The French Line’s fabulous ILE DE FRANCE



Another great YOUTUBE video from Joanna Coleman… of the ILE DE FRANCE…

Here is a wonderful piece on the great French liner ILE DE FRANCE from New York Social Diary by maritime artist and historian: Scott McBee…


The newly re-fitted SS Ile de France in 1949, having been restyle and sporting only two funnels, leaving Le Havre for its Atlantic run to New York
by Scott McBee

The SS Ile de France was built in for the French shipping company, Compagnie Generale Transatlantique (known commercially as The French Line) at a cost of $10,000,000. Her construction began in1925 at the Penhoet shipyards in Saint-Nazaire, France. She was the first major liner built after World War I. She was launched on March 14,1926.

Seven hundred ninety-one feet in length, 91 feet wide, powered by steam turbines geared to quadruple screws, she had a service speed of 23.5 knots. After a period of 14 months for fitting out her interiors the Ile de France weighed in at 44,356 tons and left the shipyards on May 29th for her sea trials.


The cabin class salon decorated by Le Bucheron…

Her maiden voyage was on June 22, 1927 from Le Havre to New York where she received a gala welcome from New York City. had a passenger capacity of 1,395 — 541 First Class, 577 Cabin Class and 277 Tourist class after her refitting after World War II. She was neither the largest (the sixth largest) or the fastest but was and still is considered one of the most beautifully decorated ocean liners built by the French Line.

One of her most distinctive characteristics were the sumptuous, unique interiors which at the time represented a departure, something new in interior design. It would be the first time a passenger ship’s accommodations would not be designed on a theme of the past but more of what was taking place in the present time. In “The Only Way to Cross, Jon Maxtone-Graham calls the Ile “the divide from which point ocean liner decorators reached forward rather than back.”

To read the rest of the story click here.

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About Michael L. Grace

MICHAEL L. GRACE is part of the award winning team that created the internationally performed award winning musical SNOOPY, based on PEANUTS by Charles M. Schultz. SNOOPY continues to be one of the most produced shows (amateur & stock) in America/Worldwide and has had long running productions in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and in London's West End. There are over 100 individual productions every year. He has written movies for TV, including the award-winning thriller LADY KILLER, various pilots and developed screenplays for Kevin Costner and John Travolta. Besides co-writing and co-producing SNOOPY, he wrote and produced the one-man play KENNEDY. He produced P.S. YOUR CAT IS DEAD by pulitzer prize winning author James Kirkwood. He wrote the stage thriller FINAL CUT which had productions in the UK, South Africa and Australia. His one-man play, KENNEDY - THE MAN BEHIND THE MYTH, was developed for HBO and has starred Andrew Stevens, Gregory Harrison and Joseph Bottoms. He has recently been involved in European productions with CLT-UFA, Europe's leading commercial television and radio broadcaster. He wrote MOWs THE DOLL COLLECTION, THE BOTTOM LINE and LAST WITNESS for German television. While in college and graduate school he worked as a foreign correspondent for COMBAT, the famous leftwing Paris daily, and as a travel writer. He visited more than 50 countries. He struggled as an actor, then joined the enemy and entered the training program at William Morris. He became a publicist and worked for Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis Presley's manager, at Paramount and MGM. He followed with a brief stint as a story executive, working in the frantic horror genre period of the early 80s and wrote THE UNSEEN. He went onto write for episodic television and develop series pilots. He was a continuing writer on such series such as LOVE BOAT, PAPER DOLLS, and KNOTS LANDING. He developed screenplays for such major award winning directors as Nicolas Meyers, Tony Richardson and J. Lee Thompson. He has written for all the major networks and studios. He has been hired numerous times as a script doctor, doing many uncredited rewrites on TV movies and features. He is currently writing A PERSON OF INTEREST, a thriller novel, and, IT'S THE LOVE BOAT... AND HOW IT CHANGED CRUISING BY SHIP a non-fiction book dealing with how the hit TV series as a major cultural phenomenon and altered the style of cruising by ship. He was raised in Los Angeles. He attended St. Paul's, USC and the Pasadena Playhouse. He received a B.A from San Francisco State University where he majored in theatre arts and minored in creative writing. He is listed as a SFSU leading alumni. He also apprenticed at ACT - The American Conservatory Theatre. For a brief period he had intentions of becoming an Episcopal(Anglican) priest and attended seminary at Kelham Theological College in the UK. When "the calling" wasn't there, he left seminary and did graduate work at the American University of Beirut. He has guest lectured at USC, UC San Diego, McGill, Univ. of London and the Univ. of Texas on the business aspects of making a living and surviving as a writer, focusing on development hell, in the Hollywood entertainment industry. Grace is a lifetime member of the Writers Guild of America, the Dramatist Guild and former regional chairman of the Steamship Historical Society of America. He resides in Palm Springs.

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