Social History

SS CATALINA – the “Great White Steamer” – Sails Again from Los Angeles to Catalina Island…

The S.S. Catalina, also known as The Great White Steamer, was among several steamships that provided passenger service from Los Angeles to Catalina Island. Built at a cost of $1 million for William Wrigley, Jr., the 301-foot steamship carried approximately 25 million passengers to and from Catalina from 1924 through 1975. A great video on the SS CATALINA from Cruising ... Read More »

S.S. PRINCESS PATRICIA and the THE FIRST LOVE BOAT to sail from Los Angeles…

S.S. Princess Patricia on her first Princess Cruise – docked in Vancouver – heading south to Los Angeles.  Social History: Exploring the origin of Princess Cruises and their naming the “Princess” ships.  Where did the name of each of their “Love Boat” cruise ships originate? A painting Cruising The Past commissioned of the first “Love Boat” and original cruise ship of ... Read More »

CITY OF LOS ANGELES – Rock Hudson aboard the other “Train to the Stars…”

Film star Rock Hudson arrives at Chicago’s Union Station in 1959 aboard Union Pacific’s streamliner City of Los Angeles on a two night trip from California.  The Santa Fe’s Super Chief was known as the Train to the Stars.  But many celebrities preferred Union Pacific’s City of Los Angeles and Southern Pacific’s Golden State. Video of Union Pacific Streamliners in the ... Read More »

Paddle Steamer Waverley, built almost 70 years ago, is the world’s last sea-going paddle steamer…

Paddle Steamer Waverley, built almost 70 years ago, is the world’s last sea-going paddle steamer. In 1975, at the end of her working life, she was famously bought for £1 by the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society. Waverley Steam Navigation Co. Ltd, a charity registered in Scotland, was set up to operate the ship. Waverley then began a second career as ... Read More »

Cary Grant’s S.S. REX – a gambling ship off Santa Monica, California in the 1930s and early 1940s.

The other S.S. Rex – a gambling ship off Santa Monica, California in the 1930s and early 1940s.  Great video. Besides the fabulous Italian ocean liner S.S. REX launched in 1931, there was another S.S. REX.  The far lesser (but profitable)REX was operated as a gambling ship off Los Angeles by Anthony Cornero.  Gary Grant made a movie in the ... Read More »

S.S. UNITED STATES – The Last Great Race…

CRUISE AND SOCIAL HISTORY: THE LAST GREAT RACE: New York writer turns his attention to the S.S. United States… www.cruisingthepast.com thanks Susan Clark Porter and the Finger Lake Times for this wonderful piece on the famous liner.  THE LAST GREAT RACE by Susan Clark Porter (Finger Lake Times) : Larry Driscoll’s fascination with ships started as a 7-year-old, when he, ... Read More »

Maritime Menus – New York Times features Cruising The Past… When Princess Cruises served Beluga Caviar to the final voyage of the RMS Queen Mary to the Rex…

 In connection with the New York Times excellent story on maritime menus, we’ve assembled a large selection of ocean liner and cruise line menus from the past for viewing.  Cruising the Past was featured in the New York Times.  Click here to read the excellent story on ocean liner menus by Kate Murphy.  First Class on Cunard Line’s RMS QUEEN ... Read More »

Le Cirque’s famous owner Sirio Maccioni started as a waiter “crossing the pond” aboard the Home Lines SS ATLANTIC in the 1950s…

Home Lines SS ATLANTIC… Le Cirque’s famous owner Sirio Maccioni started as a waiter “crossing the pond” aboard the Home Lines SS ATLANTIC. After achieving success, he sailed trans-Atlantic years later as a first class passenger aboard the Italian Line’s SS GIULIO CESARE. In June 2004 Maccioni published his biography, Sirio: The Story of My Life and Le Cirque with ... Read More »

1950s ALASKA CRUISE – Retro look at the final days of the Alaska Steamship Company

Cruise and Social History: 1950s ALASKA CRUISE – Retro August 1954 look at the final days of the Alaska Steamship Company with a history of the famous organization that provided passenger service to the far north. A fond farewell. The SS Denali ends the era of passenger service for the Alaska Steamship Company as she makes her final departure and ... Read More »

THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES… one of the greatest American movies ever made…

William Wyler’s 1946 masterpiece, THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES, is the story of three servicemen and the trials they face readjusting to society and their families after World War II.  It is one of my all-time favorite movies, and though it is almost three hours long, the first time I saw BEST YEARS, I was so impressed that I ... Read More »