DOWN TO THE SEA FOR CRUISING FUN IN THE EARLY 1950s…

For the traveler who couldn’t make a long ocean voyage during the early 1950s, there were still varied trips by water in the USA and Canada. Some were short one-day sails, while others took a week or more and led to some exciting adventures. Most were Canadian flag vessels.

From Duluth, to Miami, from New Orleans to Newfoundland, mainly pre-World War 2 ships, a verity of ocean liners, coastwise steamers, motor vessels, bay river and lake steamboats, freshly painted, served the retro fifties public.

Here are some of the travel choices for the fifties cruiser…

CANADA STEAMSHIP LINES

Three identical sister-ships, the St. Lawrence, Quebec and Tadoussac offered summer cruises in 1952, The three ships were all 350 feet in length, had a breadth of 70 feet, and were 8,000 tones GRT; the Richelieu was slightly smaller. They sailed on the St Lawrence and Saguenay Rivers, departing from Montreal and stopping at Quebec City, Murray Bay and Tadoussac (where the company owned hotels) and up the Saguenay to Bagotville (La Baie). 7 day cruises.

From the 1930’s until 1965 Canada Steamship Lines operated cruises from Montreal up the Saguenay River. These beautiful white ships were known as the “Great White Fleet”. One of the stops was Tadoussac. Here passengers could get off the ships for an hour or two and stroll into the town. Some elected to stay at the new (1942) Tadoussac Hotel that was owned by CSL.

CLARKE LINE

For a trip off the proverbial peahen path, you could take one of the Clarke Line’s yacht-like ships, such as the North Gaspe from Montreal to the little towns down the St. Lawrence and up the Gulf Coast into the Minigan and Harrington areas.

A vessel of the Clarke Steamship Company, the North Gaspé supplied the villages on the North Shore of Quebec. The St Lawrence River, a pre-eminent shipping route and fundamental natural resource, saw many ships on its waters despite the war. Many remote regions, such as the North Shore, depended on boats for their supplies. Aboard the passenger vessels, there were as many passengers as there were reasons to travel.

OLD BAY LINE

You could take the “night boat” steamers City of Richmond and City of Norfolk between Baltimore and Norfolk. The vessels were old but solid, and the voyage up the Chesapeake Bay was one of relaxation and tranquility on the overnight run.

GEORGIAN BAY STEAMSHIP LINE

The two inland liners North America and South America left from Chicago and Buffalo for cruising on the Great Lakes.

GREEN LINE

The sternwheeler Delta Queen could take you from New Orleans on the Mississippi River.

CANADIAN PACIFIC AND CANADIAN NATIONAL STEAMERS

Overnight from Vancouver to Victoria or Alaska Cruises or cruises on the East Coast.

 

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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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