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French Line’s SS DeGrasse first liner to restore New York to Europe Service

The De Grasse was the first French merchant ship to restore the North Atlantic service after World War 2. The repairs and refurbishment took close to two years, but when the De Grasse returned to service in the summer of 1947, she was an almost entirely new ship. Upon her arrival ... Read More »

Shipping magnate Albert Ballin created the first pleasure cruise ship.

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 »

The French Liners of Messageries Maritimes

Messageries Maritimes was a French merchant shipping company offering worldwide service. It was originally created in 1851 as Messageries Nationales, later called Messageries impériales, and from 1871, Compagnie des Messageries Maritimes, casually known as “MesMar” or by its initials “MM”. Its rectangular house flag, with the letters MM on a ... Read More »

Raymond Loewy’s mid-Century designs for Matson Line’s Lurline and Ticket Office

Raymond Lowey’s basic design philosophy was behind the creation of the interiors for Matson’s luxury liner Lurline and modern ticket office in downtown Los Angeles. These were the ultimate in mid-century design for California’s famous steamship line. Raymond Loewy, whose modern concept of everything from fountain pens to airplanes, ships, ... 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 ... Read More »

THE DELTA LINE – New Orleans to South America

The Delta Line was cruising to South America from New Orleans in the 1950s. The steamship company introduced three revolutionary passenger-cargo ships to its South American services in the post-war years of the 1940s. In keeping with the trade name of the company, “Delta Line”, the three vessels were given ... Read More »

Ward Line’s SS Morro Castle Cruise to Havana – Fire at Sea – 200 Die

Onboard the Ward Line’s SS MORRO CASTLE, in the early morning hours of September 7, 1934, a deadly fire erupted in two places on the cruise/liner en route from Havana Cuba to New York City. After wonderful days at sea and a wonderful time in Havana, the cruise turned into ... Read More »

Luxury Cruising Onboard Home Line’s OCEANIC – One of the Finest Cruise Ships of the 20th Century

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 ... Read More »

Brief History of Cruising – From Britannia to the Love Boat

EARLY CRUISING The earliest ocean-going vessels were not primarily concerned with passengers, but rather with the cargo that they could carry. Black Ball Line in New York, in 1818, was the first shipping company to offer regularly scheduled service from the United States to England and to be concerned with ... Read More »

“LUSCIOUS” LUCIUS BEEBE – First Openly Gay Celebrity – The Emperor of Trains

San Francisco Chronicle columnist Lucius Beebe was probably the first gay man and major celebrity to have a publicly open relationship. An author, journalist, historian, raconteur, gourmet and bon vivant extraordinary – this extraordinary personality was world-famous and a long-time columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle. He loved trains and ... Read More »