Cruising The Past: Vintage Photos of Luxury Liners

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1926: Benefit all night ball held aboard the White Star Line’s MAJESTIC moored at Southampton. A 1000 guest were aboard the famous liner. Dancing on the decks.

Although cruise ships have received some bad press in the past year, they still represent a luxurious vacation away from everyday life. And when trips on luxury ocean liners were first becoming popular in the early 1900s, wealthy travelers could expect extravagant experiences.

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1931: First Class dining room aboard the Canadian Pacific liner DUCHESS OF BEDFORD. Passengers are enjoying dinner.

Many of the cruise ships of the time were designed with a mixture of historic styles, includingRenaissance-inspired rooms and dining saloons modeled off of French chateaux, according to the Smithsonian. Although not all passengers could afford the opulence of first class travel, those that could relished the comforts of their position. From on-board beauty treatments to spectacular dining halls, the luxury liners offered only the best to wealthy travelers, says the BBC.

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1928: Ladies aboard the DUCHESS OF YORK. Passengers will soon be sailing from Canada to the UK.

Yet with the elegance and beauty of cruise line travel came the discomforts of life at sea. Guidebooks dedicated to helping travelers make the most of their time on an ocean liner describe how to identify crew members, how to mingle with other guests, and the best ways of dealing with seasickness while aboard, says Fordham University.

And of course there was an ever-present concern for the ship’s safety, particularly during World War I and World War II. Ships such as the Lusitania were shot by enemy boats and sank, and the infamous Titanic sunk after hitting an iceberg. Despite the risks involved in traveling across the Atlantic by boat, it has remained a popular way of vacationing and enjoying a luxurious voyage.

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Cruising The Past is an informative site on travel featuring photos, videos and stories. Ships, trains, hotels and high society.

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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"…