A Century of Salen Family Shipping

The 11,422grt Snow Flake was built in 1972 by La Ciotat CN. In 1984 she was sold to South View Shipping and renamed South View and in 1985 she became Blue Sea of Cool Shipmanagement Ltd. Later that year she joined the Minolta Corporation, firstly as Santos Star then as Limari. In 1987 she joined Austasia Maritime and reverted to Santos Star and in 1996 she became Snow Delta of Blue Star Reefers. Her final role was as Santos Star for Lyford Shipping from 2000. On 21st August 2006 she arrived at Chittagong to be broken up. (FotoFlite)

Many readers will remember the collapse and bankruptcy of Salenrederierna (Salen Shipping) at the end of 1984, which had become the largest Swedish shipowner and shipbuilder, overtaking Brostroms in 1968. However, the Salen family in the form of several descendants of Sven Salen, have rebuilt their shipping interests, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, to own and technically manage the three cruise ships of the Noble Caledonia cruise company, and also have interests in Argonaut A/B dry bulker operations, and Higman Marine tug/barge operations in the U.S.A., the third largest operator on intracoastal waterways. In 2015, the family celebrated the centenary of their businesses, which over the thirty years from 1985 have encompassed shipping, air travel, food, banking and many other business sectors.

The 4,444grt Sandhamn was built in 1929 by Akers MV at Oslo as the Fernglen for Fearnley & Eger. She became Sandhamn in 1934. In 1939 she became Sinfra of Cie Generale de Nav. a Vapeur Cyprien Fabre and in 1942 she was captured by Germany. On 19th October 1943 she was bombed and sunk by Allied aircraft north of Suda Bya, Crete. 2,098 people perished, the majority of whom were Italian Prisoners of War. (John B. Hill collection)

The 3,768grt Dagmar Salen was built in 1907 by Priestman at Southwick as the Alden for Kjaer & Isdahl of Bergen. In 1916 she was sold to D/S A/S Ostlandet and renamed Osterdal and in 1928 she joined Rederi A/B Ovidia as Valdivia. She became Dagmar Salen in 1934. In 1936 she moved to Oy Wiides as Wisa nd in 1943 she was given her original name, Alden, by Mariehamns Rederi. She was broken up in November 1958 by Cant di Portovenere at La Spezia (John B. Hill collection)


Sven Salen

Sven Salen was born on 7th November 1890 at the town of Boras in Vastra Gotaland County in Central Southern Sweden just over forty miles from the outskirts of Gothenburg, the second largest city in Sweden. He was the youngest of three brothers and after graduating in 1909, he received training for a year at the Gothenburg Trading Institute and then joined the Gothenburg Trading Bank. After the outbreak of World War I in August 1915, shipping in the Baltic, Kattegat and Skagerrak suffered losses from mines, driving up the freight rate market. At the end of 1915, Sven Salen decided to become a shipowner, purchasing the small engines aft, bridge ‘midships, coaster Robur of 200 grt, built by the Lofholmsvarvet yard at Stockholm. A few months later in 1916, a second small coaster named Ida was also purchased, but Robur suffered damage from a marine accident and was sold in 1916.

The 3,140grt Sandhamn was built in 1941by Oresundsvarvet at Landskrona. In 1964 she was sold to Chen & Co. and renamed Chen Teh. On 12th April 1964 she suffered a serious fire at Kaohsiung and was subsequently broken up there in August of that year. (John B. Hill collection)

The fully rigged sailing ship Puerto Montt of 1,506 grt was purchased in 1917 on the American west coast from a German shipowner who had emigrated to Chile. The transaction took two months to complete before Sven Salen was able to rename her as Transocean, and she then sailed worldwide until sold to a Gothenburg shipowner one month before the end of the war at a good profit. She had been completed as Skelmorlie in December 1883 by Robert Duncan and Company at Port Glasgow for Hunter, Brown and Company of Greenock on dimensions of length 254.1 feet, moulded beam of 39.0 feet, and depth of 22.9 feet, with a fo’c’stle of length 39 feet and a poop deck of length 38 feet. She had three masts with an extended bowsprit holding her figurehead, together with a grey hull and a full outfit of sails.

The 3,095gt Caledonian Star was built in 1966 by Weser Seebeck at Bremerhaven as the trawler Marburg for “Nordsee” Deutsche Hochseefischerei GmbH. In 1982 she joined North Star Line as Lindmar and they then converted her into the cruise ship North Star. In 1989 she became Caledonian Star and in 2001 was renamed Endeavour. After being taken over by Lindblad Expeditions in 2003 her name was changed to National Geographic Endeavour two years later. On 6th May 2017 she arrived at Nantong to be broken up. (Fotoflite)


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