Click pictures to enlarge:
Photo credits: LC – Library of Congress; SAL – Swedish American Lines
S.S. Noordam (I): Holland America’s first Noordam – there were three, all told – was built by Harland & Wolff of Belfast, Northern Ireland. She was launched in September 1901 and made her maiden voyage from Rotterdam to New York on 1 May 1902. Noordam was a 12,531 gross ton vessel – length 550 ft x beam 62 ft, one funnel, two masts, twin screw and a speed of 15 knots. There was accommodation for 286-1st, 292-2nd and 1,800-3rd class (steerage) passengers. Sweden American Lines later used several ships named Kungsholm. In old pictures, Kungsholm I can be easily distinguished from the others by its single funnel.
From August to October 1914, the early months of World War I, she made a few commercial voyages, but after striking a mine in the North Sea on 17 Oct 1914, Noordam spent the winter in Rotterdam. She returned to service 26 Mar 1915, one of the few liners to maintain regular service from the continent during the war. She struck another mine, though, off Terschelling Bank in August 1917 and did not return to service, spending the rest of the war laid up at Rotterdam.
Noordam returned to service with a March 1919 trip on her prewar Rotterdam-New York route. From March 1923 until November 1924, during the refit of Swedish American’s Drottningholm, Noordam was chartered to Swedish American for service on that line’s Gothenburg-New York route, and was renamed S.S. Kungsholm.
Noordam again returned to service for Holland America in October 1926 and made her final voyage in April 1927. She was scrapped the following year.
Sources: Bonsor’s North Atlantic Seaway; Haws’ Merchant Fleets; Kohler’s The Holland American Line; Moss and Hume’s Shipbuilders to the World.