SS Stavangerfjord and SS Oslofjord Passage Contract - 14 July 1953


Front Cover, Eastbound Passage Contract No. E 4699 from the Norwegian America Line dated 29 June 1953

Front Cover, Eastbound Passage Contract No. E 4699 from the Norwegian America Line dated 29 June 1953 to Sail on the SS Stavangerfjord on 14 July 1953. GGA Image ID # 12c60c55fb


Summary of Passage Contract

  • Date of Purchase / Voyage: 14 July 1953 / 24 July 1953 (EB) | 9 September 1953 (WB)
  • Steamship Line: Norwegian America Line
  • Steamship: SS Stavangerfjord (Eastbound) / SS Oslofjord (Westbound)
  • Route: New York to Bergen
  • Ticket Type: Passage Contract
  • Voyage Class: First Class
  • Name on Contract: Mrs. Katherine H. Somerville
  • Etnicity of Passenger(s): American
  • Contract Terms: Transcribed
  • Cost of Ticket: $295.00 / $2,850.00 USD in 2020


Passage Contract Details

First Class Eastbound passage contract on the Norwegian America Line SS Stavangerfjord sailing on 14 July 1953. Ticket was purchased with the Westbound return passage on the SS Oslofjord sailing on 9 September 1953.


Norwegian America Line Eastbound First Class Passage Contract for the SS Stavangerfjord Sailing 14 July 1953 New York to Bergen.

Norwegian America Line Eastbound First Class Passage Contract for the SS Stavangerfjord Sailing 14 July 1953 New York to Bergen. GGA Image ID # 12c63d59ff


First Class Eastbound Passage Contract No. # 4699 - Norwegian America Line, Inc.

From New York to Bergen per Vessel Stavangerfjord Sailing 24 July 1953 on Room 21 Berth P for Mrs. Katherine H. Somerville, Age 48. Ocean Fare: $295.00

Purchaser's Name And Address: Mrs. Katherine H. Somerville, 2 Upland Rd, Baltimore 10, MD

Passenger's European Address: Hotel Viking, Oslo

Place and Date of Issue: NAL NY 29 June 1953 JLG

Agent: W. H. Squire Co., Meriden, CT

Issued in Connection with W/B No. W 4699

Vessel Oslofjord on 9 September 1953 Sailing from Kristiansand. Ticket Price: $350.00

This Coupon is Issued for Identification Purposes and is Not Valid.


PLEASE NOTE: This Contract Ticket is subject to the conditions on the inside covers and on Eastbound Passage Contract coupon and the attention of passengers is specifically directed thereto.


Passage Contract Terms, Norwegian America Line 1953.

Passage Contract Terms, Norwegian America Line 1953. GGA Image ID # 12c698b20a



It is mutually agreed between the Norwegian America Line, Inc., and each passenger that the passage money is adjusted upon the basis of, and this contract is issued by the Norwegian America Line, Inc. and accepted by the Passenger subject to all the terms, conditions, limitations, exceptions and provisions printed, stamped or written on this ticket, on this page and over page, and that the same constitutes the contract of carriage.

The name of the passenger or passengers, the vessel, the sailing date, the accommodations to be provided, the passage money and the ports of embarkation and disembarkation are as specified on this ticket.

In consideration of the passage money, receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, and of all the terms, conditions, limitations and exceptions mentioned on this ticket, the Norwegian America Line (hereinafter called the “Company”) agrees to transport the passenger or passengers above referred to (hereinafter called the “passenger”) from the port of embarkation to the port of disembarkation specified herein subject in the Company’s discretion as to substitution of vessels and/or accommodations, and change or postponement of sailing date.

::: 1 :::

This ticket is not transferable or assignable by the passenger, and is valid only on the vessel, and for the voyage indicated. Passage money and charges prepaid shall be deemed fully earned at embarkation and shall not be refunded in whole or in part under any circumstances whatever.

::: 2 :::

If in the judgment of the captain and/or ship's physician, the presence of any passenger on board may endanger the safety of other passengers, such passenger may be refused passage, if the vessel has not sailed, or, if the vessel has sailed, may be disembarked at any port, and the Company shall not be under any obligation further than to refund the passage money for any unused part of the transportation.

::: 3 :::

The Company may substitute another vessel for the one named herein, whether owned by the Company or not, at the port of embarkation or at any other place. The vessel, either before or after proceeding toward the port of destination and though not required by any maritime necessity, may remain in port, proceed by any route and deviate from or change the advertised or intended route at any stage of the voyage and may proceed to and stay at any places whatsoever although in a contrary direction to, or outside of, or beyond the usual route, once or oftener, in any order, backwards or forwards, for loading and discharging cargo, fuel, stores, laborers, stowaways, passengers, or members of the ship’s company, for this, or any prior or subsequent voyage, and/or for any purpose whatsoever that in the opinion of the Company or master may seem advisable.

