Cruise History

1930s – The SS Europa crossing the pond…

Hamburg, Germany --- Photo shows the , completely reconditioned after her disastrous fire about a year ago.  Here she is starting out on her maiden travels in northern waters, before her Atlantic crossing on which she will attempt to beat her sistership's   record.  The sailing is slated for March 19. --- Image by © Underwood & Underwood/CORBIS

The SS Europa (later the French Line SS Liberté) was one of a pair of fast ocean liners built in the late nineteen-twenties for the Norddeutsche Lloyd line (NDL) for the transatlantic passenger service. Her sister ship was the Bremen, and the two were very similar, though not identical. Come aboard the blue riband winning SS Europa for a transatlantic ... Read More »

Student travel in the 1950s… Sailing to Europe aboard The Arosa Line…

Student group visiting Europe aboard the Arosa Kulm from Minneapolis, Minnesota. in the 1950s.

A little known shipping service – THE AROSA LINE – it provided Trans-Atlantic service for immigrants, students and families seeking lower fares. The company carried thousands of German and European immigrants to Canada and the USA during the 1950s. Although the company was known as a Swiss organization, all the ships were registered in countries of convenience such as Panama ... Read More »

SS CATALINA and SS AVALON sailed 26 miles across the sea from Los Angeles to Catalina Island…

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They were called the Big White Steamers. SS Catalina and SS Avalon docked in Avalon, after completing the 2-hour voyage from Los Angeles (San Pedro), during the late 1940s.  These day tourist steamships operated together by William Wrigley Company from 1920 into the early 1950s — except for World War 2 – between Los Angeles and Catalina Island. The SS ... Read More »

Cruising to Cuba in 1941…

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1941 – Here’s some vibrant color 8mm of what looks like a fun cruise to Cuba aboard the Swedish America Liner Kungsholm, loving shot by one J. Quentin Jaxon of Upper Darby, Pennsylvania (at least that’s what the Kodak box said!). A quick check with Kludas would suggest this film is from sometime between 1939 and 1941. Any car aficionados ... Read More »

“Catcher In The Rye” author J.D. Salinger served as a cruise director aboard the MS Kungsholm…

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In 1941, the position of entertainment director for the Swedish America Line’s M.S, Kungsholm (built in 1928) was held by Salinger. He authored a number of short stories with the Kungsholm or a “liner” as the setting. Salinger was undoubtedly the Kungsholm’s most famous crew member.      First Class Smoking Room  Here is an excerpt from the short story in Mademoiselle ... Read More »

Cruise wear in the 1930s…

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A wonderful group of photographs by Fowler-Bagby showing appropriate outfits for a cruise, or for wear in warm climates; the article appeared in the February issue of Ladies’ Home Journal, 1936. Women cruisers were reminded that they will probably be going ashore, so they will need appropriate clothes for the ports they visit, as well as evening dress for dining ... Read More »

Happy Christmas… Aboard a Cunard Line ship… 1920s…

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The Cunard Line has a long and fascinating history. It was created in 1839 when Samuel Cunard won the Admiralty’s tender to provide a transatlantic mail service to be carried by steamships between Great Britain and North America. The service was inaugurated in 1840 when the steamship Britannia made the first crossing to Halifax and then Boston. Video History of ... Read More »

When the USA and Canada Said No: The Abandoned Jews of the MS St. Louis…

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  On May 13, 1939, the German transatlantic liner St. Louis sailed from Hamburg, Germany, for Havana, Cuba. On the voyage were 937 passengers. Almost all were Jews fleeing from the Third Reich. The German annexation of Austria in March 1938, the increase in personal assaults on Jews during the spring and summer, the nationwide Kristallnacht (“Night of Broken Glass”) ... Read More »