Tuesday, August 2, 2022



It is the proud boast of Frank C. Clark that in his twenty-one 'Incomparable Cruises' he has reached the climax of 'de luxe' cruising and transported over 20,000 American travel enthusiasts on a magic carpet, so to speak, to all the interesting and much talked about place on our old footstool.

And in this connection it also appears that Frank C. Clark is the daddy of all round-the-world cruise organizers, a fact evidenced by cruising history, which related that in 1909 and 1910 the first round-the-world pleasure cruise was and became an established thing. 

W.F. Alder, Los Angeles Evening Express, 17 September 1925

What today is a $126 billion worldwide industry with 27 million customers (14 million of whom are Americans) did not exist a little over 125 years ago.  As an offshoot of trans-ocean steamship travel, cruising is only about 50 years younger and like any lasting innovation, was evolved more than suddenly invented.  Like the industry itself, cruising was the inspiration of many nationalities, notably the British, Germans and Americans for which cruising still finds its core market today.  Britain's Orient Line and Germany's Albert Ballin  played pivotal and pioneering roles, but the beginnings of what was (and remains) the largest single cruise market, that of America, is largely owed to a man sadly forgotten today: Frank C. Clark (1861-1939).  

Not only did Clark organise one of the first overseas cruises from the United States, but he also operated the first single ship world cruise, pioneered shipboard enrichment and entertainment concepts and introduced the "superliner" to cruising, all around the turn of the the last century. Clark introduced cruising to such lines as White Star, Canadian Pacific, North German Lloyd and Cunard-- the first Cunarder to cruise, Laconia, did so under charter to Clark in 1913.  To Frank C. Clark goes the lasting distinction of literally introducing the world to cruising. 

Brochure cover for the first world cruise, by the Frank C. Clark chartered Cleveland (HAPAG) from New York 16 October 1909. 

A soon as we became acquainted with our ship, we were interested in meeting our leader, Mr. Frank C. Clark, who, from a barefoot boy, guiding visitors around Jerusalem, has developed into one of the greatest tourist conductors.

Around the World on the Cleveland, William Givens Frizell

Frank C. Clark, aboard Friesland in 1895. 

If anyone was born to travel, ships and the sights and places of The Holy Land and Levant, it was surely Frank C. Clark (1861-1939).  Born in Rochester, New Hampshire in 1861, to George Washington Clark (1826-1866) and Ellen Clark (1832-1904), he was one of five children.    

When Frank was five years old, he and his family sailed from Jonesboro, Maine on 11 August 1866 in the sailing ship Nellie Chaplin bound for Jaffa, Palestine, a 42-day voyage.  They were among the 157 men, women and children, all members of the Christian Lovers of Zion, led by George Adams, who believed in the fulfillment of the biblical prophecy of the tribes of Israel returning to the Holy Land.  By developing the land of Israel  and cultivating its resources, they hoped to facilitate the return of the Jewish people.  The holds of Nellie Chaplin were packed with materials to build houses, agricultural implements and other supplies to help establish "the Adams Colonists" in a then barren and somewhat desolate land.

The venture was an unmitigated disaster. When local Ottoman officials initially refused to recognise the group's land purchases, the settlers initially had no recourse but to pitch tents on the Jaffa beach. Within four weeks,  seven of the group including including Clark's father and two of his brothers had died from dysentery. When they could finally settle on their land, initial harvests were poor. Worse, their leader George Adams showed his visionary zeal came more from a bottle than the scriptures.   Disease and disillusion continued to take its toll and within two years, most of the group, including Adams, had returned to the United States, to end a truly dismal enterprise that left in its wake one enduring gift to the Holy Land and modern Israel: the tourist industry and the beginnings of a transport infrastructure, and tangentially, the creation of the cruise industry.

Rolla Floyd (1832-1911), the pioneer of Holy Land tourism, the biggest and lasting accomplishment of the ill-fated Adams Colony in Jaffa, and mentor to Frank and Herbert Clark in the tourism field. 

Two families stayed on, however-- the Clarks and Floyds.  Rolla Floyd went on to practically invent modern Holy Land tourism, conducting travellers to see the sights, establishing a lighterage service at Jaffa to convey passengers and their luggage landing by steamer  and starting the first public transportation service in Palestine from Jaffa to Jerusalem by stage coach. 

The remaining Adams Colonists in front of Rolla Floyd's house in Jaffa. Credit www.findagrave.com

On 8 June 1867 an eclectic assembly of 70 American travellers sailed from New York aboard the  paddle steamer Quaker City on an excursion to Europe, the Mediterranean and the Holy Land, numbering among them Mark Twain who later wrote Innocents Abroad as an account of the novel and not repeated voyage.  Twain, who described the Adams Colony as a "pure fiasco," was like the others shown the sights upon arrival at Jaffa by Rolla Floyd. Twain also met the remaining colonists, including Frank Clark and his older brother Herbert E. Clark (1857-1920) and even arranged to transport 44 of those wishing to return as far as Egypt aboard Quaker City

Frank Clark, like his older brother, went to a local German school in Jaffa where they studied many languages, and their abilities as linguists would prove invaluable in their professional lives.  Both brothers, to help pay for their education, became tour guides in and around Jaffa, first for Mr. Floyd, when they were still boys. The boys came of age at the same time tourism to the Holy Land prospered and expanded with tourists and pilgrims from Britain, Europe and America rewarding Rolla Floyd's pioneering efforts. 
Like many great travel agents, Frank C. Clark got his start in the industry with Thos. Cook & Son, working first as a guide as boy outside the Jaffa Gate (above) and later in the Jerusalem office (below).

In 1869 Thomas Cook led his first Palestine tour for 60 travellers and opened an office outside Jaffa gate and the Clark boys were soon engaged as tour guides and ten years later, Rolla Floyd joined Cook's and remained the dean of Holy Land guides, numbering among his clients, in addition to Mark Twain, U.S. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany.  Floyd's relationship with Cook's was tempestuous and fractured but together they further developed the Holy Land travel market and infrastructure. 

Displaying a remarkable talent for organisation and planning, Frank Clark had a mercurial travel career. By the early 1880s, he was Thos. Cook's Director for Palestine & Syria. In 1884, under the directorship of James Mason Cook, the company's Middle East staff and resources, including their fleet of Nile steamers, was contracted by the British Government to plan and arrange the logistics of transporting General Wolseley, his staff and men up the Nile to rescue the beseiged  General Gordon at Khartoum in the Sudan, and young Clark was tasked with organising much of it. 

As Thos. Cook Manager for Palestine & Syria, Frank Clark was among the Cooks men who helped to organise the logistics for General Wolseley's Nile Expedition in 1884-1885 to relieve General Gordon in Khartoum, Sudan. Credit: Frederic Villers,
Illustrated London News

But one must not infer from this that the event signalized Frank C. Clark into the same of seas and ships. As far back as 1884, when Clark was in Palestine, when he became the director for Palestine and Syria, of another famous tourist company, he enjoyed the unique position of directing the 'personally conducted' British expeditionary force to the rescue of General Gordon, under the terms of a contract made between his tourist agency, by engaging the services of the entire personnel of so well informed and organized a travel service.

This personally conducted tour nearly to Khartoum was one of the most successful, it is rumored, from a standpoint of company profits in the history of personally conducted tours!

W.F. Alder, Los Angeles Evening Express, 17 September 1925

Herbert E. Clark, 1880s, longtime U.S. Consul at Jaffa, lived his entire life in Palestine and integral to the foundation and success of his brother's travel business in the U.S. 

After more than 20 years living in Palestine during which he held the post of Vice American Consul, Frank Clark returned to the United States where he furthered his career in travel, working for  H. Gaze & Sons, one of the pioneering British travel agencies. Indeed Gaze (1825-1894) was second only to Thomas Cook in the early development of organised tours  and authored pioneering practical travel guides before conducting his first continental tour in 1865.  Frank Clark soon became Gaze's U.S. Manager. Herbert Clark, who assumed the post as Vice Consul in Palestine, kept his toe in the tourist trade there, as well, and opened his own travel office as well as investing in local tourist properties. 

At the same time, the growth of organised travel, especially guided tours and in particular to the Holy Land and Mediterranean, was spurred both by the development of better and faster steamship travel and hotels, and the late Victorian religious revival and interest in the sites of antiquity, many of them discovered by a complimentary revival in archaeology and Egyptology. This, too, was the heyday of the classical education, the western pillars of Greek and Latin, that put The Middle Sea and The Orient (as the Middle East was called then) at the heart of modern western civilisation as it had been in ancient times. Obviously, European and British tourists predominated but American tourists and pilgrims to the Holy Land steadily grew, rising from 250 c. 1840 to 555 in 1879-81.  Fraternal organisations thrived during the same period and travel assumed an increasing component in group activity.  

Cover for the brochure for Frank C. Clark's first organised group tour, the 1891 Knights Templar Pilgimmage to Europe. Credit: eBay auction photo. 

All of these factors coalesced in Clark's formative years in the American travel business.  His first major touristic enterprise, in collaboration of Alfred A. Guthrie of Albany, N.Y., was organising the Knights Templar pilgrimage to Europe in 1891. Sir Knight Frank C. Clark was a Mason (a member of Royal Solomon Mother Lodge, No. 293, in Jerusalem which had been founded by his brother, Herbert) and the trip opened a whole new career for him and gave him a ready and ideal market.  

The 33-day excursion attracted more than 500 participants, a huge number for the era and requiring three steamers from New York to carry the party in groups, starting with City of New York on 8 July, then City of Berlin on the 15th followed by Devonia on the 18th and City of Paris on the 22nd.  It was the Nile Expedition all over again for Clark only this time for pleasure and profit. Clark and Guthrie continue to work together on other group travel for the Masons and other fraternal organisations, schools, universities and religious groups that formed the nucleus of the nascent American travel market.

Having our own ship the Friesland which is one of the finest and largest ships afloat, we avoid the usual discomforts of an Oriental trip, such as the constant changing of the Mediterranean steamers, (which are small and uncomfortable as compared with the Friesland) and the utter impossibility of securing good berths during the busy season.

Prospectus for Clark's first cruise to the Mediterranean, 1894.

In the meantime, a new development of organised travel had evolved: the cruise or, as it was often called then, "the yachting cruise," reflecting its deliberate association with the heyday of the royal and private yachts.  Ascribing "firsts" of what more an evolution than an invention, is fraught with peril. But the honour for being the pioneer of dispatching a big passenger liner on a pleasure cruise belongs, quite certainly, to the British.  On 20 February 1889, Orient Line scheduled their Garonne from Tilbury on a cruise to Lisbon, Gibraltar, Algiers, Palermo, Naples, Livorno, Genoa, Nice, Malaga and Cadiz.  Chimborazo followed in June to Norway.

But much of the real pioneering in the cruise field was done by the Germans whose sudden and soon dominant presence in global passenger shipping at the turn of the century reflected the overall emergence of Imperial Germany as a world power.

The first cruise by a German liner was undertaken by Norddeutscher Lloyd's Kaiser Wilhelm II from Bremerhaven to the Norwegian fjords and North Cape from 24 June-12 July 1890, in the words of NDL Director Dr. Arnold Rehm, following "in the wake of the Kaiser's yacht Hohenzollern" who, quite rightly asserted that "it was the Kaiser who discovered (with his beloved annual cruises there) Norway's tourist potential." But that would be the last NDL cruise for some 16 years and it was left to their rival Hamburg-Amerika Linie (HAPAG) to lead the world in the development of cruising. 

On 22 January 1891 HAPAG's brilliant new director, Albert Ballin, and his wife, joined 239 other passengers on the company's first Mediterranean cruise, from Cuxhaven, aboard Augusta Victoria.  The 57-day cruise called at over a dozen ports. To Hamburg-American must also go the credit for organising the first long cruise from the United States to the Mediterranean. This was undertaken by Furst Bismarck from New York on 1 February 1894, the 64-day cruise advertised as "the realization of the pleasure traveler's most fanciful dream." This was followed up the next season by Augusta Victoria  from  New York on 22 January 1895 followed by Furst Bismarck on the 29th, such was the demand.  

Yet not far behind was a young American and an equally newly minted travel company which had just opened up premises at 113 Broadway, New York City. 

Realizing that the Holy Land contained shrines toward which the whole world looked, he began to study the wants of steamship capable of comfortable carrying nearly 525 passengers, an cut the cost of the cruise to half what they had ever been before. Knights Templar rallied to the support of Clark and his cruises were successful. 

Honolulu Advertiser, 23 January 1910

Advertisement and testimonials announcing the founding of Clark's Tourist Agency, 113 Broadway, New York, N.Y. and the first charter cruise by an American agency to the Mediterranean. Credit: The Beta Theta Pi, October 1894. 

Having resigned the management of the American business of Henry Gaze & Sons, of London, Eng., I beg to inform you that I have established a Tourist Agency at the above address. The scope of the business will embrace the facilitation of American and International pleasure travel, both in connection with organized excursion parties and for individual traveler. The ticket agencies of the chief trunk line have been placed with me at the above address.

Our international enterprise will be 'A grand cruise to the Mediterranean,' by specially chartered steamer 'Friesland,' of the American (Red Star) line, leaving New York February 6, 1895, and is the largest enterprise of its class ever undertaken by any Tourist Agency.

The Beta Theta Pi, October 1894

In keeping with the "Make No Little Plans" credo that defined the age, in late summer 1894, Frank C. Clark resigned from Gaze & Sons, and set up his own travel agency, Clark's Tourist Agency, at 113 Broadway, New York, New York and announced his first great endeavour: a charter cruise to the Mediterranean, "the largest enterprise of its class ever undertaken by any Tourist Agency."  

As early as June 1894 Clark had published his first brochure for his Mediterranean cruise. Credit: Baltimore Sun, 25 June 1894.

First advertisement for Clark's first cruise in Friesland 6 February 1895. Credit: New York Times, 23 September 1894. 

Remarkably, an obscure 34-year-old travel agent from New York would vie with the mighty HAPAG in to organising one of the first Mediterranean cruises from the U.S. and in doing so, not only established himself in the field, but also set the pattern for much of early cruising.  Unlike HAPAG and Orient Line which were unique in being established liner companies that not only originated big ship cruising, but doing so under the own direction, most of early cruising was done by independent travel firms who chartered ships from lines solely interested in finding employment during the "off season" on their regular point-to-point routes.  Most lines had neither the expertise in the critical elements of itinerary planning and shore excursions nor in the additional on-board amusements and entertainments demanded of a holiday rather than transportation. 

