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Romanian shipping lines

Last modified: 2015-12-28 by alex danes
Keywords: romania | shipping: romania | compania de navigatie maritima |
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Compania de Navigaţie Maritimă

[Compania de Navigatie Maritima houseflag] by Jorge Candeias

Compania de Navigaţie Maritimă Navrom from Romania has a dark blue flag with a narrow red horizontal stripe along the bottom, separated from the blue by a yellow fimbriation. Centered in the blue field, a yellow anchor with a heart-like dark red device behind.
Jorge Candeias, 20 February 1999

Isn't Navrom the same as Compania de Navigaţie Maritimă? This image contribution from Jorge Candeias is still, some 10 years and 5 editors later, waiting to be dated and rejoined to the original text contribution.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 2 January 2009

Navrom has a webpage, from which I've learned that it is a Romanian fluvial navigation company. Compania de Navigaţie Maritimă means simply Maritime Navigation Company. In Romania there are several such companies and I couldn't spot that flag anywhere yet.
Alex Danes, 3 January 2009

Mihei Shipping & Trading

[Mihei Shipping & Trading houseflag] by Jarig Bakker

Mihei Shipping & Trading (Constantza, Romania) - Blue with two narrow yellow stripes cut in the middle for placing a yellow M. Company website:
Dov Gutterman, 24 October 2003

Captain Andrian Mihei founded Carmar shipping ( - no flag found, just a logo) in 1990; he created in April 1993 the new company Mihei Shipping and Trade Ltd and was the first Romanian private ship-owner of a dry cargo vessel 3025 dwt 'Irina M'. At present the company has two vessels, apparently mainly active in river transport. 
Jarig Bakker, 24 October 2003

Compania de Navigaţie Fluvială Navrom

[Navrom] by Jarig Bakker, 28 December 2005

Navrom Shipping, Constanza - horizontal blue - yellow - white - red; in center of blue a standing anchor between "NR", all yellow.
Source: Loughran (1995)
Jarig Bakker, 28 December 2005

[Navrom] by Alex Danes, 2 January 2009

I've found the flag of Navrom shipping line on a stamp. It seems that the proportions of the letters, anchor and stripes are different, so I redrew the flag.
Alex Danes, 2 January 2009

Navrom has a webpage, from which I've learned that it is a Romanian fluvial navigation company.
Alex Danes, 3 January 2009

Navrom flag image on this page:, confirms FOTW-ws's first image, however, the stamp shows a flag which is much better "readable". Intrigued at the first message of this series, I checked out Navrom's website and found what seems to be yet another flag here: page 1 of a pdf file. Blue field, red central portion with yellow anchor? see also current logo at the very end of this pdf file.
Jan Mertens, 4 january 2009

The flag you mentioned is in fact the flag of Galatzi county, where Navrom Romanian Fluvial Navigation Company has its main seat (here is the coat of arms of Galatzi county). The old flag of Navrom can be spotted in the first picture, on top of "Tudor Vladimirescu" boat.

I'm very confused about the Fluvial and Maritime Navrom. The seat of the last one is in Constantza, but the Fluvial company itself has an office in Constantza. I'm still digging it.
Alex Danes, 4 January 2009

Compania de Navigatie Maritima NAVROM S.A. According to Lloyds it was one of three private companies formed out of the previous state owned NAVROM in 1990. It operated a small fleet of general cargo ships and one other small special type vessel but was not successful and filed for bankruptcy in 1999 with the sale of its ships completed early 2006. This flag would appear to have been derived from the original NAVROM flag.

Compania de Navigatie Fluviala Româna (NAVROM) S.A. is the company for whom the website noted by Alex covers. It originated 8.8.1890 as Navigatia Fluviala Româna being formed by the Government of Romania and was based in Galati being involved in river transportation. In 1991 Navigatie [this is their spelling change] Fluviala was reorganized with the formation of Compania de Navigatie Fluviala Româna "NAVROM" S.A. which was privatized in 1998 and in 1999 there was restructuring leading to the creation of the current Navrom group of companies. Going by Walter Michaels in his 1967 book "Unvergessene Dampfschiffahrt auf Rhein und Donau" which gives the Donau [Danube] shipping history up until 1967, the vessels at that stage wore the main NAVROM [Navigatia Maritima si Fluviala Româna] colours. Now that they are privatized that no longer applies especially as, although the website does not so state, they are now a 100% subsidiary of Transport Trade Services S.A. and going by one source is now known as CNFR Navrom Galati S.A.

