Mar 2, 2006

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SS South American
cruising on Lake Michigan.

SS North & South American
ships in Chicago at Michigan Ave.

Dinner is served.

Passengers were entertained nightly with dancing and crew's music & variety shows.

Ship's lounge served
cocktails & snacks.


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

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