Canadian Pacific’s Princess Patricia To Be Commemorated on Princess Cruises’ 50th Anniversary Cruise This December

Princess Patricia painting

The 6,062-ton Canadian-flag Princess Patricia was the origin of the name of Princess Cruises.

In the winters of 1965-66 and 1966-67, Canadian Pacific’s 347-berth Princess Patricia ran a number of Mexican Riviers cruises on charter to the newly-formed Princess Cruises, sailing from Los Angeles. To celebrate the line’s 50th anniversary later this year, Princess Cruises has scheduled the 680-berth Pacific Princess for a special Mexican Riviera itinerary departing Los Angeles on December 3, 2015. The Pacific Princess will sail fifty years to the day after the Princess Patricia departed on the line’s first cruise in 1965.

The Princess Patricia normally operated her in Canadian Pacific’s Alaska cruise trade by summer and was laid her up in Victoria each winter. But the original use of the name Princess Cruises actually dated back to its colloquial use in Canadian Pacific Alasks brochures as early as the 1930s.

The Pacific Princess, now the smallest ship in the Princess fleet, will operate a 14-night cruise of the same duration as that first cruise on Princess Patricia. It will include a blend of ports from the maiden itinerary, including Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Manzanillo, and add some newer destinations such as La Paz and Loreto.

Princess Patricia‘s success in this trade allowed Princess Cruises to move on to larger ships and to expand into the Alaska trade as well. The fledgling cruise line was then acquired by Britain’s P&O in 1974.

Pacific Princess at Skagway

The Pacific Princess at Skagway in 2014

The 50th anniversary cruise has been on sale with fares starting at $1,699 per person, double occupancy. By way of comparison, fares on the 1965 Princess Patricia cruises began at $430. While that fare may seem high for 1965, they were less per day than her 8-night Alaska summer cruises, which started at $275. And taking into account inflation, $430 would be worth $3,204 today, meaning that in real terms the cost of a 14-night Mexican Riviera cruise has dropped by almost half in fifty years.

Now one of the best-known names in cruising, Princess Cruises’ first season offered ten cruises to Mexico between December 3 and April 8 accommodating about 3,200 cruisers. Nearly fifty years later, Princess is the third largest cruise line in the world, with seventeen ships carrying 1.7 million cruisers to destinations worldwide.

For bookings and details of these and any other special cruises please call The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail cruisepeopleltd@aol.com. In North America call 1-800-961-5536 or e-mail cruise@thecruisepeople.ca.

Chinese Cruising Gets Serious – Other Cruise News: Carnival Corp & Plc Orders Nine Ships

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 30th March 2015

Duchess of Richmond

The Duchess of Richmond, one of nine ships ordered by Canadian Pacific in 1926, in the Caribbean

Last week big news broke from both Royal Caribbean and Carnival Corp & plc. Royal Caribbean for its part will be sending its newbuilding “Quantum” class ship Ovation of the Seas to cruise from China next year, bringing the Royal Caribbean International fleet based in that country to five ships sailing from four ports. Meanwhile, for its part, Carnival Corp & plc has announced orders for nine new ships, five from Fincantieri and four from Meyer Werft. As yet, their distribution has not been announced but they are to be delivered between 2019 and 2022 and will be not only for European and North American brands, but also for China. Another company that once ordered nine ships at once was Canadian Pacific, in 1926. Carnival’s first two cruise ships were former Canadian Pacific “Empresses” and every Carnival Cruise Line ship since has had an “Empress” deck, while Princess Cruises took its name from Canadian Pacific’s coastal fleet of “Princesses” that used to cruise from Vancouver to Alaska.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                            (See previous columns)

Duchess of Richmond’s 1939 Pacific Cruise From Montreal And New York To Hawaii, Alaska, British Columbia, California And Mexico

Seventy-five years ago today Canadian Pacific’s 20,022-ton Duchess of Richmond was steaming north from Balboa towards Los Angeles in the course of a 68-day “all in one” 1939 summer cruise that had sailed from Montreal on Dominion Day, July 1, and New York on July 6 for California, Hawaii, Alaska and Mexico. The same itinerary had been offered as a 59-day cruise from New York, from $595 per person, and sold through Thomas Cook with its ads espousing “17 ports, 18,000 miles and 2 World’s Fairs.”

