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Author Archives: Michael L. Grace

Home Lines SS Homeric Cruising to Cuba in the 1950s

SS HOMERIC, FIRST CLASS, CUBA CRUISE

In October 1959, Ruth and Harry Hotz boarded the SS Homeric in New York and sailed south on a seven-day voyage that would turn out to be one of the last cruises to the island until briefly in the late 1970s and then recently. SS Independence, SS Homeric, SS Constitution docked in New York.  Bob Hotz, their son, recalled his ... Read More »

The popular “4 Aces” elegant liners sailed in luxury to the Mediterranean.

American Export Line, "4 Aces", Excalibur, Excambion, Exeter, Exochorda, Henry Dreyfuss, American Export-Isbrandtsen Lines, cruise ships, cruise lines, michael l grace, cruising the past, cruise line history, it's the love boat

The Excalibur, Excambion, Exeter, and Exochorda were four of the most successful U.S.-flag combination passenger-cargo ships. They were put into service following World War 2 for the New York to Mediterranean service. The “4 Aces” had beautiful public rooms and an outdoor pool, and all the staterooms had a private bath. They were the first fully air-conditioned commercial passenger ships ... Read More »

NEWS: SS United States: Redevelopment Plans for Historic Ocean Liner Could Make a Big Splash

After spending more than two decades anchored in Philadelphia, a retired ocean liner is preparing to make waves once again. The SS United States, which holds the record for the fastest maritime journey across the Atlantic Ocean, has been docked at Philadelphia’s Pier 82 on the Delaware River since 1996. Since then, several plans to revitalize the cruise liner have sputtered. But ... Read More »

JUDY GARLAND triumphant comeback in A STAR IS BORN at Hollywood’s greatest premiere!

More than a 250 stars attended the September 1954 Pantages Theatre gala premiere. Many predicting an Oscar sweep for the films with top acting awards going to Judy Garland and James Mason. More than 20,000 fans were spectators at the Pantages premiere demanding Warner Bros and the Los Angeles Police Department to organize traffic pans for the premiere. VIDEO OF THE NBC COVERAGE ... Read More »

Sailing to West Africa on Elder Dempster’s liner MV Aureol.

The MV AUREOL of 1951 was a hard working, much-loved liner that linked Liverpool (and later Southampton) with West Africa in the waning days of the British Empire. She was operated by Elder Dempster Lines, one of the UK’s largest shipping companies, and during its 150-year history, it operated more than 500 ships. Based in the historic port of Liverpool ... Read More »

J. P. Morgan’s former yacht CORSAIR sailed as a deluxe cruise ship from California to Mexico until disaster struck in 1948.

corsair, yacht, j. p. morgan jr., cruises, michael l grace, pacific cruise lines, alaska steamship company, first class, ship sinking

J. Pierpont Morgan Jr. could never imagine his yacht Corsair IV would be turned into a deluxe cruise ship just after World War 2  whose short career with voyages from California would end in tragedy, but it happened. J.P. Morgan Jr. and his legendary business tycoon father, J. Pierpont Morgan, owned four yachts christened Corsair and built three of them. ... Read More »

Alaska Cruise Sinks – The 1952 wreck of the SS Princess Kathleen

Princess Kathleen

The Canadian Pacific Line’s 6,000-ton Princess Kathleen, queen of Alaskan liners, was 18 miles from Juneau on the last trip of the season from Vancouver, B.C. to Skagway, Alaska. It was 3:15 a.m. Most of the 425 passengers and crew, including Captain Graham Hughes, were sleeping. A light rain was falling, but the lookout reported fair visibility. The final moments of ... Read More »

CHASEN’S – The world-famous Hollywood Celebrity restaurant opened in the late 1930s and lasted into the 1990s. 

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. The “chefs” were in the kitchen. Not greeting you at the front door! Now the once famous eatery is a supermarket catering to the newly rich and what Dave Chasen would call the déclassé. No ... Read More »

Movie stars were aboard the fatal voyage of the SS Andrea Doria

SS Andrea Doria, Ruth Roman,Betsy Drake, Cary Grant, Nantucket, MS Stockholm, SS Ile de France, Tennessee Williams, Anna Magnani, Elizabeth Taylor, Kim Novak, Christine Jorgensen (the world's first transsexual woman), Clark Gable, and comedian Gracie Fields.

In July 1956, the SS Andrea Doria sank on the last night of its voyage from Italy to New York City. With over 1,134 passengers aboard, including Hollywood movie stars Ruth Roman and Betsy Drake, barely 100 short of her passenger capacity of 1,241. There were 190 first class passengers,  267 cabin class passengers and 677 tourist class passengers, which ... Read More »

Glory Days of Pullman Passenger Trains in Mexico

This is the first in a series of blogs on the Mexican railway service. These are scenes of Buena Vista Terminal in Mexico City and school children visiting on a morning sometime in the early 1970s. Buena Vista was built in 1961, replacing the older terminal. It was vast and modern. When I could, in the early 1970s, I traveled ... Read More »

President John Kennedy onboard the RMS Queen Mary

The floating palace for the rich and famous: Vintage photos reveal glamor on board the Queen Mary during her early voyages sailing from New York to Europe – Across the Pond! The Art Deco liner was the largest and fastest passenger ship in the world when it launched. The Queen Mary hosted the wealthy and elite, including Winston Churchill, John F ... Read More »