A Brief History of the Cruise Line Industry
Before the dominance of air travel, which began to enjoy commercial success in the late 1960s, passenger liners were the preferred mode of overseas travel.
Interestingly enough, you can still visit the original terminal at Tilbury Docks, just east of London. This is a fun way to see the beginning of the cruise ship industry while imagining the hustle and bustle of a bygone era. It sits humbly on the tide flats of the Thames, surrounded by the smoke stacks of the city. It was from here that the grand Queen Elizabeth ran continuous service to New York for so many years. In this golden age of ocean liners, ships such as the Lusitania, United States, Ocean Monarch, Paris, Queen Mary, Caronia, and Laconia were sailing the high seas. Every vessel had a unique personality, history, and enough passengers to keep companies financially afloat. But it was an age that would eventually come to an end.
The real blow to the cruise ship industry came in the 1960s when Boeing began selling 747s and other aircraft worldwide. Meanwhile, a global transportation network of airports with regulated common language and air traffic controllers, in coordination with the United States Federal Aviation Administration, was being established. As the decade came to a close, it was no longer fashionable, practical, or economical to travel by boat. The age of the jumbo jet had arrived.
Who is to say which factors brought the concept of the cruise ship back to life. It is speculated that shows such in the 1970s classic The Love Boat contributed to the idea of luxury cruise ship travel and that ideas found in this show contributed to a growing trend of cruise ship travel as a luxury vacation rather than a means to travel as a necessity.
Find out more about the history of the cruise ship industry as it transformed from necessity, to luxury. It's fascinating growth into one of the travel industry's largest sectors is a great story for all potential cruise ship employees to know. After all, you might owe your next job to it.