STEAMSHIP LINES

SP’s Streamliner COAST DAYLIGHT – The most beautiful train in the world

Going first class on board the Southern Pacific's Coast Daylight in the Observation Parlor Car.

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 »

History of Cruising… from the BRITANNIA to the LOVE BOAT…

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  The earliest ocean-going vessels were not primarily concerned with passengers, but rather with the cargo that they could carry. Black Ball Line in New York,?in 1818, was the first shipping company to offer regularly scheduled service from the United States to England and to be concerned with the comfort of their passengers. By the 1830s steamships were introduced and ... Read More »

“LUSCIOUS” LUCIUS BEEBE… first major celebrity to have a publicly open gay relationship and a lover of trains…

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San Francisco Chronicle columnist Lucius Beebe was probably the first gay men and major celebrity to have a publicly open relationship. An author, journalist, historian, raconteur, gourmet and bon vivant extraordinary – this extraordinary personality was world famous and a long time columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle. He loved trains and had his own private railway car. From the 1930s until ... Read More »

MS STOCKHOLM – Collided with the Italian Line’s SS ANDREA DORIA…

Passengers aboard the Andrea Doria.

MS STOCKHOLM – Collided with the Italian Line’s ANDREA DORIA. The Italian press called the Stockholm the “ship of death” (La nave della morte). The Stockholm returning to New York after her collision with the Andrea Doria. Her bow severely damaged. Public rooms, the pool and staterooms aboard the Stockholm. Dining on the Stockholm At 525 feet (160.02 m) with ... Read More »

Gateway to San Francisco in the 1950s. Streamliners, the SP ferries and the Oakland Pier.

Passengers have just arrived on mid-1950s morning aboard the City of San Francisco from Chicago after a 39 1/2 hour trip (the fastest thing on wheels) and are heading to the ferry for a quick cruise across the bay to the San Francisco Ferry Building.

Southern Pacific Railroad’s OAKLAND PIER in the 1950s… Gateway to San Francisco… Southern Pacific was one of the nation’s major railroads with headquarters in San Francisco. It was taken over by the Union Pacific Railroad Afternoon commuters stream from SP ferry Sacramento at Oakland Pier in the early 1950s. At the peak of Service, SP’s Steamer Division handled over 26 ... Read More »

A 1929 home movie aboard a coastal liner cruising from Florida to Savannah on the SS NANTUCKET…

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Known as the “Queen of Sea,” the Merchants and Miners Transportation Company Steamship Line operated one of the finest fleets of passenger steamers on the Atlantic Coast and ranked foremost as one of America’s top tourist routes. It was said to be the only line plying between Baltimore, Savannah, and Jacksonville. HOME MOVIE OF COAST-WISE TRIP FROM FLORIDA TO SAVANNAH ... Read More »

The USS WILLIAMSBURG… President Harry Truman’s presidential yacht scrapped…

President Harry S. Truman and Winston Churchill aboard the presidential yacht in the 1940s.

The steel-hulled, diesel-powered yacht Aras was laid down on March 19, 1930, by the Bath Iron Works; launched on December 8, 1930; and delivered to wood-pulp magnate Hugh J. Chisholm on January 15, 1931. The Aras, a long graceful steel ship, was sold in April 1941 to the US Navy for use as a patrol gunboat and re-christened it USS Williamsburg. ... Read More »

Alaska Steamship Company: First Class cruising to Alaska for $9.00 a day in the 1950s…

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Sailing day meant excitement for the Alaska Steamship Company liners. Here is the SS Alaska sailing from Seattle in 1952. A look at the final days of the Alaska Steamship Company with a history of the famous organization that provided passenger service to the far north.  A fond farewell. The SS Denali ends the era of passenger service for the Alaska ... Read More »

Retro Thursday: Cruising to Bermuda and Nassau aboard the SS Evangeline in the 1950s…

SS Evangeline... Bermuda Cruise... 1950...

Eastern Steamship Company was the last American Coastal steamship company offering cruises and overnight services from New York to Boston. Here is a great video of one of their ships sailing to Bermuda during the 1950s. Eastern Steamship’s SS Evangeline cruising to Bermuda 1950s… Bermuda-Nassau. 8 Day Cruises. From New York June 18, 28; July 7, 16, 26; August 4, 13, 23; ... Read More »

Crystal Cruises throws in the towel on saving the SS United States but activists continue the fight..

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The S.S. United States, the world’s fastest ocean liner, won’t be sailing the seas again after all. The Titanic-size ship — which in its 1950s prime offered one of the most stylish ways to travel between New York and Europe — has been mothballed for decades, ever since jet travel ended the era of the trans-Atlantic super-liner. It is docked ... Read More »