The Clemens party, including Livy, Susy, Clara, Clara Spaulding and Rosina Hay, the nursemaid, sailed for Hamburg on the S.S. Holsatia on 11 April 1878. They arrived in Hamburg 25 April 1878.
At Sea, Apr. 20, 8 PM:
It has been all kinds of a voyage—calm, [smoothe] seas, then rough seas, then middling—& so on. On the 17th we had heavy seas, then easy ones, then rough again; then brilliant sunshine, then black skies, with thick driving storms of rain, hail, sleet & snow—sunshine again, followed by more snow, hail, rain & sleet—& so on, all day long; we sighted an ice-berg in the morning & a water-spout in the afternoon. To-day a lurch of the ship threw a passenger against an iron railing & they think he has a rib broken.
SLC to Olivia Lewis Langdon, 20 Apr 1878, SS Holsatia (UCCL 01556).
It is a marvel that never loses its surprise by repetition, this aiming a ship at a mark 3000 miles away & hitting the bull's eye in a fog -- as we did. When the fog fell on us the Capt. said we ought to be at such & such a spot (it had been 18 hours since an observation was had) with the Scilly islands bearing so-&-so & about so many miles away. Hove the lead & got 48 fathoms -- looked on the chart & sure enough this depth of water showed that we were right where Capt. said we were.
April 24 Wednesday – The Holsatia stopped at Cherbourg and/or Le Havre, France. The American-Hamburg line went through Havre and normally took twelve days from New York to Havre, then an additional day from Havre to Hamburg, a deep-water port in Germany. However, Sam’s notebook mentions passengers getting off at Cherbourg [MTNJ 2: 69].
April 25 Thursday – The Clemens family arrived at Hamburg and took rooms at the Crown Prince Hotel [MTLE 1: vii; MTNJ 2: 46, 71].