How Cruise Ships Got Their Start

An ocean cruise is a dream for some and a nightmare for others. The benefits are that you stay in your “floating hotel” while traveling at the same time, and you don’t have to drive or select a restaurant. The drawbacks are crowding and possible seasickness. But how did that idea ever take off? German shipping magnate Albert Ballin wanted to take advantage of his ships’ downtime. Boats cost money whether they are working or not. So in 1891 he offered an excursion on his largest ocean liner, the SS Augusta Victoria, for folks who wanted an adventure but weren’t traveling to anywhere in specific. A 58-day trip through the Mediterranean in winter was a huge hit, and Ballin arranged for other ships to be used in this way.

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But the first ocean liner specifically built as a cruise ship was the SS Prinzessin Victoria Luise, built in 1900. It was huge, and had 120 roomy and luxurious staterooms for its passengers. The entire ship was designed with passengers in mind, as if it were a fancy hotel. Read about the first cruise ship, see plenty of pictures, and learn about its tragic demise at Messy Nessy Chic.

(Image credit: Library of Congress)

Source: neatorama

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