The type of vessel was constrained by with a limited number of ports that could handle large vessels and availability of coaling and provisioning at places off major liner routes. It was not uncommon for early cruise ships to make local headlines for being the largest vessels to call there.  Ideally, the ship would have a good sized First Class of 200-300 berths and a smaller but comparable Second Class of 100 which combined gave a single "saloon class" of 400 or so.  Given that liners had twice or three times the steerage space that was un-used impacted the economics of cruising, the per diem fares being far higher than for a crossing.  From the onset, this imparted an exclusive quality on cruising and limited its market to the well-healed as well as those with the considerable free time to partake of it. 

Again working with Alfred A. Guthrie of Albany, N.Y., as he had with the 1891 Knights Templar pilgrimage, Frank C. Clark, organised the first charter cruise from the U.S. to the Mediterranean. This was first advertised in the New York Times, 23 September  1894-- a "Cruise to the Mediterranean" by the chartered Red Star liner Friesland departing 6 February 1895. The nine-week voyage would call at Bermuda, Azores, Gibraltar, Malaga, (Granada and Alhambra via a coastal port), Algiers, Malta, Alexandria, Jaffa (7 days), Beirut, Rhodes, Smyrna, Kusadasi, Constantinople, Piraeus, Naples, returning to New York on 8 April. The fare was $525 per person including all transfers, tours and guides which adjusted for inflation would be equal to about $18,200 today. 

The handsome Red Star liner Friesland, arriving at New York in the old Red Star Line funnel colours. Credit: John S. Johnston photograph, Detroit Publishing Co., Library of Congress. 

The Friesland (especially chartered for this crusade) is a magnificent specimen of naval architecture. She was designed nearly upon the same lines as the celebrated American liners Paris and New York.

A Cruise to the Mediterranean, Clark brochure, 1894

With her clipper bow (the only Red Star liner so-fitted), the 7,100-ton, 437 ft. x 51 ft., single-screw Friesland, built by J. & G. Thomson, Glasgow, dated from 1889, and with fine accommodation for 226 First and 102 Second Class (as well as 600 steerage),  was in many ways ideal for the role and even in appearance, assumed the "yacht-like" quality associated with cruising then.  

Friesland's First Class dining saloon. Credit: author's collection. 

The drawing-room is an artistically-furnished apartment, the walls of which are adorned with cedar and satin-wood, in combination with silk panels. The roof is similar to that of the dining saloon. The first-class smoking-room is on the promenade deck, in a house by itself, placed abaft the machinery. It is internally constructed of dark-mahogany frame-work, with paint tile panels, and had a tiled floor. The saloon is finished in carved oak, while the ceiling is in white, the relief work being in old gold. At the entrance to the saloon is a hall from which stairways lead to the staterooms below, and to the drawing-room on the promenade deck above. 

The first cabin dining saloon on this steamer is situated on one of the upper decks called the 'Saloon Deck.' This location insures plenty of fresh air, as the port holes can remain open at almost all times. The saloon is also lighted and ventilated by a dome-shaped skylight, framed on top with artisically decorated stained glass, the sides being filled in with wooden panels in white and gold. From the entrance halls there is access to the deck below and promenade deck above by easy double staircases, fitted with handsome mahogany hand-rails and balustrades."

A Cruise to the Mediterranean, Clark brochure, 1894

Cover of the Clark's first Mediterranean cruise brochure, 1895. Credit: author's collection.

The itinerary for Clark's first cruise would, uniquely, set the pattern for 25 other succeeding voyages and reflected his meticulous shore arrangements including ample time in both Egypt and the Holy Land that would establish "The Clark Way" of cruising for 35 years. 

Establishing his passion for organisation, Clark, who paid in excess of $100,000 for the charter of Friesland, stocked her with three months worth of the choicest provisions, engaged three assistant tour conductors to lead the extensive array of inclusive shore tours and hired a fine band "with both brass and stringed instruments" to provide entertainment aboard, and extensively advertised the voyage in literary, theological, fraternal, art and society periodicals. 

Friesland departs for the Mediterranean, 6 February 1895 on the first Clark's cruise. Credit: 1896 Clark's Cruise brochure. 

Friesland sailing for the Mediterranean from an icy and frigid New York, 6 February 1895. Credit: In Mediterranean Lands... the Cruise of the Friesland, S.R. Stoddard. 

'Good bye, good bye,' goes out from the strained throats of a thousand friends who have raved the Arctic cold of the bleak, wind-swept pier that they might see the pilgrims off, and 'good bye' is shouted back from the crowded decks. 'Good bye friends. Good bye, dear shivering New York. Good bye all. Sorry are we to leave you in the dreary North but the time has come to part and we are off for Summer seas.

The great ship swings slowly around; the swiftly turning screw kicks the water into foam at her stern; she parts the ice floe with her sharp bow, and gathering headway stands for the open sea.

Clark's Mediterranean cruise has begun.

In Mediterranean Lands... the Cruise of the Friesland, S.R. Stoddard. 

When Friesland (Capt. Nickels) cleared New York's Pier 14, North River, at 11:00 a.m. on 6 February 1895, she was fully booked with 437 passengers, from 24 states and among them were 43 ministers, 25 doctors and 30 lawyers.  Two penned books recounting the epic voyage, recording the pioneering trip in word and photograph and capturing an era of ocean travel that seems both quaint and completely alien to what cruising has become today:  In Mediterranean Lands… the Cruise of the Friesland, 1895, S.R. Stoddard, 1896 and Our Cruise in the Mediterranean, James T. Wilson, 1899.

Like any ultimately successful indeed pioneering enterprise, it was not without incident. Indeed, the first day at sea on the 7th, she hit very rough seas en route to Bermuda, a Mr. H.N. Tabor of New York having the singular misfortune of falling and breaking his leg and there were other injuries to passengers and crew. It was telling that never again did a Clark's winter Mediterranean cruise be routed via Bermuda!

Tempest-tossed: the beginning of Friesland's cruise was endured in a terrific winter gale. Credit: In Mediterranean Lands… the Cruise of the Friesland, 1895, S.R. Stoddard, 1896 

On February 6th, 1895, we embarked on the S. S. Friesland from the city of New York, for a cruise in the Mediterranean. Our course southerly, and the following day we were all on deck enjoying the pleasant weather, when suddenly a violent wind arose that settled into a steady gale. The ship rolled heavily and everything was pitched about in grand confusion, and we soon had symptoms of seasickness, and below had that inexpressible, sickening smell which is an effectual emetic. The storm was now a perfect hurricane, and the ship was pitching upwards with her bows towards the heavens, and the next instant plunging down into the deep abyss. The creaking and groaning of the ship's timbers, the roaring of the commands of the officers, the running about on deck of heavy-booted men, the ringing of the bells, the rattling of chains and ropes, the rush of a heavy sea striking the ship so that she shivered and reeled under the strain,—were some of the experiences of a storm on the ocean. The noise of the tempest was hideous, but the sound of the labored stroke of the engines gave hope to the failing heart; for anguish filled every mind as every moment seemed to add fury to the storm. Floods of sea poured down into the staterooms and the ship rolled over and over, far over on her beam ends; then clash, crash and smash, dishes rumbled and tumbled, tins and pans clanked and clattered, and our baggage, like everything else, was flying in every direction.

Our ladies in their excitement were seeking to know the worst, as they knew we were all going down.

The wild ocean raved, the great foaming billows leaped and rolled and thundered headlong as they cast their white-crested heads far in the air, and our great ship seemed almost swallowed up in the midst of the roaring waters that swept her decks as if she were but a toy in their play. The storm raged without the slightest abatement for two days, and during that time our regular, daily bill of fare was sadly interrupted, for we remained below in various stages of wretchedness.

Our Cruise in the Mediterranean, James T. Wilson, 1899

The rough conditions followed Friesland to Bermuda where she arrived on the morning of 8 February 1895 where it was too rough for the pilot to bring her into Grassy Bay so, instead, she anchored in Five Fathom Hole and the next day the tug Gladisfen took her passenger ashore at St. George's. "Carriages were procured and the excursionists were thus enabled to visit the different parts of the island. It was to be regretted that the weather was so unfavourable otherwise their stay here would have been a very pleasant one but as it was they managed to put in the short space of time that they had at their disposal to the greatest advantage in the way of sightseeing. " (Royal Gazette, 12 February 1895).

The late arrival at Bermuda occasioned the cancellation of the planned call at the Azores and Friesland made straight for Gibraltar where she arrived on 18 February 1985, it being recorded she averaged 360 miles a day and burned 112 tons of coal every 24 hours.  Once in the Mediterranean, shipboard life assumed a lanquid quality as S.R. Stoddard described a typical day at sea for him: "Got up. Ate breakfast. Sat in steamer chair. Looked at sky and water. Lunched. Sat in steamer chair some more. Look at more sky and water. Dined. Meditated. Turned in. Saturday, February 23, 1895."

One of Clark's innovations, indeed for ocean travel itself, was the provision for amusements, entertainments and lectures to fill the long days at sea, long before these became common to ship travel:

We had amusements evening in both saloons, of lectures, concerts, recitals, and mock trials… the lectures were on the Yellowstone Park, Gibraltar, Woman Suffrage, and many popular subjects. Our concerts were fine, and between out band, two pianos and a number of vocalists, the air was filled with heavenly strains. 

We had several balls and numerous dances on the promenade deck, which was decorated for the occasion, and with our fair maiden under the blaze of the electric lights made a lovely scene. Several of our bachelors were pierced by Cupid's darts and a few others were getting pierced; they could be seen by the light of the moon on the saloon deck.

Our Cruise in the Mediterranean, James T. Wilson, 1899

Friesland at Sea. Credit: In Mediterranean Lands… the Cruise of the Friesland, 1895, S.R. Stoddard, 1896

After calls at  Malaga (19-20 February 1895) and Algiers (22), Friesland arrived at Alexandria on the 26th where she met HAPAG's Furst Bismarck on her Mediterranean cruise and the American warship U.S.S. San Francisco (C-5).  Establishing a routine for Clark's cruises, there was a choice of a longer stay in either Egypt or Palestine so the ship made double calls at both, arriving at Jaffa on 3 March (again meeting up with Furst Bismarck there) and then back to Egypt to collect the tourists there, arriving at Port Said on the 4th. However, on departing on the 6th, her steering gear malfunctioned and she went hard aground inside the breakwater.  

News accounts were not hopeful, it being reported she being "ashore in a bad position" whilst the Glasgow Herald cheerfully noted that  "It not infrequently happens that when steamers leave the trade for which they are specially built they meet with disaster."  After the ship was lightened, however, she was refloated without damage the following day and continued her cruise, calling at Haifa on 11 March 1895, Beirut (13) and Athens on the 16th.  The ensuing stop at Constantinople was first cancelled owing to a concern over a cholera outbreak there, but at the last minute, it was reinstated.  

At Naples on 22 March 1895, a great many passengers disembarked to travel overland in Europe and could sail home in any American Line or Red Star steamer and this would feature in most of Clark's future cruises.

There was general acclaim for the cruise, ship and above all, Frank Clark for organising something then quite new with the usual challenges and unexpected ocurrances that are the stuff of travel:


To F.C. Clark, organizer and manager, for personal as well as general favors. No on could have planned better. The things whereat we kicked were often the result of forces beyond his control. To make up, he assumed expenses not called for in the bond, cheerfully paying the fiddler for music of others' ordering.

Master of diplomacy he. When held accountable for adverse weather, he willingly accepted the responsibility and promised to have it changed-- when anyone, by the exercise of a little judgement, could clearly see it was the captain's fault!

He was a good fellow anyway-- broad-minded and liberal to a fault, With present knowledge I would not ask for a better if the trip were to made again. 

In Mediterranean Lands… the Cruise of the Friesland, 1895, S.R. Stoddard, 1896
Two newspaper announcements for the second Clark Mediterranean cruise in Friesland for January 1896 that did not take place.

Cover of the brochure for the cancelled second Mediterranean cruise. Credit: eBay auction photo.

Successful enough to warrant a repeat performance, Clarks advertised a second Mediterranean cruise in Friesland departing New York on 29 January 1896, the 66-day voyage encompassing 12,800 miles and calling at most of the same ports as the first one.  This was first announced on 23 November 1895 and last advertised on 26 January 1896 by which time the departure had been amended to 29 February. It, in fact, was never operated and the charter cancelled.  Perhaps HAPAG's dispatching of Fuerst Bismarck to the Mediterranean on 28 January had tapped the nascent market for such trips that winter. Friesland, which arrived at New York on 28 January from Antwerp, instead of setting off for Bermuda and thence to the Mediterranean, sailed on 5 February back to Belgium. 

Mr. Frank C. Clark, who has an office at 111 Broadway, New York, has many various tours on offer and all his trips are personally conducted by experienced agents. He has always given the utmost satisfaction and he has made a specialty of yachting cruises. His parties for his summer already number up to the hundreds.

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 24 May 1896

The tour will be made under the personal supervision of Frank C. Clark, and he will be assisted by his brother, Herbert E. Clark, the present U.S. Vice-Consul of Palestine, both being intimately acquainted with the land of the bible and other eastern countries, having resided in Palestine twenty and thirty years respectively, they have, perhaps, a better knowledge of the shrines and sacred places in the Holy Land than any other Americans.

Manhattan Homestead, 1 November 1897

Clark continued a steady and apparently more renumerative trade in his European group tours, blocking space on Inman Line steamers and it was not until summer of 1897 that he again chartered a ship for cruising. On 29 August the first advertisements appeared for a Mediterranean cruise in the chartered NDL liner Aller, from New York on 5 February 1898.    It was mentioned in the Daily Argus News of 28 January 1898 that "the passengers with few exceptions will be Knights Templar together with their families and friends, the trip having been arranged by the Pittsburgh Commandery which will be largely represented."

Aller was only the second NDL liner to make a cruise. One of the remarkable 11-strong "River" class, all built on the Clyde by John Elder and their successors, Fairfield, introduced (1881-90) and then the most advanced liners on the Atlantic not only technically but the first to be decorated by a interior architect, Johann Poppe, in a lavish manner hitherto not seen on shipboard, including a welled amidships dining saloon.  Mark Twain, a passenger aboard Havel in 1892, pronounced her "the delightfulest ship I ever saw." 

