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Traveling to and/or from (emigrating) from Colonial British Guiana

Getting there or Leaving Colonial British Guiana

by Known Steam Ship Lines late 19th or early 20th centuries

The "hey day" of traveling to the Caribbean and South America was prior to the 1930s. Air travel came later. The Caribbean Islands are still a popular destination for sea cruises but no ocean cruisers dock at Georgetown.   In an article dated June 8, 2005 by Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce Manzoor Nadir, " Last year, two cruise ships, Minerva II and the Hanseatic docked in Guyana with over 225 tourists, while for this year two have already arrived, the Clipper Adventurer and the MV Bremmer. Over 400 European tourists are expected to arrive on the German cruise ship, MV Columbus in November. Additionally, a number of yachts from Caribbean countries regularly visit Guyana."     It seems that Guyana was charging $2500 for each egress and ingress to Guyana ports but have reported an intention of lowering the fees hoping to attract more cruise ships.

From the early 1900s to the mid 1920s, there was an exodus by many from British Guiana to the US, Canada, or England and they used the availalble transportation of the day, steam ship. Many of those traveled aboard the ships mentioned below. Some of the ships mentioned below were researched as to whether they went to British Guiana or not, only nine (9) ships ever did. Those ships were:
SS Maracas (very infrequent); SS Maraval ; SS Prins der Netherlanden and SS Prins Frederik Hendrik (very infrequent); SS Korona from 1903-1923; SS Parima (infrequent); SS Parima infrequently; SS Guiana from 1907-1925 infrequent, and SS Manoa, infrequently. The popular ports during that time as well as currently are: Barbados, Trinidad and Jamaica.

Circa 1909 (or otherwise noted) --- .as reported by James Stark of Boston, Massachusetts, and Guyana Historian James Rodway in their circa 1909 book,"Starks's Guide Book and History of British Guiana" .    Blue text indicates that an image of an advertisement from this book is just beyond your click. Some of the ads provide names of ships in their line and schedules and this can be very valuable genealogical information.
Much information and scans of brochures for some of these lines are from the fabulous site of Björn Larsson; creator of Maritime Timetable Images. Please do NOT contact Bjorn for genealogical information - he has none. He collects airline and ship brochures only. Do, however, visit his website, you'll have a wonderful time browsing his collection!

  • Alcoa Steamship Company - aka Aluminum Line - (Ships owned by Gørrisen & Co., Norway). 1936 Fleet: Austvangen, Dalvangen, Lindvangen, Nordvangen, Sørvangen and Vestvangen called at Demerara.


  • American Caribbean Line - Moore, McCormack Co., Inc., New York - 1935 Fleet: SS Scanpenn, SS Scanmail. See brochure and photos of the interior rooms of the steamers.


  • Armstrong Line
    Image of Ad from the 1909 Stark's Guide Book & History of British Guiana


  • Boston Fruit Company Line [Also known as The United Fruit Company}
    Image of Ad from the 1909 Stark's Guide Book & History of British Guiana.   Fleet; as of 1907:  Admiral Dewey, 2104 tons; Admiral Sampson, 2104 tons; Admiral Farragut, 2104 tons; Brooklin, 1357 tons; Barnstaple, 1356 tons and 74 others.


  • Canadian National Steamships - (1938 brochure [cover at left, larger view here, and inside of brochure] from Björn Larsson; creator of Maritime Timetable Images) This company initially serviced Bermuda but in 1936 began routes to British Guiana, continuing to the 1950s. Some of this Line's ships had "Lady" names. Their 1936 fleet included: Lady Somers, Lady Rodney, Lady Hawkins, Lady Drake, Lady Nelson and some were "Prince". Check the Maritime Timetable Images site (link just above) for more information.


  • Corry & Company - Had a route from London to South America from 1903 to 1914. In 1914, this line became a part of the Commonwealth & Dominion Line which was later renamed the Port Line. (1903 online info)


  • Furness, Withy & Co. (Furness West Indies Line) - Fleet includes; SS Fort St. George;  SS Maraval; SS Nerrisa; SS Dominica. These steamers had regular routes from Demerara to New York and regularly advertised Cruises to the West Indies from the early 1920s up to 1952. The company's Prince Line served only South American ports such as Rio de Janeiro, Santos, Montevideo, and Buenos Aires. The company also had a Bermuda line and a Warren line which served Great Britain and Canada only. (Brochure collection of Björn Larsson; creator of Maritime Timetable Images)


  • Hamburg-American Packet Company (Hamburg-American and Hamburg-South America Line) - This company began South American routes in 1872 and made stops in the USA at Baltimoe & Boston.


  • Harrison Line, Thomas and James Harrison, United Kingdom - 1938 Fleet: SS Inkosi, SS Inanda.    (Harrison Line Brochure collection of Björn Larsson; creator of Maritime Timetable Images)


  • The Demerara & Berbice Steamship Co., Ltd. - From London to Demerara & Berbice (circa 1907)


  • G.R. Garnett (Agent)
    Image of Ad from the 1909 Stark's Guide Book & History of British Guiana


  • Imperial Direct West India Mail Service Col, Ltd. = Elder, Dempster & Co., Colonial House, Liverpool, London & Bristol. 1907 Fleet: Port Kingston, 7584 tons; Port Henderson, 5167 tons; Port Royal, 4455 tons; Port Antonio, 4458 tons;  Port Morant, 2900 tons; and Port Maria, 29900 tons. The SSS Delta makes a round trip round Jamaica every week.


  • Liverpool Line - (Booker Bros., McConnell & Co. Ltd., 77 The Albany, Liverpool) First-class cargo steamers sail from Liverpool to Demerara direct every three weeks. They have accommodaion for a limited number of cabin passengers.


  • London Direct Line (This is from the 1882 BG Directory)


  • New York and Cuba Mail-Steampship Line
    Image of Ad from the 1909 Stark's Guide Book & History of British Guiana


  • Pickford & Black’s West India Line
    Steamers run monthly between St. John, N.B., Halifax, Nova Scotia and nearly all the Caribbean Islands, with Demerara being the last stop.   Pickford & Black's schedule for Feb. 2, 1903 St. John, New Brunswick,Daily Telegraph newspaper ad.   Fleet; as of 1907: Olenda, 4000 tons; Orinoco, 3000 tons; Oruro, 2000 tons; and Ocama, 2000 tons.


  • Prince Line (from Europe) & Quebec Line (From New York)
    Image of Ads from the 1909 Stark's Guide Book & History of British Guiana


  • Quebec Steamship Company
    Leaves New York once a month for Barbardos and Demerara.   1907 fleet: Guiana, 4000 tons;   Pretoria, 3300 tons; Parima, 3000 tons; Korona, 3000 tons; Trinidad, 2500 tons; and Manoa, 300 tons; primarily all were frighters but were also popular passenger steamers.  This line advertised West Indies Cruises aboard the Guiana or Parima. (Brochure collection of Björn Larsson; creator of Maritime Timetable Images)


  • Royal Dutch West Indian Mail Company
    Sends a monthly steamer to Hayti (sic), Curacao, Venezuelan ports, Trinidad, Demerara and Dutch Guiana


  • Royal Dutch West India Mail Service - de Ruyter kade 125, Amsterdam. Steamers sail from Amsterdam and New York very fornight. Fleet: Prins der Nederlanden, 1923 tons; Prins Frederik Hendrik, 2164 tons; Prins Maurits, 1777 tons; Prins Willem I., 1765 tons; Prins Willem II., 1621 tons; Prins Willem III., Prins Willem IV., 1713 tons, and Prins Willem V., 1777 tons. [data circa 1907]


  • Royal Mail Steam Packet Company - 1907 Transatlantic Steamer Fleet to Demerara: Eden and Esk. Piictured at right, is the Steam Ship Asturius.


  • Royal Netherlands Steamship Company - New York. 1935/36 Fleet: Cottica, Van Van Rensselaer, Stuyvesant, and Oranje Nassau. Photos of the SS Cottica, exterior and interior, and brochure at Bjorn Larrson's site here - FABULOUS photos.


  • Southhampton Royal West India Mail Line
    Steamers every two weeks direct from Southampton to Barbados, where a branch steamer, belonging to the same line, connects for Demerara.


  • Trinidad Line
    from New York to Trinidad every alternate Saturday (7 day trip) and from Trinidad by one of the numerous steamers running from Demerara. Note that in the "Encyclopedia of Ships & Shipping" by Herbert B. Mason, Nov. 9, 1908, three steamers made up their fleet: Grenada, Maraval, and Maracas.


  • Western Ocean Steamship Co - 1929/1930 fleet: SS Western Ocean, SS Western Wave, and Madison.
HOTELS - Advertisements, Colonial British Guiana (circa 1909 or otherwise noted)


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