The Swedish American Line´s first new built ship was ordered in 1923. She was named Gripsholm and was launched In Newcastle 1925. By then three SAL vessels had been sailing over the Atlantic ocean since the the first ocean liner S/S Stockholm made her first trip in December 1915. Stockholm, was purchased from the Holland America Line. The next acquisition came from the Allan Line in 1919 and her name was Drottningholm. Though, due to her behavior on the water she earned the nickname ”Rollinghome”. During the commemorative exhibition in Gothenburg 1923, where the theme Swedish-America played a big part, a steam-ship called Kungsholm was rented from Germany.
The Gripsholm 1925 and the Kungsholm, which were delivered from the Blohm & Voss dockyard in Hamburg 1928, became the prime images of the exclusiveness and modernism that the Swedish American Line represented. Beside the fact that the ships were contemporary and beautifully decorated, they also had diesel engines, electrical elevators, and a swimming pools. From the very beginning SAL also understood the importance of the level of the service given from their staff, and how crucial it would be for the future of the company.
During this time, they began reintroducing the names, resulting in four vessels being called Kungsholm, two Gripsholm, four Stockholm (if you count the two ships which were ordered, but never delivered from Italy during the war), and only one ship was named Drottningholm.