Video cruise history of the French Line’s SS Normandie.

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Video cruise history of the French Line’s fabulous liner SS Normandie.

SS Normandie was a French ocean liner built in Saint-Nazaire, France, for the French Line Compagnie Générale Transatlantique. When launched in 1932 she was the largest and fastest ship in the world, and she maintains the distinction of being the most powerful steam turbo-electric propelled passenger ship ever built in cruise history.

Her novel design features and lavish interiors have led many to consider her the greatest of all ocean liners.

Despite this, she was not a commercial success, and relied partly on government subsidy to operate. During her service career as the flagship of the CGT, she made 139 transatlantic crossings westbound from her home port of Le Havre to New York (but only 138 eastbound).

During World War II, Normandie was seized by United States authorities at New York and renamed USS Lafayette. In 1942, while being converted to a troopship, the liner caught fire, capsized, and sank at the New York Passenger Ship Terminal. Although she was salvaged at great expense, restoration of the vessel was deemed too costly, and she was scrapped in October 1946.

“If there’s a better or more lovingly displayed collection of S.S. Normandie material in the world (and that includes France), I don’t know of it. What Crash has assembled in the Miottel Collection is nothing less than the history of a legend. For people interested in transatlantic shipping in general and the Normandie in particular, it is the mother lode.” Harvey Ardman, Author: “NORMANDIE HER LIFE AND TIMES”

Click here to visit THE MIOTTEL COLLECTION.

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About Michael L. Grace

During the mid-80s, Michael Grace worked as a writer on the TV Hit Series THE LOVE BOAT. He wrote many of the two hour special featuring great stars of the past, including Lana Turner, Claire Trevor, Anne Baxter, Ethel Merman, Alexis Smith, etc. The public’s access to these stars, in familiar dramas and comedies, made them want to go on a cruise. They could see the stars in an ordinary world as “regular” people. The phenomenally successful series was responsible for creating the cruise industry as we know it today. By the time he was writing for Love Boat, the great steamship companies and their liners were flying hand me down foreign flags, painted like old whores, scrapped or doing three day cruises to the Bahamas. He had sailed on over thirty ships and liners with his parents, aunt and grandmother in late 50s to early 70s. The very successful CRUISING THE PAST website has been an outgrowth of Michael’s strong interest in cruise and social history. Drawing on his own knowledge and a vast maritime and social history collection, he is able to produce a very successful website. Michael is part of the award winning team that created the internationally performed award winning musical SNOOPY, based on PEANUTS by Charles M. Schultz. He has written for television and films. Read more by going to "About" (on the above dashboard) and clicking "Editor"…