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The Yale and the Harvard – California’s Night Boats between Los Angeles and San Francisco

The SS Yale and SS Harvard became known as “white Flyers of the Pacific”! The sister ships each made four sailings a week, carrying 565 First Class passengers at an average speed of 23 knots between the two major California cities. The fast coastal ships provided an overnight cruise on the Pacific. They were a very popular way for traveling between ... Read More »

Remembering the Pullman Porters

Benjamin Gaines, 93, worked as a Pullman porter from 1945 to 1954. “The porters, believe it or not, we had a celebrity status,” he said in an interview with the Chicago Tribune. (Cover Photo: CW: Janet Leigh, star of Hitchcock’s PSYCHO boarding the Super Chief in fashion layout; Porter during the 1960s looking out at the Kansas prairie: Pullman Porter’s ... Read More »

Horrifying Murder of an Actress on a Cruise Ship – Death, Sex and Lies on the high seas!

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Murder, suspicious deaths and disappearing at sea aboard liners from Cunard to Union-Castle have made cruise history.   The romantic decks of “The Love Boat” can be a very dangerous place. As for cruising the past, history finds there were two or three murders supposedly linked to Cunard Line’s RMS Queen Mary before WW 2.  Another murder during the winter of ... Read More »

Whatever happened to Bon Voyage parties?

Until about 30 years ago, bon voyage blasts were a standard part of sea travel. They provided a great sales tool for the Steamship and Cruise lines. Visitors could get a first-hand glimpse of the ship and imagine themselves sailing away. The concept was simple: invite as many friends as possible to visit you in your stateroom/cabin in the hours ... Read More »

San Francisco’s fabulous Fox Theatre was a lesson in the city’s tenuous loyalty and devotion.

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When the Fox Theater was built in 1929, it seemed as if there weren’t enough adjectives to describe the movie theater’s magnificence. The San Francisco Chronicle called the opening “a spectacle of such beauty and magnitude that it seemed rather a fancy of one’s mind rather than the inaugural night of another commercial enterprise.” OPENING NIGHT But the life of ... Read More »

ZIM LINES – Israel’s premiere liner and cruise ship company in the 1950s and 1960s

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Connecting Israel with Mediterranean ports began after the State of  Israel was established in 1948 and for 20 years Zim Lines operated an excellent fleet of passenger ships. Zim provided regular trans-Atlantic, the Caribbean, and Israel/Europe cruise and liner services. The company quickly built a fleet of modern passenger ships. In the early 1950s, Zim became a member of the ... Read More »

In the 1950s SUDDEN FEAR film star Joan Crawford heads to San Francisco on the famed California Zephyr.

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The streamliner California Zephyr was featured in Columbia Pictures 1952 thriller SUDDEN FEAR starring Joan Crawford and Jack Palance. Included were exterior and interior scenes aboard the train. Grand Central Station and the Oakland Mole were highlighted where Crawford respectively boards and disembarks to head across the bay to San Francisco by ferry boat. After playwright and wealthy heiress, Myra ... Read More »

The elegant MS VICTORIA cruised out of New York.

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Enjoying a long and colorful history, Incres Line’s MS VICTORIA offered Caribbean and Mediterranean cruises with first class service to 600 passengers. The VICTORIA was built by Harland and Wolff of Belfast in 1936 for Union-Castle Line as the DUNNOTTAR CASTLE for the company’s round Africa service from London. She operated as a passenger-cargo liner into the early 1950s, except ... Read More »

Clive Palmer’s Titanic II pitch fails to wet the sails…

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Billionaire Clive Palmer’s pitch about Titanic II – the ship he is funding to be built before a maiden 2020 voyage – hardly had the imagined grandeur and prestige of the original ship’s build in the early 1900s. The mining magnate and former federal Australian MP featured in a bizarre promotional video last week for Blue Star Line, the company ... Read More »

Home Line’s OCEANIC was one of the most beautiful and successful cruise ships of all times.

Oceanic, Home Lines

By the mid-1960s, when jets had killed off all but the stragglers on the North Atlantic, Home Lines introduced the OCEANIC. Home Lines proudly proclaimed that their 39,000 tonner was “the largest ship built exclusively for cruising.” By the mid-1960s, when jets had killed off all but the stragglers on the North Atlantic, Home Lines introduced the OCEANIC. Once it ... Read More »

The luxurious liner Awatea was the “only way to cross” the Tasman Sea from Australia to New Zealand!

Far away from the Trans-Atlantic services – “Down Under” – Union Steam Ship Company operated a fleet of excellent passenger ships between Australia and New Zealand until 1960. In her day the Awatea was regarded as one of the most luxurious and fastest liners of the period. Her history was brief and she was destroyed in World War2 like so ... Read More »