Any such procedure shall be considered not to be a deviation but within the voyage herein intended as fully as if specifically described herein.

The above mentioned provisions are not to be considered as restricted by any words of this contract whether written, stamped or printed.

The vessel may adjust compasses, drydock and go on ways before or after commencement of the voyage and may sail without pilots, tow or be towed, and assist vessels in all situations and deviate for the purpose of saving life or property.

In case of conditions of weather, surf, shallow water, ice, hostilities, war, insurrection, civil commotion, disturbances, strikes, labor trouble, blockade, interdict, quarantine, warlike or naval operations or demonstrations, earthquakes or epidemics, whether at or near one or more of the ports of call or elsewhere in the course of the voyage, or the happening of any other matter or event, whether of like nature to those above mentioned or otherwise, or whether existing or anticipated before the commencement of or during the voyage, which in the judgment of the Company or master is likely to result in loss, damage or delay to the vessel and/or passengers, or which in the judgment of the Company or the master may make it unsafe or imprudent to proceed on or to continue the voyage or to enter port or discharge passengers and/or cargo, the Company or master shall have the liberty, at its or his absolute discretion, to omit calling at any port without any liability to passengers on account thereof, and the vessel may proceed to such port or ports as the Company or master may deem safe or advisable under the circumstances.

Passengers booked for ports omitted from the itinerary will be disembarked, together with their baggage and/or other property, at the next port called at by the vessel, subject to the terms, conditions and exceptions stated herein.

::: 4 :::

The Company shall not be liable in any capacity for any loss, damage, delay or injury to any passenger or to his baggage, personal effects or other property, or for the death of any passenger, whether occurring before, during, or after embarkation, transit, transfer, discharge, delivery or debarkation arising from any of the following causes, wheresoever and howsoever occurring:

  • The act of God, perils or accidents of the sea or other waters and of navigation;
  • causes beyond the Company’s control, collision, stranding, jettison or wreck;
  • fire from any cause, barratry of the master or crew;
  • enemies, pirates, robbers;
  • theft or pilferage by any person, and whether in the employ of the Company or not;
  • faults or errors in the navigation or management of the vessel;
  • arrest or restraint, capture, seizure, detention, interference of any sort, or any act of princes, rulers, governments or people, or any power, legal process or stoppage in transit;
  • epidemics, pestilence, quarantine, wars, rebellions, hostilities, riots; strikes, lockouts, stoppage of labor or labor troubles of the Company’s employees, or others; shortage or lack of fuel or facilities of any sort;
  • explosions; bursting of boilers; breakage, accidents or derangements of machinery or appurtenances;
  • unseaworthiness whensoever existing, provided the Company has exorcised due diligence to make the vessel seaworthy before sailing;
  • salt or fresh water, heat, frost, ice, floods, freshets, smell, taint or leakage from other cargo or baggage or damage from stowage or contact therewith;
  • temperature, refrigeration, fumigation, disinfection, moisture, sweat, rain or spray, stains, breakage, chafage, vermin, insufficiency or absence of marks, numbers, address or description; transshipment to or from and risk of craft and storage thereon;
  • prolongation of the voyage;
  • giving way, falling or destruction of wharf, shed or warehouse.

In addition to. but not in substitution for, the provisions of this clause, the Company shall not be liable with respect to any claim whatsoever unless the circumstances giving rise to the claim are due to the negligence of the Company, and the burden of proving negligence shall be on the party asserting the claim.

The Company shall also be entitled to avail itself of all exemptions from, or limitation of. liability contained in Title 46, ch. VIII, of the Code of Laws of the United States of America.

::: 5 :::

Passengers receiving medical attendance or supplies from the shin’s physician (if carried) do so at their own risk without responsibility of the Company in respect thereof.

::: 6 :::

If any passenger is detained on board or elsewhere at any stage or at destination because of quarantine, port regulations, illness or other cause, and is maintained by or at the expense of the Company, such passenger shall pay for such maintenance at the rate of $2 per day if detained on board and at cost to the Company if detained elsewhere.

Passengers carried beyond destination for any reason without fault of the Company shall pay for any additional maintenance and extra transportation.

::: 7 :::

Each adult passenger is allowed, without extra charge, 25 cubic feet for baggage. Passengers must plainly label their baggage with names and the port of destination; otherwise the Company shall not be responsible for any miscarriage or misdelivery thereof.