The flags shown in FOTW under Compania de Navigatie Fluviala Navrom, as outlined above, relate to the overall shipping authority installed by the Communist Government post WW2 apparently around 1960 [certainly by 1963]. NAVROM or Navigatia Maritima si Fluviala Româna which is also shown as Navegacul Romana or Navrom Romanian Maritime & Fluvial Navigation. Fluvial = River so they covered all shipping including inland except for the fishing fleet which came under NAVROM Tulcea (Ministerul Industrei Alimentare) but all used the same livery it seems. The flag shown by Dane is confirmed as the one applying initially [at least] under this set up being shown by Walter Michels in "Unvergessene Dampfschiffahrt auf Rhein und Donau" 1967 which includes the up to date situation on the Donau [Danube]. I say initially as there may have been changes in line with changes to the set up for by the mid 1980s Lloyds shown the main merchant fleet as Intreprinderea de Exploatare a Floti Maritime NAVROM [Enterprise Operations Fleet Maritime NAVROM] whilst the river shipping was under its own heading. This may have some bearing on Jarig's flag from Brown 1995, where it appears as Navrom Shipping, as it also appears in the 1982 edition just as Navrom. The 1995 name given by Brown 1995 is explained by the fact that subsequent editions of Lloyds showed a split with Intreprinderea de Exploatare a Floti Maritime NAVROM handling tugs and harbour craft and Navrom Shipping Company handling the cargo fleet. This was subsequently expanded by the explanation that in 1990 the Romanian Government privatized their merchant fleet into 3 companies - – Romline ["C.N.M. Romline" Shipping Co. S.A.], Navrom [Compañia de Navigatie Maritima Navrom S.A.] and Petromin [Compañia de Navigatie Maritime Petromin S.A.] with the river shipping also going their own way as outlined above. So I would imagine that the NAVROM flags as shown only lasted until 1990 with the new "Navrom" having the flag shown by Jorge and Romline [since folded] and Petromin possibly also having new colours.

I have found the flag referred to by Jan on the pdf file on Compania de Navigatie Fluviala Navrom website but the file appears to a historical summary and the ships shown no longer form part of their fleet – certainly they are not included in Lloyds or in the company pdf fleet download. I agree that the "Tudor Vladimirescu" seems to be flying the NAVROM flag but that merely supports my understanding that it was standard flag for the Communist Government era for all shipping.

NAVROM was based in Bucharest but by the end of the 1980s, going by Lloyds, HQ had shifted to Constantza. The Fluvial company still has its HQ at Galati and a branch at Constantza but there is now no connection as a result of the privatisation program between the current Navrom and its ancestors.
Neale Rosanoski, 11 January 2009

I've noticed that the Romanian flag shown on the poop (stern) of "Tudor Vladimirescu" ship shows no communist coat of arms, meaning that the photograph was taken after 1990. Between 1993 and 2003 the ship has not been used, so the photo is either from 1990-1993 or 2003-present.
Alex Danes, 12 January 2009

România. Prima Societate Naţională de Navigaţie Maritimă

[Romania Prima Soc. Nationala de Nav. Marit houseflag] by Jarig Bakker

Prima Societate Naţională de Navigaţie Maritimă, Bucharest, Romania - horizontal triband RBR, proportioned c. 1:3:1; in center yellow "R".
Source: Brown's Flags and Funnels of British and Foreign Steamship Companies [Wedge 1926]
Jarig Bakker, 15 February 2005

Prima Societate Naţională de Navigaţie Maritimă means The First National Company of Maritime Navigation.
Alex Danes, 3 January 2009

Also shown as Romania Prima Societate Nationale (sic!) de Navigazione Maritima which was formed about 1914 and in 1933 came under the control of Alexandre Vlasov who in 1934 officially renamed it Alexandre Vlasov Societetate de Navigazione but continued to trade under the original name. Hence Talbot Booth between 1937 and 1944 shows the flag as A. Vlasev (sic!) then Alex Vlasov. As a result of WW2 the company lost its ships and was not revived. Vlasov was the founder of the current V Ships Group.
Neale Rosanoski, 4 January 2009

Serviciul Maritim Român

[Serviciul Maritim Român houseflag] by Alex Danes

Image similar to one on Brown's Flags and Funnels (1951)

Serviciul Maritim Român, Bucharest: blue with a red canton bearing yellow letters SMR, a yellow emblem near the fly edge consisting of an crowned yellow anchor (funnel: white with narrow black band at the top). The red canton is 1/3 of the flag's height and 1/2 of the flag's length as far as I can see. The crowned anchor in
the fly almost fully occupies 1/3 of the flag, at the fly's end. There is also a small circle centered on the anchor I cannot identify, it may be part of an artistically twisted cable or perhaps a post horn?

