The Hanseatic had a colorful history. The ship was built at Govan shipyard in Glasgow, Scotland in 1930 as Empress of Japan for the Canadian Pacific Railway. They deployed her on the route between Canada and Yokohama in Japan. During Second World War she served as a troop transporter for Australian and New Zealand troops. In 1948 she was decommissioned as troop transporter and reconverted into a civilian cruise ship.
In 1957 Axel Bitsch Christendesen and Nicos Vernicos Eugenides founded the Hamburg Atlantic Line. With help from the Hamburgian senate they managed to buy the 28 year old steamer. It didnít take long for Hanseatic to get popular in Germany, especially in Hamburg and the North Sea shores.
In September 1966 while being in the harbor of New York a defective fuel line caused a fire in the engine room. The damage was devastating and it wasnít worth repairing the ship any more. Two salvage tugs towed the ship back to Hamburg. After another inspection from the insurance companies the shipping company decided to sell the cruise ship to Eisen und Metall AG Hamburg for scrapping.
- Launched: 17/12/1929
- Shipyard: Fairfield Shipbuilding Co. Glasgow
- Commissioning as Empress of Japan: 14/06/1930
- Conversion: Howaltswerke Hamburg
- Commissioning as Hanseatic: 1958
- Length: 203.1 m (205.15 m after conversion)
- Width: 25.5 m
- Displacement: 30,030 Brt
- Engines: 2 sets of geared turbines, 6 yarrow-boilers