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Author Archives: Michael L. Grace

The elegant MS VICTORIA cruised out of New York.

ncres Line, MS VICTORIA,cruises , 1960s, Harland and Wolff. Union-Castle Line, DUNNOTTAR CASTLE ,World War 2,Gustavo Pulitzer,Chandris Cruises, cruise line history, michael l grace, travel history, cruise history, cruises

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…

TITANIC II, TITANIC, WHITE STAR LINE, CRUISE THE PAST, MICHAEL L GRACE

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 »

Ritz-Carlton – Elegance from the cruising past meets a new Yacht Collection of select Cruise Ships.

Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. luxury resorts, Mediterranean, Northern Europe, the Caribbean, Latin America, Canada, northeastern United States, Holland American Line, SS Rotterdam, United States Lines, SS Leviathan, Hamburg America Line, SS Vaterland, Chef Sven Elverfeld

The first of Ritz-Carlton’s Yacht Collection ships hit the water for the first time recently at a shipyard in Vigo, Spain. Cruises don’t begin until February 2020, but reservations are open for one of the newest luxury cruise lines around. They will be newest and finest small cruising vessels afloat. The new ships will be customized, in keeping with the ... Read More »

Albert Ballin created the first pleasure cruise aboard Hamburg-America Line’s S.S. Augustus Victoria in the Gilded Age.

The German shipping magnate was responsible for turning Germany into a world leader in ocean travel prior to World War I. With 25,000 employees, Hapag was the largest shipping line in the world for both freight and people (464,000 passengers in 1913). It was Albert Ballin who also invented the pleasure cruise in 1891. The first Pleasure Cruise The world’s ... Read More »

Chicago’s streamlines ELECTROLINER – 90 MPH north to Milwaukee

The North Shore Line’s Electroliners streamline interurban trains operated from the 1940s into the early 1960s. For most street railway and interurban lines the coming of the automobile put an end to an industry that was just a few decades old.  The 1920s and the Great Depression later that decade bankrupted and shutdown many intermediate lines while the strongest companies ... Read More »

The Ambassador East – Lunch at the Pump Room with Natalie Wood and Robert Wagner

When Ernie Byfield opened The Pump Room in the Ambassador East Hotel on October 1, 1938, he undoubtedly had little idea that he was beginning an enterprise that would still be thriving to this day. Today, The Pump Room remains highly acclaimed restaurant and Chicago landmark. Located in Chicago’s Gold Coast inside the Ambassador East Hotel, the Pump Room’s traditional ... Read More »

Retro Thursday: The CHICAGO CUBS cruise to Catalina

CATALINA ISLAND, CHICAGO CUBS

Chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr.’s twin interests in baseball and Catalina Island – he bought Catalina in 1919 and gained a controlling interest in the Chicago Cubs in 1921 – dovetailed nicely when he made the decision to have the Cubs train on Catalina starting in 1921.  In doing so, he became the first baseball owner to bring a ... Read More »

SS UNITED STATES – The Last Great Race

Larry Driscoll’s book “The Last Great Race”  fascination with ships started as a 7-year-old, when he, his mother and two siblings boarded the S.S. America to cross the Atlantic to join his father in Paris, who worked for the Voice of America. Driscoll recalls how the ship — in the age before stabilizers — rode the waves like a roller ... Read More »

Elsa Maxwell: the greatest celebrity of all-time…

Pianist, gossip columnist, TV star, and above all a giver of great parties, Elsa Maxwell was famous for being herself. She was most likely far more interesting than the celebrities she covered. Elsa Maxwell first worked as a theatre pianist after leaving school at the age of 14 and before touring with a troupe in various music halls. Elsa Maxwell, ... Read More »