The French troopship Pasteur was rebuilt as the West German flagship Bremen, and introduced by Norddeutscher Lloyd on the North Atlantic run in July 1959 from New York to Cherbourg, Southampton (6 days) and Bremerhaven (7 days). In the coldest months of winter, Bremen offered some cruises from New York to the Caribbean.
North German Lloyd billed her as a "seagoing hotel" with endless amenities for a relaxed crossing. First class public rooms were high on Veranda deck, including an observation lounge, ballroom, library, card room and cocktail lounge, all reflecting the calm wood-panelled elegance of a private club. The larger Tourist class extended most of the height and length of the Bremen, with public rooms on the Promenade Deck including a ballroom, cocktail lounge, veranda lounge, writing and card rooms, library and a theater shared with First class. Both dining rooms were midship on A-Deck, a tavern on E-Deck and the indoor pool on F-Deck.
"From chief steward to bell boy ... unobtrusive service is a byword on the BREMEN. But the ship's company is warm and friendly and most important, always there when you want them."
When Swedish American Line retired their third Kungsholm, she was in beautiful shape, mechanically sound, well maintained and with a stellar reputation. The Germans had little to do when they bought her other than rename her Europa. She went into service with a transatlantic crossing to New York in January 1966, followed by a season of Caribbean cruises as a one-class ship. In April, Europa entered regular transatlantic service as a two-class consort to the larger, faster Bremen.
Sample minimum one-way fares from New York to Bremerhaven: First class $369; Tourist class $265; Fares are per person in U.S. dollars as of spring 1969.
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Built: 1939 by Penhoet, St Nazaire, France
Built: 1953 by De Schelde, Vlissingen, Holland