The German Emperor Wilhelm II was very unsatisfied with the imperial yacht Hohenzollern
, an outdated paddlewheel steam ship. As it got diffucult to approve the budget for such an imperial yacht, the ship was planned as a dual usage vessel: Imperial Yacht and armed Aviso during wartime.
Also named Hohenzollern, the new yacht was put into service in 1893. Until World War I, the ship had sailed over 1600 days under the imperial flag, making various voyages with the Emperor Wilhelm II on board. On all voyages, the ship was always escorted by a warship, in most cases, this was either a small or an armored cruiser. During the War, the ship was decomissioned and not used in its intended role as an Aviso as it proved of only minimal millitary usage.
By 1913, the ship was also seen as obsolte for its usage as an imperial yacht, and a successor - twice as big as the Hohenzollern
- was laid down but never completed.