When Aller made her maiden voyage to New York on 24 April 1886 she was the first steel-built liner of the Norddeutscher-Lloyd and the first passenger ship with triple-expansion machinery and high-pressure boilers.  If hardly new  13 years later, the 4,966-grt, 438 ft. x 48 ft, twin-screw liner had just been rebuilt in 1897, reducing her four masts  to two, raising her funnels, overhauling her machinery and improving her saloon accommodation for 224 First and 90 Second class. Following the charter to Clarks, Aller was transferred  to NDL's Genoa-Naples-New York route.  

First Class dining saloon. 

For Clark, the Aller cruise was not only a big step forward both in the character, quality and reputation of the vessel, but a public relations coup when a passenger, Alfred James Pollock McClure, penned an extensive and popular book, heavily illustrated, Steamin' to Bells, Around the Middle Sea, which was a remarkably detailed account of the entire voyage, the logistics of the trip, the personalities of the crew, cruise staff and passengers and an in-depth description of the ports visited and the overland tours. It was one of many early published accounts of Clark's cruises which added immeasurably to the reputation of both the man and his product long before mass commercial advertising.  

Map and itinerary of the 2nd Clark's Mediterranean Cruise. Credit: Steamin' to Bells, Around the Middle Sea.

Aller sailed (Capt. R. Nierich) from Hoboken on 5 February 1898 with 355 passengers, beginning what was, according to Mr. McClure a rough crossing: "… but the Aller having no freight, was what sailors call cranky, that is to say, she did not sink deep enough and so was inclined to 'roll' and after a little while of this swaying this motion, which though gentle, is harder on a sensitive stomach than the 'pitching', a good many did not feel like singing any more, and some of them looked pale and went into their staterooms, and did not appear for several days." 

Mr. McClure informed his readers that Aller burned 150 tons of coal a day, requiring 50-60 men shoveling coal under seven boilers to make 15 knots, had 62 staterooms, 16 lifeboats, 2 rafts, 8 watertight bulkheads and 1,024 life preservers. The passenger list was made up of 76 women, 190 men, 68 misses, 4 master, 10 doctors, 35 reverends, 2 honorables, 2 professors, 1 college president, 2 women doctors, 1 colonel-- all Americans save for four Canadians.

Aller in Valetta's Grand Harbour. Credit: Steamin' to Bells, Around the Middle Sea

A highpoint of the cruise, the call at Jaffa for the Holy Land, was almost impossible to achieve owing to weather. When Aller first arrived off the port on 9 March, it was too rough to land passengers and the next day was no better so she made for Port Said, returning to Jaffa on the 12th and Haifa the same day when she landed her passengers who toured overland.  It was again too rough to collect them on the 15th and this was not accomplished until the following day at Haifa. 

Frank C. Clark and his cruise staff. Credit: Steamin' to Bells, Around the Middle Sea.

Not all were enamoured with cruising and a passenger aboard Aller, the Hon. C.B. Martin, wrote a letter to the Chenago Semi-weekly Telegraph upon the ship's arrival at Alexandria on 25 February 1898:

The steamer Aller, with Frank C. Clark's valuable load of Orient cruisers from different parts of the United States, made this harbor early this morning. The trip has been on the whole, a pleasant one, except for the sick and infirm, and Mr. Clark has done all he could to carry out his contracts with his passengers.  There are some who, like myself, can be satisfied with small attention and no knowledge of what is to or may happen tomorrow, or a month hence. Then there is the other kind who are never satisfied with anything, and need to ask a question over and over again, and never realize the answer, and who are generally pushed along by the managers of the excursion, which, in this respect, is not unlike a Sunday school excursion to Richfield Springs or Binghampton.

This affair on which I am enlisted is well run, while we are on the steamer, but when go ashore are under continual stress to see in two hours what you cannot well see in two days. We have not stopped at any place where this has not been the case… the only people who should go an excursion of this kind are those who do not know what they want to see or how to see it… There is one solace for me, there are mile on miles of clear sailing, and very few stopping places.

Chenago Semi-Weekly Telegraph, 23 March 1898

First advertisement for the third Clark cruise to the Mediterranean using the chartered New England. Credit: The New York Times, 21 May 1899. 

There would be no cruise for winter 1898-99 owing to the Spanish American War, but on 4 June 1899 Clark announced he 3rd "Mediterranean & the Orient Cruise" using the chartered brand new Dominion Line New England, which had just broken the Queenstown to Boston record with a 6-day 11-hour passage. Departing depart Boston 1 February 1900 and returning 5 April, this was the first cruise of its kind direct from the New England port.  

The itinerary included Madeira, then Gibraltar, Algiers and Malta and featured 19 days in Egypt and 10 days in Palestine. During the call at Egypt, two special sleeping car trains would take 300 from Cairo to Thebes to board four Nile steamers.  Option of having 12 days instead in Palestine and New England would make two trips between Egypt and Palestine to accommodate both groups. She then called at Haifa, Beirut and Smyrna, Constantinople (three days), Athens (two days), Naples, five days in Rome and one in Monte Carlo before returning to Boston on April via Liverpool. 

The splendid-looking R.M.S. New England of Dominion Line would make the first ever cruise from the Port of Boston under charter to Frank Clark. 

Before it was subsumed into White Star Line, Dominion Line was once one of the pillars of the Canadian and Boston routes, introducing the first twin-screw liner, Canada, to the St. Lawrence service in October 1896 followed in June 1898 by the larger New England (11,394 grt, 550 ft. x 59 ft.) which, true to her name, was the largest, finest and fastest liner on the Liverpool to Boston run with especially fine accommodation for 200 First and 200 Second Class which could be effectively combined to a superior saloon class for cruising.  

New England's impressive First Class dining Saloon. Credit: Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives.

The cruise aroused considerable press attention in the Boston papers, the Boston Evening Transcript reporting that "The selection of the stores for an excursion of this magnitude is one of the most important factors in connection with it. Nos. 1 and 2 holds, together with the immense refrigerator boxes, are filled with a great variety of supplies. It is estimated that 2000 tons of beef, provisions and luxurious have been received within the last few days. " While the Boston Globe further detailed the larder: "… 50,000 pounds of beef in quarters, 20,000 pounds of mutton, 40,000 prairie hens, rabbits, turkeys, ducks, chickens, plover, quail and other fowl and game, thousands of pounds of hams, corned and pickled meats and fish, 50,000 eggs, 20,000 pounds of sugar and nearly 15.000 pounds of butter. There are also 15,000 heads of lettuce, 1000 bunches of celery, 2000 tins of jellies, 3500 quarts of ice cream, 500 gallons of milk, 3000 tins of condensed milk, 2500 cans of preserved fruits…"

The Boston Globe added that "the steamer has also on board about 4000 tons of coal for her own consumption during the trip, 1000 tons of which was procured at this port, the remainder being brought from Liverpool."

At exactly half past eleven this morning the Dominion line steamship New England left her dock in Charlestown and swung into the stream, bound for the Orient, having on board the largest excursion that ever left the United States. In spite of the bitter cold the end of the dock was crowded when the great ship started down the harbor on her long voyage to the Holy Land. After the vessel started few of the passengers were hardy enough to brave the cold of the upper deck.

Ever since last night special trains, private carriages, cabs and automobiles had been bringing passengers to the dock. Just before ten o'clock last night, a special train arrived beside the steamer bringing 330 excursionists from the West. All this morning people by the hundred came to the steamer; some to find their quarters and make themselves comfortable before starting, others to bid farewell to friends. 

Boston Evening Transcript, 1 February 1900

Making history in not only being the first cruise from Boston, but her 524 passengers constituting the largest saloon list in a single vessel to date, New England sailed on 1 February 1900.  

What had been a largely uneventful but successful cruise ended very badly and for some, tragically.  It transpired that two passengers, a woman and a child, of a Cooks tour of the Upper Nile, had died of smallpox, and it was believed to have been present when the Clark's group arrived there.  Over 200 of the party had opted for the extended stay in Egypt and rejoined the rest of the group in Jerusalem after 12 days where the weather was cold and miserable and many were already ill. New England proceeded from Jaffa to Constantinople amid widespread rumours aboard of smallpox rife on the vessel, although there was no effort to vaccinate those aboard.  For no announced reason, the stay in Constantinople was cut short by a day amid more speculation it was done to avoid being quarantined there. 

On 19 March 1900 New England arrived at Naples and the following day, 525  of the passengers went to Rome for an intended four-day stay before returning to Naples to re-embark New England which was to proceed to Villefranche and Liverpool and after a 12-day layover there, sail for Boston. .On arrival in Rome, two came down with smallpox, Miss Scouten of Sparta, Wisconsin, who died within four days, and Mrs. I.G. Vaughan of Dayton, Ohio, who recovered and six more came down with it.  It is believed that the disease had manifested itself aboard shortly after leaving Alexandria among the group who had made the Upper Nile tour.  

On 23 March 1900 Capt. James McAuley and Frank Clark, who had travelled to Rome with the group, received an urgent message from New England advising that smallpox had indeed broken out aboard among the crew and that ship's surgeon Dr. George A. Caithness was in isolation with the cases.  Clark, McAuley and Dr. H.B. Casselberry, one of the tourist group, returned at once to Naples. There, the decision was made by the Captain that it was too dangerous to re-embark any passengers and to sail at once direct for Liverpool rather than risk a lengthy quarantine either in Naples or at Villefranche. 

New England landed her passengers' baggage at Naples and sailed for Liverpool.   Although 475 of the group were already planning to travel overland to Liverpool on various tours or independently, the 200 or so others were effectively stranded in Rome, leaving Clark to try and make alternate arrangements for these poor people.   Passengers' baggage was literally dumped on the quayside along with  contents of cabin belongs were shoved into pillow cases and deposited on the pier and much of it was prayed upon by thieves.  The luggage was eventually forwarded to Rome and reunited with its owners, although not until Italian customs agents had gone through it all and charged the owners with customs duties. Amidst it all, Frank Clark seems to have made himself scarce and clearly overwhelmed by events, although many credited him with doing the best he could and advancing money to those without sufficient funds. 

When New England arrived at Liverpool on 28 March 1900, she was quarantined on arrival and 19 cases of smallpox was found aboard. After being declared a "clean ship," she sailed on schedule for Boston on 12 April.

After being "thoroughly fumigated, refurnished and repainted at Liverpool," New England docked at Boston on 20 April with 73 of the original Clarks group aboard among the 195 First, 195 Second and 731 Third Class regular passengers.. "Seldom has a vessel returning to Boston been met with as many anxious inquiries as awaited this steamship yesterday. She sailed away on Feb 1 with 550 men and women from all over the country for a tour of Mediterranean ports; the dire scourge of smallpox had broken out, and the most serious consequences were feared by all in this country who had relatives aboard." (Boston Globe, 21 April 1900). 

Charming illustrated vignettes of New England's arrival at Boston. Credit: The Boston Globe, 21 April 1900. 

I want to deny the ignorant and malicious statements made by some passengers and rival tourist companies against Mr. Frank C. Clark, the conductor of our New England party. He did all he agreed to and much more; he was always a gentleman, genial and generous, honest and helpful to his party whom he treated as members of his family. I shall be glad to go with him next year, 'Around the World in Eighty Days,' or a longer time.'

G.L. Morrill, Rome March 1900
The Minneapolis Journal

As for Frank Clark, he arrived at New York on 29 April 1900 aboard St. Louis and reported to be "very indignant" at reports he had abandoned his party in Rome, cited letters and testimonials disputing previous accounts and had paid for many of the stranded passengers expenses out of his pocket and reminded reporters that the cruise party was effectively disbanded in Rome as planned with only about 30 still travelling on account of Clarks for the final leg home to Boston aboard New England

In all, 11 died on the cruise, nine from smallpox, two from pneumonia, eight of whom were passengers and three crew.  

As it was, the episode was a public relations disaster for Clark who took most of the blame and while later accounts absolved him of responsibility for the incident, it was too late.  It also cautioned many against travel to the "Orient" and certainly caused health and port authorities great alarm that these new cruise holidays could, as New England did, serve as travelling incubators of infectious disease.  

Clark continued to organise and operate European land excursions, with chartered tonnage, including City of Rome for the 1900 Paris Exposition. Credit: eBay auction photo.

As to change the subject, Frank Clark's next venture had all the hallmarks of a "you ain't seen nothing yet" when he sent the world's newest, largest and most celebrated ocean liner on his next "Mediterranean & Orient Cruise."  

I have been determined for some time to secure the finest vessel afloat for a cruise, but hitherto the White State Company has refused all my overtures. I consider myself exceedingly lucky getting the Celtic, and have already invited a number of New York's four hundred to accompany me.

Frank C. Clark, The Brooklyn Citizen, 5 May 1901.

Frank C. Clark at the time of the Celtic cruise. Credit: The Cruise of the Celtic Around the Mediterranean.

Superliner Cruising… long before the term was even coined, more than three quarters of a century before Norway, Frank C. Clark employed the world's largest (and newest) ocean liner on a cruise. It was the most celebrated voyage indeed of the New Century to date, putting both the idea of the cruise holiday and the name of Frank Clark in the headlines of newspapers, large and small, throughout the country and indeed the world as the arrival of the largest liner creating headlines wherever she called in ports where ships of such size were unheard of. It represented, too, consequent logistical risks for Celtic, a ship engaged for a purpose for which she had never been intended and, at time of the charter agreement, had yet to even enter service. 

Indeed, the announcement was taken with some incredulity in the British press as this rather patronising report indicates:

It seems that the Celtic, which started on her maiden voyage at the end of last week, has actually been chartered for a pleasure trip by a number of British and American 'millionaires,' and will consequently be for  time withdrawn from the Transatlantic service. The trip has been arranged by Mr. Frank C. Clark of New York, whose overtures were at first scarcely regarded seriously by the directors of the White Star Line.  But they have, it is announced, satisfied of his bona-fides, and accepted his cheque. The price paid is said to be enormous, and the trip will not only place in the biggest ship that the world has ever seen, but will, doubtless, be one of the costliest pleasure cruises on record. The Celtic has accommodation for very nearly three thousand passenger; but so that there shall be crowding on this delightful cruise, the number is to be limited to eight hundred.

Atherstone Herald, 2 August 1901

The Wonder of a New Age, the enormous R.M.S. Celtic sails from Liverpool.