::: 8 :::

Each passenger represents, and it is hereby agreed, that the total value of the property taken with him on the voyage, which have not been delivered to and accepted by the carrier for transportation under a bill of lading, or which have not been deposited with the Master of vessel’s officers assigned to that duty for safekeeping and covered by a receipt issued by the Master or such officers, including his baggage, hand-baggage, money, jewelry, precious stones, securities and other valuables, and the articles mentioned in Section 4281 of the Revised Statutes of the United States, and other property carried on his person or retained in his possession, does not exceed $150.00.

The Company shall not be liable in any capacity whatsoever for any loss, damage or delay to any of the passenger’s above enumerated property taken with him on the voyage, howsoever and wheresoever occurring, (and even though excess weight is paid for), in excess of the above amount, the fare for the voyage being in part based upon the above agreed limit of value.

However, each passenger may, prior to embarkment, deliver a declaration in writing, specifying a higher value and a true description of the articles to the Company at 24 State Street, New York City, N. Y., U.S.A., or at the Company’s home office at Oslo, Norway, and pay an additional amount of 1% on the excess of value thus specified over $150.00, obtaining a written receipt therefor, in which case the Company’s liability shall not exceed such specified value.

An oral declaration of value shall not increase the Company’s liability. If the actual value of such articles exceed $150.00 and is so declared by the passenger and a charge of 1% on such excess value paid to the carrier, any liability of the carrier whatsoever shall not exceed such valuation.

Any liability for partial loss or damage shall be computed on such basis or a less actual value if it be less. In no event shall the carrier be liable for more than the damage actually sustained, nor for any consequential or special damage, and shall have the option of replacing any lost articles or effects and/or replacing or repairing any damaged articles or effects.

::: 9 :::

Passengers will not be liable to pay, nor entitled to receive, any general average contribution in respect of property taken with them on the vessel.

::: 10 :::

All responsibility of the Company shall be limited to that period only while the passenger and his baggage or other property are on board the transatlantic ocean vessel or its tenders.

All other transportation hereunder is included for the passenger’s convenience, and will be at the passenger’s risk, subject to the ordinary conditions of carriage of each Railway or Transportation Company employed for the purpose, or to any special conditions required by them.

::: 11 :::

The Company shall not be liable for any claim whatsoever (including claims for bodily injuries or death) of, or with respect to, a passenger or his baggage, or personal property, unless a written claim therefor is lodged with the Company at 24 State Street, New York, New York, U. S. A., or at its home office at Oslo, Norway, within fifteen days after the passenger leaves the vessel, or, in the event of the passenger’s death while on the voyage, unless such claim is so made and lodged within forty-five (45) days after the passenger’s death; and the failure to make and lodge claim as above provided shall bar all suits, actions and claims no matter by whom instituted or made.

Suits and actions to recover for claims shall not be maintainable unless instituted within four months of the date of their accrual or the termination of the voyage whichever shall first occur, except that suits and actions to recover for the bodily injury or death of passengers shall not be maintainable unless instituted within one year from the day when the death or bodily injury occurred; these limitations. shall be applicable although the Company be a non-resident or foreign corporation.

The requirements of this clause cannot be waived by an agent or employee of the Company; they may be waived only by express written agreement of a director of the Company having authority in the premises. In any case, where the time fixed in this ticket for filing claim is less than allowed by law, such time is hereby extended so as not to exceed the minimum lawful time.

::: 12 :::

In the event of the death or personal injury of a passenger due to causes for which the Company may be responsible, the Company’s maximum liability shall in no case exceed the sum of $5,000, which sum is hereby agreed as to fairly fixing the maximum damages which will in such event be sustained.

The passenger may, however, at any time prior to embarkation by application in writing to the office of the Company at 24 State Street, New York, N.Y. U. S. A., or to its home office at Oslo, Norway, obtain an increase in the maximum of liability by paying one-fifth of one per cent of the amount by which the increased maximum liability applied for exceeds $5,000, in which event the increased maximum liability will be substituted for that hereinabove mentioned; but, notwithstanding an increase in the amount of maximum liability, the Company shall never be liable for more than the amount of damage actually sustained.

The foregoing limitation of the Company’s liability is made in consideration of the rate at which this ticket is sold, which is adjusted in part with reference thereto.

The foregoing limitation shall apply to every form of liability arising from such death or personal injury, statutory or otherwise, and whether accruing in favor of the passenger, or of his personal representatives, heirs, or next of kin or of others.

