Cap San Diego

Posted: 31 December, 2009 by SeaBart in non-ugly
Tags: ,

Cap San Diego

IMO : 5060794

Build : 1962 by Deutsche Werft – Hamburg in Germany, nr 785

The olden days, when ships were made from wood and sailors were still made from steel, when the air was still clean and sex dirty……..When designers went for the artistic view rather than the economic view when designing a ship. That was the time when this ship was at her peak, plowing the seas with 20.5 knots gathering admiring glances where ever she went. Her nickname was the White Swan of the Atlantic and she deserved it…….

Considered a totally German vessel: designed by a German designer, built by a German shipyard, sailing for a German owner, she was build in 1962 as last of a serie of 6 vessels and spent the next 20-odd years sailing between Germany & South America, together with her sisters. But the containerisation caught up with her and in 1982 she was sold to a Spanish company who used her for the next 4 years.

Picture by Ingo Josten via

Just before she was to be scrapped in 1986 she was rescued by the The Senate of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg who bought her to be preserved as a maritime monument.

Nowadays she spends her life tied up to a quay as a floating museum and exhibition/congress center. You can actually spend the night on her if you fancy that. And by the look of the whole operation it’s actually quit good. A few times per year she sails to events so she is not just an static museum thing.

I usually don’t have much sympathy for people trying desperately to save an, in their eyes iconic vessel. I see ships as a tool to do the job and when the tool is worn out you should replace it and throw the old one away. Usually the same people forget or simply don’t have the knowledge of what is necessary to keep a vessel in good condition, money-wise, labour-wise and organisation-wise. So 9 out of 10 times a project to save an old vessel from the scrapheap is bound to fail. This appears to be an example of how not to fail. And I admire that. Good on them!

A true Non-ugly ship!

Read more about her on the museum site.


  1. Captain Ron says:

    i just wonder why the hell this beauty is being listed in ths uglyships site. seems someone doesnt know what he’s doin….

  2. seabart says:

    And some-one else should learn to read better: she is listed as “non-ugly”…might ring a bell! ;-D

  3. […] keep reading on ยป […]

  4. […] a lovely old sailing vessel, the Rickmer Rickmers, or a freighter from the 1960′s, the Cap San Diego. Of course, the latter one got my full attention. You can visit every inch of the ship, just some […]

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