The Pioneer SKAGEN I
Let us introduce you to our second ferry, Skagen I. It’s time for another historical post with shipping facts and background history. Happy reading!
Delivered April 1, 1914 from Burmeister & Wain in Copenhagen
Rebuilt and extended in 1936 at Finnboda tier in Stockholm. The details below are after the extension:
Breadth: 10.7 m
Gross tonnage: 1325 gt.
Passengers: 520 pers.
By the winter of 1962-63, the success of ÖSTERSÖEN had whetted the appetite of Sten A. Olsson’s Skagen line. It now sought appropriate Swedish tonnage in order to develop its transport services. One of the first vessels that Skagen line found was the old classic BRYNHILD, which at the time spent its days sadly docked after a failed attempt to keep it seafaring between Sweden and Finland. She now became SKAGEN I instead.
SKAGEN I was a ship with an interesting history. She was built as a steam ship named HEIMDAL in 1914 and put in service between Copenhagen and Rönne by the Dampskibsselskab shipping company of 1866 at Bornholm (the 66 company). The Danish shipping company was renowned for building well-developed technological and modern vessels, and HEIMDAL was no exception. Denmark was an island kingdom which was to a great extent held together by the passenger ships that sailed from Copenhagen. The Danish capital was probably the Eldorado for shipping enthusiasts in 1914.
By the end of the 1930’s, it was time for the 66-Company to renew its tonnage in service at Bornholm, and HEIMDAL was sold in 1936 to the shipping company AB Svea, where it received the name BRYNHILD. The Swedish shipping company extended and modernized the vessel with an appearance which was, for that period, hypermodern. Credit must be given to the old Bornholm vessel, which became an addition to Svea Company’s Finland service and ran summer routes on the Stockholm-Mariehamn-Åbo line. The ice class of the ship did not allow for its being used along this route in the winter.
BRYNHILD became a part of our seafaring history during World War II. She transported so-called “Finland children” to and from Sweden. Finland children were minors who were evacuated individually and placed with foster families in Sweden so that they could escape the horrors of the war. Later during the war, BRYNHILD was chartered for a short period to the shipping company AB Gotland, as a replacement for HANSA, which had been torpedoed by the Soviet Union. For most of the war, BRYNHILD sailed in Svea Company’s Swedish coastal service northwards and southwards from Stockholm.
After the war, BRYNHILD was periodically put into service in Finland, but she was predominantly a summer ship on the prestigious line running from Stockholm to Borgholm and Kalmar. Sometimes royalty could be seen en route to or from Solliden on Öland. In 1956, the old steamer was used for summer cruises between Stockholm and Leningrad, organized by Reso and Nyman & Schultz.
BRYNHILD was approaching the end of her active career. However, the shipping company AB Svea managed to sell her to a company which, in 1960, under the name Continental Line, opened for service on the Falkenberg-Horsens line. They even had plans to build a car deck on top of the stern, but it was never carried out. In Falkenberg, BRYNHILD became known as the vessel which “danced for a summer.” The line had no chance of competing with Lion Ferry’s traffic from Halmstad or the Europe ferries from Varberg.
In 1961 and 1962, a sub-shipping company in Gävle tried to use BRYHILD on routes from Gävle and Öregrund to Finland, but without success. At this point, Skagen line found the vessel and rebuilt her into a shopping boat. She served quite well in this new function and was used in Skagen’s routes from Gothenburg in 1963. Stena AB bought the vessel in December 1963, and she continued to be used by Skagen line in 1964.
When Skagen line acquired better and more modern ships, the now 50-year-old steamer was sold and, remarkably enough, began a new career as REGINA in the form of a barrack vessel after being rebuilt at Lödöse tier. In 1970 she docked at Simpvarp, outside of Oskarshamn, and was later disassembled as scrap in Nakskov, Denmark. A remarkable shipping career had reached its end.