One of the first wonders of the New Century that would see more than its fair share of them, Celtic was the last White Star liner to be ordered by Thomas Henry Ismay before his death in 1899. Laid down at Harland & Wolff on 22 March that year, she was launched on 4 April 1901 and made her maiden voyage from Liverpool to New York on 25 July.  The largest (and by a considerable margin) liner in the world, the 20,296-grt, 701 ft. by 75 ft. Celtic was the first ship to exceed Great Eastern in tonnage. A much larger version of Cymric, Celtic perfected a new concept in large Atlantic liner design and operation being of huge capacity both cargo (677,820 cu. ft.) and passenger (2,857 in three classes) but slow, at 16 knots, eschewing record breaking speed for economy and comfort that became White Star's successful formula for the rest of their existence.   

First Class dining saloon. Celtic was not only the largest ship in the world and certainly the biggest to make a cruise in 1902, but the first really de luxe luxury liner to do so. Credit: Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives.

Despite her awe-inspiring size and innovative design, no one could have envisaged the ship being used for what was still called "yacht cruises" if for the simple reason her main attributes of huge size and epic cargo and Third Class space (2,350 berths) would be of no utility so deployed. Indeed the very profit making aspects of her design were voided at a stroke. There is no record of what Clark paid for the charter and given Friesland, one third the size and hardly of the same fame, cost $100,000 some seven years previously, would could surmise it was probably in excess of $300,000.  Then, too, Celtic's size and instant fame arising from it, made the venture invaluable as a public relations coup for Clark, perhaps needed after the bad if unfair publicity from the New England cruise.

Seven days before sailing, one "fine suite" became available on the otherwise long sold-out cruise... it cost $5,700, the equal of $191,000 today.  Credit: New York Tribune, 1 February 1902.

Dispatching a ship of Celtic's size on a voyage, route and to ports for which she had never been envisaged plying, entailed no little risk and daunting logistical challenges. Despite the perils of the North Atlantic Ferry, they were at least familiar ones to her owners, officers and crew who knew the few regular ports intimately not to mention every pilot, assured consistent and regular provisioning, etc. 

Cruising, by definition, was wholly different with far more ports and supplies of provisions, water and coal all requiring special arrangement well in advance.  In the course of the voyage, one of the great challenges was simply the sheer number of passengers carried... never before in the history of shipping had so many saloon passengers been accommodated in a single ship and every one of them, of course, had to land in ports more used to ships one-third Celtic's size. Such was her size and draught that even the Sandy Hook channel into New York had to be deepened to accommodate her. Indeed, she could not go alongside in almost any of her cruise ports and having no shore tenders of her own, was reliant on whatever barges and tenders that could be secured locally and often time consuming and tricky use of gangway ladders in the heavy swell of Mediterranean ports in winter. 

Celtic's original itinerary and notation as to the changes in order after leaving Phaleron Bay. Credit: The Cruise of the Celtic Around the Mediterranean.

The 74-day cruise would commence from New York on 8 February 1902 and call at Madeira, Gibraltar, Algiers, Malta, Alexandria, Jaffa, Haifa, Smyrna, Constantinople, Athens, Naples, Villefranche and Liverpool.  There, passengers could return to New York aboard her or take any later White Star sailing if desiring a longer layover.  Unlike Clark's previous cruise, this included popularly priced ($400) accommodation with a 800-passenger limit to attract as broad a clientele as possible.  And as previous cruises, it had its book published to provide a complete account, The Cruise of the Celtic Around the Mediterranean 1902, R.H. McCready and H.M. Tyndall.
Completely sold-out (and several hundreds more turned away), the cruise attracted 826 passengers, a record that would be unbroken for many years and when it was, by another Clarks cruise. Among them were Hon. James A. Gary, the former Postmaster-General under the first McKinley Administration, Major-General E. A. McAlpin, Mr. C. Templeton Crocker and the Hon. J.D. Phelan, former Mayor of San Francisco and, according to the Chicago Tribune of 8 February 1902, "75 clergymen, 100 Bible students, 75 bank clerks and 179 spinsters." "The passenger list embraced 377 men, 438 women, and 5 children, a total of 820. These came from thirty-one States of the American Union and from its capital; from the provinces of Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and Prince Edward's Island; and from England and Ireland." (The Cruise of the Celtic Around the Mediterranean).

It is the record of one of the most wonderful companies that ever left the shores of America. They had been gathered from almost every State in the Union-from Canada and other countries. Among them were lawyers, doctors, ministers, editors, bankers, authors, artists, philanthropists, educators, wives, widows and maidens, the women outnumbering the men by three-score. They had engaged to sail on the largest steamer afloat—the Celtic. Their trip had been heralded by all the newspapers of the land, because it was such a mammoth undertaking

Their manager, Mr. Clark, had been criticised and praised for undertaking to conduct so large a company of people for so small a sum of money through many foreign countries where hotel accommodations were doubtful, to say the least. But they were to realize the dream of years in such a commodious floating palace, accompanied by a noted band of musicians, with enormous supplies of food, water and wine, with theology enough to keep even the Celtic afloat in a storm, that their enthusiasm could scarcely be controlled. They were people of means, and for the most part agreeable, cultured, unaffected, courteous and kind.

They were not sick, as on a smaller vessel. They were not crowded, they had their games, their lectures, their religious services, their entertainments, and, added to all these, they had the most charming weather, with enough of excitement at the different landings to enable them to realize that they had been “to sea."

The Cruise of the Celtic Around the Mediterranean 1902, R.H. McCready and H.M. Tyndall.

As with past Clark cruises, the provisions for the 13,325-mile voyage were meticulously accounted for by the press: 170,000 lbs. of fresh beef, 60 tons of potatoes, ten tons of sugar and seven tons of fresh fish.  Without cargo, Celtic was ballasted by no less than 7,180 tons of coal and enormous quantities of fresh water. 

Credit: Buffalo Evening News, 10 February 1902.

The biggest ship in the world and the grandest trip in the world. We wish them bon voyage.

Leader-Telegraph, 6 February 1902

All aboard for Egypt. A shipload of 800 excursionists left West 11th Street at 3 o'clock Saturday afternoon on a pleasure trip of 13,000 or 14,000 miles. 

The party sailed on the Celtic, the biggest ship that floats. From New York the voyage extends to the Island of Madeira, Gibraltar, Algiers, the Island of Malta, Alexandria, Jaffa, Haifa, Smyrna, Constantinople and the Black Sea, Piraeus, in sight of Mount Etna and Scylla and Charbdis, and the Naples, Villefranche, Liverpool and Queenstown.

The ship has been ballasted with coal and water, and carried no freight or steerage. She had taken aboard an inexhaustible supply of beef, all kinds of provisions and wines.

A dozen guides and directors, including such men as Rev. Dr. Josiah Strong, Rev G.B.F. Hallock, Capt. George B. Beardsley and Rev. Edwin S. Wallace, ex-United States Consul for Palestine, are going along.

There are many school teachers, doctors and lawyers on the list. A band to furnish music for dancing has been signed, and 'ping pong' sets have been provided, so that the varying tastes of the travelers for favorite recreations may be gratified. 

By special permission of Manage J. Bruce Ismay, of the White Star Line, the rule of the company which permits only the Church of England service to be observed on the ships of the company, has been suspended, so that the ministers of the different denominations can get together; but even then there are decks and water-tight and air-tight bulkheads enough should different denominations desire to worship at the same time on Sunday.

The 'smoke room' will present a novel scene after dinner. Instead of men of the world 'cutting papers' and hazarding their coin on the chance of a jackpot, or betting on the day's rub and sending stewards for brandies and sodas, dignified men of the cloth are expected to occupy the leather cushions and discuss the 'Whyness of the Why,' or such subjects as 'The Pessimism of Marie Corelli: Is it Sincere or for Revenue?'

Frank C. Clark, the organizer of the excursion says these polemical discourses will be worth while.

A couple of hundred more people wanted to go along, but there was no room. The Celtic will return on April 22.

Buffalo Evening News, 10 February 1902

The cruise was certainly not without incident, indeed its novelty ensured that almost every aspect of it was reported in newspapers.  The sheer number of passengers-- the largest company of saloon passengers ever to sail in a single vessel to date-- induced a veritable mob at White Star's North River piers to see them off before Celtic sailed on 9 February 1902: 

There was a terrific crush at the White Star Line pier on the North River yesterday afternoon. The occasion was the departure for the Mediterranean of the giant steamship Celtic with 800 tourists on board. Each of the tourists had from three to a dozen friends at the pier to wish them a happy voyage, it was the anxiety of these people that led to so much confusion. 

Finally, when the siren sound for everybody except the passengers to retire to their pier, there was a rush from ship to wharf and vice versa, with a resulting crush that required the united labors of three police men to quiet. Everybody was got safely off the ship at last, and five minutes after the expiration of the scheduled hour for the sailing the gangplank was taken down and the liner was pulled out into the river and headed for the Hook.

The New York Times, 9 February 1902

At 3:00 p.m., Celtic "decorated, flags of all nations gaylly fluttering from stem to stern," pulled out into the frigid North River, played off by the 71st Regiment Band "so that the scenes of disorder were accompanied by the melodramatic crashes of brass bands."  So the epic adventure began and ended an hour and a half later in Gravesend Bay where Celtic anchored.  A gale running up the coast had lowered the water sufficiently in the Sandy Hook channel to cause her captain to decide to anchor there for the night to await high tide the following morning. To make up the lost time, Capt. Lindsay ordered up full revolutions and on the 16th,  Clark sent a cable advising:  

Arrived at Madeira. All well on board. The Celtic beat her own record Wednesday, February 12th for best single run eastward and holds record between New York and Madeira. 

Some of Celtic's record number of saloon passengers. Credit: The Cruise of the Celtic Around the Mediterranean.

The voyage was very comfortable one, especially upon this staunch and steady boat. Those who have made many rips across the ocean sat she has the least quiver and motion of any boat in they have ever travelled.

Muscatine News-Tribune, 20 March 1902

Celtic arrived at Madeira on 16 February 1902 and Gibraltar on the 19th.  At Algiers, rough weather disrupted getting passengers ashore but Celtic was joined there on George Washington's Birthday by the arrival of the cruiser U.S.S. Chicago which was dressed overall for the occasion and fired a gun salute. 

Malta was reached on 24 February 1902, anchored some five miles off in 12 ft. swell which again delayed going ashore until the afternoon.  For some reason, the captain elected not to come into Grand Harbour even after the Royal Navy had even moved two battleships to give the liner plenty of space to anchor. It added to the rising tension between the Captain Henry St. George Lindsay, Clark and many passengers. The Captain was accused of "intense anti Americanism" and was heard to order a steward to "stop that damned nonsense" when the ship's band played a "medley of American patriotic airs."

"Our Splendid Officers" with the notable except of Capt. Henry St. George Lindsay, who apparently cared little for his American passengers or taking the world's largest ship into places he felt she did not belong. Credit: The Cruise of the Celtic Around the Mediterranean.

Celtic's arrival at  Phaleron Bay (for Piraeus) on 25 February 1902 for two days was quite an event, a passenger writing; "We have proved quite as much an attraction to the Athenians as they and their city has to us. The Celtic is a marvel to them and has been visited by hundreds. King George, the Queen and their eldest son came aboard the ship yesterday, inspected our ship, and took luncheon. " Celtic was afforded a flotilla of small boats as a send off as she sailed. 

Too large to dock at any of her ports, Celtic's size made getting on or off her exceptionally difficult, dangerous at times and in several instances, all but impossible. Credit: The Cruise of the Celtic Around the Mediterranean.

Due to new Turkish quarantine regulations prohibiting direct travel to/from Egypt, Celtic, after departing Athens went instead to Constantinople (2 March), then Smyrna before proceeding to Palestine and Alexandria. She arrived at Naples on 26 March.  

The great advantage of the cruise was one of its disadvantages. The fact that the Celtic was so large, and so steady and comfortable, a kind of floating palatial hotel, to which, after the strains of sight seeing, it was most delightful to return, resulted in its being impossible to get within three or four miles of ports. All landings were made in small boats, sometimes in tenders and barges, but often in row boats manned by natives. The sea at some points was so disturbed that this kind of landing was only attempted by the most daring, resulting in the majority note being able to embark.

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 27 April 1902

Despite many challenges, the cruise was a great success and warranted a planned repeat for 1903.

Initial plans for the 1903 season included a repeat of Celtic's Mediterranean cruise in addition to three trips by the chartered NDL Kaiserin Maria Theresia

On 30 May 1902 Clark announced their most audacious cruise programme yet for 1903. In addition to a reprise of the Celtic Mediterranean cruise (70 days from New York on 29 January 1903), the North German Lloyd's Kaiserin Maria Theresia was chartered for a 21-day West Indies cruise on 14 January 1903, a 65-day Mediterranean cruise departing 7 February, and a 42-day Norwegian cruise on 2 July. 

In the event, the second Celtic charter did not go ahead as planned for unstated reasons, but doubtless the logistical challenges encountered on the first trip played a role as did a sharp downturn in the American stock market, "The Rich Man's Panic."  It would not be until 1964 when the largest passenger ship in the world, R.M.S. Queen Elizabeth, again made a Mediterranean cruise from New York. 

Of course, Clark's 1903 programme marked a major expansion both in the number of cruises, but in their destinations. Clark and HAPAG would the only ones to offer West Indies itineraries from New York in winter 1903 calling at St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Martinique and St. Pierre and the Mont Pelee volcano whose recent eruption had captured the imagination of the world, Barbados, Jamaica, Cuba and Nassau. 

Clark, which had introduced NDL to cruising from the U.S. with the charter of Aller, now reintroduced the company to pleasure cruising which would henceforth assume an important aspect of their operations although not to the extent of HAPAG before the First World War.  

In 1897, the single-screw, twin-funnelled and three-masted Spree (1890) which had the unusual distinction of being both the largest triple-expansion-engined liner and one of the few remaining single-screw express liners, was dispatched to her builders, A.G. Vulcan, Stettin, for a complete transformation.  Her stern was completely rebuilt and lengthened and she was re-engined with twin-screw machinery, given all new accommodation for 860 passengers and a new profile of three funnels (unique in the NDL fleet) and twin masts.  The renamed Kaiserin Maria Theresia managed to run aground on her post rebuilding trials and it was not until she resumed service in March 1900 on NDL's Mediterranean-New York service. 

