Cruise Ship History

A timeline of cruising takes you through the evolution of luxury travel on the high seas.

1870s
Shuffleboard hits ocean liner decks, opening the way for ever-more-posh diversions to come, from photo dark rooms to swimming pools.

1901
The first cruise ship, Prinzessin Victoria Luise, launches the era that favors a journey over a destination.

1977
Sitcom The Love Boat debuts, popularizing cruise trips for travelers who had never considered them before.

1983
Norwegian Caribbean Lines’ Floating Jazz Festival starts the craze for theme trips.

2009
A huge new ship, the 6,296-passenger Oasis of the Seas, features two 43-foot climbing walls.

This article was first published in September 2010. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.

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