The Last Ocean Liners

A History of Classic Passenger Ships with Worldwide Sailing Schedules

ss Cristoforo Colombo

Until the early 1970s, it was routinely possible to schedule extensive worldwide sea journeys by transferring between two or more different ocean liners on point-to-point line voyages. Many of these services were joined by a coordinated system of fares and schedules among cooperating shipping companies known as the "Interchange Lines".

In August 1962, for example, travelers could begin at New York with an 8 day Atlantic crossing on the Italian Line's superb 29,000 ton Cristoforo Colombo (above) to Gibraltar and Naples. After touring glorious Italy, they would embark on the outbound Asia of Lloyd Triestino for 24 days of sea-going adventures to Egypt and the Suez Canal, Aden, Karachi, Bombay, Colombo, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Then passengers boarded American President Lines' sleek President Cleveland visiting Kobe, Yokohama and Honolulu on a 19 day voyage across the Pacific to San Francisco. In those days fares for this alluring around the world journey began at $935 in Tourist Class or $1488 in First Class.

For modest additional cost, travelers also enjoyed rewarding stopover tours at connecting points with hotels, sightseeing and ground transportation included.

Here we survey a sample of the 1962 schedules and services of the Interchange Lines as they weaved together those romantic routes on splendid ships over exotic seas. Come along. It's sailing hour, so let's enjoy a pleasant journey back into the not-so-distant past when ocean liners could take you almost anywhere!

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Sources for website content include shipping line literature such as brochures, post cards, sailing schedules and magazine ads. Descriptions, routes and statistics of vessels generally are as of 1962 except when stated otherwise. Statistics for ships built after 1962 are as built. Fares are in US dollars. Original content copyright © 2020.