The rakishly transformed Kaisarin Maria Theresia

First Class ladies salon. 

For cruising, the "Kaiserin" (as she was more familiarly and sensibly known) appealed as a cruise ship by her unusually  large First Class for 405 and a superior Second saloon for 114 and a fair turn of speed and she nicely avoided all of the ponderous logistics of a Celtic.  She even resembled the HAPAG liners which had already established themselves in the cruise trade.  In advertising the cruise, Clark stressed "absolutely no overcrowding" and "only the main dining room to be used."

The Kaiserin Maria Theresia cruises introduced a new graphic look for Clarks advertisements. 

With 266 passengers from 27 states and 100 cities in the U.S. and two provinces in Canada, Kaiserin Maria Theresia  (Capt. P. Wettin) sailed from New York the morning of 15 January 1903 on the first West Indies cruise for both Clarks and NDL. 

From early yesterday morning there was a buzz of excitement in the business part of the city; due to the arrival of the North German Lloyd line steamer Kaiserin Maria Theresa, with a large party of American tourists on board. The vessel arrived on time, and aroused the admiration of all who saw her as she steamed up the harbour."

Kingston Gleaner, 28 January 1903

On 27 January 1903 Kaiserin Maria Theresa arrived at Kingston, Jamaica, and anchored off the Myrtle Bank Hotel. She was the second big liner to call at the port on a cruise from New York, HAPAG's Moltke coming in a week previously. As for the Kaiserin's passengers, "the visitors expressed themselves as delight with places they have visited in the West Indies" and had enjoyed perfect weather throughout.  A highlight of the cruise had been landing at the now uninhabited town of St. Pierre.

The night before arriving at Kingston the passengers paid a testimonial to Frank Clark and the officers of the ship for their "unfailing courtesy and constant attention during the cruise" and their desire to "emphasize our appreciation of Mr. Clark's executive ability, through which we have seen various islands lying outside the beaten track an have been preserved from the numerous annoyances which so often accompany independent travel."

After Kingston, the Kaiserin proceeded to Port Antonio, then Santiago and Havana in Cuba and finally Nassau before returning to New York. 

The most difficult part of Kaiserin Maria Theresia's Mediterranean cruise was actually departing on it.  Sold out with 421 passengers booked, she was to have left New York on 7 February 1903 but was unable to sail owing to the "non delivery of coal" arising from a coal strike. La Lorraine and Pomeranian were also delayed. Passengers still embarked and had meals aboard alongside. Once bunkered, she sailed on the 9th, two days late, passing Quarantine at 10:00 a.m., only to return at 11:45 a.m. when it was found the tide was too low for her to cross the bar.  She was finally on her way with the afternoon tide.   She called at Madeira, Gibraltar, Malaga, Malta, Athens, Constantinople, Jaffa, Alexandria, Naples and Villefranche during the 65-day cruise. 

On what would be her only cruise to Norway and Baltic, Kaiserin Maria Theresia left New York on 2 July 1903. Curiously, although "specially chartered by Frank C. Clark, of New York City," she made the usual NDL trans-Atlantic calls en route i.e. Plymouth, Cherbourg and Bremerhaven (12-14th) but is not listed as carrying trans-Atlantic passengers independently on this or the return crossing.  The cruise proper then took her to Christiana (Oslo), Gothenburg, Copenhagen, Stockholm, St. Petersburg (23-29), Swinemunde (for Berlin) and back to Bremerhaven.  Calling westbound at Southampton and Cherbourg, she returned to New York on 13 August. 

Not able to resist what must have been a very generous offer, NDL sold Kaiserin Maria Theresia to the Imperial Russian Navy in 1904 for use as a armed merchant cruiser, thus ending her nascent cruising career. 

Credit: The Christian Work and the Evangelist

The announcement of 1904's Mediterranean cruise was made much later than usual, 17 January, for good reason as the voyage would itself begin later…  8 March and employ NDL's Grosser Kurfürst and planned around the Sunday School Convention in Jerusalem 18-20 April.  On this, Grosser Kurfürst would accommodate 817 passengers to offer lower fares to accommodate delegates on the full 71-day cruise. This cruise, unlike the others, was not widely advertised (or needed to be) to the general public and was almost wholly patronized by delegates and families to the convention. 

One of the most important and longest lasting (33 years) of the pre-war German intermediates, Grosser Kurfürst was the largest ship on the Antipodes run until the introduction of Ceramic in 1913 and helped to establish NDL in the cruise trade. Here, she is shown at Spitsbergen in 1914. 

As part of its remarkable naval and merchant shipping expansion in the last 15 years of the 19th century, Germany's Imperial Government actively subsidised German competition with British lines on the world's ocean highways and in particular those to the British Empire. In 1885 it gave Norddeutscher Lloyd a mail subsidy for a four-weekly Bremerhaven-Sydney service, via Suez, resulting in the first large order to a German yard, A.G. Vulkan of Stettin, for three new steel steamers and the transfer of other tonnage from the North Atlantic route.  The service prospered and N.D.L. exploited the reverse seasons of the two routes, placing Atlantic liners of size, quality and speed hitherto unknown on the Australian run seasonally.  

First Class dining saloon. 

Thus, the new "intermediate" North Atlantic liner, Grosser Kurfürst (13,183 grt, 581 ft. by 62 ft) which was launched by Schichau, Danzig on 2 December and made her maiden voyage for NDL to New York on 5 May 1900, became the largest and finest liner to the Antipodes on her first seasonal winter voyage to Sydney on 7 November and retained the distinction until Ceramic of 1913.  Grosser Kurfürst was part of the remarkable 11-strong Barbarossa class which were largest and finest class of intermediate liners yet built and used on all of NDL worldwide services and indeed, cruising for which her 299 First and 317 Second Class accommodation was ideal. Indeed, Clark was the first to introduce the class to cruising and sending Grosser Kurfürst off to the Mediterranean finally put cruising into NDL's long range planning.  The ship would go on to a remarkable 33-year career establishing herself as one of the most successful of all pre-war intermediate liners. 

Her passengers came from 43 U.S. states and seven Canadian provinces and representing 500 parishes and more than 400 localities in the U.S. Ports on the cruise comprised Madeira, Gibraltar, Algiers, Malta, Athens, Constantinople, Beirut, Smyrna, Kusadasi, Jaffa, Alexandria and Naples. The "Cruise of the Christians" was personally escorted by Frank and Herbert Clark and Mrs. Dorothy H.E. Clark, wife of Herbert Clark.. In addition to the American/Canadian delegates coming over in Grosser Kurfürst, 485 Britons came out in Auguste Victoria

Like so many of Clark's cruises, this was the subject of several books, A Pilgrimage to Jerusalem: The Story of the Cruise to the World's Fourth Sunday-School Convention … by Charles Gallaudet Trumbull, 1905 and The Hoosier Girl Abroad: A Diary of Seventy-seven Days Attending the World'Sunday-School Convention by Anna Robinson Black and dozens of newspaper letters and articles.  It was, in fact, the greatest Christian cruise to the Holy Land yet organised. 

Grosser Kurfürst just before sailing from Hoboken on "The Cruise of the 800" 3 March 1904. Credit U.S. Library of Congress.

Backing out into the North River, Grosser Kurfürst sails for the Mediterranean. Credit: U.S. Library of Congress. 

Tuesday, March 8–Up early, out for a walk on Broadway, some coffee and Unèeda biscuit for breakfast. Met Rev. Bonnell- of Indiana, who kindly accompanied me to the Grosser Kurfürst at Hoboken.

Found my steamer trunk in state room 774, I am beginning to feel smothered already at the thoughts of four of us sleeping in a room 7x7 ft. with no port hole. If we don't all die for want of breath. it will be a wonder! I wrote a farewell letter home, saw Carrie Nation who came aboard to meet some friends and watched the delegates arrive.

This being my first experience on an ocean steamer it was all a novelty.

Thursday, March 10—After coming up on deck early I added to my constitutional by going to the bow of the ship and watch the sun rise magnificently! Ate breakfast, feeling fine. The wind is very strong and waves run high. We are going with the wind and the waves, and it is glorious! Stood at how of boat for a long time and watched the ship cut the great waves and plow through them. It is so interesting to watch the boy in the crow's nest and listen to the bells. We have to set our watch up 60 minutes each day, made several new acquaintances and had a lovely time with my old ones.

The bugler calls us to meals three times a day. We breakfast at 7:00, lunch at 11:30 and dine at 5:30. These are hours for first sitting, I feel sorry for our party who have second sitting which is one and one-half hour later.

Our meals are very good and excellently served. Alfred and Herman are our waiters' names, and we are all fond of them; they are polite and obliging. I dine in the ladies' aft parlor and we have the nicest table mates on board the ship.

The Hoosier Girl Abroad: A Diary of Seventy-seven Days Attending the World's Sunday-School Convention.

Church service was held every day at sea and as here, on the open decks, as the cruise was favoured with perfect weather almost through. Credit: A Pilgrimage to Jerusalem: The Story of the Cruise to the World's Fourth Sunday-School Convention

The 'Cruise of the Christians' in the Orient grows more interesting every day. This is because of the splendid arrangements made for us by Mr. Frank C. Clark, and the admirable carrying out of these arrangements by Mr. Herbert E. Clark, who is in charge. I do not think there is a person aboard who is not ready to testify that this is 'way' to visit Oriental countries. So many privileges are secured for us that the ordinary tourist could not enjoy. For example: The United States Consul at Constantinople, Mr. Dickinson, secured for the whole party entrance to the palaces and the Treasury. Otherwise this privilege could not have been enjoyed.

Smyrna, 1 April 1904
The Semi-Weekly New Era, 27 April 1904

At sea, in the brilliant weather enjoyed almost throughout the cruise. Credit: The Cruise of the Eight Hundred

The First Class dining saloon decorated with the U.S. Flag, that of Canada and the Constantine banner which was flown throughout the cruise. Credit: The Cruise of the Eight Hundred

Grosser Kurfürst at Gibraltar on 19 March 1904. Credit: The Cruise of the Eight Hundred

And in Valetta's Grand Harbour, Malta.  Credit: The Cruise of the Eight Hundred

The convention was held 18-20 April 1904 in Jerusalem just outside the Damascus gate and near Mount Calvary, each session attended by some 2,000 delegates. The Clark party enjoyed 18 days in Palestine, five in Egypt, four in Rome, three in Athens and three in Constantinople although the latter did not overly impress at least one passenger: "Constantinople, the next port of call, was a revelation of dirt, dogs and everything filthy." (J.M. Amick, The Watchman, 2 June 1904)

Grosser Kurfürst sailed from Naples on 6 May 1904 and from Villefranche on the 7th, returning to New York on the 19th, a day late owing to engine trouble two days out.  

After seventy-seven days of joys unconfined, with only two days of bad weather, and these  in the fog off the American coast, 523 out of the 817 delegates to the world's fourth Sunday school convention, held in Jerusalem, arrived home today [22 May] on the Grosser Kurfürst

Floating from the her truck was the ensign of the 'Christian Conquest,' the emblem of the Sunday school army, a red cross and white union on a blue field with the words, 'By This Sign We Conquer.' Every delegate wore a white ribbon inscribed 'I Have Been to Jerusalem, 1904.'

The tourists had all kinds of a good time. Some of the strait-laced seniors, who were never young themselves, frowned upon the love making, but in spite of all their austerity and the bars they put up in the way of the lovers seven engagements were announced before the ship berthed, with a good prospect of a score more.

Mr. Under, brother-in-law of Manager Clark, even feel a victim to Cupid. His fiancee is a pretty Sunday school teacher. Dr. Schapermack, the second surgeon on the ship, came down the gang plank beaming and hanging on to a Pittsburgh maiden. He is going to give up the sea practice, marry the girl and open an office in Pittsburgh. 

The stewards and the waiters were surprised at the abstemiousness of the excursion. The excursionists drank nothing but ice water.

The Grosser Kurfürst brought back a keg of stale beer. During the seventy-seven days of the trip only sixty-one glasses of beer were drunk, a record. The Grosser Kurfurst started with 50,000 bottles of lithia and appolinaris and brought back forty-nine odd bottles.

The Indianapolis Star, 23 May 1904

"The Cruise of the 800" was one of Clark's most successful, favoured by wonderful weather, good company and thoroughly enjoyed by all.  It, too, would not the last association Clark would have with Grosser Kurfürst or indeed with NDL and the cruise trade going forward.  

Known as "The Millionaires' Ship" for her many cruises for Frank C. Clark, Arabic even had one of the first cruise specific postcards, showing her at Constantinople, from a painting by Charles Dixon.

Hitherto, Clark's cruises had been "one offs" in terms of ships and lines but for 1905, that was to change, beginning a sustained and successful association with White Star's Arabic. The 15,801 grt, 660 ft. by 65.5 ft. twin-screw, quadruple expansion powered vessel was the classic Harland & Wolff-built intermediate. Like so many White Star liners of the first decade of the 20th century, she was entangled in the machinations of IMM ownership, being originally laid down in 1902 as the sister ship of Atlantic Transport's Minnetonka and primarily a cargo vessel.  Transferred to White Star, she was redesigned as an intermediate liner with 200 First, 200 Second and 1,000 Third Class berths for the Liverpool-New York service on which sailed on her maiden voyage on 26 June 1903. 

Arabic First Class dining saloon. Credit: Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives.

Arabic First Class library. Credit: Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives.

First Class smoking room. Credit: Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives.

Arabic, "One of the Finest, Largest and Steadiest Steamers in the World," was one of those ships that found instant favour with passengers for her solid comfort, handsome Edwardian interiors and especially for her staunch and steady seaboat qualities.  Like Grosser Kurfurst, she was of optimal size and quality for the nascent cruise trade and would prove one of Clark's signature vessels before the Great War. Indeed, her success would prompt White Star to enter the cruise business themselves. 

Credit: The New York Times, 30 April 1904.

On 30 April 1904, Clarks first advertised a 70-day Mediterranean/Orient cruise in Arabic, from New York on 2 February 1905 and returning 13 April. 

Perhaps indicative that cruising was no longer the novelty it once was, Arabic slipped out of her Chelsea, New York pier on 2 February 1905 with little press mention, but did so fully booked with 632 passengers.  By now, Clarks had a pretty set Mediterranean itinerary and Arabic would make the usual circuit encompassing Funchal, Cadiz, Gibraltar, Algiers, Valletta, Athens, Constantinople, Smyrna, Haifa, Jaffa, Alexandria, Naples, Villefranche and arriving at Liverpool on 5 April.  From there, tour members, including those who disembarked at Naples, could sail home on any White Star steamer to permit extended stays on the Continent or Britain whilst those wishing a direct connection, transhipped to Majestic which arrived at New York on the 13th.

