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Home > CRUISING THE PAST > CRUISE HISTORY – THE NEW YEAR IS CELEBRATED ABOARD THE S.S. UNITED STATES DURING THE 1960s – Military and diplomatic families traveled first class.

CRUISE HISTORY – THE NEW YEAR IS CELEBRATED ABOARD THE S.S. UNITED STATES DURING THE 1960s – Military and diplomatic families traveled first class.

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The S.S. United States.

“The S.S. “United States”” by Paul McGehee. The famous liner, known as the “Big Ship” departs her United States Lines pier in New York’s Hudson River for a transatlantic run in 1963.

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The “United States” was THE liner to be on, and be seen on…luminaries from world leaders to Hollywood royalty (Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, Bob Hope, to name a few) were regular passengers on her runs between New York harbor and Europe.

To this day, for her class of vessel, she holds the transatlantic speed record, the “Blue Riband”, set in 1952. The S.S. “United States”, which has languished at dock since 1969 and has miraculously escaped the wreckers a few times, was recently (2003) purchased by Norwegian Cruise Lines with the intention of restoring her and putting her back into the cruise trade.

You can read more about the ship at the official S.S. “United States” Foundation by visiting there website – click here – and even do something to help. God willing, the Big Ship will sail again!

Menu cover from New Year’s celebration aboard the S.S. United States.

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Passengers celebrating New Year’s Eve cocktails aboard the S.S. United States during the 1950s and 1960s. 

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American military officer with his family celebrating New Year’s Eve dinner aboard the S.S. United States during the 1960s.  The father, serving in Europe, “crossed the pond” on a regular basis with his wife and children.

travel1.jpgAmerican military officers and diplomats (along with their families) had the choice of traveling first class by ship or travel tourist class by air when serving overseas.   The majority chose the ship.

c-6.jpegMany children during the 1950s and 1960s were introduced to the deluxe service and cuisine found aboard the United States Lines, American Export Lines, Moore-McCormick, Grace Lines, Matson Lines, American President Lines and Delta Lines.

Most would dine at the early sittings or be served at a special children’s sitting in a separate dining room.

vic3555.jpgThe Amercan flag ships were heavily subsidized by the U.S. Government and managed to compete with foreign companies having lower labor costs by offering competitive fares.

When the subsidies stopped in the 1960s and 1970s, the American passenger fleet dissapeared.