Duchess of Richmond in the West Indies

Canadian Pacific’s Duchess of Richmond tendering passengers in the Caribbean

After departing New York, the Duchess had made calls at Kingston, Cristobal and Balboa and was now bound for Los Angeles, Honolulu, Yakutat Bay, Sitka, Juneau, Vancouver, Victoria, San Francisco, Los Angeles once more, Acapulco, the Panama Canal, Vera Cruz and Havana on her way back to New York and Montreal.

This cruise was unique, and the only one of its kind ever offered by Canadian Pacific. While the Duchess of Richmond had become the largest ship ever to call in Miami on a winter cruise in 1935, she was usually engaged on the North Atlantic in the summer time. The fact that it was 1939 and there were fears of impending war in Europe may have had something to do with it, but at the same time she visited both the World’s Fairs of the year. In New York, she stayed overnight on Wednesday, July 5, and in San Francisco, she spent two nights, from Saturday, August 12 until Monday, August 14.

An ominous-sounding radio news bulletin arrived from London on August 27 and was quoted in the “New York Times” the next day. Under the heading “Admiralty Takes Control,” the “Times” reported,

The Admiralty has taken over control of all British shipping, it was announced tonight. The control came into operation as from midnight last night. It means that all British ships must obey all Admiralty instructions, including changing course and destination while at sea.

On arriving at Vera Cruz on Sunday, August 27, the Duchess of Richmond was instructed to black out and when she arrived that way in New York, she incurred a delay at the pilots’ station because she could not be seen.

Duchess of Richmond on an earlier cruise at Miami

The Duchess of Richmond was the largest cruise ship to call at Miami in the years between 1935 and 1939

On September 1, whilst the Duchess of Richmond was steaming towards New York, Germany invaded Poland and Britain and France each laid down an ultimatum to Germany. The Duchess’s arrival back at New York was scheduled for 8 am on September 3, the day on which both Britain and France declared war on Germany. That very same day, the U-30 torpedoed the Donaldson Line’s 13,465-ton Athenia, while on her way from Liverpool to Montreal, with the loss of 118 lives.

Already in New York when she arrived was the French Line’s flagship, the 83,423-ton Normandie, which had been laid up on her last arrival on August 28 in order to avoid her becoming involved in any possible war in Europe. But the Duchess of Richmond returned to the North Atlantic until November 1940. After the war, she became Canadian Pacific’s second Empress of Canada.

Regatta Vancouver

Oceania’s Regatta, seen here at Vancouver’s Canada Place, underwent an update at Vancouver earlier this year

Cruises like this one rarely come around these days but P&O’s Oriana did a long one from Southampton a couple of years back, and occasionally it is possible to book a Trans-Panama cruise all the way from Montreal to Vancouver or vice versa. This year, for example, Oceania Cruises’ Regatta leaves Vancouver on August 19 for a 40-day cruise that takes her to Ketchikan,  Juneau, Sitka, Victoria, Astoria, San Francisco, Cabo San Lucas, Acapulco, Huatulco, Chiapas, Puntarenas, Cartagena, Norfok, New York, Newport, Boston, Bar Harbor, Saint John,  Halifax, Sydney, Corner Brook, Quebec and Monrtreal, where she arrives on September 28.

Seven Seas Navigator

Like Regatta, Regent’s Seven Seas Navigator will cruise from Vancouver to Montreal via Alaska and Mexico later this summer

Regent’s Seven Seas Navigator also leaves Vancouver, on August 20 in her case, for a 41-night cruise that takes her to Ketchikan, Skagway, Juneau, Sitka, Victoria, Astoria, San Francisco, Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Huatulco, Chiapas, Puntarenas, Cartagena, Grand Cayman, Fort Lauderdale, Port Canaveral, Norfolk and New York, Newport, Boston, Bar Harbor, Saint John, Halifax, Sydney, Saguenay, Quebec and Montreal, where she arrives on October 2.

Both the Regatta and the Seven Seas Navigator will be offering similar cruises in 2015, leaving Vancouver on August 23 and 26, respectively, so you can plan well in advance.