If her departure was accomplished in relative obscurity, Arabic's arrival at Liverpool occasioned this fulsome account of the cruise in the Liverpool Journal of Commerce of 6 April 1905 including meeting Cretic in Algiers and Republic at Alexandria:


The White Star liner Arabic, which has been for the past two months on a pleasure cruise from New York to the Mediterranean,visiting Pielestine, Egypt, Greece, Turkey, Italy, Malta, South of France, arrived in the Mersey  yesterday morning, her passengers being delighted with their cruise and the manner in which the White Star line, through their officials, Captain Thomas P. Thompson, the commander, and Purser R. Edwards, of the Arabic, catered for'their comfort and enjoyment.  The White Star liners are known for their regularity steaming, and  it is a notable feature of the cruise that before the vessel left New York it was arranged on the itinerary that the Arabic should arrive in the Mersey on her return trip on April 5, and at eight o'clock yesterday morning the vessel anchored off the Landing Stage exactly to time, a truly remarkable performance considering that the cruise extended over 60 days, and covered a distance of nearly 15,000 miles. 

At 6 a.m., on February 2, the Arabic sailed from the White Star pier, New York, with some 650 passengers on board, and her course headed for Madeira,  the island of sunshine and flowers, while an American band accompanied the vessel  and discoursed music during the voyage. The Arabic arrived at Madeira on Friday, 11th February. where the passengers went ashore, and a dance was given their honour in Reids' new hotel. From there the vessel proceeded to Cadiz, the famous seaport from which Columbus set out on his momentous voyage of discovery. A large number of the passengers landed at Cadiz and Seville, and visited Grenada end the Alhambra, after which they proceeded by train to Gibraltar, where they visited the fortifications and batteries, and on Friday, February 17, the Arabic arrived at Algiers, the capital of Algeria. where the White Star liner Cretic, of 13,500 tons, was lying at anchor, inward bound from New York to Mediterranean parts, and the sight of these two fine liners in the harbour, probably the largest that have entered Algiers, proved a source of attraction and interest to the Algerians. 

From Algiers,  the Arabic went to Malta, where she arrived on Sunday, February 19, and while there the passengers  paid visits to the fortifications at Valetta, the cathedral, and the palace of the Governor. The liner was visited by a large number of naval officers  She next called at Phaleron Bay, Athens, where the passengers entrained for Athens, and visited the palace, Government buildings, university, museum, Acropolis, Parthenon, Mars Hill, and the many places and objects of historic interest,  while they also witnessed the performance of a modern Greek play. While at Constantinople the passengers were entertained to a most interesting concert, given by the Alumnae Association of the American College for Girls, founded on February 25, 1890, by Miss Coraline  Bowden, of Boston, U.S.A. At Smyrna a very amusing incident occurred while the shio was lying at anchor, for a party of passengers went ashore, and returned towing astern of the boat a pontoon on which was a camel, which was towed around the liner to the amusement of the passengers. 

The next places of  call were Caifa and Jaffa,  where the passengers, visiting Jerusalem and  the Holy Land, disembarked, while the liner went on to Alexandria,  where those passengers desirous of navigating the Nile joined the specially chartered steamer Puritan, and also had an opportunity of visiting Cairo. The Arabic lay at anchor in the harbour at the time as the White Star liner Republic, and while at that port the liner's crew had several athletic events, on one occasion the stewards beating  the Army Medical Corp, of Alexandria, in an Association football  match by three goals to one, while the Berkshire Regiment beat  Arabic's crew in a game of cricket. 

After taking on board the tourists from Palestine and Egypt, the Arabic left Alexandria on Monday, March 20, for Naples, which was reached on Thursday, March 23, where tours were made to all the places of historic interest, while a Neapolitan string bend, with a boy singer, played selections on the Promenade deck while the liner was in port. At Naples the tourists had the option of proceeding to America by the White Star line's Italian service, proceeding overland to Liverpool  or remaining by the Arabic, and on to Liverpool with her. While at Villefranche, the tourist party visited  Monte Carlo, and after leaving Villefranche, the Arabic proceeded direct to Liverpool, where on arrival the passengers were transferred to the Majestic, and sailed at 4 p.m. for New York.

The 1906 Mediterranean cruise, 70 days, departing New York 8 February was  first advertised 25 June 1905.  As for Arabic, which had been placed on the Boston run after her first Clarks cruise and was the largest liner so engaged, she managed also to break the record from Boston to Liverpool, arriving there on 1 September after a passage of 6 days 17 hours.  The 1906 cruise was, like that for the previous year, fully booked and Arabic sailed with 632 aboard among them five senators, three judge, three generals, two colonels, 32 clergymen and 13 doctors. 

Following the same itinerary, she arrived at Liverpool on 11 April and making a connection, for those not wishing a layover, with Oceanic which reached New York on the 18th. 

Snapshot of the fore deck of Arabic during her 1906 Mediterranean cruise. Credit: eBay auction photo.

Arabic in a Mediterranean port during her 1906 cruise. Credit: eBay photo.


The White Star liner Arabic arrived in the Mersey yesterday morning after her two months' cruise in the Mediterranean, most of her passenger leaving again yesterday for New York by the Ocean.  The Arabic, commanded by Captain T.P. Thompson, one of the most experienced commanders in the White Star line, left New York on February 8th, and arrived at Madeira on February 16th. After a stay of one day at Madeira the vessel left at 2 p.m. on Saturday, February 17th, bound for Cadiz. which was reached Monday morning at 6 a.m.. From there the cruise continued to Gibraltar, and afterwards she proceeded to Algiers, which was reached on the early morning of  Saturday, February 24th. The next places to be visited on the cruise were  Malta, Athens, Caifa, Jaffa, Alexandria, Naples, Villefranche, and Nice, at all of which the passengers explored interesting and historic spots, and were in loud in their praised of the steamer and its suitability for Mediterranean cruises. 

Liverpool Journal of Commerce, 12 April 1906

Credit: https://www.commoncrowbooks.com/

Furthering a remarkable consistency of sold-out cruises, that for 1907 to the Mediterranean saw Arabic sail from New York on 7 February 1907 with 639 passengers.  "At Alexandria, balls were given by by the British Ambassador, Greek Minister, and others, and brilliant social gatherings were held at the Savoy, Continental. and Shepheard's hotels. The passengers, on disembarking at this port, were received on a magnificent barge, decorated in right Oriental style, and named by the passengers, 'Cleopatra's Barge..'"  the Liverpool Journal of Commerce, 11 April 1907 reported on her return.

The 1908 Mediterranean-Orient Cruise was a milestone for Clarks, being their tenth such excursion and the fourth aboard Arabic. Credit: https://briandimambro.com/

At the end of May 1907, Frank C. Clark announced a milestone offering, the 10th Mediterranean cruise from New York, a record only exceeded at the time by Hamburg-Amerika, and the fourth by Arabic, departing 6 February 1908.  This, too, was fully subscribed and Arabic (Capt. H. Smith) departed in a blizzard of snow with 648 passengers from 36 states, the District of Columbia and Canada, bound for "the lands of sunshine and mystery." During the cruise, there was a "Grand Leap Year Ball" during the call at Funchal on 14 February and a garden party and ball at Cairo on 19 March.  When she called at Naples, 234 landed there for independent travel and another 200 at Villefranche with 198 remaining for the final leg to Liverpool. When she docked there on 9 April, it was reported that among her passengers were "several American millionaires," most of whom made a direct connection with Cedric for New York.

Arabic at a Mediterranean port on one of her Clark cruises. Credit: eBay auction photo.

In late May 1908, Clark announced their cruise programme for 1909-10 which for the first time since 1903, offered of three cruises.  Two were groundbreaking and one was the now perennial staple, the 11th annual Mediterranean cruise which was again undertaken by Arabic which departed New York on 4 February 1909 with 691 passengers. 

Arabic's return to Liverpool from the Mediterranean cruise elicited another a remarkably comprehensive account in the Liverpool Journal of Commerce, 10 April 1909, which captures some of the flavour of what was now an Edwardian Era staple in the winter cruise calendar:


Days of Tranquil Sea and Sunshine.

The White Star steamer Arabic, 15,800 tons in command of Harry Smith, Lieut. R.N.R. arrived in the Mersey last Thursday evening and came alongside the Stage at 8 a.m. on Friday morning. She landed 225 members of the cruise, of which 108 returned to New York per the Baltic last evening. She left New York at 5 a.m. on Feb. 4. having on board 690 passengers, and others joined as the cruise advanced On the evening of embarkation the thermometer was below zero and snow hot the morning broke with a  clear sky and and warm sun, and continued remarkably until Madeira was reached. On the evening of Feb. 10 the Arabic met the American Fleet returning home, and the passengers had the opportunity of witnessing the naval strength of their country, of which they are so proud. 

To leisured and wealthy Americans one of the most delightful institutions is a tour to the Mediterranean, especially as  organised by the White Star Line by some of their most palatial steamers.  That of the now famous Arabic in so popular that the list is filled very early in the season. Many have been on each successive  cruise. They embrace Americans from every State in the Union, Canadians, an, Britisher. All passengers declared on landing at Naples. Villefranche, and Liverpool  that the cruise had been a veritable dream of interest, comfort, and brightness, with sixty-five days of sunshine and tranquil Sea, all arrangements being most perfect, the yacht antiripat inc the hour of arrival at each port touched at taking the innermost berth available, and as making disembarkation and re-embarkation I feature of pleasure to all. There never was the slightest hitch or accident. All the land arrangements are under the personal supervision of Mr. Frank C. Clark and his brother. Mr. Herbert F. Clark, of Jerusalem, assisted by a staff of directors of long experience. cultured linguists, and courteous. viz., Mr. A P. Albina, Mr. C. Hillier, Mr. J. Wiley, Mr J. Bitter, and Mr. Tschitinian. Mr. Frank C. Clark is assisted by Mrs. A. J. Harris, of Boston, Mass., and Miss Harriet Yeater, of Des Moines, lowa., two very bright genial women of travel and society, so that lady cruisites, feel that they have someone to lean upon guide them, as well as being chaperoned. 

Few ship's cats had their own postcards, then again few of them were as well-travelled as Arabic's Ginger. This card was posted from Alexandria, Egypt. 


The first call which the Arabic made was at Madeira. Here the Casino authorities gave a ball in honour of the cruise, and this was largely attended not only by the passengers but by the naval and military people on shore, who were glad to have the opportunity of becoming acquainted with the Americans. Cadiz was next visited, with its many ancient sights. From Cadiz an inland trip to Seville and the Alcazara remarkable building. The Cathedral, second only in size to St. Peters at Rome, and the Giraldi, originally a prayer tower of  a Moorish Mosque, were visited. There were also side trips to Granada and the Alhambra. From Cadiz the steamer proceeded to Gibraltar, the impregnable fortress. and thence to Algiers for centuries the home of the Corsairs of the sea. Great interest was taken by many of the tourists in inspecting the Moorish and Byzantine architecture, and in looking at the motley population of Arabs, Bedouin, Turks, Negroes, and Maltese, and the heavily-laden caravans from the great African Deserts. From Algiers the vessel steamed along the northern coast of Africa to Malta,  then on to Athens and the land of the ancient Greeks.

An old stereo card of Arabic landing passengers at Jaffa.

Steaming through the Dardanelles, passing the sight of ancient Troy, Constantinople was next visited, and afterwards the ship went up the beautiful Bosphorus, entering the Black Sea. Returning, a call was made at Smyrna, and an opportunity was given those' who desired to visit Ephesus. Steaming through the Grecian Archipelago, passing Rhodes and Cyprus, the coast of Palestine was sighted. The steamer stepped at Haifa to land tourists for Samaria, Damascus, etc. The next place of interest, Jaffa, the ancient city of Joppa. Tours were also to Jerusalem, Bethlehem. Nazareth, Tiberius, Bethany, and the Jordan. 

Leaving Jaffa the Arabic proceeded to Egypt, the land Pharoes, passengers disembarking at Alexandria en route for Cairo. Here they stayed at Shepheards, Hotel Continental, the Savoy, and other first-class hotels. Eleven day here enabled many to visit the Pyramids and the Sphynx, and also take trips up the Nile,  and see all the surrounding places of interest. Carriages, camels, and donkeys were provided by the cruise management. At Shepheards a grand ball was given in honour of the visitors, the gardens being beautifully illuminated. Many of the costumes worn by the ladies of the cruise were much admired, and were not to as many worn by those from other climes. 

From Alexandria the ship proceeded to Naples, from which place there were tours to Rome, Pompeii, Capri, Sorrento, Amalfi, and Posillipo. One of the chief attractions of Capri is the Blue Grotto, which, owing to the  calm sea and beautiful weather, passengers were able to explore. It is highly interesting. wonderful, and fascinating. Leaving Naples. with its lovely bay and beautiful surroundings, the Arabic steamed to Villefranche, delightfully situated in the very heart of the Riviera. The opportunity was taken to visit Nice and Monte Carlo. The drives along the Corniche road are very attractive, the scenery being amongst the finest in the world. The entire party dined at the Hotel de l'Hermitage, and afterwards strolled through the beautiful grounds and visited the world-finned Casino.

Arabic at Villefranche. 

From Villafranche the liner went on to Liverpool, reaching the Mersey at 9 p.m. on the: 6th of April. Six hundred and ninety tourists left New York by the steamer; of these 242 disembarked at Naples to make a Continental trip over, 233 at Villefranche, and 225 at Liverpool, of whom some 168 returned to New York by the Baltic, and the remainder return by later steamers of the White Star Line front Liverpool and Cherbourg. During the voyage there were many interesting lectures by eminent divines, professors, senators, lawyers, and doctors, and several concerts, card parties, debates, literary entertainments and danced were held. The deck was turned into a ball room, being gaily decorated with coloured electric lights, Chinese lanterns, flags. bunting, etc. Music was supplied by the ship's excellent orchestra of ten musicians. At Alexandria the crew played two football matches against military teams, in both of which they were successful after very hard fought games. A match was also played with a team from the steamer Romanic, at Naples, which turned out a rather one-sided affair, the Arabic's team having things their own way all through the game. 

