If you live in the NYC vicinity, I envy you. At the South Street Seaport, they are having an exhibition of the grand luxe flagship art deco, Normandie, from the French Line. They are showcasing first class dining room furniture, and pictures of practically every celebrity that ever sailed her. If you can imagine, they even had customized toothpicks!
The SS United States restaurant on the Infinity, showcases 6 etched glass panels that were once part of the 1st class ballroom, the bIg U.
Sadly, this glorious ship met her demise in NYC, in February 1942.
This all will be on display for a while...till January 2011...This ship was all that, and more...never to see the likes of her again
Trip, with her book & tea!
Chat Hostess & Board Moderator
Trip, one of the signature reasons I fell in love with cruising, the Normandie is considered by a majority of lovers of the ocean liner to be the most beautiful ship that ever sailed.
Short lived (1935-1942) she was known as "The Ship of Light" primarily as a result of her dining room lighting.
Both huge for her day and fast, 82,000 tons, 1,029 ft in length, 119 in the beam, she could do over 32 knots.
Her passenger to crew ratio revealed one of the main reasons she was considered the finest liner of her day. There were 1,350 crew to serve just under 2,000 passengers. Compare one crew member to every one and a half passengers to most of the crew/passenger ratios of today.
Not only was the service impeccable but the food equaled that of the finest French restaurants in the world.
Were you to go to the website for the World Ship Society, New York and go into their archives, there are closeup photographs of the Normandie engaging in what ultimately proved to be her final docking in September 1939.
The ship caught fire (there has been a pretty decent case made that it could have been arson) in the winter of 1942 as she was being converted into a troop transport. So much water was pumped aboard while fighting the fire, that the ship capsized onto her side. She was subsequently righted but was then scrapped. Thankfully the fire occurred after most of her civilian attributes had been removed pending the conversion.
I have also bookmarked actual private home movie footage (in color no less) of the fire being fought by the NYFD.
She was indeed a treasure and I'm so sorry I'll miss the display in New York.