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Author Archives: Michael L. Grace

Video featuring Night Boats and Cruises aboard the Eastern Steamship Company.

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Eastern Steamship Lines operated coastwise overnight passenger services along the Long Island Sound between New York and Boston and to other Northeast Coast ports including Portland, Maine, along with services to Canada and cruises. VIDEO OF EASTERN STEAMSHIP LINE CRUISE 1937 CRUISE – NEW YORK TO NOVA SCOTIA ABOARD EASTERN STEAMSHIP COMPANY The vessel at the beginning of the movie ... Read More »

California’s famous all-Pullman SP streamliner LARK served San Francisco and Los Angeles

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Southern Pacific’s deluxe streamliner Lark was the premiere overnight passenger between San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland and Los Angeles. A favorite of businessmen and movie stars. The Lark rivaled such famed overnight all-Pullman trains as the 20th Century Limited, Broadway Limited, Capital Limited and Panama Limited. Premiering on March 2, 1941, the Lark was a streamlined train with cars in ... Read More »

Christmas on the Cunard Line in the 1920s and 1930s.

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The Cunard Line celebrates Christmas with a long and fascinating history. The company was created in 1839 when Samuel Cunard won the Admiralty’s tender to provide a transatlantic mail service to be carried by steamships between Great Britain and North America. The service was inaugurated in 1840 when the steamship Britannia made the first crossing to Halifax and then Boston. Video ... Read More »

SS Princess Patricia – from Night Boat to the Love Boat.

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S.S. Princess Patricia on her first Princess Cruise – docked in Vancouver – heading south to Los Angeles.  Exploring the origin of Princess Cruises and naming the “Princess” ships.  Where did the name of each of their “Love Boat” cruise ships originate? Princess Cruises and the SS Princess Patricia was the first successful Mexico cruise operation after World War 2. Many ... Read More »

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 »