Cruise Ships & Liners

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

Cap Arcona- Bjorn Larsson Collection

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…


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 »

Les Paquebots: Tahitien and Caledonien – Sailing from France, via the Panama Canal, to Cambodia and Vietnam.

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The Messageries Maritimes ships, the Calédonien and the Tahitian (later reborn as the cruise ship Atalante), sailed for two decades (1952 to 1972) on regular round trips lasting almost four months between Marseilles and Sydney. The two ships were beautifully designed passenger-cargo liners. These handsome ships carried cargo, passengers, and military personnel to French outposts in the Caribbean and the ... 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 »

Cruising to Cuba in 1941…


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…

First Class Swimming Pool

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…


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 »

Silicon Valley by sea… Billionaires only… Cruising in the future…

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Titans of tech pay $10,000 to party on networking cruise that offers everything from sunrise yoga and world-class cuisine to a live talk with Edward Snowden – but no Wi-Fi… The second-annual Summit of the Sea set sail last month featuring an invite-only guest list with some of the biggest names in tech… Among those who spoke at the event ... Read More »