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APL – American President Lines – San Francisco’s Gateway to the Orient

American President Lines was a leader in providing passenger liner services between California, the Far East and Around The World. San Francisco was the company’s headquarters for years, and Bay Area residents, from San Jose to San Raphael, would see their great ships as they headed to work on ferry ... Read More »

Catalina – Sailing to California’s Island Paradise

  The SS Catalina and SS Avalon operated together from 1920 into the early 1950s — except for World War 2 – with service from Los Angeles to Catalina Island. The Catalina continued running during the summer months into the mid-1970s. The two steamers carried millions of passengers between San ... Read More »

Elvis Presley onboard Matson Lines from San Francisco to Hawaii

Elvis’ love for Hawaii ran deep, and during his lifetime he visited often. Whether it was to perform concerts and benefits, film a movie, or just to vacation, the islands would always draw him back. Matson Lines ran weekly service to Honolulu from San Francisco and Los Angeles to Hawaii. ... Read More »

Dining with Groucho Marx, Sal Mineo and Ramon Novarro at Chasen’s

West Hollywood’s Chasen’s was a glamorous world – “Celebrity chefs” will never replace stylish hosts and personalities such as Dave Chasen or Vincent Sardi or Mike Romanoff. I had dinner at Chasen’s many times. First, with my parents and then later on when I had become a producer. Dinner with ... Read More »

Video – Carnival Corp’s Costa Concordia Friday the 13th Cruise Ship Disaster

On the evening of January 13th, 2012, the cruise industry was forever changed after the modern, family cruise ship, the Costa Concordia collided with rocks and sank off the coast of Italy. The thought of a modern cruise ships, catering to families and couples on a romantic Mediterranean getaway, would ... Read More »

Video: Greta Garbo to Holllywood onboard Liner ms Stockholm 1935

Greta Garbo was a Swedish actress during Hollywood’s silent film period and part of its Golden Age. Regarded as one of the greatest and most inscrutable movie stars ever produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and the Hollywood studio system. She traveled many times onboard the Swedish America Line from New York to Sweden ... Read More »

Frank Sinatra SP Daylight and Ferry Boat in SF Bay Area

In the 1957 musical film Pal Joey, Frank Sinatra gets off a Southern Pacific train and then heads across the SF bay to San Francisco,  aboard one of the SP Ferry Boats. Oakland Long Wharf was the western terminus of the Southern Pacific Railroad. From there, ferries carried both commuters ... Read More »

Video – Titanic’s Chinese Survivors

Titanic, White Star Line, Chinese

More than a century after the Titanic sank in April 1912; few new stories surface from the wreck. When documentary filmmaker Arthur Jones and his team started work on “The Six” — their film about the ship’s six Chinese survivors — in 2012, they kept expecting to find that someone ... Read More »

40 Ships American Flag Passenger Fleet In 1955

Featured in the Ships and The Sea magazine in the Spring 1955 issue was a complete “handbook” of American-Flag ocean-going passenger ships. The feature story opened with this grim news: “America’s fleet of ocean-going passenger vessels is fast diminishing. 40 active ships with a total passenger capacity of only 12,162 ... Read More »

First Class Alaska Cruise 1950s $11 A Day

A sailing day meant excitement for the Alaska Steamship Company liners. Here is the SS Alaska sailing from Seattle in 1952. A 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. ... Read More »