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Author Archives: Michael von Grace

Mexico City’s Buena Vista train terminal in the 1970s.

buena vista, ferrocarril de México, trenes Pullman, trenes de pasajeros, años 1970,

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 ... Read More »

Liverpool’s Last Ocean Liners

They epitomized the glamour of international travel in the days before airlines stole their trade. At one time, Liverpool’s landing stage was so busy that ships would be literally queuing in the Mersey to discharge and embark passengers. However, the period from the late 1940s saw both the golden age ... Read More »

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

Albert Ballin, Hamburg-America Line, Vaterland, Augusta Victoria, Amerika, Kaiser Wilhelm II, Immigration, Steamships, Hamburg, Liners, Cruise History, First Cruise Ship, Happag

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 ... Read More »

It’s Oscar time and the Red Carpet Treatment started with the 20th Century Limited

New York Central, Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, Alfred Hitchcock, 20th Century Limited, Pullman, First Class, Travel History, Michael L. Grace, Red Carpet Treatment, Henry Dreyfuss, Trains, Streamliners

The all-Pullman extra fare train that ran nightly between New York and Chicago. Have you wondered where the much-overused phrase “the red carpet treatment” originated? It all started with the 20th Century Limited. It was a “Magic Carpet” high speed overnight Pullman commute between New York and Chicago as pitched ... Read More »

Princess Grace, Cary Grant and Lucille Ball on the S.S. Constitution

The S.S. Constitution was a passenger ship owned by American Export Lines and had a very glamour career. She was commissioned in 1951, sailing on the New York-Genoa-Naples and Gibraltar route to Europe. The Constitution was a sister ship to the SS Independence. The ships were two of the world’s most ... Read More »

Hotel Granduca – A 5 star hotel slips because of bad management!

The Granduca "Management!"

The best service at the Hotel Granduca is from the excellent Housekeeping Staff and the Valet Parking Services. Room Service waiters are excellent. Restaurant and bar are okay. As for the front desk… it’s a lottery… Then there’s the owner! Everytime you watch TV you are forced to watch Giorgio Borlenghi do ... Read More »

She came in on the glamorous SUPER CHIEF… The train of the stars!

A movie star arrives in Pasadena from the East Coast aboard the Santa Fe Extra Fare All-Pullman Super Chief in the 1950s. She came on the Super Chief national magazine advertisement. The Santa Fe Station in Pasadena is now La Grande Orange Café. The orignal Santa Fe Station in Pasadena. ... Read More »

Art Deco Masterpiece – The SS NORMANDIE

The extraordinary French ocean liner began her maiden voyage from Le Havre to New York on May 29, 1935. Acknowledged as the center of High Society on the North Atlantic, the Normandie was the grandest, most luxurious and artistic ocean liner ever built. A video history of the Legendary French ... Read More »

Night-boats in the “Roaring Twenties”!

USC, SS HARVARD

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 ... Read More »

Retro Thursday – Cruising to Alaska in the 1950s aboard the SS Alaska…

Alaska Steamship Lines, SS Alaska, 1950s, retro, cruise lines

A nostalgic and historical video of a 1954 sailing aboard the SS ALASKA on a cruise to Alaska and the Inside Passage. A  style of cruising and travel now vanished. Cruising The Past’s video celebrating the Alaska Steamship Lines Views of the ship leaving the Port of Seattle, with streamers, ... Read More »