French Lines’s SS De Grasse was the liner that represented France after World War 2…

The De Grasse was the first French merchant ship to restore the North Atlantic service after World War 2. The repairs and refurbishment took close to two years, but when the De Grasse returned to service in the summer of 1947, she was an almost entirely new ship. Upon her arrival in New York on July 25, 1947, she received a ... Read More »

Beatles first trip to America aboard the Congressional Limited in 1964…

The Beatles were so excited to be madly popular in America they were going to fly down from New York, but a big snowstorm hit Washington and they took the train. The Beatles reserved a couple of cars on the train and got tickets for the press traveling with them. They couldn’t have had a better time. They were always ... Read More »

Student travel in the 1950s… Sailing to Europe aboard The Arosa Line…

A little known shipping service – THE AROSA LINE – it provided Trans-Atlantic service for immigrants, students and families seeking lower fares. The company carried thousands of German and European immigrants to Canada and the USA during the 1950s. Although the company was known as a Swiss organization, all the ships were registered in countries of convenience such as Panama ... Read More »

SS CATALINA and SS AVALON sailed 26 miles across the sea from Los Angeles to Catalina Island…

They were called the Big White Steamers. 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 – between Los Angeles and Catalina Island. The SS ... 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 »

SS Volendam… from Holland to New York…

SS Volendam was an ocean liner operated by Holland America Line. She operated on transatlantic routes between Europe and the USA, sailing the Rotterdam – New York and Rotterdam – Halifax (Nova Scotia) service. Her overall length was 575 feet (175 m) and her beam was 67.3 feet (20.5 m). She had two funnels and two masts. Four steam turbines-drove twin screws, ... Read More »

Cruise Ships firsts…

Cruises as we know them today were created following the debut of the mega-hit TV series “The Love Boat”… But the tradition goes back more then a hundred years when passengers started booking travel on mail ships crossing the Atlantic. These mail ships evolved into the grand ocean liners whose names we still remember: Lusitania, Titanic, Queen Mary. Now the cruise lines ... Read More »