THE DAYS OF WINE AND CRUISES
There was a
time, not that long ago, when families or tourists could take a 2200 mile
cruise on our inland seas, the Great Lakes. Before there were Disney and
Carnival cruise ships, we had our own cruise line where you could go island
hopping, have cocktails or wine on the sundeck, and wake up the next morning
in a new place.
This was on the Georgian Bay Line with the sister passenger ships, the SS
North American and the SS South American. The passenger ships that offered
these cruises were specifically built and designed for this purpose—offering
passengers accommodations and service that would create lifetime memories.
The SS North American and SS South American were ships built in 1913 and
1914 for the Georgian Bay Line. Built for cruises solely on the Great Lakes,
they were in operation from 1914 to 1967.
These ships were designed with passenger comforts in mind—all cabins had
exterior views for lakeside viewing. A crew of 165 was on board to make your
cruise memorable and carefree.
The crew consisted of an experienced Great Lakes captain, seasoned maritime
officers, and an energetic complement of college boys and girls who served
as busboys and waiters. The college crew also led the passengers in
calisthenics, the morning mile walk—nine times around the deck—and nightly
variety shows with music, song and dance.
Cruises began in mid-May and ran through Labor Day. Passengers could opt for
a seven-day or shorter three-day cruise. In an upcoming issue we’ll describe
a typical Great Lakes cruise.
by Rob Carey