::: 13 :::

All claims for bodily injury, for loss or damage to personal effects, and/or for death, whether such claims are asserted by the passenger or by his legal representatives or by others entitled to assert the same, shall be submitted to arbitration.

Such arbitration shall be held either in Oslo, Norway, or in New York, N. Y., U. S. A., at the option of the passenger or other claimant. Each party shall nominate an arbitrator and the two arbitrators so chosen shall designate a third.

Each party shall be responsible for the compensation of the arbitrator nominated by him and for one-half of the compensation of the third arbitrator.

The award of the said three arbitrators or of any two of them shall be final and the judgment of a competent court may be entered on such award.

The arbitrators shall not have the power to award more than the amount of the Company’s liability as agreed to in this ticket. In such arbitration, the Company shall also be entitled to the benefit of all limitations, exceptions and conditions as to its liability contained in this ticket.

All liability of the Company with respect to any claims mentioned in this paragraph shall terminate and be extinguished unless

(1) claim has been made and lodged with the Company in the manner and within the time limited in Clause Eleven of this ticket, and

(2) unless written demand for arbitration thereof is made upon the Company at 24 State Street, New York, N. Y., U. S. A., or at its home office in Oslo, Norway, within the times limited in Clause Eleven of this ticket for the institution of actions and suits.

The above submission of claims to arbitration shall, however, be entirely inapplicable to claims arising on a voyage with respect to which the Company files a petition for limitation of, or exoneration from, liability pursuant to the laws of the United States of America or the laws of any other country.

::: 14 :::

All limitations, exceptions and conditions herein contained as to the liability of the Company shall apply also to the liability, if any, of its agents, vessels, (whether owned or chartered), employees and other representatives, and also to the liability, if any, of any vessels employed in the performance of this contract and/or the owners thereof.

::: 15 :::

The illegality or invalidity of any paragraph, clause, or provision of this contract ticket shall not affect nor invalidate any other paragraph, clause or provision thereof.

::: 16 :::

The purchaser hereof covenants and warrants that he is duly authorized by or in behalf of all passengers named on or traveling under, this ticket to agree to all terms, conditions, limitations and exceptions herein contained, and by accepting and/or using this ticket he and/or they do agree accordingly and do agree that the same shall be binding on them with the same force and effect as if they had every one of them signed this ticket.

::: 17 :::

The passenger must take proper steps (including provision of all necessary documents) as may be required to enable him to land at his port of destination and generally to comply with the laws of the country in which such port is situated.

The Company shall not in any circumstances whatsoever and whether or not such documents are produced to him by the passenger or information or advice as to said laws is given by him to the passenger be liable for the consequence of any insufficiency or irregularity in such documents or the non- compliance by the passenger with such laws.

::: 18 :::

The passenger must see that baggage is distinctly labeled with his name, ship, date of sailing and destination, and if he shall fail to do so, the Company shall not be held liable for loss of the baggage or delay in delivery thereof.

::: 19 :::

In making any arrangements for the care or transportation of any passenger or his or her baggage by any connecting or other carrier, railway, vessel, craft, transportation company, tramway, carriage, automobile, aircraft or otherwise howsoever than by the Company’s ships or tenders used for the purpose of embarking or disembarking passengers to or from such ship, or in making any arrangements for shore accommodations, victualing, amusement or entertainment for any passenger, or for any other service or facility whatsoever for any passenger otherwise than aboard the Company’s ships or tenders aforesaid, it is understood and agreed that the Company is merely acting in the capacity of agent for the party or parties actually providing such care, transportation, accommodation, victually, amusement, entertainment, service or facility aforesaid, and that the same are provided subject to the terms appearing in the tickets, vouchers, or notices for the time being in force of such party or parties or otherwise imposed by such party or parties.

It is further understood and agreed that the Company is not to be held liable for the act. neglect, default or omission of any party whomsoever in respect of any events, matters or things whatsoever or wheresoever, elsewhere than aboard the Company’s ship or such tenders as aforesaid.

::: 20 :::

The Company reserves the right to cancel any scheduled call at any port for any reason at its option at any time, whether before or after the sailing of the vessel, without previous notice to the passenger, and without liability to the passenger for any loss, damage or delay whatsoever howsoever consequential thereon, but if the port of debarkation named in this contract ticket is a scheduled call so cancelled then

(a) if such scheduled call be cancelled before the sailing of the vessel the Company shall at the option of the passenger either

(1) refund to the passenger the full amount of the passage money, whereupon  this contract shall be terminated without any further liability whatsoever on the part of the Company to passenger or

(2) furnish to the passenger orders, tickets, or vouchers by sea and/or rail, as the case may be, to the port of debarkation named in this contract ticket from the nearest port at which the vessel calls to such port of debarkation, in which event the transit of the passenger to such port of debarkation from the time of leaving the Company’s vessel shall be at the sole risk of the passenger in every respect and the Company shall be under no further liability whatsoever to the passenger.

