Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Cruises offered in a 1925 issue of National Geographic

The September 1925 issue of The National Geographic Magazine1 features articles on Pueblo Bonito, Carlsbad Cavern, explorer Joseph Rock and the MacMillan Arctic Expedition.

It also contains at least 10 different advertisements for cruises, from companies such as Thos. Cook & Son, Raymond & Whitcomb Co., Dollar Steamship Line2, American Oriental Mail Line, Canadian Pacific, Red Star Line, Cunard and Anchor Lines, F.C. Clark and Frank Tourist Co.

Here's a sampling of the advertisements (click on them for larger versions):

Raymond & Whitcomb Co.

Raymond & Whitcomb Co.3 offered a world cruise on the brand-new RMS Carinthia, which apparently had beds that were six inches wider than any other ship and running hot water in every room.

Stops on the 149-day westward cruise included Cuba, Panama, Japan, China, New Zealand, Australia, Egypt and Italy.

Prices started at $2,000, which would be the equivalent of about $24,600 today.4

Thos. Cook & Son

Thos. Cook & Son offered an eastward world cruise on the RMS Franconia5 and a Mediterranean cruise on the RMS Homeric6.

The 131-day world cruise, which departed from New York, boasted that "each country is visited at a time of the year when climatic as well as other conditions offer their greatest attraction."

F.C. Clark

While the first two advertisements show above were full pages toward the front of The National Geographic Magazine, this ad for F.C. Clark was just one-eighth of page and was on the next-to-last page of the magazine.

The cruise prices are a little cheaper, too. A westward, 128-day world cruise has prices starting at $1,250 (the equivalent of "only" $15,400 today).

If you didn't have that much money, you could consider a 50-day South American cruise or a 53-day cruise to Norway and the western Mediterranean. Both of those started at $550, the equivalent of $6,800 today.

Frank Tourist Co.

Frank Tourist Co., in this quarter-page advertisement, offered "Frank's 4th Annual Cruise de Luxe to the Mediterranean" on the Cunard S.S. Scythia. Stops included Egypt, Gibraltar, Algiers, Tunis and Constantinople.

No price is given for the "Cruise de Luxe."

Interestingly, one of the cruise options allowed guests to return to the United States on the Cunard Lines' RMS Mauretania. It's interesting because it allows today's post to conclude with a direct tie to Monday's post on White Star Line.

That post included an image of what is likely White Star's RMS Olympic.

The RMS Mauretania and the rival RMS Olympic ended up going out of service at roughly the same time, and this Wikipedia picture, from 1935, shows the two vessels side by side in Southampton, awaiting the scrapyard (Mauretania is on the right):

1. The magazine shortened its name to National Geographic sometime during the tenure of editor Melville Bell Grosvenor, who ran the magazine from 1957 to 1969.
2. That sounds dicey. But it turns out the guy's name was Dollar. Robert Dollar, to be precise. So it wasn't an attempt to create a no-frills cruise line, after all.
3. Raymond & Whitcomb Co. appears to have still been in business as recently as 2008.
4. The price-comparison figures, as always, are from The Inflation Calculator.
5. This was the second Cunard Line vessel named Franconia. The first one was torpedoed and sunk by the Germans in October 1916.
6. Fun trivia: The RMS Homeric was originally a German liner named Columbus and it had a sister ship originally named Hindenburg!

1 comment:

  1. My father was an Engineer on The P & O SS Kaiser i Hind (Emperor of India)betweeb 1918 and 1928. They did a Raymond Whitcomb cruise from New York to The North Cape of Norway. Among the passengers was a man named Colgate.

    I would like to have any information you might have on this cruise. Thanks