Cruise Ship History – For $138 per person you could enjoy a 12-Day 1938 Canadian Cruise to Labrador on the Clarke Steamship Line visiting Quebec, Gaspe Coast, Newfoundland, Labrador, North Shore, Saquenay River and Murray Bay!


1938 Cruises to Labrador on the Clarke Deluxe Cruise Line

Desmond Clarke originally formed the Clarke Steamship Company in 1921 with headquarters at Quebec to initially run two services from Quebec to Bradore Bay on the North Shore and from Quebec to Gaspé on the South Shore.


1939 – The “last season” before Canada entered World War 2

Both these services called at a long series of way ports, trading posts, Indian villages and settlements.


De Luxe Cruises on the Clarke Line

Clarke Line, based out of Montreal, was known for excellent French cuisine second to none on the Atlantic.  This contrasted with the Canadian and American ships offering cruises in this area such as Canadian Pacific, Canadian National or Eastern Steamship.  Clarke Line ships were “French-Canadian” when it came to food and this was big draw.  Also, the ships had a lot of traffic because of prohibition.  Recall the early part of the 20th century was under the influence of religious zealots in America who outlawed drinking.  You could drink on the Clarke Line and Americans headed to these ships for good wine and food.


Advertisement as seen in Travel Magazine – 1930s

In 1922 the South Shore service was extended to the Magdalen Islands and later to Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island (PEI) and Pictou, Nova Scotia (NS). The base port became Montreal in 1925 and the service was extended Eastward to Corner Brook, Newfoundland (NF).


From the Labrador cruise folder…

By 1926 the company was running regular services from Montreal and Quebec to Murray Bay, Mont Louis and Gaspé on the St.Lawrence, Corner Brook and Loch Lomond on Newfoundland’s West Coast, Forteau Bay and Battle Harbour in Labrador and St.Anthony’s on Newfoundland’s Northern Peninsula. Later schedules included calls at Summerside and Charlottetown, PEI and Pictou, NS en route from Gaspé to Corner Brook.


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In 1927 the company entered the winter cruise market from Florida to the West Indies with the NEW NORTHLAND and by 1929 had extended the North Shore sailings to include Blanc Sablon. With the onset of the depression in 1930, and the drop in cruise bookings from Florida, the NEW NORTHLAND was used by the Canadian Government in 1931-2 for trade exhibitions to the West Indies.

Cruises from Miami were resumed in 1937 with the NORTH STAR and NEW NORTHLAND. Later cruises alternated between Montreal and New York with calls at Halifax, Boston, etc.

In WWII many of the company’s ships were requisitioned and a skeleton service continued with three ships and chartered tonnage as available. After the war, regular services resumed, but the increasing use of air services caused a cutback in the passenger fleet in 1961 and by 1967 the company sold their last passenger ship and, except for a couple of ferry operations, concentrated on cargo work.


About Michael L. Grace

MICHAEL L. GRACE is part of the award winning team that created the internationally performed award winning musical SNOOPY, based on PEANUTS by Charles M. Schultz. SNOOPY continues to be one of the most produced shows (amateur & stock) in America/Worldwide and has had long running productions in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and in London's West End. There are over 100 individual productions every year. He has written movies for TV, including the award-winning thriller LADY KILLER, various pilots and developed screenplays for Kevin Costner and John Travolta. Besides co-writing and co-producing SNOOPY, he wrote and produced the one-man play KENNEDY. He produced P.S. YOUR CAT IS DEAD by pulitzer prize winning author James Kirkwood. He wrote the stage thriller FINAL CUT which had productions in the UK, South Africa and Australia. His one-man play, KENNEDY - THE MAN BEHIND THE MYTH, was developed for HBO and has starred Andrew Stevens, Gregory Harrison and Joseph Bottoms. He has recently been involved in European productions with CLT-UFA, Europe's leading commercial television and radio broadcaster. He wrote MOWs THE DOLL COLLECTION, THE BOTTOM LINE and LAST WITNESS for German television. While in college and graduate school he worked as a foreign correspondent for COMBAT, the famous leftwing Paris daily, and as a travel writer. He visited more than 50 countries. He struggled as an actor, then joined the enemy and entered the training program at William Morris. He became a publicist and worked for Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis Presley's manager, at Paramount and MGM. He followed with a brief stint as a story executive, working in the frantic horror genre period of the early 80s and wrote THE UNSEEN. He went onto write for episodic television and develop series pilots. He was a continuing writer on such series such as LOVE BOAT, PAPER DOLLS, and KNOTS LANDING. He developed screenplays for such major award winning directors as Nicolas Meyers, Tony Richardson and J. Lee Thompson. He has written for all the major networks and studios. He has been hired numerous times as a script doctor, doing many uncredited rewrites on TV movies and features. He is currently writing A PERSON OF INTEREST, a thriller novel, and, IT'S THE LOVE BOAT... AND HOW IT CHANGED CRUISING BY SHIP a non-fiction book dealing with how the hit TV series as a major cultural phenomenon and altered the style of cruising by ship. He was raised in Los Angeles. He attended St. Paul's, USC and the Pasadena Playhouse. He received a B.A from San Francisco State University where he majored in theatre arts and minored in creative writing. He is listed as a SFSU leading alumni. He also apprenticed at ACT - The American Conservatory Theatre. For a brief period he had intentions of becoming an Episcopal(Anglican) priest and attended seminary at Kelham Theological College in the UK. When "the calling" wasn't there, he left seminary and did graduate work at the American University of Beirut. He has guest lectured at USC, UC San Diego, McGill, Univ. of London and the Univ. of Texas on the business aspects of making a living and surviving as a writer, focusing on development hell, in the Hollywood entertainment industry. Grace is a lifetime member of the Writers Guild of America, the Dramatist Guild and former regional chairman of the Steamship Historical Society of America. He resides in Palm Springs.

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