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Author Archives: Michael L. Grace

The Streamliner COAST DAYLIGHT was considered the most beautiful train in the world

The Southern Pacific’s Streamliner Coast Daylight was the West’s finest train into the 1950s, linking Los Angeles and San Francisco in a glorious daylight trip, streaking along the edge of the Pacific Ocean for more than a hundred breathless miles. Chair car passengers had full access to the Coffee Shop, Diner, and Tavern cars. The two Parlor cars were restricted ... Read More »

RMS TITANIC – Father Browne’s photos of the first day at sea…

The Titanic didn’t just send hundreds of its passengers to the bottom of the ocean—it also took all the evidence of what life was like on board for the ill-fated travelers. Or at least it would have, were it not for Francis Browne. A short film about the Father Frank Browne’s photography on board the Titanic. Frank Browne’s mother died ... Read More »

Eastern Steamship Lines from Maine to Florida.

Eastern Steamship Lines operated coastwise overnight passenger services along the Long Island Sound between New York and Boston and to other Northeast Coast ports including Portland, Maine, along with services to Canada and cruises. In 1901, Charles Wyman Morse merged the Boston &. Bangor Steamship Company, the Portland Steam Packet Company, the International Steamship Company, and several local lines on ... Read More »

Mid-Century ALCOA Cruises to the Caribbean in the 1940s and 1950s.

ALCOA operated three passenger cargo liners to the West Indies.  They were modern post-WW II ships, elegant yet casual service with extensive itineraries. Because of shipping shortages in World War I, Alcoa (formerly the Aluminum Company of America) developed its own shipping line to carry bauxite from its source in what is now Suriname and Guyana to aluminum mills in the ... Read More »

TBT: The SS Bremen Cruising to Bermuda in 1938 flying the Nazi flag

Sailing aboard North German Lloyd’s magnificent SS Bremen from New York to Bermuda for a 7-Day Cruise in the 1930s. Great images and a wonderful home movie video of the cruise. The SS Bremen was a German-built ocean liner constructed for the Norddeutscher Lloyd line (NDL) to work the transatlantic sea route. Bremen was notable for her bulbous bow construction, ... Read More »

SS CITY OF CLEVELAND on a Labor Day Cruise in 1947

The SS City of Cleveland was a night boat operated by the Detroit and Cleveland Navigation Company, often abbreviated as D&C, was a passenger shipping company on the Great Lakes. The SS City of Cleveland III was a grand lake ship and a First Lady of the Lakes.  The ship offered comfortable staterooms and excellent meals, with all the ... Read More »

Deluxe Midland Pullman between London and Manchester in the 1960s

Pullman trains in Great Britain were mainline luxury railway services providing deluxe service. The Midland Pullman was launched in 1960 as a luxury all-first-class day service using between London and Manchester in a record 3 hours and 15 minutes with First and Second Class Service. The Midland Pullman ran every weekday, up to London in the morning and down to ... Read More »

Cruises in America and Canada during the 1950s

For the traveler who couldn’t make a long ocean voyage during the early 1950s, there were still varied trips by water in the USA and Canada. Some were short one-day sails, while others took a week or more and led to some exciting adventures. Most were Canadian flag vessels. From Duluth to Miami, from New Orleans to Newfoundland, mainly pre-World War ... Read More »

The RMS EMPRESS OF CANADA was Carnival Cruises first ship known as the MARDIS GRAS

Today Carnival Corporation is the largest operator of cruise ships in the world with a combined fleet of over 100 vessels across ten cruise line brands. However, in 1972, it owned exactly one ship, the RMS EMPRESS OF CANADA, which they renamed the MARDIS GRAS. The EMPRESS OF CANADA of 1961 was the last passenger ship to be built for ... Read More »

Titanic’s Chinese Survivors Resurface From Depths of History

More than a century after the Titanic sank in April 1912; few new stories surface from the wreck. When documentary filmmaker Arthur Jones and his team started work on “The Six” — their film about the ship’s six Chinese survivors — in 2012, they kept expecting to find that someone else had already told the story. When RMS Titanic sank ... Read More »

Southern Pacific’s Oakland Mole was the gateway to San Francisco

The Oakland Long Wharf, later known as the Oakland Pier or the SP Mole was a massive railroad wharf and ferry pier in Oakland, California located at the foot of Seventh Street. Southern Pacific and the Western Pacific trains arrived and departed from the SP Mole in Oakland. Passengers then went by ferry from the SP Mole to the Ferry Building ... Read More »

Swedish American Line – Great Liners and Cruise Ships

Swedish American Line’s (SAL) trans-Atlantic route played an important part in the 20th-century for emigration from Scandinavia to North America, as well as for business and recreational travel. The company and its ships were the pride of the nation, and the youngest of the liners were always the flagship of the Swedish merchant fleet. The Kungsholm I in the late ... Read More »

Longest serving Cunard ship: RMS Aquitania

The RMS Aquitania was the longest serving Cunard liner built in the 20th century and survived service in both World Wars. Originally the ship was planned to cooperate on the North Atlantic service alongside the Lusitania and Mauretania. The contract to build the ship went to John Brown & Co, and great publicity was given to the fact that it ... Read More »

Greta Garbo on the Swedish America Line in the 1920s and 1930s

Greta Garbo was a Swedish actress during Hollywood’s silent film period and part of its Golden Age. Regarded as one of the greatest and most inscrutable movie stars ever produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and the Hollywood studio system. She traveled many times onboard the Swedish America Line from New York to Sweden throughout her career. Rare newsreel footage of Greta Garbo arriving ... Read More »

Johnson Line’s luxury ships from Sweden to the USA West Coast in the 1960s.

For the European traveler during the early 1960s with more time than money, an unusual variation of the Atlantic crossing was sailing from USA west coast ports via the Panama Canal to Europe. The Johnson Line offered the finest services for 12 passengers from aboard its fleet of eight deluxe Swedish motor-ships offering sailings every two weeks from Los Angeles, San ... Read More »