For further details of such opportunities please call The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk or in North America on 1-800-961-5536 or e-mail cruise@thecruisepeople.ca.

Rising And Falling Cruise Markets – “The Cruise Ship” On ITV – Duchess of Richmond’s 1939 Pacific Cruise

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 14th July 2014..

Duchess of Richmond on an earlier cruise at Miami

Canadian Pacific’s Duchess of Richmond was the largest cruise ship to call at Miami between 1935 and 1939

 

Markets can go up as well as down is the frequent warning about the stock market and it appears that after years of non-stop growth the same is now true of the cruise market. While China and Australia boom and Germany and France grow, the UK is flat and markets in Brazil, Spain and even Italy are shrinking. As well as markets we have a look this week at the first episode of a new four-part ITV documentary based on life on board the new Royal Princess. And finally, seventy-five years later, we look at the Duchess of Richmond’s summer cruise from Montreal and New York to California, Hawaii, Alaska, British Columbia and Mexico just before war breaks out in Europe.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                          (See previous columns)

Viking Star Floated Out At Marghera – Saga Takes Space With MSC Cruises – And What Happened In 1914

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 30th June 2014..

 

Berengaria,ex-Imperator

Hamburg America Line’s giant Imperator became Cunard Line’s Berengeria after the First World War

Last week saw the float out at Marghera of the latest thing in ocean cruising. Viking Cruises’ Viking Star is a ship that is very traditional and yet is right up to date, with every stateroom having a balcony and all modern luxuries. We also look at Saga’s move back into outsourcing cruises from Azamara Club Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines and MSC Cruises, something it has not done in a major way since the 1990s. And we look back at passenger shipping a century ago, how the war delayed the building of fifteen liners, and how it would denude the Hamburg America Line of its six finest ships, from the Imperator to the Tirpitz.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                          (See previous columns)

Princess 50th Anniversary Cruise On Pacific Princess – Princess Pair Reflagged to UK – Adventure Canada Takes On Larger Ship In 2015

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 5th May 2014..

Princess Patricia

Canadian Pacific’s 6,062-ton t.e.v. Princess Patricia performed Princess Cruises’ first cruise, from Los Angeles to the Mexican Riviera, on December 3, 1965.

Pacific Princess

Princess Cruises’ 30,277-ton Pacific Princess will perform the line’s 50th Anniversary cruise, from Los Angeles to the Mexican Riviera, on December 3, 2015.

Last week Princess Cruises announced that it was scheduling the Pacific Princess (above) for a 14-night 50th Anniversary cruise from Los Angeles to the Mexican Riviera on December 3, 2015, fifty years to the day after the chartered Princess Patricia (top) departed on her first voyage for the new line. In other news, last month Princess transferred its Japanese-built Diamond Princess and Sapphire Princess to UK flag, where along with three Australian-based P&O ships, they join a very small circle of five UK-flag ships in the Carnival fleet out of the thirty operated by Princess (17), P&O (10) and Cunard (3). Meanwhile, Adventure Canada will up its capacity by two-thirds next year with the charter of the larger Ocean Endeavour to replace Sea Adventurer in 2015.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                           (See previous columns)

One Hundred Years Ago – The Allan Line’s Alsatian, later Empress of France – Trans-Atlantic – Trans-Pacific – World Cruises

CalgarianAt this time a century ago, Glasgow’s Allan Line, a very innovative company that was among the first to stretch many of its passenger liners by adding new midsections in the 19th Century, was preparing to introduce two new trend-setting ships to the North Atlantic in 1914. The first of these, the 18,481-ton Alsatian, was built by William Beardmore & Sons in Glasgow, while the 17,515-ton Calgarian was completed by the Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Co Ltd of nearby Govan.

Ordered as quadruple-screw turbine-propelled vessels, these ships had advanced turbine propulsion for their time and were the first on the North Atlantic to be equipped with the new warship-like cruiser stern instead of the traditional counter stern. With a capacity for 1,750, of whom 250 travelled in first class, 500 in second and 1,000 in third, they were the largest liners yet built for the Canadian route between Liverpool, Quebec and Montreal, with winter service to Halifax and Saint John when the St Lawrence was closed by ice.

