)


Renamed Kronprinsesse Märtha in May-1945. Converted to motor vessel in 1948, 904 gt. Following engine problems on Febr. 4-1953 near Lillesand she was towed to Kristiansand by Arendalske Damps' Kristiansand. Developed a leak on May 9-1956 and sank in shallow waters near Grønholmskjær east of Risør, raised on June 26 and towed to Kristiansand, later to Pusnes Mek. Verksted, Arendal where she was repaired and at the same time modernized, 996 gt. Later that year she was towed to the company's own yard at Klaseskjæret in Stavanger where her interior was repaired and modernized. Back in service in June-1958, coastal service Bergen-Oslo (D/S Galtesund had been hired to replace her while she was being fixed up). In Dec.-1962 the Bergen-Oslo service was discontinued and she was placed in the night time service Stavanger-Bergen until she did her last voyage in that service on Sept. 1-1974 after which time that route was also discontinued, and she was laid up in Stavanger. Sold in Sept.-1974 to Nika Invest A/S, Sandefjord, renamed Koster and used as accommodation and "storage" vessel in connection with that company's sand blasting operations at misc. yards.

Sold in March-1979 via Kjærnes Invest A/S, Sandefjord, then resold that same month to Sport Rover Shipping Corp. S.A., Panama, renamed Sport Rover and converted to cruise and mother ship for divers at Meyer Schiffswerft, Papenburg, Germany - entered service as such in 1981, doing diving cruises for 36 passengers at San Juan, Puerto Rico and St.Thomas, Virgin Islands. Following various problems with the running of the ship, and conflicts between crew and captain, as well as money problems she was ordered back to Europe by the bank that had extended a loan to the owners. Eventually taken over by the Fresian Bank?, possibly 1982(?) and laid up at Harlingen, Holland. (It appears she was renamed Crownprincess Märtha at some point after 1982?). Used for a while as a floating Casino there.

Sold in 1985(?) to an unknown American(?), but stayed in Harlingen as this owner was also unable to pay his depths. Taken over by the bank again in 1987? Sold in Apr. that year to Magellan Cruise Ltd. (Tony Elliot Cannon) UK with the intention of using her for West Indian cruises, but this was changed to the Seychelles. Departed Harlingen for Falmouth in June-1987 for fitting out, but on arrival money problems were again encountered and she remained in Falmouth, where she was used as accommodation vessel in periods. Arrested in 1992 by The Admirality Marshall, then formally sold in 1993 to an unknown American owner, but by 1996 she was still under arrest at Falmouth, because her new owner had not yet released her. In Jan-2001 she was sold to LogInn Hotel AB, Stockhom, Sweden (see link below), with the intention of converting her to a floating hotel in Stockholm, with her original appearance from 1956-1958, and her original name. She was towed from Falmouth on Jan. 6-2001 to Högmarsö Varv north of Stockholm by the tug Sandsfoot Castle.

Related external link:
More pics of Kronprinsesse Märtha - The first picture was taken in the winter of 1948, the caption for the second picture says "torpedoed during WW II". It says she was torpedoed by the Germans early in the war, but she's lying on her side, so perhaps the picture was taken after she had run aground in Dec.-1939? The caption for the 3rd picture says "in the 1950's", and the 4th picture was taken in Porstmouth, England 1995. The site also has a year by year history of the ship (LogInn Hotel is the main page).

Back to Kronprinsesse Märtha on the "Homefleet Ships starting with K" page.

(Pre war and post war history are from T. Eriksen, Norway - his sources: Articles about Stavangerske D/S in the magazine "Skipet" 2.90 and 1.91 by Alf Johan Kristiansen)

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