Cruise Travel History

Mon, Jan 11th 2010, 12:27

Cruise Travel began after the invention of the steam engine in the 1700s which made for faster ships and reduced travel times across the oceans. For the first time passengers could enjoy the comforts of cruise travel.

Cruise Travel began in 1818 when a regular scheduled Trans-Atlantic shipping service was launched. For the first time, these ships focussed on transporting humans.

In the early days Trans-Atlantic travel was usually one way as immigrants hopped onto ships in Europe to begin a new life in America. However, more affluent classes regularly travelled across the oceans on business or pleasure. First class life aboard the ships was comfortable, in stark contrast to steerage where passengers were squeezed in below decks and had to look after themselves.

So began the era of custom designed passenger ships. With the building of the luxurious Olympic, Britannic and ill-fated Titanic by The White Star Line (owned by American financier J.P. Morgan) ships became more luxurious where space and passenger comfort were the main priority. The cruise ships offered fine dining and elegant cabins. The Britannic even boasted the first ever on-board swimming pool and tennis court.

During the First World War, cruise liners were used as troop carriers but after the war luxury cruise travel was popular once more. The years 1920 to 1940 were the glamour years for the cruise industry, popular with celebrities and millionaires. Everyone wanted a taste of the elegance and glamour of a Trans-Atlantic cruise ship for themselves.

The Second World War and then the advent of the aeroplane were bad news for the cruise industry. The first non-stop flight over the Atlantic was available to passengers in 1958 and this spelt the end of the glamorous Trans-Atlantic shipping voyage. As more people enjoyed the convenience and novelty of air travel, the cruise ships lost out.

It was only in the 1970s that cruise travel began its revival. The television programme Love Boat played a big role in promoting the cruise ships as a glamorous holiday option once again. Now the cruise is not just a means to get from A to B, the cruise IS the holiday itself. Cruise ships have been getting bigger and better ever since ... a floating hotel where guests are assured of every diversion, activity and amenity they could wish for. Now we can all enjoy Cruise Travel.

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