SMY Hohenzollern

Hohenzollern I, ca. 1888 (by Willy Stöwer)
German Empire
Name: S.M.Y. Hohenzollern I
Builder: Norddeutsche Schiffbau-Gesellschaft, Kiel
Laid down: 1876
Launched: 1878
Renamed: Kaiseradler 1892
Fate: Scrapped in 1923
General characteristics SMY Hohenzollern I
Type: Royal Yacht
  • 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 Hohenzollern was built 18761878 by Norddeutschen Schiffbau A.G. in Kiel. Her interiors were designed by architect Heinrich Moldenschardt. In 1892 she was renamed Kaiseradler and scrapped in 1912.

SMY Hohenzollern II

Hohenzollern II in Venice, Italy. Photochrom print, 1890s

Hohenzollern II was built by AG Vulcan Stettin. She was 120 metres (390 ft) long, had a beam of 14 metres (46 ft) and drew 5.6 metres (18 ft), with 9,588 indicated horsepower (7,150 kW).

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

In June 1914 Hohenzollern II 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 Hohenzollern II 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. Struck on 27 February 1920, she was scrapped in 1923 in Wilhelmshaven.

SMY Hohenzollern III

Hohenzollern III was launched in September 1914 in Stettin but never finished due to war. She 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.

SMY Hohenzollern in the Yacht Issue
Hohenzollern II is depicted on the Yacht issue
Hohenzollern II is depicted on the Yacht issue. 
postcard depicting SMY Hohenzollern II in Norway
Postcard depicting SMY Hohenzollern II in Norway 


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