THE HISTORY OF CRUISING.

In 1835, Arthur Anderson proposed the idea of sailing for pleasure as a passenger in an ocean going vessel. He suggested this idea in a fantasy article in the Shetland Journal. Just two years later his dream moved closer to reality when he co-founded the Peninsular Steam Navigation Company, later called just P&O.

The original article suggested a programme of cruises which sailed between Scotland and Iceland in the summer and as far a field as the Mediterranean in the winter.

Victorian Britain underwent radical changes and foreign travel became fashionable amongst the new wealthy of the Industrial revolution. Even so, sailing for pleasure did not really become popular until the twentieth century. Victorian Britons travelling on ocean going passenger ships were more likely to be travelling to a destination within the global Empire to work or live.

The word POSH originates from this period. In these days before air conditioning Britons travelling on a vessel to India would favour a cabin on the shaded side of the ship, away from the glare and heat of the sun. Thus travelling from UK to India a north facing port cabin cost more than a south facing starboard one. The opposite applied on the return journey. So only the richest could book a cabin that was PORT OUT STARBOARD HOME. This became shortened to posh.

During the first half of the twentieth century opulent liners were built to serve the passengers travelling between Europe and North America. Bigger and better ships were built and competed to make the fastest crossing of the Atlantic. They raced for the Blue Riband trophy awarded to the fastest transatlantic crossing.

The development of the jet engine and long haul passenger aircraft saw a dramatic reduction in passengers using these ships. The decline began in the late 1950s and resulted in ships like the Queen Elizabeth becoming redundant. By the 1970s the advent of the Jumbo jet really saw the end of the golden period of transatlantic cruise liners.

P&O began schools cruises in the 1930s. By the 1960s they had become popular and P&O ran two school cruise ships both offering year round programmes. Many British adults today had their first experience of foreign travel through these ships. Many will remember s.s.Uganda and s.s.Nevassa with great affection. However, parents of students travelling today would hardly recognise the delights of modern school cruising.

Today, cruising is as healthy as ever it was and is growing in popularity. British travel firm such as Thomsons and Airtours both began cruise programmes in the 1990s. The Mediterranean and the Caribbean are popular itinerary areas.

Friday GREECE ATHENS
Saturday AT SEA AEGEAN SPIRIT
Sunday EGYPT PORT SAID, CAIRO AND ALEXANDRIA
  EGYPT TUTANKHAMEN AND THE PYRAMIDS
Monday EGYPT ALEXANDRIA
Tuesday GREECE RHODES
Wednesday GREECE CRETE AND SANTORINI
Thursday GREECE AND TURKEY PATMOS AND KUSADASI
Friday TURKEY KUSADASI, EPHESUS AND IZMIR