MS Bleichen

The Bleichen is a museum ship in the port of Hamburg , which has its berth in the Hansa port on Bremer Kai in front of shed 50 . The ship, built in 1958, is a typical general cargo ship of its time and lies in front of the listed general cargo storage shed used by the port museum .

The ship was built at the Nobiskrug shipyard in Rendsburg for the Hamburg shipping company HM Gehrckens (HMG) and put into service under the name Bleichen . Like its sister ship Borgesch , the freighter was named after an old Hamburg street. The Bleichen was a typical general cargo ship, as it was in use before the advent of container ships . The Gehrckens shipping company used their ships in the Scandinavian trade . The Bleichen was therefore built with a high ice class to be able to sail the Baltic Sea all year round. The ship transported paper from Finland to Germany until 1970. In 1970 it was given the name Canale Grande by the new Italian owner . The Canale Grande was bought by a Turkish shipowner in 1979 and renamed Arcipel . The ship was used from 1994 to December 2006 under the name Old Lady for transporting bulk cargo in the Black Sea.

Due to the construction as a three- island ship and the complex operation, the operation of the ship was no longer profitable. The Bleichen had relatively small hatches and tweendecks , making loading and unloading inefficient by today's standards. With a crew of 22 men, it took three days to load 2,000 tons of scrap . The ship was to be decommissioned and scrapped .

The Hamburg Maritim Foundation , which was looking for a general cargo ship for its museum at the 50er shed , the last remaining Hamburg quay shed from the time of the German Empire , became aware of the ship in 2006 and decided to buy it. The purchase price of 450,000 euros was raised through donations. After a stay in the shipyard in Turkey, it was transferred to Hamburg in January 2007, where it arrived on January 30, 2007.

On April 27, 2007, the Old Lady was christened back to her first ship name , Bleichen . Since then it has sailed again under the German flag with its home port of Hamburg.

The Bleichen has midships and stern superstructures, a deck design that went out of fashion as early as the 1950s, but guaranteed a high level of comfort in the center bridge, as it was less affected by engine vibrations and noise. Despite its age, the ship is largely unchanged and in good condition. The ship 's diesel engine from Klöckner-Humboldt-Deutz has remained unchanged, as have the rudder system , the lifeboats and the propeller . According to information provided by former crew members, the interior is also in its original condition.

On February 6, 2007, a works association "Friends of the general cargo ship MS Bleichen" was founded for restoration and operation . The restoration is to be carried out by volunteers and by the "Youth in work" project . The restoration time was estimated at around three years, but took longer. Deficiencies were found in the midships superstructure and the main engine, which will take longer than expected to be rectified.

On October 24, 2017, the bleachers were successfully tested and accepted on the Elbe. Guest trips have been offered again since 2018.


Museum Info:
Address: Australiastraße Schuppen 52 A, D - 20457 Hamburg, Germany
Phone: + 351 258 809 710

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