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

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

  • 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.
Caledonien docking in Sydney, Australia.

Caledonien docking in Sydney, Australia.

  • The two ships were beautifully designed passenger-cargo liners.

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  • These handsome ships carried cargo, passengers, and military personnel to French outposts in the Caribbean and the Pacific.
  • They were amongst the last of the real working cargo-passenger liners, plying their trade until long sea journeys were displaced by mass jet passenger travel.
First Class Stateroom

First Class Stateroom

  • The ships accommodated 373 passengers: First Class 71; Tourist Class 84; Third Class 142; Steerage (Dormitory) 76.

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  • First class accommodations were located on first two decks of the superstructure with the public rooms and swimming pool on Promenade Deck. Most were a twin or three berths; all had private facilities.
  • Tourist class cabins were for two or four berths all outside but without private facilities. Third and steerage were basic but comfortable.

Our thanks to Les Paquebots… Click here to read more…Screen shot 2016-03-02 at 12.16.10 PM


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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"…