Ferry Building and the gateway to San Francisco

Southern Pacific’s OAKLAND PIER in the 1950s was the gateway to San Francisco. The Oakland Long Wharf, later known as the Oakland Pier or the SP Mole was a massive railroad wharf and ferry pier in Oakland, California. It was located at the foot of Seventh Street. Ferry approaching San Francisco in 1941. The recently completed San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge ... Read More »

SS UNITED STATES fastest ship in the world.

With the 65th anniversary of the record-breaking voyage of the SS United States, the SS United States Conservancy has published a clip from the documentary film Lady in Waiting showing footage from the ship’s maiden voyage. On July 3, 1952, the SS United States departed New York and proceeded to smash the speed record both east and westbound previously held ... Read More »

Celebrating the 4th of July at Sea!

National holidays were celebrated onboard liners and cruise ships with special events and elaborate menus. From Russian Caviar to Filet Mignon to Ice Cup, Independence Gourmandizes. Anchor Line’s SS CITY OF ROME – July 4th Menu – 1900 The Anchor Line trans-Atlantic passenger liner CITY OF ROME, built by the Barrow Ship Building Co was the second largest ship of ... Read More »

Honeymooners loved the Night Boats

When the last night boat ended its service in April 1962, a travel editor noted that it would be especially missed by one particular group of passengers: honeymooners. Twelve hours is plenty of time to get to know someone. These “night boats” operated throughout the United States and Canada from the late 1800s into the 1960s. They provided many overnight ... Read More »

MAR-A-LAGO – From Mrs. Post to President Trump

Mar-a-Lago, the grand estate now owned by President Donald Trump in Palm Beach, Florida, was built from 1924 to 1927 by cereal-company heiress and socialite Marjorie Merriweather Post. Trump apparently feels more comfortable at Mar-a-Lago than almost anywhere else, and his pleasure in the estate was in evidence when I spoke to him while researching background on Post’s magnificent yacht ... Read More »

LIZZIE BORDEN AND THE OLD FALL RIVER LINE

Fall River’s Borden family helped fund the company.  They were mainly known for their famous family member: Lizzie Borden. B was tried and acquitted of the axe murders of her father and stepmother… Cruise History – The Old Fall River Line – Everyone from presidents to swindlers sailed the Sound on “Mammoth Palace Steamers” in the heyday of the side wheelers ... Read More »

RMS EMPRESS OF IRELAND – THE FORGOTTEN “TITANIC”!

The RMS Empress of Ireland sinking resulted in the deaths of more passengers than the RMS Titanic disaster. In this horrific maritime disaster, over a thousand passengers en route from Quebec to Liverpool were lost in just fifteen minutes—the length of time it took for the ocean liner to sink into Canada’s Saint Lawrence River after being hit by a ... Read More »

THE FIRST GAY CRUISE – 1987 – THIRTY YEARS AGO

The first all-gay cruises were operated by RSVP cruises aboard the SS BERMUDA STAR thirty years ago. This is a retro look at gay life in the 1980s aboard the first gay cruises.  Operated by gay pioneer RSVP, the passengers dubbed the ship Bermuda Star Cruise Line ship the SS BRENDA STARR. In BUT THE SHOW WENT ON, (the prequel to his ... Read More »