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Bay of Naples 

Societa Napolitana di Navigazione a Vapore
This Naples-based company dominated services in the Bay of Naples at the end of the 19th century and owned the postal delivery contract with the state. By the turn of the century there was sissatisfaction locally because the company was though to be concentrating on the needs of tourists rather than locals and this was cemented by the virtual take-over of the struggling company by the massive Norddeutscher Lloyd shipping company based in Bremen, Germany. Two of the company's largest paddle steamers, Nixe and Najade were active in the Bay of Naples after the summer season sailing to the islands off the northern German coast had finished.    

Napoli (1897-1913)

Built in 1858 by Motala Mekaniska Verkstad, Norrkoping Yard, Sweden
Dimensions : 68.6 m x 8.4 m
618 Gross Registered Tons
Built for operation in by Schon & Co of Stockholm Sweden as  Svea
Renamed  Ixion in 1871

Purchased by HAPAG in August 1872, being placed on the Hamburg-Helgoland route and taking the name of the Helgoland of 1866.
She was laid up in 1875
Sold in May 1879 to Schweffel & Howaldt, shipowners at Kiel
Heavily rebuilt in 1884 
Sold in 1886 for use at Trieste as Cattaro
From 1897 was in operation at Naples, Italy as Napoli
Scrapped in 1913

Winter operations


Built in 1899 by G Seebeck at Geestemunde
Engines : Triple Expansion
Dimensions: 75.4 x 9.2 metres
728 Gross Registered Tons
Built for Norddeutsche Lloyd for service from Bremen to Helgoland
Spent winter months in Italy.
Requisitioned by the Navy in World War I as a tender and auxiliary vessel
Returned to service in 1919 on the Baltic coast service between Swinemunde and Pillau
Purchased by Hamburg owner A Meyer in 1925 and registered with the Frisia GmbH in 1926
Sold for use at Stettin in 1928, but never entered service and was scrapped in 1930


Built in 1894 by F Schichau at Danzig (now Gdansk)
Engines : Triple Expansion
Dimensions : 71.2 x 9.2 metres
724 Gross Registered Tons
Built for Norddeutsche Lloyd for service from Bremerhaven to Helgoland
Spent the winter months in service at Naples, Italy
Spent World War I as a naval tender
After the war spent time in the Baltic Sea for NDL
Sold in 1928 and scrapped during 1929 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Societa di Navigazione a Vapore della Penisola Sorrentina
In 1902 a group of local businessmen set up the company with a headquarters at Meta near Sorrento. The leading shareholder was Gioacchino Lauro a local ship's captain, whose son Achille established his own shipping company and became a prominent politician. They set up in opposition to the existing local operator in an attempt to improve sercices for local passengers and businesses 

Three old paddle steamers were purchased from the United Kingdom and put into service between Naples, Sorrento and the island of Capri. Despite initial financial success, this was not sustained and a mooted merger with the Neapolitan company in 1905 was discussed but rejected as unacceptable. Nevertheless, the company went into liquidation in the summer of 1905 and the sell off of vessels began, one quickly, the others being taken into temporary ownership by Gioacchino Lauro and partner Giovanni Pollio, pending disposal

Above : Principessa Mafalda at Sorrento. Image is from a Bidari post card by kind courtesy of Stuart Cameron 

Principess Jolanda (1902-1906)

Built in 1893 by Barclay, Curle & Co, Clydeholm
Engines : Compound diagonal
Dimensions : 160 ft x 21.6 ft
260 Gross Registered Tons

More details about her history

Principessa Mafalda (1903-1905)

Built in 1880 by H McIntyre and Co at Paisley
Engines : 2 cylinder steeple, by King and Co
Dimensions : 211.2 ft x 21.8 ft
260 Gross Registered Tons

More details about her history

Lady Rowena (1903-1906)

Launched on May 31st 1891 by S McKnight at Ayr
Engines : Simple diagonal, 50 x 72 in by Hutson and Corbett
Dimensions : 200.5 ft x 21.1 ft
314 Gross Registered Tons (later 332)

More details about her history

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