American Banner Lines 1957-1958
Arnold Bernstein chartered in the summer of 1948 a passenger ship the CONTINENTAL (ex ANCON of 1902) for four round voyages from New York to Plymouth and Antwerp. In 1950-1951 Arnold Bernstein was involved with the Incres Line and their ship the EUROPA (ex MONGOLIA of 1923). She spent two seasons running between New York, Plymouth and Antwerp. After these experiences he wanted to run an economy passenger and cargo service from New York to Antwerp and Rotterdam.
Troubles for Bernstein happened when the Atlantic’s service was delayed.
Bernstein acquired the C4 standard freighter BADGER MARINE in 1957 and was rebuilt into a passenger cargo ship renamed ATLANTIC and followed the pattern set by the Holland America Line’s STATENDAM, RYNDAM and MAASDAM by devoting over 85% of the interior space to tourist class.
Bernstein’s major innovation was that all cabins had private facilities. This was unheard of in tourist class at this time. Passengers aboard the Queens, Flandre, United States, America, etc., had to walk down the passage way to the toilets and showers. The Oriana and Canberra — still had cabins in tourist class without private facilities. Bernstein new that Americans wouldn’t tolerate this in the 1950s and meet the demand for tourist class with your own bathroom.
The ATLANTIC was not one-class. The ship had a very limited number of first class cabins (not more than 40 passengers) with over 95% of the remaining accommodations tourist class (840).
First Class Baggage Tag, Tourist Class Dining Room and 4-Berth Cabin
This was not the choice of American Banner Lines but because the Trans-Atlantic Steamship trade association (dominated by Cunard and the US Lines) set minimum first, cabin and tourist class fares. If the ATLANTIC had sailed without first class the ships would have had to charge higher fares for the tourist class service — almost equal to cabin class. [Read more...]