Of all the craft man has designed to transport himself over
the seas, none is more impressive than the great luxury liners. More than
mere transportation, they were floating palaces — sea-going symbols
of opulence, glamor and romance. In their heyday — the years covered
by this book — they ferried passengers across the oceans in a style
and magnificence unequalled before or since. As a special breed of ship,
the great luxury liners are all but extinct today, a glorious chapter in
the history of transportation. This sumptuous volume, beautifully printed
on high-quality coated stock, recalls that splendid quarter-century when
the great steamers were the proudest ships afloat.
Beginning in the 1920s, over 180 superb photographs depict a total of 101
ships, ranging from earlier vessels like the Leviathan of the United
States Lines (largest ship ever to fly the U.S. flag) and Cunard's Mauretania,
which held the Atlantic speed record for 22 years, to the United States.
The photographs (many never before published and some quite rare) include
exterior views from many different vantage points and numerous interior
shots. Here are the incredibly lavish staterooms, suites, dining rooms and
lounges of such ships as the Ile de France, Normandie, Rex, Europa, Berengaria, Queen Mary and
many other liners, whose opulence was to become the very symbol of the modern
luxury liner. The main dining room of the Normandie, for example,
was larger than the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles. With its hammered bronze,
glass and elaborate Lalique fixtures, it was nearly as impressive.