Completed in the early 1960s, the France was the last of the great French Line passenger ships on the celebrated run to and from New York. She was not only the national flagship, but the longest liner yet built, and a ship with fantastic interiors, superb service, and the most exquisite food. Highly successful, she did lose out in the end to the unsurpassable speed of jet aircraft, was laid-up, and lingered for five years before becoming a hugely successful cruise ship. In 1979-80, the indoor France was converted to the outdoor Norway. She became the largest cruise ship in the world, an innovator, a great prelude to today’s mega-liners. She endured until 2005 and has since ended her days at the hands of scrappers in far-off India. Indeed, she was one of the greatest, grandest, most beloved of all 20th-century ocean liners.
The 1950s was a fascinating decade for the great liners. After the global devastation of two decades of war and Depression, shipyards were creating one new liner after another, it seemed, to rebuild and renew passenger ship services all over the world. There were the likes of the Kungsholm and Oslofjord from Scandinavia, the French Flandre and a succession of new liners from P&O-Orient, the Italian Line, Messageries Maritimes and many more. The new hopeful era of the 1950s was highlighted by such brilliant, headline-making ships as the speedy United States, breaking records on an unprecedented scale, the engines-aft Southern Cross and the mastless Orsova.Showcased beautifully by the stunning images and nostalgic outlook of prolific maritime historian William H. Miller, this book shines a well-earned spotlight on some of the world's most popular passenger liners.
Nearly 200 photographs, many from private collections, highlight tales of some of the vessels whose pleasure cruises ended in catastrophe: the Morro Castle, Normandie, Andrea Doria, Europa, and many others.
Superb pictorial history of the company's fleet of formidable passenger ships: Ile de France, Normandie, Liberté, Colombie, Antilles, Flandre, France, and many more. Over 170 black-and-white photographs.
Since the first commercial cruises began in the 1840s, ships have evolved into one of the world's most sophisticated, specialized, complex, and expensive type of vessel. The large modern purpose-built cruise ships of the 1930s, the German KdF ships Wilhelm Gustloff and Robert Ley emerged as prototypes for carrying a mass-market clientele. At the other end of the scale, the exquisite 1927-built Norwegian cruise yacht Stella Polaris represents a smaller, elite type of vessel offering the ultimate in luxury. In the postwar years, the two ends of the industry have expanded dramatically and the myriad of ships built are described in detail. Analyses of design influences, descriptions of interior layouts, exterior design, machinery requirements, and cruising grounds
the world of ocean liners, those built for French lines were the epitome of style and panache, and SS Normandie perhaps the pinnacle of this. When she entered service in 1935, she was the largest, longest, fastest and certainly the best fed ship of her time, serving the finest food imaginable in a dining room longer than the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles. Normandie emobodied high glamour and was a firm favourite of many, albeit for a short time. Times were changing and even the French government's massive subsidies to the builders, an attempt to make Normandie a flagship for the drive out of the Depression. could only work for so long, as the Second World War drew nearer. She might have been a valuable troopship, and served a the USS Lafayette for a time, but caught fire at her New York pier in 1942. The great ship was salvaged, but with an expensive restoration in prospect she could not escape being scrapped in 1946-47. Through beautiful illustrations and evocative writing, William H.Miller presents the story of one of the most lavish liners ever to cross the seas.