STEAMSHIP LINES

CARNIVAL CORP and cruising to Cuba in 2015…

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SS FLORIDA sailed to Havana, Cuba in 1952 for $42.00 per person… A history of taking a cruise to Havana today and yesterday… Florida’s Peninsular and Occidental Steamship Company was a pioneer in today’s billion-dollar Florida cruise business. Until Castro’s regime closed Cuba to cruise ships in 1960, the SS FLORIDA was sailing three times a week from Miami. The ... Read More »

PAN AM – When flying was First Class…

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From the 1920’s until its demise in 1991, Pan American Airlines symbolized all that was luxurious in air travel. Elite fliers packed some of the first commercial use jumbo jets and were treated to delicious rounds of meals served by bright and beautiful girls in couture uniforms. Celebrities, businessmen and “Rainbow Class” alike jetted-off to far-flung vacation spots across the ... Read More »

The World’s First Cruise Ship…

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The SS Prinzessin Victoria Luise… Built for the Hamburg America Line, she was launched on June 29, 1900 and served as a cruising passenger ship until December 16, 1906 after being accidentally grounded off Jamaica. With cruises targeted toward wealthy travelers, the Victoria Luise was designed to look more like a private yacht than any of her commercial counterparts. She ... Read More »

SOCIAL AND LINER HISTORY: SS Columbus of the North German Lloyd Ship Line

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The plans for a German liner to be called “Columbus” had been made as early as 1914 when North German Lloyd had placed orders for two 34,000 ton ships to counter the impressive Hamburg American trio “Imperator”, “Vaterland” and “Bismark”. The North German twins were to be called “Columbus” and “Hindenberg”, but war would postpone their construction by over six ... Read More »

THE “FIRST” ALL GAY CRUISE…

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Retro cruising on the “SS BERMUDA STAR” – the ship was a.k.a. “SS Brenda Starr”.. One of the first all gay cruises – Cruising on the SS BERMUDA STAR in 1987 aboard the second all gay cruises operated by RSVP. It is a retro look at gay life. Operated by gay pioneer RSVP the passengers dubbed the ship Bermuda Star Cruise ... Read More »

EASTERN STEAMSHIP LINES – New York to Boston…

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Eastern Steamship Lines was one of the last American flag coastal passenger services. In 1901, Charles Wyman Morse merged together the Boston &. Bangor Steamship Company, the Portland Steam Packet Company, the International Steamship Company, and several local lines on the Maine coast to form the Eastern Steamship Company. 1910 Postcard photograph of passengers arriving/departing from the Eastern Steamship Landing ... Read More »

Sailing aboard the wonderful RMS ORCADES in the 1950s and 1960s…

Deck officers on the RMS Orcades relaxing in officer's wardroom.

The RMS Orcades was an ocean liner serving primarily the UK – Australia – New Zealand route. She started service as a British Royal Mail Ship (RMS) carrying first and tourist class passengers. Orcades carried many migrants to Australia and New Zealand and was later used as a cruise ship. Built at the Barrow yard of Vickers-Armstrongs, Orcades (yard no. 950) ... Read More »

Fire at Sea: Tragedy of the SS Morro Castle

The Morro Castle after the devastating fire.

On the morning of 8 September 1934, en route from Havana to New York, the ship caught fire and burned, killing 137 passengers and crew members.   She was a luxury ocean liner of the 1930s that was built for the Ward Line for runs between New York City and Havana, Cuba. The Morro Castle was named for the Morro ... Read More »

Elsa Maxwell: the greatest celebrity of all-time…

Elsa Maxwell with Marilyn Monroe.

Pianist, gossip columnist, TV star, and above all a giver of great parties, Elsa Maxwell was famous for being herself. She was most likely far more interesting than the celebrities she covered. Elsa Maxwell first worked as a theatre pianist after leaving school at the age of 14 and before touring with a troupe in various music halls. Elsa Maxwell, ... Read More »