The following site, The Romanian Postal-History Web Page, has some info on this firm:

"The S.M.R.: In 1895, based on the law adopted on 7.06.1888, the Romanian Maritime Service (= Serviciul Maritim Român or S.M.R.) was established to provide sea transport to and from the Levant. On the continent, S.M.R. had direct connection with the Paris - Ostende - Bucharest - Constanta express train, the rapid train from Berlin and the Romanian express trains. The first Constanta - Constantinople route was opened on 26.09.1895."
Jan Mertens, 26 October 2003

The Mystic Seaport Foundation website (flag no. 1794 on p. 87 of chapter "House Flags and Funnels of Steam Vessels") shows the canton occupying a full quarter of the flag.
Jan Mertens, 22 December 2003

The Maritime Timetable link to a brochure (valid till? or from? 30 June 1937) shows the house flag. Now here's a direct link to No. 1794 in the on-line 1912 Lloyds Flags & Funnels and the emblem is on the right! A mistake, or perhaps an earlier version? All this concerns not the emblem itself (crowned anchor and decorative ribbons as far as I can see, possibly a screw behind the anchor in Lloyds), only its position in the flag.
Jan Mertens, 13 January 2005

It appears that every source has a different version and I now have six as shown form the following sources (images by Neale Rosanoski):
[Serviciul Maritim Român houseflag] [Serviciul Maritim Român houseflag] [Serviciul Maritim Român houseflag] [Serviciul Maritim Român houseflag] [Serviciul Maritim Român houseflag]
Lloyds 1904 [S811] which appears to show an anchor intertwined with an eagle in red and brown, wings elevated, with above a red crown supported by 2 yellow ?, at the base of the anchor the red letters "S" and "M" above the flukes on either side of the shaft and below a red "R"., Lloyds 1912 [S812] which appears to show a crowned anchor with a black chain hanging down the dexter side, emitting white lightning flashes and having 3 yellow and red objects attached midway, Lloyd Reedereiflaggen 1933 [S813] with a crown and foul anchor, Brown 1934 [S814] letters, crown and foul anchor all aslant, Talbot-Booth 1937-1944 [S815] with crown and foul anchor, plus the image as shown from Brown 1951 [ro~smr.gif].

I have found an 1897 poster on wikipedia which shows a design in line with Lloyds 1912 with a crowned anchor appearing to be tied with a ribbon or some such. Reminds me of the crowned anchor on the Lloyd Austrico flag. I assume that this was a government controlled company so the emblem presumably has a royal or governmental basis.

The 1937 timetable image would appear to have a possible connection with the Brown 1934 rendering although Brown slants the anchor whilst the timetable has it erect. In both cases I find the positioning of the letters somewhat strange.

Then for further variation there is the Postal Flag of Serviciul Maritim Român.
Neale Rosanoski, 4 January 2009

I've found the logo and the flag of SMR on some recent post cards reproducing old ones. It is clear now that the SMR logo is composed of:

  • an anchor with a rope
  • a propeller with three blades having S, M, and R letters inscribed on them
  • some sketchy lightnings going in all directions
  • a royal crown with a folded ribbon under it (most likely it is the Steel Crown of Romania)
The flag is blue with a red canton bearing the golden letters SMR and the golden logo of SMR superimposed on fly half.
Alex Danes, 6 January 2009

Societatea Anonimă Română de Navigaţiune pe Dunăre (SRD)

[Societatea Anonima Romana de Navigatiune pe Dunare (SRD) houseflag] image located by Jan Mertens, 28 May 2007

The SRD or "Societatea Anonimă Română de Navigaţiune pe Dunăre" was a Romanian shipping company, shares of which appear in auctions now and then, but usually without house flag. Now however it has shown up - direct link to such an offer, a 1937 share: The tiny photo in the lower right corner is clickable and is the source of the image above. The flag field seems to be completely yellow but on inspection a darker central horizontal stripe appears (which colour? blue??); in any case the company initials ‘SRD’, heavily stylized and intertwined, in white, appear in the centre.

The German scripophily auction site HSHW recently had the same share on offer and helpfully informs that above firm (stl “Romanian Danube Navigation Co. Ltd", jm) was founded in 1914, the result of a merger of several companies, building up a fleet of about 120 vessels: towboats, tankers, tugs, passenger ships for local lines, etc. including cross-border transportation. Seat was Bucharest; the company does not seem to have survived WWII.
Webpage (see Auction XXIII – Page 5 - No. 361):
Jan Mertens, 28 May 2007