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SS CATALINA and SS AVALON – 26 miles across the sea…

They were called the Big White Steamers and sailed from Los Angeles to Catalina Island. 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 – ... 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…

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…

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 »

ELVIS IN HAWAII… sails aboard the SS Lurline and SS Matsonia… 1957…

There’s no question that Elvis Presley loved Hawaii. Whether it was to hold a concert, conduct a benefit, film a motion picture or just vacation with the family, Hawaii held a special place in his heart and the people of Hawaii loved him right back. Elvis first visited Hawaii in 1957 for three concerts including a performance for the troops ... Read More »

Happy Christmas… Aboard a Cunard Line ship… 1920s…

The Cunard Line has a long and fascinating history. It was created in 1839 when Samuel Cunard won the Admiralty’s tender to provide a transatlantic mail service to be carried by steamships between Great Britain and North America. The service was inaugurated in 1840 when the steamship Britannia made the first crossing to Halifax and then Boston. Video History of ... Read More »

Christmas at sea… during the Golden Age of travel…

Cruising through Christmas: Vintage pictures reveal the glamour of the holiday season celebrated on the high seas in the 50s and 60s. For those traveling during the holiday season, the Cunard Queen Mary ship is a festive home away from home. Stewards and stewardesses of yesteryear were on hand to carefully decorate the many Christmas trees on board. Santa Claus ... Read More »

When the USA and Canada Said No: The Abandoned Jews of the MS St. Louis…

  On May 13, 1939, the German transatlantic liner St. Louis sailed from Hamburg, Germany, for Havana, Cuba. On the voyage were 937 passengers. Almost all were Jews fleeing from the Third Reich. The German annexation of Austria in March 1938, the increase in personal assaults on Jews during the spring and summer, the nationwide Kristallnacht (“Night of Broken Glass”) ... Read More »

Flying to Cuba… from the 1950s to 2015…

The United States and Cuba agreed today to restore commercial flights between the two countries for the first time in more than a half century, and several United States airlines announced plans to request approval to begin flying. Pan American Airways… video on Havana in the 1950s… American Airlines said in a release that it will submit a United States-Cuba ... Read More »

THE FLIP SIDE OF ELLIS ISLAND… aboard the RED STAR LINE…

Saved many Jewish immigrants during World War 2… Everyone knows the story of the poor immigrants who arrived at Ellis Island after a transatlantic journey from Europe. The “huddled masses yearning to breathe free” came by the millions in the late 19th and early 20th century, all with one dream—a better life in America. Their long voyage ended as they ... Read More »

ELLIS ISLAND…

Immigrants to America… ELLIS ISLAND HISTORY – IMMIGRANTS TO AMERICA The great steamship companies like White Star, Red Star, Cunard and Hamburg-America played a significant role in the history of Ellis Island and immigration in general. The German liner Imperator carried many immigrants in steerage. While most immigrants entered the United States through New York Harbor (the most popular destination ... Read More »

THE SUPER CHIEF – “THE TRAIN OF THE STARS”

The magic of the Super Chief – “the train of the stars” – is now just a memory. From the late 1930s to the 1950s, Hollywood adopted the Super Chief as the primary mode of travel as well as the subject of novels and motion pictures. In MGM’s The Hucksters, a brutal satire on the ad industry, Clark Gable says ... Read More »

A true prodigy: the history of cruising in the Australasia region

Cruising is fast becoming a favorite for Australian holiday-makers Cruising in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific is a relatively new phenomenon, but it’s one that is growing at a rate of knots. P&O presents its newest cruise ship serving Australasia…  By Sarah Glover – Guest Contributor from Cruise Sale Finder Although a bit of a newcomer to the cruising ... Read More »

1987: The first gay cruise… 28 years ago…

It is a retro look at gay life. Operated by gay pioneer RSVP the passengers dubbed the ship Bermuda Star Cruise Line ship the SS BRENDA STARR. Retro cruising on the “SS BERMUDA STAR” – the ship was a.k.a. “SS Brenda Starr”.. One of the first all gay cruises – Cruising on the SS BERMUDA STAR in 1987 aboard the second ... Read More »