More than a million passengers crossed the North Atlantic by sea in 1958. It was the busiest year in history for the ocean liners, but it was also the year of the first commercial transatlantic jet flight. By the next year, the airlines dominated the market with 1.5 million passengers, while the shipping companies' share dropped to 5% within a decade.
Travel by ocean liners boomed after World War II, as new more comfortable ships were turned out by the world's shipyards to satisfy the demand by migrants, tourists, business travelers, celebrities and almost anyone else with a need or yearn to travel. For example, there was United States Lines' record-breaking United States, dashing from New York to England and France in five days; Costa Lines' trend-setting Eugenio C (above) connecting Italy with Brazil and Argentina; and the stalwart Tahitien of Messageries Maritimes, whose far ranging two-month voyages from Marseille to Australia linked the French islands to the home country.
The era all but ended by the early 1970s. The Suez Canal was closed on June 5th, 1967 for eight years, containerships were making passenger and cargo combination ships obsolete, new Boeing 747's had spanned all the oceans and the price of fuel oil jumped from US$35 to US$95 per ton.
But herein we go back to the spring of 1967 just before the closure of the Suez Canal, to embark on 100 notable liners on 29 shipping lines calling at over 200 ports on nearly 400 voyages. 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!
Explore descriptions, images and statistics for the ocean liners in North Atlantic, Africa and Latin America and Australia, Far East and around-the-world services. You can also find sailing schedules for each ship departing from April through June of 1967 plus comparisons of all the vessels by size, speed, year built and more.
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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 are as of 1967 except when stated otherwise.