The ocean liner Bremen (Pasteur, 1939-1980). This model, showing the look of the “Bremen” in 1959, was built in a 1:200 scale by A. Phillip. It is displayed on Deck 6 of the museum.
Troop carrier, ocean liner, cruise liner and residential ship: this ship was all of these during one lifetime.
The story begins in 1936, when the French Compagnie de Navigation Sud-Atlantique decided to build a liner to compete with Hamburg Süd’s „Cap Arcona“ and Royal Mail Lines‘ RMS „Andes“. After some delays, the ship was completed in August 1939 as the SS „Pasteur“. The outbreak of the Second World War ended the plans for her maiden voyage. When France fell to Germany, the ship was taken over by Great Britain. She was put into service as a transporter for both troops and prisoners as well as a hospital ship for the Allies. Thanks to her top speed of 26 knots, she could cross the oceans without an escort.
The „Pasteur“ returned to French ownership in 1946. Unlike most other ocean liners that survived the Second World War, she was not converted for civilian use. She continued to serve as a troop carrier during the wars fought by France in Vietnam and Algeria and during the Suez Crisis. In 1957, she was sold to the shipping company Norddeutscher Lloyd. They invested more than twice the price they had paid for the „Pasteur“ to convert her into the modern ocean liner „Bremen“.
In 1959, the extensive work at the Vulkan shipyard in Bremen was completed and the ship began her maiden voyage as a civilian vessel. The „Bremen“ was a successful ship in its early years. However, with the decline of liner shipping during 1960s, she was increasingly used as a cruise ship. To meet the new challenges of the shipping industry, her owners joined forces with Hamburg-based HAPAG in 1971. The Bremen was no longer needed in the fleet of the new company, now named HAPAG-Lloyd, and was sold to the Greek shipping company Chandris Cruises and served as their flagship. After a refit, she was given the name „Regina Magna“. Due to the economic crisis of 1973, she was laid up in 1974 until she was sold again in 1977. Her new owners renamed her „Saudi Phil I“ and turned her into a residential ship for Filipino workers in Saudi Arabia. The ship was finally sold for scrapping in 1980. But apparently, she had other plans. While being towed to Taiwan for scrapping, she sank in the Indian Ocean.
This model, showing the look of the “Bremen” in 1959, was built in a 1:200 scale by A. Phillip.