For somebody that worked with most of the world’s cruise companies for eight years I have strangely never been on a cruise.
I have however been on many ships and a few liners though though my work, usually for meetings or a grand tour.
I was lucky enough to have lunch in the first class restaurant on the QE2 and to be invited on the press tour of the brand new QM2 before her maiden voyage in 2003.
I also saw the original Queen Mary moored in Long Beach near LA – now a hotel since retiring from service with Cunard in 1967, and played blackjack in the casino of the SS Norway (ex-SS France), another fine liner that was sadly scrapped over a decade ago.
A good friend of mine from Devon as just had a fascinating book published telling the majestic history of the ultimate sea going vessel, the ocean liner.
Mark Berry has a lifelong passion for the Rolls Royces of the seas. The iconic style of vessel conjures images of a bygone age, the Titanic, White Star Lines & Cunard, and opulent transatlantic crossings with fine dining and formal dress.
Don’t let the fact that most of us could only ever afford steerage class put you off! This is a great read for anybody that loves nostalgia. I will let Mark explain……
The Book Blurb
Liners represented the ambitions of their nations in peace and war; their design, interiors and fittings incorporated the finest contemporary technological and artistic features.
In peacetime they carried celebrities, vacationers and emigrants; while in war they carried thousands of troops – and then war brides seeking new lives.
A History of Ocean Liners in 50 Objects takes in evolving technology, supreme luxury and fine cuisine, as well as hardship and the burning hope for a better life.
There is peril, disaster and death, international pride and competition, glory and war.
The objects tell a fascinating story, showing how the functional sea voyage has evolved from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century to the huge cruise industry we have today.
About the Author
Mark Berry grew up with stories of the sea.
His father was a marine engineer and would come home on leave with tales of places like Aden, Hong Kong and San Francisco, all hugely exotic sounding to a boy growing up in 1960s Britain.
After reading about the tragedies of Titanic and Lusitania, an interest in liners followed – and so started a lifetime of collecting books, ephemera and items from all kinds of ships.
Now retired after thirty-eight years in the property industry, it seemed only natural for Mark to share some of the items in his collection.
Mark and his wife Val have two grown-up sons and live in rural Devon with their cats and chickens.
When they can, they enjoy escaping to sea on a cruise liner or, even better, an ocean liner.