(b) if such scheduled call be cancelled after the sailing of the vessel the Company shall furnish to the passenger orders, tickets or vouchers for transportation in accordance with and upon the terms set out in sub-clause (a-2) immediately preceding.

::: 21 :::

The right is reserved to consider this passage ticket as cancelled and the passage money forfeited if the passenger does not use this contract ticket for the ship and date mentioned, or other ship substituted, or should this contract ticket become lost or mislaid.

::: 22 :::

All questions arising on this contract ticket shall be decided according to Norwegian Law, with reference to which this contract is made.

Passengers are reminded that the cancellation of accommodation represents a full loss of revenue involved unless notification is given in time to enable the Company to resell the accommodation. The Company has the right under terms of the passage contract ticket to refuse refunds when passengers cancel or transfer to other sailings if space released is not resold.

Passengers are particularly requested to notify the Company’s Head Office or if more convenient the nearest Company’s Branch Office, at least fourteen days prior to date of sailing, should they desire to transfer to another sailing or to a higher class in the same sailing or to change, the port of embarkation already shown on the ticket.

Since changes in sailing are occasionally unavoidable, please confirm at least 10 days before the sailing date through our nearest office or branch office, the exact time of sailing and the embarkation hours also procuring your supply of baggage tags and labels for your trip.

(Den Norske Amerikalinje A/S)
Signature of (or for) Passenger .



Back Cover, Eastbound Passage Contract No. E 4699 from the Norwegian America Line to Sail on the SS Stavangerfjord on 14 July 1953.

Back Cover, Eastbound Passage Contract No. E 4699 from the Norwegian America Line to Sail on the SS Stavangerfjord on 14 July 1953. GGA Image ID # 12c6a83aee




  • BERGEN: Det Bergenske Dampskibssclskab
  • STAVANGER: Sigval Bergesen
  • KRISTIANSAND S.: Ingvald Bjorneboe & Co.
  • TRONDHEIM: Bennett’s Reisebureau A/S
  • STOCKHOLM: Fallenius Service-Kontor - Operahuset
  • GOTHENBURG: J. Philip Ohlson - Norra Hamngatan 30
  • COPENHAGEN: Det 0staslatiske KompagnI – Passagerkontoret - Bredgade 23

A/B Norska Amerikalinjens – Generalagentur - Kanalkafen I - (Skatudden)
O/Y Norjan Amerikanlinjan - Pääasioimisto - Kanavaranta I (Kata|anokka)


Relative Cost of Passage Ticket in Today's Currency Value

In 2020, the relative values of $295.00 from 1953 ranges from $2,320.00 to $15,800.00.

simple Purchasing Power Calculator would say the relative value is $2,850.00. This answer is obtained by multiplying $295.00 by the percentage increase in the CPI from 1953 to 2020.

This may not be the best answer.

The best measure of the relative value over time depends on if you are interested in comparing the cost or value of a Commodity, Income or Wealth, or a Project.

If you want to compare the value of a $295.00 Commodity in 1953 there are four choices. In 2020 the relative:

  • real price of that commodity is $2,850.00
  • real value in consumption of that commodity is $4,220.00
  • labor value of that commodity is $4,780.00 (using the unskilled wage) or $4,950.00 (using production worker compensation)
  • income value of that commodity is $7,650.00
  • economic share of that commodity is $15,800.00

If you want to compare the value of a $295.00 Income or Wealth, in 1953 there are five choices. In 2020 the relative:

  • real wage or real wealth value of that income or wealth is $2,850.00
  • household purchasing power value of that income or wealth is $4,220.00
  • relative labor earnings of that commodity are $4,780.00 (using the unskilled wage) or $4,950.00 (using production worker compensation)
  • relative income value of that income or wealth is $7,650.00
  • relative output value of that income or wealth is $15,800.00

If you want to compare the value of a $295.00 Project in 1953 there are four choices. In 2020 the relative:

  • real cost of that project is $2,320.00
  • household cost of that project is $4,220.00
  • labor cost of that project is $4,780.00 (using the unskilled wage) or $4,950.00 (using production worker compensation)
  • relative cost of that project is $7,650.00
  • economy cost of that project is $15,800.00

Samuel H. Williamson, "Seven Ways to Compute the Relative Value of a U.S. Dollar Amount, 1790 to present," MeasuringWorth, 2022. URL:


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