Cap San Diego
MS Cap San Diego is a general cargo ship
A cargo ship or freighter is any sort of ship or vessel that carries cargo, goods, and materials from one port to another. Thousands of cargo carriers ply the world's seas and oceans each year; they handle the bulk of international trade...
, situated as a museum ship
A museum ship, or sometimes memorial ship, is a ship that has been preserved and converted into a museum open to the public, for educational or memorial purposes...
-History:The first historic name for the city was, according to Claudius Ptolemy's reports, Treva.But the city takes its modern name, Hamburg, from the first permanent building on the site, a castle whose construction was ordered by the Emperor Charlemagne in AD 808...
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...
. Notable for its elegant silhouette, it was the last of a series of six ships known as the white swans of the south atlantic, and marked the apex of German-built bulk carriers before the advent of the container ship
Container ships are cargo ships that carry all of their load in truck-size intermodal containers, in a technique called containerization. They form a common means of commercial intermodal freight transport.-History:...
and the decline of Germany's heavy industry
Heavy industry does not have a single fixed meaning as compared to light industry. It can mean production of products which are either heavy in weight or in the processes leading to their production. In general, it is a popular term used within the name of many Japanese and Korean firms, meaning...
Built and launched by Deutsche Werft
Deutsche Werft was a German shipbuilding company, located in Hamburg, Germany. It was founded in 1918 on initiative by Albert Ballin and with Gutehoffnungshütte , Allgemeine Elektricitäts-Gesellschaft and Hamburg Amerikanische Packetfahrt Actien Gesellschaft as investors.During World War II...
in 1961 for Hamburg Süd
Hamburg Süd is one of the key carriers on the North-South trade routes by ocean transportation. It is part of the Oetker Group, a family-owned German conglomerate.-History:...
, the 159 m, 10000 dwt ship ran a regular schedule between Germany and South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...
, completing 120 round trips until 1981. After being sold and running under different names and flags of convenience
Flag of convenience
The term flag of convenience describes the business practice of registering a merchant ship in a sovereign state different from that of the ship's owners, and flying that state's civil ensign on the ship. Ships are registered under flags of convenience to reduce operating costs or avoid the...
as a tramp trader, the run-down ship was scheduled for scrapping in 1986, when it was bought by the city of Hamburg.
The ship was restored mainly by the labour of enthusiasts and laid-off dock workers, and is kept operational to date. Most of the time, the Cap San Diego is moored at the port of Hamburg, where visitors can access virtually all areas of the ship from the bridge to the engine. One of the cargo holds hosts temporary exhibitions. Passenger cabins can be booked for overnight stays. Several times a year, the ship leaves the harbour for trips on its own power, mostly on the river Elbe
The Elbe is one of the major rivers of Central Europe. It rises in the Krkonoše Mountains of the northwestern Czech Republic before traversing much of Bohemia , then Germany and flowing into the North Sea at Cuxhaven, 110 km northwest of Hamburg...
or to Cuxhaven. In 2001, the ship was awarded the Maritime Heritage Award by the World Ship Trust, and in 2003 it was declared a protected item of cultural heritage by German law.
The ship participates in Hamburg's Long Night of Museums
Long Night of Museums
The Long Night of Museums or the Night of Museums is a cultural event organized together by multiple museums and cultural institutions in a location during which the establishments remain open late into the night...