Cruise History

Mid-Century style and fire safety on the SS United States. Crystal Cruises saves America’s last great ocean liner

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Crystal Cruises, knowing the values of maintaining mid-century design, are planning to bring back the SS United States 1950s and 1960s ocean liner into service. Jackie Gleason and John Wayne aboard the mid-century liner.  Upon her delivery to the United States Lines, the SS United States was most graceful, modern, powerful and sleekest vessel in the world. With her two oversized ... Read More »

The world’s first cruise ship… the Prinzessin Victoria Luise…

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The S.S. Prinzessin Victoria Luise, surely one of the most beautiful ships ever launched, had an even shorter career of only 6 years. She was not a great transatlantic liner like the RMS Titanic, rather she was the world’s first cruise ship. It was on a West Indian Cruise in 1906, where she ran aground and could not be re-floated. ... Read More »

Passenger Lists… the Bible for shipboard travel…

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Cruise History: Passenger lists were the Bibles for shipboard travel. Here is an excellent article from Cruise Travel Magazine by ship-expert Theodore W. Scull that discusses the subject in depth. Cunard Line Passenger List Monaco’s Prince Rainier and his princess, the former Hollywood star Grace Kelly, would be found on the passenger list.  They are seen here on the SS ... Read More »

The classic Italian liner SS REX in the movies…

Irving Berlin and Moss Hart, famed song writers, sail aboard the SS Rex in the 1930s...

There are three Atlantic crossings in the 1936 excellent film Dodsworth directed by William Wyler and starring Walter Huston & Ruth Chatterton. They were seen on board the RMS Queen Mary, the RMS RMS Aquitania, and the SS Rex. The film demonstrates how liners were used like today’s Jets to get back and forth from the USA to Europe. A ... Read More »

The Sinking of the RMS Lusitania – 101st Anniversary

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Saturday, May 7th marks the 101st anniversary of the sinking of the R.M.S. Lusitania, the Liverpool-built passenger ship whose destruction sparked the United States’ decision to enter World War I in 1917. “Enlist” (mother and child drowning), by Fred Spear, June 1915. WWI recruitment poster published by the Boston Committee of Public Safety just a month after the Lusitania sinking. ... Read More »

SS CAP ARCONA… 5,000 plus dead… the other TITANICS…

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The Nazi “Titanic” and one of largest maritime disasters of all time. The 27,561 gross ton liner, named after Cape Arkona on the island of Rügen in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, was launched in 1927. She was considered one of the most beautiful ships of the time, was the largest German ship on the South American run, and carried upper-class travelers and steerage-class ... Read More »

The SS Canberra – Last of the liners…

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The World of the 1950s was witnessing the jet age when P&O made plans for their newest ship. Designed for the Australia service, she was built at Harland & Wolff in Belfast, the same yard that built the infamous Titanic of 1912. Named for Australia’s capital city Canberra, she would operate jointly with Orient Line’s new Oriana, also under construction ... Read More »

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 »