The great feature of the cruise was the fact that the cuisine maintained by the White Star management was of the highest order. Fresh provisions, such as vegetables. fruit, fish, eggs, poultry, &e, were purchased at each port, and the staff of the steamer were highly complimented lot the manner in which they performed their arduous Many of the ladies will ever remember the cruise, as Cupid pierced the hearts of many, and numerous engagements will be the outcome. Towards the end of the cruise Commander Harry Smith and his officers were highly complimented for their unfailing courtesy sad attention. The steamer leaves Liverpool in October for two cruises round the, world, calling at Egypt, India, Ceylon, Burma, China; Japan, Borneo, and the Philippines for which she is already filled. In is hoped that thew will be as great a success as those to the Mediterranean. 

Liverpool Journal of Commerce, 10 April 1909

An increasing prosperous Frank C. Clark moved into new premises in midtown Manhattan in spring 1908 in the landmark Times Building (1904) at 42nd & Broadway. 

Nor was the organization of world cruise an easy thing. During the decade in which Clark was trying to sell the world the idea of cruising around it two other cruises were projected by men apparently well qualified to organize what was then, and is now, a gigantic enterprise. Both failed to leave their home ports.

But on the morning of October 16, 1909, the good ship Cleveland, of the Hamburg American Line,  a ship that still flies the house flag of the United American Lines, crept slowly out from its Hoboken pier and, amid a din of shrieking whistles, headed for Funchal, Port Said, Borneo, San Francisco and all way stations. 

W.F. Alder, Los Angeles Evening Express, 17 September 1925

The first advertisement for the first single vessel round the world cruise in Arabic in October 1909. Credit: New York Tribune, 7 May 1908.

But, far wider horizons were in the offing for Clark and the first single vessel round the world cruises ever undertaken. 

In announcing their 1909 cruise programme in May 1908, Clarks created a sensation by offering not one but two Round the World cruises in Arabic, the first departing New York on 16 October 1909 to New York, eastbound, to San Francisco, and the second in the opposite direction starting on 5 February 1910. 

Ever since Magellan in 1519, circumnavigating the world not only proved it was indeed round, but challenged seaman and captivated travellers.  Jules Verne's Around the World in Eighty Days (1873) conjured up the fantasy and wonder of touring right around the world whilst advances in travel technology-- the transcontinental railways of the U.S. and Canada, steamships and the evolution of global travel networks like that being developed by Canadian Pacific--  made the fantasy a reality. 

Indeed, the beginnings of Canadian Pacific's All Red Route-- the building of the first trio of "White Empresses" for the epic Vancouver-Shanghai route in 1890-- saw the first commercial selling of Round the World cruises built around their delivery voyages from Scotland, eastwards via Suez, to the Orient, thence across to their homeport of Vancouver, thence via trans-Continental railway to the East Coast and finally, trans-Atlantic liner to England. Of course, it could be done only three times and, of course, it entailed two steamers and 3,000 miles of train travel to accomplish. 

By 1891, Jules Verne's 80 days had been reduced to 52 via P&O and Canadian Pacific scheduled services by steamship and trans-continental railway:
  • London-Hong Kong 24 days 
  • layover in Hong Kong 1 day
  • Hong Kong to Yokohama 5 days 
  • Layover in Yokohama 1 day
  • Yokohama to London 21 days 
But that was the stuff of timetable collectors not wishing to see much of the world except through a ship's railing or train carriage window.  Before the construction of the Panama Canal,  a single vessel cruise  encircling the world was frustrated by having to navigate around the entire South American continent, the time and logistics of which not to mention to presumed terrors of the Straits of Magellan, was not a popular prospect.  By 1890s, Canadian Pacific and the various American trans-continental railways provided the short-cut that made a combination ship/rail global tour a practical and indeed pleasurable possibility. 

Advertisement for HAPAG's groundbreaking but unrealised world cruises for 1904-05. Credit: New York Sun, 4 April 1904. 

Had it not been for the Japanese and the Russians, Germany would have been the first. Hamburg-Amerika  planned and advertised the first true single ship round the world voyage aboard the first purpose-built luxury cruise ship, Prinzessin Victoria Luise (1900). In October 1903 they announced a pair of voyages, one departing New York eastward to San Francisco on 15 September 1904 and westwards from San Francisco to New York beginning 24 January 1905. Each of the four and half long trips would cost $1,500 min. rate and call at 24 ports.  

By April 1904, however, the advertisement were amended to read "Success Assured. Ports of Call Not Affected by Hostilities in the East," referring to the Russo-Japanese War.  By the end of the month, with 150 bookings in hand, both cruises had to be scrubbed owing to widening naval war in East.  Worse, the lovely Prinzessin Victoria Luise went aground and was wrecked off Kingston, Jamaica, on a subsequent West Indies cruise in December 1906.  It was the first time that the ambitions of HAPAG's Albert Ballin had been frustrated, but as events unfolded would be realised with a little help by Frank C. Clark.

Flush with continued success with his Arabic cruises, Clark dusted off  HAPAG's aborted world cruise concept.  Unlike the German itinerary, there would no winter trans-Atlantic voyage from New York to Hamburg first and then dipping down to the Med, but follow the itinerary of the Clark Mediterranean cruises south to Madeira and Gibraltar. And Clark intended to accomplish this in the "Big Ship Manner" he was famous for and employ, once again, the tried and true 15,801-grt Arabic, which unlike the 200-passenger, 4,400-grt Prinzessin Victoria Luisa, could comfortably accommodate 650 passengers offering economy of scale and better seakeeping.  As it was, the American was also affording the British Merchant Navy the opportunity of adding yet another laurel to its credit at the expense of the Germans by sending R.M.S. Arabic on the first single ship world cruise.  

Lloyd's List of 18 April 1908 was first to report that Arabic "had been chartered by Mr. F.C. Clark, of New York, the famous American tourist agent, for a cruise around the world next spring. This will be the greatest excursion of the kind ever attempted."

A Remarkable Charter. White Star liner "Arabic" has been chartered for considerable time in advance for ''Round the World' cruises in the winter of 1909-10. Starting from New York, on October 16th, 1909, the first trip will begun, and will embrace 23,094 miles of steaming and over 4,000 miles rail and river steamers. The ocean cruise will finish at San Francisco, and passengers will be brought overland from that port to New York. The second cruise will the reverse way, starting at San Francisco, and finishing at Liverpool, the American passengers being transferred to any of White Star New York liners, they may select. This latter cruise will cover 23,871 and an additional 4.000 miles rail and river steamers. These cruises have, of course, been engineered  by the  Yankees. We have no time for  them on this side.

Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 23 May 1908

The appeal of the voyage was simple enough: "The great Arabic Round the World Cruises give the first opportunity ever offered to make the trip on one splendid trans-Atlantic steamer with a single change. No vessel like the Arabic has ever before sailed in Eastern Seas, or gone through the Suez Canal. No one has ever toured the World under such luxurious conditions of travel. The wear and worry of seventeen changes of inferior, malodorous Oriental boats are wholly avoided. To go Around the World has seemed to many people to be one of those roseate dreams which they would scarcely dare to hope to see realized."  

The routing emphasised, too, the Far and Near East ports with extended overland stays in Japan (a week), India (up to 17 days) etc. rather than the Mediterranean and Middle East destinations otherwise catered to by Clark's established cruises there. In all, each world voyage encompassed 23,871 miles by Arabic and over 4,000 miles by rail or river steamer. 

The complete itinerary for the second Arabic world voyage 6 February-19 May 1910, San Francisco to Liverpool (where direct connection would be available by White Star steamer to New York, or via a later sailing for those wishing a longer British layover. Alternatively, passengers could disembark in Naples, spend time in Italy or central Europe, and return via White Star's regular Naples-New York service. 


For a year or two past the White Star liner Arabic has been steadily winning fame, especially among wealthy American travellers. in a popular pleasure maker. It is in consequence of this that the White Star line have agreed to let her sail under charter from New York on two cruises round the world. The vessel, which is 15,801 tons, became widely known on the other side of the Atlantic because of the delightful Mediterranean. trips which were organised in connection with her. The first of the round-the-world cruises will commence at New York in October of next war. The Arabic will call at Madeira, Gibraltar, Naples, Port Paid, Suez, Bombay, Colombo, Calcutta, Rangoon. Singapore, Batavia, Victoria Harbour, Labrian (Borneo), Manila, Hong Kong, Nagasaki, Kobe, Yokohama and Honolulu, en route to San Francisco. Each round-the-world cruise will occupy about four mouths, at a cost of $650 upward, including extended excursions. 

Liverpool Journal of Commerce, 19 September 1908

The brochure and route map for the originally scheduled Clark world cruises in Arabic. Credit: eBay auction photos. 

It will be recalled that Arabic, at the onset of her recently concluded Mediterranean cruise, had passed the U.S. Navy's "Great White Fleet" of 16 battleships on the final leg of its epic round the world cruise so that Clark's timing coincided with an enormous public interest in all things maritime and globe girding. 

Announcement by Frank C. Clark in the New York Times, 27 May 1909. 

Rather astonishingly and for reasons not disclosed to the public, after a year of promotion of the cruises, the charter of Arabic was suddenly cancelled.  On 27 May 1909  Clark placed announcements in major newspapers stating that "his personality and his liberal and successful management are no longer associated with the White Star Line  Arabic cruise which is being announced."  This referring to White Star's decision to dispatch the liner instead on their own 73-day Mediterranean cruise from New York on 20 January 1910.  This was announced by the line the same day and itself significant, being the first British trans-Atlantic line to operate a long cruise for the American market.


The White Star line is now arranging for a grand 70 days' cruise to the Mediterranean by its well-known twin-screw steamer Arabic, 15,800 tons, which will leave New York tor the about the end of January, 1910, calling at Madeira and Gibraltar and all the principal ports of interest in the great inland sea. 

The Arabic has already made several such cruises, under charter, with conspicuous success; but the managers of the White Star evidently believel that with the increasing popularity of these tours it is now due to their far-reaching clientele that company should itself direct operations. 

Liverpool Journal of Commerce, 28 May 1909

Given the tone of Clark's announcement, the cancellation was not an amicable one and it would not the last time that a steamship line would, in effect, learn the cruise trade from Clark and then elect to operate its own programme. None, however, would cancel a charter that had been in effect for a year nor four months prior to the first departure.  Not only were Clark's two world cruises left in the lurch but so was the 12th annual Mediterranean cruise.

The first advertisement for Hapag's Cleveland to undertake the two Clark's world cruises whilst "a fine steamer" was as much as could be promised for the February 1910 Mediterranean cruise. Credit: New York Times, 28 May 1909. 

Not one to be deterred, Clark on 27 May 1909 announced his charter of  the "magnificent new steamer Cleveland (18,000 tons) of the Hamburg-American Line, the largest, best equipped and most sumptuously steamer for cruising purposes in all the world" for both the 16 October itinerary from New York and one, in the reserve direction, from 5 February as well as two similar trips in October 1910 and February 1911.  By 1 June, Clark was advertising NDL's Grosser Kurfürst as operating the 12th Mediterranean & Orient Cruise, departing New York 5 February 1910.  

The second of two intermediates laid down for HAPAG in late 1907, Cleveland was launched by Blohm & Voss, Hamburg,  on 26 September 1908 and by 27 March 1909 was off on her maiden voyage from Hamburg to New York.  With sister Cincinnati (their names reflecting the German tradition of honouring American cities with large ethnic German populations), they were among the finest intermediate liners of their era with principal measurements of 558.8 ft. by 65.3 ft and a gross tonnage of 16,970.  Their twin-screw quadruple-expansion machinery gave them a 16-knot service speed and their accommodation for 246 First, 332 Second, 448 Third and 1,801 steerage gave them the enviable combination of luxe and profit that Albert Ballin made HAPAG the most profitable steamship company in the world. Their potential as one-class cruise ships was first realised by Frank C. Clark, but they were designed from the onset with the trade in mind. 

The accommodations in the first cabin have received special attention, and in addition to the large number of ordinary staterooms there will be 70 rooms for the sole use of one passenger; several suites comprising parlor, bedroom and bath-room, and number of large rooms with bath and toilet.

The spacious dining-room, which is located on the upper deck, has been equipped with small tables for two, four and six persons, and the saloon is large enough to accommodate all passengers at one sitting, even during the height of the season.

On the promenade deck there is located a spacious lounge, music room on writing room, smoking room and gymnasium, and on the different promenade decks sheltered corners are provided affording protection from the wind and weather when the conditions are unfavorable.

In addition to the above-named features, there is an electric passenger elevator connecting the different decks, a well-equipped gymnasium with electrical apparatus electric light baths, a dark room for photography, a book-stall, library, information bureau, etc.

For promenading there are two large promenade decks, and in addition there is a large open deck on the top of the uppermost deck-house.

The arrangement of the second cabin has also been given special attention, and affords every modern comfort and convenience. The main saloon, ladies' parlor and the smoking room are similar in size, design and decoration to those of our most recent vessels.

Cleveland, First Class dining saloon. She and Cincinnati were the first intermediates to offer convivial smaller, restaurant style seating and individual table lamps. 

Cleveland, First Class lounge.

On 19 August 1909 a more elaborate and informative advertisement for "The Around the World Cruise in S.S. Cleveland, "A Magnificent new S.S. of 18,000 tons." appeared in the New York Times, promising "Princely traveling for four months to balmy climates, over a fascinating itinerary at little more cost than remaining at home," with a min. rate of $650 or $20,878 in today's dollars.  Other inducements including "run like a private yacht, one class of passengers, no freight and one s.s. for the world journey." 

Credit: New York Times, 19 August 1909.

As with all Clarks cruises, entertainment played an important part and the Honolulu Commercial Advertiser advised its readers that  "A strong orchestra is to be carried on the entire voyage and will play in the dining saloon alternately during luncheon and dinner, also at each port upon arrival and departure, on deck in the afternoon and upon many occasions in conjunction with dances on deck in the evenings. The Cleveland has a complete laundry ad all work can be done aboard." And of course, there were all those provisions that newspapers of the day loved to document: 140,000 pounds of meat, 18,000 quarts of milk and cream, 103,000 eggs, 97,000 oranges, 148,000 pounds of flour. 6,500 gallons of beer, 19,000 bottles of wine, 56,500 bottles of mineral water and 3,200 tons of fresh water and  5,500 tons of coal.

