Cruising Line History – The Sydney Morning Herald features “Cruising The Past” on their travel page and we honor the Union Steam Ship Lines luxury liner AWATEA.




The Sydney Morning Herald featured this website in their travel section. In response we’ve done a feature on the wonderful Union Steam Ship Lines AWATEA. Check it out in the next listing. This was a jewel of a liner and provided a wonderful service cut short by World War 2.

June 28, 2008 – The Sydney Morning Herald Travel Section

The way we were…

Older cruising enthusiasts who fondly remember when life at sea was more about social interaction and less about eating and day-long organised entertainment will enjoy a new website called Cruising the Past.

It’s edited by an American who began cruising with his parents as a teenager.

Michael Grace, an author and writer for television and film, has since travelled on more than 50 ships and circled the globe three times.

His website examines what he calls the glamour of steamship travel from the 1930s to 1960s, before the hit TV series Love Boat heralded mass-market cruising.

He says he realises that many aspects of cruising today are an improvement, including bigger cabins and a wider range of activities. But some aspects of social interaction are absent.

“There’s no longer a feeling of gentility on most cruise ships,” he says.

“Most of the time you think you’re stuck in a hotel in Las Vegas.”




About Michael L. Grace

During the mid-80s, Michael Grace worked as a writer on the TV Hit Series THE LOVE BOAT. He wrote many of the two hour special featuring great stars of the past, including Lana Turner, Claire Trevor, Anne Baxter, Ethel Merman, Alexis Smith, etc. The public’s access to these stars, in familiar dramas and comedies, made them want to go on a cruise. They could see the stars in an ordinary world as “regular” people. The phenomenally successful series was responsible for creating the cruise industry as we know it today. By the time he was writing for Love Boat, the great steamship companies and their liners were flying hand me down foreign flags, painted like old whores, scrapped or doing three day cruises to the Bahamas. He had sailed on over thirty ships and liners with his parents, aunt and grandmother in late 50s to early 70s. The very successful CRUISING THE PAST website has been an outgrowth of Michael’s strong interest in cruise and social history. Drawing on his own knowledge and a vast maritime and social history collection, he is able to produce a very successful website. Michael is part of the award winning team that created the internationally performed award winning musical SNOOPY, based on PEANUTS by Charles M. Schultz. He has written for television and films. Read more by going to "About" (on the above dashboard) and clicking "Editor"…