Friday, October 27, 2017

A Look At Cruises.

Cruise, Ship, Cruiser, Cruise Ship  I have never taken a cruise. The closest I've come is when I took a series of ferries from Washington state to Alaska when I first moved up here.  I have friends who regularly take cruises and love them.  One day, I want to take it but it will be a few years yet.

Have you ever wondered when cruises as a vacation option began?  I did.  In the early 1800's most ships were more concerned with moving cargo and mail rather than moving passengers.

In 1818, the Black Ball line began providing regular service from North America to Europe.  In fact, they were the first shipping line who were concerned for their passengers. They carried many of the immigrants from Europe to America due to their reputation for caring for passengers.

The first pleasure cruises began in 1844 when the P & O Cruises sailed liners to the Mediterranean offering its passengers a leisurely trip filled with relaxation and enjoyment.  Later on they expanded their trips to travel to the British Empire, India, the Orient, New Zealand and Australia. 

Throughout the 1850's and 1860's shipping lines focused more on passengers rather than mail.  These ships added electric lights, more deck space, and on board entertainment. In addition, they began offering the steerage class at the bottom of the ship where passengers bought their own food and found their own sleeping spaces.

By 1900's cruise ships became more like floating ornate hotels. Cruise lines focused more on the romance of the voyages rather than the hassle of traveling. In fact, cruises were designed to protect people from the weather and offer enough entertainment to forget they were at sea.  At this time, the British cruise line Cunard instituted dressing up for dinner on the Lusitania and Mauretania, known for speed in crossing the ocean.

Its closest competitor, White Star lines put passengers comfort first when they ordered the Titanic, Olympic, and Brittanic which when build would be the largest and most luxurious of all ships at the time.  We know the Titanic sank on its maiden voyage and the Lusitania hit a mine and sank in 1916.

Cruising was discontinued during World War I because many of the ships were being used in the war.  At the end of the war, cruising began again so during the 1920's the ships regularly traveled to Europe  but the Great Depression caused a drop in the number of passengers.

When World War II broke out, the cruising industry disappeared because the ships were requisitioned and used.  It was not until the end of World War II that cruising started up again. 

Unfortunately with plane service gaining a foot hold in 1958, air travel became faster and easier.  This caused many cruise lines to go bankrupt and they had to sell off their ships.  In the 1960's modern cruising began when cruise lines marketed the cruises as the destination rather than the method of travel.

Since then, cruise ships have enjoyed a relatively stable growth especially since the television show "The Love Boat" showed how great it was. I hope you enjoyed the short history of cruising.

Let me know what you think. I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

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