A Combined Cargo and Passenger Ship as the Key to New Markets

The Mauritius marked the breakthrough. The combined cargo and passenger ship, delivered in 1955, brought international reputation for MEYER WERFT Papenburg. It all started with an unusual phone call in 1954: could someone from MEYER WERFT come over to Lingen quickly to meet a ship owner? The gentleman wanted to order a motor freighter but had to return to Amsterdam the same evening.

Only a few hours later Joseph-Franz Meyer and Karl Blohm, the head of the naval engineering department at the time, were on their way. In Lingen they met a Mr. Taylor from the island of Mauritius, along with a Mr. Sorgo from London. The two of them had heard that Meyer Papenburg had designed a ship, in the shape of the freighter Kurt Arlt that was performing well in service.

But in the course of the discussion it soon became clear that the two ship owners were not after a pure cargo ship. What they had in mind was a multi-purpose ship that could carry all manner of livestock and general cargo in addition to first and second class passengers. The ship was to operate between Ceylon, Mauritius, Madagascar and South Africa.

Since the freighter already developed by Meyer was to serve as the basis, the two sides soon reached an agreement. Within four hours Mr. Taylor had decided to travel to Papenburg. Over the next four days a lot of hard work was done and in the end a plan for the new ship had been drawn up which satisfied all parties involved. Just one week later the contract was signed in London.

For MEYER WERFT the Mauritius was the key to new markets. With the combined cargo and passenger ship the Papenburg shipbuilders became known in Great Britain - and not only there. The next clients were to include shipping companies tram Burma, Denmark, Indonesia, Norway and Pakistan. The road was clear for MEYER WERFT to rise to become a modern, internationally renowned shipyard.