SMY Hohenzollern

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Imperial Yacht Hohenzollern I
Hohenzollern I, ca. 1888 (by Willy Stöwer)
Career German War Ensign
Name: S.M.Y. Hohenzollern I
Builder: Norddeutsche Schiffbau-Gesellschaft, Kiel
Laid down: 1876
Launched: 1878
Renamed: Kaiseradler 1892
Fate: Scrapped in 1912
General characteristics SMY Hohenzollern I
Type: Royal Yacht
Displacement: 6,821 t (6,713 long tons) standard
7,718 t (7,596 long tons) full load
Length: 88 m (288 ft 9 in)
Beam: 17.7 m (58 ft 1 in)
Draft: 4.8 m (15 ft 9 in)
Propulsion: Triple-expansion steam engine

SMY Hohenzollern (German: Seiner Majestät Yacht Hohenzollern) was the name of several Yachts used by the German Emperors between 1878 and 1918, named after their House of Hohenzollern.

SMY Hohenzollern I

The first S.M.Y. Hohenzollern was built 1876 to 1878 by Norddeutschen Schiffbau A.G. in Kiel. The interiors were designed by architect Heinrich Moldenschardt. The ship was 88 m long, 17.7 m wide and 4.8 m deep.

In 1892 it was renamed Kaiseradler. It was scrapped in 1912.

SMY Hohenzollern II

File:Stamp Mariana Islands 1901 10pf.jpg
The Hohenzollern is depicted on the yacht issue

The second SMY Hohenzollern was built by AG Vulcan Stettin, it was 120 m long, 14 m wide and 5.6 m deep, with 9,588 hp.

It was in use as Imperial Yacht and aviso from 1893 to July 1914. From 1894 to 1914, with the exception of 1906, Emperor Wilhelm II used it on his annual prolonged Nordlandfahrt trips to Norway. In total he spent over four years on board.

In June 1914 the ship attended the Kiel regatta and on 25 June the last state banquet was held on board to entertain officers of the British fleet whose ships had been invited to attend.[1]

At the end of July 1914 it was put out of service in Kiel, the last captain being Kapitän zur See Johannes v. Karpf. The ship became property of the Weimar Republic in 1918. It was struck on 27 February 1920 and scrapped in 1923 in Wilhelmshaven.

File:Yacht Hohenzollern 1906.jpg
1906 postcard depicting SMY Hohenzollern II in Norway

SMY Hohenzollern III

The Hohenzollern III was launched in September 1914 in Stettin, but never finished due to war. It was struck in 1919 and scrapped in 1923 at Deutsche Werke in Kiel.


The imperial yacht was the subject of the Yacht issue produced for postal use in German colonies.

Imperial racing yachts

Imperial Yacht Meteor

The Thistle was purchased by Wilhelm in 1891 and renamed Meteor. The same name was reused for later yachts. Its main rival was the Germania of the Krupp family.


  1. George von Hase (c.1921). Kiel and Jutland. Skeffington and son Ltd. 

External links

de:SMY Hohenzollern