An Allan Line publicity piece described the ships while they were being built: “The fittings of the general rooms, which occupy the entire structure on A Deck, harmoniously blend luxury and comfort, the decorations being entrusted to firms whose names are world-famous. The public rooms comprise the Lounge, Library and Reading Room, the Card Room, and the Smoke Room. On the Upper Promenade Deck there is a Cafe, Smoke Room and Gymnasium. The promenade decks – which constitute a special feature of the ships – are of great length and spaciousness, with extensive closed-in Promenade for recreation in all kinds of weather.”

The Alsatian departed Liverpool on her maiden voyage on January 17, 1914, for Halifax and Saint John, while the Calgarian would follow on May 22 to Quebec. But their initial service to Canada was but brief.

That summer, with the onset of the Great War, both ships were requisitioned by the Royal Navy for use as armed merchant cruisers. Regrettably, the Calgarian was sunk by a U-Boat off the cost of Northern Ireland on March 1, 1918. This ship had been at the scene of the Halifax Explosion on December 6, 1917, when her crew had assisted in the rescue and medical relief after the French ship Mont Blanc, loaded with explosives, and the Norwegian Imo were in collision in the harbour. More than 2,000 people died in the resulting explosion.

During the conflict, the Allan Line was taken over by Canadian Pacific and in 1919 the Alsatian was refitted as an Atlantic Empress, taking on the new name of Empress of France. Her maiden voyage as an Empress left Liverpool on September 26, 1919, for Quebec. In 1923, she became one of four ships to circumnavigate the world from New York, following Cunard Line’s 19,695-ton Laconia by only a few weeks. The Empress of France made a number of world cruises in the 1920s, as did her fleetmate, the 24,581-ton Empress of Scotland.

In May 1922, the Empress of France became one of the first Canadian Pacific ships to serve Southampton, when her route was changed from Liverpool to sail between Southampton and Quebec via Cherbourg, to which the port of Hamburg was soon added, before Southampton.

Empress of France in VancouverAs well as seeing the Pacific on her world cruises, the Empress of France spent a year in the Trans-Pacific trade when in October 1928, she sailed from Southampton for Suez, Hong Kong and Vancouver (where she is seen above in this Walter E Frost photo). There, she substituted for the 1922-built 21,517-ton Empress of Canada, first of the name, which was sent to Fairfield’s to be re-engined for more speed. The Empress of France sailed Trans-Pacific until October 1929, when she left Hong Kong again for Liverpool.

In September 1931, Empress of France made her final voyage from Southampton to Cherbourg and Quebec.  Having been displaced by the new 42,348-ton Empress of Britain, she was laid up in the Clyde and finally scrapped at Dalmuir, where she had been built, three years later. In all, the first Empress of France had a career that spanned twenty years, which in addition to her war service included ninety-nine Trans-Atlantic voyages, five Trans-Pacific voyages, and eight cruises.

The Cruise People still book world cruises today, not only on Cunard Line but also with other carriers such as Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, with their 28,890-ton Europa and several other lines, as well as on cargo-passenger ships. For further details please call us in London on +44 (0) 20 7723 2450 or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk 

The Best Ship of 2013 – Changes In Expedition Ship Operations – One Hundred Years Ago: The Allan Line’s Alsatian

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 30th December 2013..

 

Europa 2 StairwellThe year 2013 has seen the arrival of the best new ship to join the world cruise fleet in some time, one that immediately achieved the top score in the Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships. This week we therefore bring you a brief photo essay of the Europa 2, taken on one of this year’s pre- inaugural cruises from Southampton (see one of her stairwells on the right). Elsewhere, we look at recent changes in the world of expedition cruising with the Sea Explorer and Sea Spirit. We also have a historical look at the introduction of the Allan Line’s turbine-powered cruiser-stern Alsatian one hundred years ago next month. This ship became Canadian Pacific’s Empress of France in 1919 and one of the first ships to offer a full world cruise in 1923.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                    (See previous columns)

Cunard Line Announces 175th Anniversary World Cruises – s.s. Keewatin To Turn Over Her Engine This Week – Celebrity Millenium Cancels Balance Of 2013 Alaska Season

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 26th August 2013

s.s. Keewatin at Port McNicoll, circa 1912

Both Cunard Line and P&O Cruises announced their 2015 world cruises this week, to go on sale next Thursday. All three of Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria will offer such itineraries in 2015, as will P&O’s Arcadia and Aurora. In Canada, meanwhile, engineers have succeeded in reviving a 106-year old quadruple-expansion steam engine of the Clyde-built s.s. Keewatin, which is due to turn again for the first time this Thursday (vessel shown above in Port McNicoll about 1912). Meanwhile, pod failures have meant the cancellation of the rest of Celebrity Millenium’s 2013 Alaska season.

THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                        (See previous columns)

Miniature Empress of Canada Oil Painting Sells in Montreal for $419.00

Empress of Canada (ii)A small 8 x 10″ oil painting by Canadian artist Harry Leslie Smith (1900-74) of Canadian Pacific’s second Empress of Canada at her berth in Montreal sold today on eBay for $419.  The starting price was $9.99 and the painting attracted 43 bids. This was the ship in which I emigrated from England to Canada at the age of four, along with my parents and younger brother. I remember to this day my father holding my head out the porthole and telling me that this was our new land – and seeing the bleak, grey, rocky coast of Labrador in late October!

Coming back to the UK for good in 1992, the result of that voyage today is a London-based company called The Cruise People Ltd, which I formed to be able to allow the public to book the voyages that they wanted. We don’t just do cruises, our customers have sailed Round Antarctica, to the North Pole in Russian nuclear icebreakers, up the Amazon to Peru, to Australia in container ships, across the Northwest Passage in ice class expedition ships, across the Atlantic in tall ships – just ask and we’ll see what we can do for you, including the ultimate in luxury.

Along the way, in 1998, I managed to obtain a larger oil painting of the Empress of Canada by American artist Lawrence Blumenthal that today hangs in my office in London and shows her departing from Liverpool on one of her regular voyages to Montreal. This painting is joined by a Blumenthal miniature in oils of Cunard Line’s Carinthia, in which ship I returned to England at the age of eleven to spend a summer in North Devon.

For your own voyage of choice  please call us on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk and we will do our utmost to find what you are looking for, and if we can’t we’ll do our best to make alternative suggestions.

By Kevin Griffin, London, 12th February 2013.

On the Bridge On The Event Of The Return Of The Former Canadian Pacific Steamship Keewatin to Canada, June 23, 2012

Here we have Eric Conroy, project manager for s.s. Keewatin, in his role as Capt Rick and Kevin Griffin of The Cruise People Ltd on the day of her return to Port McNicoll. Kevin had been a waiter on sister ship s.s. Assiniboia and had been invalided off at Sault Ste Marie in late August 1965 with appendicitis. Some forty-seven years later, on his arrival at Port McNicoll, he met John Bell, the dishwasher at the time who had been promoted into his position as waiter. Both Eric and Kevin started their careers as 17-year-old waiters for Canadian Pacific Great Lakes Steamships and Kevin transferred out to Canadian Pacific BC Coast Steamships in 1966 to serve as chief night steward on the Alaska cruise ship t.e.v. Princess Patricia, summer work that helped put him through Western University in London, Ontario.

Here are some photos from that voyage:  Photo essay of the Keewatin‘s voyage from Mackinaw City to Port McNicoll.

For further information on cruising in the Great Lakes or to Alaska please feel free to call The Cruise People Ltd in London, England, on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk

Two Views of Canadian Pacific’s s.s. Keewatin Approaching Port McNicoll – Separated by About Ninety Years

The view on the right was taken on June 23, 2012, as the s.s. Keewatin approached Port McNicoll after an absense of forty-five years in Douglas, Michigan. The view on the left is a Notman Archives photo taken from a similar spot about forty-five years before that. Roughly ninety years separate the two photographs yet the deck looks the same, minus the passengers. The grain elevator and freight sheds ashore have meanwhile disappeared.

Here are some photos from this voyage:  Photo essay of the Keewatin‘s voyage from Mackinaw City to Port McNicoll.

To learn more about cruising in the Great Lakes feel free to call The Cruise People Ltd in London, England,  on 0230 7723 2450 or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk.