About us           History deutschWir über uns   Quelques mots sur nous   italianoChi Siamo

Peter Markus Daniel Francis

Radio Operator
Peter Bichsel


Markus Berger
  4th. Engineer
Daniel Trösch

 Francis Monnard

Captain & Pilot
Bernhard Wissmer

June 18, 2018
Chief Engineer & tech. Superintendent Hans-Peter Schwab Second Officer
Hans Mutschlechner
François Gehrig
obituary email     email email email

We have been two, later three a bit “crazy“ former seamen from Switzerland, who went to the trouble to maintain a data bank and a home page. Our crew was increased to four, as follows: Until his death Francis Monnard completed a huge task and translated many ship histories into the French language. Unfortunately we only were informed about his huge achievement after his early death and we decided to take Francis postum into our team. He is now the fourth in our team. We feel sorry, that we could not do this during his lifetime, as we were unaware about the critical state of his health and about all the work he performed. The translations were made available to us after his death by his life companion, Mrs. Mayor. We thank Mrs. Mayor for leaving us his last works.

To be a bit more precise:

Markus collects since 1965 Photographs and information about all ships, connected in one way or another with Switzerland (Swiss flag vessels, ship owners located in Switzerland, ships in the service of the government’s war supply office and Red Cross ships during last world war etc.). We estimate his collection comprises by now more then 15’000 photographs. From many sources, like Lloyd’s register, maritime journals, contacts to people all around the world etc., he collects all relevant datas of all the ships, from keel laying until the breaker’s yard or any other end.

Not many details of the Swiss shipping history must have slipped Markus attention. 

Daniel is also a fanatic and competent collector. He finished his time at sea in 1985 and since, he collects all material available about Swiss merchant fleet, as well everything about the international passenger shipping. Meanwhile his collection also contains about 15’000 documents, including interior photographs and many maritime objects. Further Daniel owns about 250 films about many maritime subjects, about 250 sound carriers with shanties and seaman’s music, as many other things..

The story:

In spring 1998 I planned a home page about the sailing Swiss flag vessels at the time. Looking for photographs, I have been advised from various friends to contact Markus Berger, which finally I did.
Since then I had no free time anymore. 

We decided, to enter all the datas (photos and other datas in paper form) collected by Markus into an electronic data bank.

First I had to program a data bank and then we commenced to fill the data base. Untiring Markus researches more datas and more photos are collected. I have troubles to keep pace with all his.

Meanwhile more then 2500 ships are entered in this data base.

Once Markus was convinced about the advantages of the internet, we made the decision to realize the planned home page about the Swiss flag deep sea ships. The website has been online since August 1st, 2000.

In the course of these works we received a lot of excellent photos from Daniel, and it was only now, we realized, what kind of maritime goldmine Daniel has. After some talks with Daniel, it became apparent to enlarge the team and we decided to take him on as a new team member. 

About 2005 we received from Francis the first French translations of ship’s histories. We were unsuspecting about Francis serious illness and until his death he was working untiring on these translations. Mrs. Mayor, his life companion, left us all his works after he has passed away. Francis contribution to the web site was of great value and now our French speaking seamen can read the histories of their ships in their mother language. 

Since the amount of work steadily increased, we launched in 2007 a call for an additional team member and fortunately Capt. Bernhard Wissmer applied. Bernhard was for a long time master on board Swiss flag ships and later he was pilot on the Kiel Canal until his retirement. His active collaboration, his sound knowledge and his experience are clearly visible on our home page.

Therfore we are five team members.

Our first target, to show the present ships we have completed. Swiss-Ships is the visible product of our endeavours in the public.

As a second target we decided to enter all deep sea ships, which ever have flown a Swiss flag into the home page, this also was achieved.

As a further step we plan to list all the ships under foreign flag, belonging to Swiss shipping companies. Until this target is reached, considerable time will pass. Every week Swiss-Ships grows by a few vessels. 

Initially it was not planned to publish the complete history of each individual ship. But we came to the conclusion that these histories present the special touch of the home page. 

Therefore we are very grateful for all incidents which are brought forward to us, as this home page thrives on these stories. 

We are all the time on search for photos of Swiss ships or ships connected in any way to Switzerland. Also on documents, reports, stories or other items we are much interested (obviously we will return photos etc. after we have scanned them into our data bank).

Have you any questions, tips about any mistakes (for example inadvertent breach of copyright), comments etc., please do not hesitate to contact us:

At this point we like to stress, that this home page has been established only with the assistance of many other persons. Especially we like to mention the employees of the BWL Bundesamt für wirtschaftliche Landesversorgung (Federal Office for National Economic Supply FONES), who have revised the “histories” and translated them into the three national languages. 

Very special thanks to Peter Marti, who was my “test-user” and who has encouraged me to push forward with this project. 

Also I wish to express my gratitude to Markus Janka, he is a great supporter of “Swiss-ships”. He was the author of the reports about the rescue operation of the Celerina.

Addendum of March 2011:

The most important step In the recent years was taken in summer 2008, when Swiss-Ships was converted into a foundation. The idea was born and discussed with a sponsor from the shipping industry already in 2007, but another year elapsed until the realization. During the founder's meeting in May 2008 the members of the foundation agreed unanimously to incorporate Swiss-Ships in the foundation to ensure its existence far into the future. In August 2008 the foundation was registered in the commercial register of the Canton of Thurgau, Switzerland. We are very happy to have Dr. Hansueli Raggenbass, a lawyer and former national councillor as the foundation's president. With his excellent relations in politics, culture and economy, it will substantially help to preserve the history of Swiss shipping well into the distant future and will give the foundation a improved reputation in the public.

Thanks to the foundation it was possible to acquire in December 2008 the huge photo collection of Fotomar in Leixoes, Portugal. This collection comprises photos of ships calling in Leixoes, from the WW II until up to recent years, including many vessels under Swiss flag. Another advantage is, we have many photos from foreign flag ships, which we can share with other collectors in exchange for photos from Swiss vessels. 

At the end of 2007 Hans Mutschlechner from southern Tyrol discovered our web-site by pure chance and he offered to translate our histories and reports into Italian language (southern Tyrol is now part of Italy and therefore Hans is fluent in German and Italian). He commenced seafaring in the Italian Navy and after discharge he joined the Italian merchant marine, where he finished his career as a second officer. During this time Hans sailed also for a shipping company in Lugano, Switzerland.

After his retirement in early 2010 Hans-Peter Schwab joined to support Swiss-Ships mainly in technical matters and history writing. He commenced as a wiper on a Swiss general cargo ship and became a Chief Engineer. Later he worked in a shipping company on shore until going in pension. 

In the same year Francois Gehrig retired as well and he supports our team by translating the histories into the French language and continues the work commenced by his late friend Francis, He served an apprenticeship as a sailor/deckman on the River Rhine and sailed on various Swiss deep sea ships before completing his master's licence in Bremen in 1972. Then he became a master on board foreign flag container vessels, sailing for the following eight years until going on shore, working in two Swiss shipping companies as operations- and crewing manager until his retirement.

Team Swiss-Ships

We wish to thank ALL persons, who have made available and allowed us to use their photos, who shared any information with us or have supported the construction of this web site in any possible way.

among others are: (the list is allways incomplete)
   Adrian Hagen    Ian B. Lovie    Niels Johannes
   Airfoto Malacca
   † Capt.  Foxley
   Ian Shiffman    Nico Jonker
   Alan Lee    Jacob Slagter    Norman Hesketh † 04.12.2010
   Andreas Schlatterer    John Sins    Olaf Schmidt
   Alex Duncan    Jakob Kaufmann    Peter Marti
   Alex Imsand    James L. Shaw    Peter Schöttker
   Andreas Keller    Jens Grabbe    Peter van Wissen
   Armin Laferma     Jan Verduijn    René Nickler
   Arwed H. Kubisch    Jim Shaw    Roger W Jordan
   Capt. J.F.van Puyvelde    Jean M. Otten    Roland Bentin
   Chris Owen    Jeff Cameron    Roland Peyer
   Daniel Rüegg    J.K. Byass    Selim San
   Dave Hocquard    John Clarkson    Søren Thorsøe
   Ditmar Hasenpusch    Johnny Hungerbühler    Tomas Johannesson
   Erhard Giger    Josef Nüsse    Urs Vogelbacher
   Ernst G. Dahl    J. van Teeffelen    Walter Freitag
   Ernst Rütimann    Karl H. Struve    Waterweg Fotos
   H. Krayenbosch 
   Flor van Otterdyk    Kenneth Newhams    Willi von Arb
   Fotos Jansen, Hamburg    Klaus Berger    William Schell
   Friedrich W. Kunze    L. O. Amboldt    Willem Van Maanen
   Frits Olinga    Leo Johannes    Wolfgang Kramer
   Fritz Hodel    Lloyd's Register - Fairplay    World Ship Society
   Gerry Schneider    Mario Onetta    Wolfgang Fuchs
   Guillermo C. Berger    Markus Janka    Richard Wisse
   Hans R. Bachmann    Martin Angst    Yvon Perchoc

   Hans Rosenkranz

   Robert Smith, Rotterdam    Marie-Anne von Bergen
   Heinz Bieri    Martin Strojenga    Simon Smith
   Henri Walser    Michael Lennon    Capt. Agustin Alapont Castilla
   Henk Zuur    Mike Ebel    Capt. Manuel Hernández     Lafuente
   Holger Patzer    Michael Cassar     Derek Sands
   David Hazell    Malcolm Cranfield      Ken Smith
   Hannes van Rijn    Dave van Spronsen      Valerij Uhlich
   Cornelia Klier     Capt. Theo Hinrichs     Capt. Peter Mösselberger
   Andreas Spörri     Dirk van Laer     Hans Esvelt
   Wolfgang Berthel     John Tobin     Capt. Tham Körner
    Roberto Smera      Jochen Wegener      Marius Esman
   Erick Antonio Montalvo Núñez      Marcelo Lopes      Marcelo Vieira
   Klaus Masuch      Pablo A. Balloni       Jukka Huotari
   Bruno Lüscher      Thomas Rutka       E. Rimensberger
   K. C. (Buck) Sleuman       Philippe Lauga        Miguel Rodriguez
   Capt. E.H. Reurink (Henk)       George Robinson         Jan Dijkema
    Marc Piché       Michel Gosselin        Capt. Benoit Donne
    Holger Jaschob       Gerolf Drebes        Frans Sanderse
    Ilhan Kermen       John Lee        Klaus Kehrls
    Klaus Knepel      Gautier Yves         Gianpaolo Baratelli
     Klaus Frühauf       Ingo Armandt         Xavier Leroy
    Steinar Norheim       Brian Crocker         Tobias Fortuna
    Michael Brakhage       Uwe Kuphaldt          Rogerio Cordeiro
    Capt. Urs O. Honegger        Pascal Bredel      Capt. Henning Brauwers
     Felix Fröhli  

      Frank Berting

Peter Hollands

     Fritz Tischhauser

       Nico Kemps           George Vermeulen
      Alexander Gorter        John Curdy           Martin G. Klingsick

José A. Martinez Rodeiro

       Gena Anfimov           Ken Watson
      Buster J. Browne        Les Blair

          J. P. Wyss

      David Pratt        Tony des Landes           Malte Schwarz
      Patrick Lawson        Beat Gujer           Christophe Dedieu
      Ray Pither        Rick Voice           Malcolm Millar


Shipping companies and authorities

ABC-Maritime H. Tanner
H. P. Schwab
Th. Gigon, Fritz Tischhauser, David Newton
Acomarit S. Branger
Alpina Archiv Heinz Stamm,
Ernst Vögeli
BWL M. Eichmann, R. Staudenmann und Uebersetzer-/innen
Contal Shipping F. Herzog
Enzian Shipping Frau C. Wengle,
H. J. Grunder, Tim Schnoor
Keller Shipping Hr. Keller
Massoel Y. Gouzer,
M. Baehni
Metrofin Ernst Inauen
Peter Woodtli
Reederei Zürich B. Lindblom
Rotes Kreuz (IKRK)
Seeschiffahrtsamt U. Hänggi
Suisse-Atlantique Headoffice, A. Jäggi
Suisse-Outremer † A. Lüssi
† G. Streuli
Vinalmar J. Küttel,
W. Schneiter