Sometimes we ask ourselves – how random are coincidences and events in life. History tells us that all fortuities are absolutely not accidental.
So it happened in the history of cruise industry.
In 1977, The Love Boat TV series was released. The series was based on a story about the captain of the ship and a cruise liner on which various stories took place – romantic and adventurous.
The series was filmed from 1977 to 1986 and became one of the longest series in the world.
The shooting took place on:
And Pacific Princess.
The Love Boat was a great success. Many experts say that it was the series that popularized cruises as a type of vacation. The detailed footage of Pacific Princess helped to change people's perception of ships.
Thanks to the series, people began to see cruises as a kind of romantic getaway or an adventure as opposed to incredibly expensive and luxurious method of crossing the Atlantic.
By the way, the sound of the horn of Royal Princess, the Princess Cruise flagship, is the theme from The Love Boat series.
The success of the series greatly helped not only the industry but also the cruise company. Princess Cruises became popular, and the company used the slogan "It's more than a cruise, it's the Love Boat" until the end of the 20th century.
However, not only the series influenced the development of the industry. Well-known
also took part in this process. Although the company had survived hard years and her former megaliners "sank into oblivion" (Mauretania was retired in 1965, the Queen Mary and Caronia in 1967, and the Queen Elizabeth in 1968).
In 1967, the world saw a new queen – Queen Elizabeth II, the ship was named after the Queen of Great Britain. Moreover, the liner was christened by Queen Elizabeth II!
The ship made her maiden voyage in 1969.
Queen Elizabeth II was special because of the fact that there was absolutely no class difference on the ship and all the tourists received the same service!
By the way, as we’ve already written about this in the previous article about the history of cruise liners, the Germans proposed this approach back in the 1930s on the Bremen and MV Wilhelm Gustloff liners.
Unfortunately, Queen Elizabeth II was the last large liner of Cunard Line before the merger with
The ship served a long service, she participated in the Falklands war on the side of Great Britain.
After 40 years of service, the liner was sent to Dubai, where they still can’t decide what to do with her. It seems that the ship is being prepared for the transfer to China.
QE2 Ocean Liner in her new location in Dubai, after being moved in late October 2015
A young (for those years) but an ambitious company, Norwegian Cruise Line, also had a huge impact on the cruise industry.
As we’ve said in past articles, the company was looking for a large liner to convert it into a cruise ship. They noticed SS United States and SS France.
As a result, Norwegian Cruise Line bought SS France in 1979. She stood in the port of Le Havre for several years due to the financial problems of previous owners.
We’d like to remind you that SS France was the largest ship in the ranks at the time (66,343 GT, Length: 316.1 m (1,035 ft).
The ship was rebuilt to operate on the cruise market and received the name SS Norway.
The liner became the first Caribbean "super-ship". Before that, it was common for the cruise ships in the Caribbean to not exceed 30,000 tons.
SS Norway was in service until 2004, though under other flags.
Further development of the industry can be characterized as the race for size.
If 100 years ago there was a battle for the Blue Ribbon of the Atlantic, then in the late 1970's the battle for the title of the largest cruise liner began.
Some companies consciously joined this battle. Some didn't care about the size as much.
In any case, SS Norway and Norwegian Cruise Line have raised the bar to new heights.
Royal Caribbean began to claim leadership in the mid-1980s.
In 1988 they loudly announced themselves by launching Sovereign of the Seas.
Sovereign of the Seas had a tonnage of more than 73,000 GT and was the largest ship in the world (but still smaller than famous Queen Elizabeth).
Sovereign-class liners became absolutely new megaships constructed specifically for the mass cruise market! In addition, these were the first ships that had atriums in several decks, glass lifts, special decks with balconies, instead of the usual cabins with windows, and plenty of onboard entertainment.
Within two years, another two huge cruise liners were floated out – Monarch of the Seas (1991) and Majesty of the Seas (1992).
By the way, Majesty of the Seas still cruises under the Royal Caribbean International flag.
Sister ships Majesty of the Seas and Monarch of the Seas
Competitors kept pace and in 1995 Princess Cruises launched a remarkable liner – Sun Princess.
Having a tonnage of more than 77,000 tons, this liner became the largest one in the world.
By the way, back in 1974, Princess Cruises became a part of P&O Cruises - the cruise industry ancestor. In 2000, the company became known as P&O Princess Cruises, and in 2003, it became a part of Carnival Corporation. However, this is not about that.
In 1996, Carnival "exploded" the industry by launching the world's first liner with a tonnage of more than 100,000 GT – Carnival Destiny! Only then the Queen Elizabeth's record was broken.
Moreover, the height of the ship was about 70 meters, which made this liner taller than the Statue of Liberty!
The race continued and in 1999, the Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Seas appeared.
Voyager of the Seas was the flagship of the new class of ships – Voyager. Liners have a tonnage of more than 137,000 tons; they are 3 times larger than Titanic!
In 2004, Cunard Line launched Queen Mary 2!
Queen Elizabeth II became the godmother of the ship!
The liner became the largest one in the world – 149,215 GT.
We really like the fact that the liner has preserved the style of the transatlantic giants’ times, although they were just boats in comparison to her.
However, domination did not last long. In 2006, Royal Caribbean introduced a new family of ships – Freedom-class. Freedom of the Seas (154,407GT) became the largest liner ever built.
Royal Caribbean did not stop and in 3 years (in 2009) introduced the revolutionary class of ships – Oasis. It's even hard to call them the ships. They are whole cities!
Tonnage of more than 225,000 tons... This ship will fit 5 (!) Titanic, 3 (!) Queen Elizabeth!
The closest competitor "lags" by more than 60,000 tons!
We should mention that the cruise industry surprises not only with the size.
The last few years we’ve observed the development of modern ships and modern technologies.
The beginning of this, as we think, was put by Quantum of the Seas and the Quantum-class.
Bionic robotic bars, observation platforms, animated screens were built on this ship.
Soon, new Carnival’s liners began to amaze with entertainment, for example, Carnival Vista and SkyRide.
The new ships Celebrity Edge and Norwegian Project Leonardo that were recently announced will definitely change the industry again.
Photo: Celebrity Cruise Line
Photo: Norwegian Cruise Line
It seems that we are on the verge of new changes, the prevalence of technology over size, high-tech over luxury, and futuristics over classicism.
It seems that everything is just beginning...
The cruise industry was born again...
The cruise industry is the fastest growing industry in travel. Since 1979, the number of cruises has increased (grown) on average by more than 7% annually.
In 1970, the cruise market attracted 500,000 tourists. In 1999, about 7 million people went on cruises, and in 2016 this number exceeded 22 million people.
The cruise is the ideal vacation option that combines accommodation in a first-class hotel (liner), food in the best restaurants and visiting of new sights every day.