THE M/V HIKAWA MARU was operated by the NYK Line (now Crystal Cruises). She was the only Japanese passenger vessel to survive WW 2. In her 30 years of service, the HIKAWA MARU crossed the pacific 254 times, carrying around 25,000 passengers and a great volume of cargo.
Cruise and Liner History: More wonderful moments in cruise line and cruise ship history. The RMS Empress of Japan had four life’s. First as the trans-Pacific record holder liner, then serving during World War 2, followed by being renamed the Empress of Scotland on the trans-Atlantic run and then finally sailing under the German flag. It was ironic, the allied ship used during WW 2 to fight the Nazis, was sold to Hamburg America Line and rebuilt as the Hanseatic for cruise and trans-Atlantic service.
Canadian Pacific 1938 Travel Magazine advertisement.
1930—1942: RMS Empress of Japan
The Empress of Japan carried out her sea trial successfully in May 1930, achieving a top speed of 23 knots; and on June 8, 1930, she was delivered to Vancouver for service on the trans-Pacific route. In this period, she was the fastest ocean liner on the Pacific. Due to being a part of Canadian Pacific’s service carrying Royal Mail, the Empress of Japan carried the RMS (Royal Mail Ship) prefix in front of her name while in commercial service with Canadian Pacific. She would continue sailing the Vancouver-Yokohama-Kobe-Shanghai-Hong Kong route for the rest of the decade. Amongst her celebrity passengers were a number of American baseball all-stars, including Babe Ruth, who sailed aboard the Empress of Japan in October 1934 en route to Japan. The outbreak of war in Europe caused the Empress of Japan to be re-fitted for wartime service. Following the Japanese attacks on the Empire outposts in the Far East in December 1941, the name of the ship needed to be named. In 1942, she was renamed the Empress of Scotland.
Piper and passengers aboard the RMS Empress of Scotland as the ship approaches a UK port.
1942—1958: Empress of Scotland
Following the end of World War II, the Empress of Scotland was needed to meet the newly developing demands for trans-Atlantic passenger service. In the period between 1948 and 1950, she was rebuilt at Fairfield in Glasgow. These modifications were necessary to better meet weather conditions on the colder Atlantic route. This extensive re-fitting included a radical reconfiguration of her cabins from the original four classes to just two — first and tourist.
Hanseatic approaching New York City.
Following her sale to Hamburg Atlantic Line in 1958, the ship was radically rebuilt to meet the expanding market for trans-Atlantic passenger service. The ship’s superstructure and funnels were rebuilt and her passenger accommodations were re-configured. The vessel emerged as the 30,030 GRT SS Hanseatic. The re-named and re-flagged ship was designed to carry as many 1350 passengers in comfortable luxury on the Hamburg-New York route. In 1955 the ship was destroyed by fire in New York City harbor and subsequently scrapped.
Hanseatic youTUBE video of a 1960 NASSAU CRUISE.
CRUISING THE PAST: SS CHUSAN – P&O LINES – THE LINER WAS KNOWN AS “THE HAPPY SHIP”
Indeed in some ways she was a long overdue replacement for the celebrated Viceroy of India that had been tragically lost during the Second World War.
Like her celebrated predecessor she introduced superior standards on the route to the Orient and the Far East.
Public Rooms on the “The Happy Ship”
ORCADES in Sydney
Cruising Line History: The Orient Steam Navigation Company, also known as the Orient Line, was a British shipping company with roots going back to the late eighteenth century. From the early twentieth century onwards an association began with P&O that eventually culminated in the Orient Line being totally absorbed into that company in the 1960s.
Ten Pound Sterling immigrants from the UK to Australia during the 1950s. A family only had to pay 10 Pounds to travel to a new country.
The Beginnings (1797 – 1900):
The Orient Line’s beginnings can be traced back to the formation of a shipbroking company by James Thomson in 1797. The company was operating a small fleet of sailing ships by the early 1800s, and by the middle of the century they were sailing on routes all over the world.
In 1828 Thomson was joined by James Anderson, and the company was renamed Anderson, Thomson and Company in 1863. The inauguration of a liner service to Australia with the packet Orient in 1866 saw the company renamed Orient Line of Packets, regularly shortened to Orient Line.
The transition to steam saw another name change in 1878- the Orient Steam Navigation Company.
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 sails away for the last time from Pier 42, Seattle at 3 p.m., September 24, 1954.
Sailing day meant excitement for the Alaska Steamship Company liners. Here is the SS Alaska sailing from Seattle in 1952.
ALASKA CRUISE YOUTUBE RETRO VIDEO – AUGUST 1954 – $9.00 PER DAY.
Cruising The Past presents an historical video of a August 1954 sailing aboard the SS ALASKA on a cruise to Alaska and the Inside Passage. A retro 50s look at a style of cruising and travel now vanished. Views of the ship leaving the Port of Seattle, with streamers, confetti and visitors waving goodbye – something rarely seen today. See the ship sail up the inside passage… with passengers dancing, dining, playing shuffleboard and man nostalgic scenes of an Alaska steamship far different from the massive ships sailing the Inland Passage today. [Read more...]
Cruising the past and cruise ship history is the focus of the Southern Calfornia chapter of the Steamship Historical Society of America. They meet regularly on the former Cunard Liner QUEEN MARY in Long Beach, California and have produced a new promotional video.
Steamship Historical Society of America’s Southern California Chapter highlights their work in educational outreach for members, school children and the general public. Headquartered aboard the historic Queen Mary in Long Beach, California, its all about the ships. Come aboard and see for yourself! Better yet, join. Annual dues are only $10 for individual and $12 for family memberships.
Murder At Sea Aboard A Carnival Cruise To Mexico and a liner voyage aboard Union Castle Lines in the 1947 – Where are re-runs of The Love Boat when you need them?
Cruising the Past and Cruise Ship History. Murder At Sea Aboard A Carnival Cruise To Mexico and another aboard Union Castle Lines in the 1947 – Where are re-runs of The Love Boat when you need them?
Murders aboard cruise ships and liners are nothing new. This one happened last week on Carnival and another one took place aboard a Union Castle decades ago.
Where are re-runs of The Love Boat when you most need them? Cruise travelers these days have never had it so difficult, what with the threat of possible Norovirus and Swine Flu outbreaks, not to mention the occasional occurrence of people mysteriously falling overboard. The latest news, that a man has stabbed his wife to death this week while onboard the Carnival ship Elation, doesn’t threaten the whole ship but it does make for one creepy cruise. [Read more...]
A nostalgic look at the SS CATALINA and SS AVALON.
They were called the BIG WHITE STEAMERS. These day tourist steamships operated together by William Wrigley Company from 1920 into the early 1950s — except for WW 2. The SS CATALINA continued running into the mid-1970s.
They provided daily service throughout the summer from Los Angeles to Catalina Island. The SS AVALON lies at the bottom of the Pacific off the coast of Southern California.
The SS CATALINA, after a valiant attempt to rescue it, was taken to Mexico where she was left rotting in Ensenada Harbor and scrapped this year.
There was a big deal about making the SS CATALINA a National Historical Monument. But like most “historical” endeavors in California it got lost in financial problems and endless legal action.
Cheers to the memory of these ships and the great people who tried to save the SS CATALINA.