The Hamburg-American liner Cleveland, chartered by Frank C. Clark, sails today for a double cruise around the world. She will be the first liner that ever has undertaken so great a voyage. More than 600 excursionists will sail in her. All of her steerage compartments have been converted into cargo space to carry the enormous supplies necessary for the trip to San Francisco by way of the Atlantic, the Mediterranean and the Suez Canal. Among the good things below decks are hundreds of barrels of German beer, which the Cleveland brought here on her last trip from Hamburg… There are four swimming tanks on the promenade deck of the ship and as the weather will be mild most of the trip the passengers may take a sea bath practically every day.

New York Sun, 16 October 1909

Cleveland sails from Hoboken. Credit: shipenthusiast.com, member threebs.

The Hamburg-American liner Cleveland, chartered by Frank C. Clark, sails today for a double cruise around the world. She will be the first liner that ever has undertaken so great a voyage. More than 600 excursionists will sail in her. All of her steerage compartments have been converted into cargo space to carry the enormous supplies necessary for the trip to San Francisco by way of the Atlantic, the Mediterranean and the Suez Canal. Among the good things below decks are hundreds of barrels of German beer, which the Cleveland brought here on her last trip from Hamburg… There are four swimming tanks on the promenade deck of the ship and as the weather will be mild most of the trip the passengers may take a sea bath practically every day.

New York Sun, 16 October 1909

Her 644 passengers embarking the night before, Cleveland (Capt. C. Dempwolf) sailed from Hoboken at first light on 16 October 1909 and the world's first single ship world cruise was underway. Of those aboard, 305 were men and 353 women and there 250 Masons, 40 Elks and a large number of Christian Endeavorers represented in the passenger list, reflecting Clark's established market. 

It was Frank C. Clark's great achievement, even more so given that just over four months ago he had no ship to undertake it.  And, of course, it marked another first for Albert Ballin's Hamburg-Amerika Linie in the cruise trade, the service, cuisine and accommodation of Cleveland eliciting as much praise as the seamanship and hospitality of her officers and crew.  The world cruises of Cleveland were an undoubted triumph, embodying in deed HAPAG's motto Mein Feld ist der Welt and under the houseflag of the greatest steamship line in the world and the Schwartz, Weiss, Rot of Imperial Germany at its zenith. 

The man himself, aboard Cleveland's first world cruise. 

Cleveland's Capt. C. Dempwolf and Chief Officer F. Kruse.  Credit: Around the World on the Cleveland.

From New York, Cleveland proceeded to Madeira, Gibraltar, Naples, Port Said (2 November 1909) and made her maiden transit of the Suez Canal, Bombay (15), Colombo, Calcutta  (for overland tours with as much as 17 days in India),Rangoon (4 December), Singapore (10 ),  Batavia, Labuan (Borneo), Manila, Hong Kong, Nagasaki, Kobe (3 January 1910), Yokohama, Honolulu (23) and San Francisco, 23,871 steaming miles in all.  Upon arrival at each port, a special  pre-printed  postcard was sent to relatives advising of a safe arrival. 

Clark provided preprinted postcards for each port of a call to send to relatives and friends. 

Few single voyages occasioned as much global coverage as that of the Cleveland which was assuredly the largest and finest passenger steamer to visit many of the ports on her itinerary especially east of Suez. Indeed, her transit of the Canal resulted in the largest toll yet paid for such a passage; $28,000.

The expected American invasion of Calcutta will begin shortly as the representative of Frank C. Clark, tourist agent of New York, is due in Calcutta at the head of the army of visitors on Monday next. The Cleveland is due at Diamond Harbour on the 27th. It was originally intended that the vessel should be anchored at the Esplanade moorings, but she is too big a boat for the Hooghly, and her detention at the mouth of the river is unavoidable. Two special trains belonging to the E.B.S.R. and E.I.R. will convey the visitors to the city, thence to Darjeeling or to Benares, according to the individual wishes of travellers. The steamer leaves Diamond Harbour on the 30th instant, so they have not much time to waste.

Civil & Military Gazette, 21 November 1909

Cleveland anchored off Bombay. Credit: Oswald Lübeck photograph, https://www.deutschefotothek.de/

A real highlight of the itinerary were the extensive calls at and time spent in India and Burma. Cleveland arrived at Bombay on 16 November 1909.  Bringing Cleveland into Calcutta and Rangoon was a real logistical challenge as she was, by far, the largest and deepest draught vessel to call at either port. Far too big to come up the Hooghly into Calcutta, she had to anchor at Diamond Harbour on the 27th and the India General Navigation Co. steamers Dhulia and Afridi chartered to bring her passengers to Calcutta. Of those 100 embarked a special train for Benares and another 60 went to Darjling.  At Rangoon (3-6 December), she had to anchor below Hastings, and it took two hours to bring her passengers ashore by launch.

Crossing the Line ceremony en route from Borneo to Batavia. Credit: Oswald Lübeck photographer, Oswald,  Deutsche Fotothek.

Cleveland at Hong Kong in December 1909. Credit: Karl Lembke photograph, Wikipedia Commons.

Japanese postcard of Cleveland alongside at Yokohama. Credit: eBay auction photo. 

At daylight this morning the largest and most palatial passenger steamer ever in Pacific waters will be off the post of Honolulu, and by eight o'clock will be docked at the new Alakea wharf, where the six hundred and fifty tourist who are completing a tour of the world, will be welcomed to the city, leis and music combining to make the aloha distinctive of the Hawaiian Islands.

There is more than ordinary public interest centered in the visit of the Cleveland, as it is the first visit of a round-the-world passenger cruiser, and according to plans of Frank Clark, the organizer of the cruise, is only the first of regular voyages to made into the Pacific. 

Honolulu Advertiser, 23 January 1910

Cleveland's comings and goings were big news at each of her port of calls, especially Honolulu.

Her arrival at Honolulu on 23 January 1910, her last port of call on the eastward cruise, was among the most celebrated with a tremendous amount of public and press attention. "The round the world trip of the Cleveland has been remarkable not only for keeping exactly to schedule, but for lack of grumbling and kicks. There have been minor kicks aboard but no knockers. The trip has been as near perfection as the elements and eccentricities of the many climes visited would allow." (Honolulu Advertiser, 25 January 1910). Herbert Clark told reporters the cruise "had been a success throughout. It was an experiment and absolutely successful… Mr. Clark is an optimist and he talks optimism all the time."

The only snafu in the entire cruise was occasioned by arcane U.S. coastal maritime laws which had no exclusion cause for something as novel as sailing from New York to San Francisco via the world, and the Treasury Dept. fined HAPAG $131,200 ($200 per passenger) for carrying passengers on a "domestic route" much to worldwide scorn and ridicule, so much so that on the eve of her arrival at San Francisco, the fine was reduced to $1,000.  

Waving American and Hawaiian flags, laden with leis of many colored flowers, adorned with ribbons and streamers, fluttering handkerchiefs and veils, and shouting 'Aloha! Aloha! Honolulu!' the six hundred and fifty globetrotters of the German steamship Cleveland left Honolulu for San Francisco shortly after five o'clock yesterday afternoon, the huge liner leaving her wharf and pointing seaward in twenty minutes.

Honolulu Advertiser, 25 January 1910

Credit: San Francisco Examiner, 1 February 1910.

Credit: San Francisco Chronicle, 1 February 1910.

Completing a voyage of 23,000 miles from New York, passing over three oceans, five seas and once across the equator, the steamship Cleveland, chartered from the Hamburg-American line for an around the world cruise, reached this port an hour before sunrise yesterday morning, having on board 657 passengers. 

The arrival of the Cleveland is significant for the fact that she is the largest passenger steamship ever entering this harbor, being of 18,000 tons. This is nearly 4000 tons greater than the Pacific Mail liner Manchuria, although the later boasts of a few more feet in length. 

San Francisco Chronicle, 1 February 1910

After making the run from Honolulu in 6 days 13 hours, Cleveland arrived at San Francisco just before dawn on 31 January 1910 to conclude the first round the world cruise.  By 10:30 a.m. she was alongside the Union Street wharf amid enormous press and pubic interest.  Among those interviewed was  Howard L. Boas of Reading, PA: "The entire party of more than 600 persons was just like one big house party. Every on became acquainted with every one else in a short tome, and there was no friction of any kind. It was just a jolly crowd out for a good time, and we had it. "  The San Francisco Chronicle added:  "The Cleveland was very fortunate in the weather she encountered on the long voyage, the passage being pleasant throughout, according to the officials and passengers."  Remarkably for the era and length of voyage, there was one fatality during the cruise, Dr. Don M. Waggoner of Lewiston, IL, succumbed to cancer at Batavia and his remains brought home. 

Credit: San Francisco Examiner, 3 February 1910.

If getting Cleveland coaled, stored and painted for her westward cruise was not enough, her officers and crew had to contend with a mob of invited guests on 3 February which totalled some 10,000-15,000 during the day.  A gang of 150 painters were busy at work, giving the hard travelled ship a glistening new coat of black, white and buff outside and refreshing inside.  The last of some 5,000 tons of coal was taken aboard that day.  The following day, almost 1,000 trunks were delivered to the pier and a luncheon was served to local and travel officials and agents, "Chief Steward Sturm having orders to show what a Hamburg-American steamer could do. The guests later remarked that luncheon was a revelation in excellence. The buffet in the main dining salon was handsomely decorated, as was the salon itself. (San Francisco Examiner, 5 February 1910).

At 2 o'clock to-morrow afternoon, the strains of the Star Spangled Banner, Die Wacht am Rhine, and other popular tunes, the Cleveland will go to sea from Union Street wharf for the long cruise to the Orient, the East Indies, the Mediterranean and New York, with 750 excursionists.

San Francisco Examiner, 4 February 1910
Ten thousand people witnessed the departure yesterday afternoon of the big Hamburg-American liner Cleveland, Captain Demowolf, on her voyage of 23,000 miles, which will take her to New York, via the principal ports in the Orient and Europe. The docks on either side of the Union street slip, where the Cleveland lay, were black with people, and great crowds gathered at other points of vantage to bid bid voyage to the steamship on her voyage around the world.

The Cleveland was scheduled to leave her mooring at 2 o'clock, but it was not until nearly 3 that the lines were cast off and the liner moved gracefully out into the stream. On her many decks 750 tourist waved to the thousands on shore, while the band struck up  a farewell tune. The steamer was a pretty sight as she backed away from her slip. Great clouds of black smoke belched from her funnels. The many colored flags which decked the steamer's upper works from stem to stern fluttered in the gentle breeze.

San Francisco Chronicle, 6 February 1910

Seen off by 10,000 spectators, Cleveland pulls out of her San Francisco berth on 6 February 1910 to begin her westbound world cruise. Credit: eBay auction photo. 

In another cruise of superlatives, Cleveland left San Francisco with the largest number of First Class passengers ever to leave the port, 750 in all and if anything, her westward voyage was even more celebrated than the eastbound one.  If Cleveland's departure from New York, accustomed as it was to the comings and goings of the biggest ships in the world, that from San Francisco was acclaimed by crowd, headlines and general acclaim. 

The route itself largely retraced that already plied, only in reverse. As such it was the first roundtrip voyage of this length and number of ports ever undertaken by a singe vessel.  From San Francisco, Cleveland proceeded to Honolulu (12-13 February 1910), Yokohama (25 February-4 March), Kobe (5-8), Nagasaki (10-12), Hong Kong (16-18), Manila (20-21), Labuan (24-25), Batavia (28-29), Singapore (31), Rangoon (4-6 April), Diamond Harbour (Calcutta )( 9-12), Colombo (17-19), Bombay (22-26), Suez Canal transit (5-8 May), Naples (12), Gibraltar (15) and Southampton

Frank Clark was a happy man. The greeting accorded his charges, their enthusiastic reception of the friendly offices of the Hawaiians, and the instant
entente cordiale existing between the Islanders and all those on the steamer, was pleasing to him… He stated that for twelve years he had planned just such a cruise and last his dream had been a reality. It was a test and the test had been successful, but the tremendous task of arranging such a cruise was beyond the understanding of people generally. He felt he could not undertake yearly world-cruises, but that if another was undertaken, it would be two years from now. He had demonstrated that hundreds and hundreds of tourists could be handled on such a trip, that it could be successfully carried out and that the tourists would return to homes satisfied, but to undertake another cruise would require at least two years' preparation. 

Mr. Clark stated all this as the vessel swung up the channel toward the city and he was smiling happily all the time. It was the smile of a satisfied man.

The Hawaiian Gazette, 15 February 1910

As with the first cruise when it was the final port of call, Honolulu, now the first stop of the second, afforded Cleveland and her passengers an exceptional welcome on 12 February 1910 and Frank Clark and many passengers extensively interviewed in the press. Even the weather, rainy and dull for days and indeed as the ship passed Diamond Head, changed to brilliant sunshine as the came into port. 

Deck games aboard Cleveland. Credit: Oswald Lübeck photographer, Oswald,  Deutsche Fotothek.

The Cleveland is a huge steamer as it were, a floating palace, over seven hundred first class passengers (no second or third, as this is a pleasure cruise) and over four hundred in the crew to take care of us. You may wonder how we pass the time on this globe encircling journey. On board the steamer we have concerts, lectures, games-- all kind of amusement. On Sundays (when not in port) we have services and evening song service.

Letter by L.W. Elderkin 22 February 1910 published in The Woodstock Sentinel, 14 April 1910

The traditional Japanese manner of coaling ship... by 1,000 women and children, one basket at a time, at Nagasaki. Credit: Around the World on the Cleveland.

As with the first cruise, Japan was a real focus of the trip, Cleveland arriving at Yokohama on 25 February 1910 and not sailing until 4 March with passengers taking extensive overland tours, many staying for few days in Tokyo's brand new Imperial Hotel, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, before proceeding to Kobe (5-8 March) and Nagasaki where she arrived on the 10th for two days.  Here, she was coaled in the Japanese manner by a thousand women and children carrying basket after basket of coal from barge up rope ladder and then into chutes aboard ship.  In a day, they had loaded 4,000-5,000 tons of coal.

Ending one bit of nonsense, it was announced on 13 March 1910 that the U.S. Attorney General announced that the fine against HAPAG  for violating the coastwise laws was being returned and future cruises of this nature would be held in violation of the statute and that the cruise was considered a New York to New York voyage even if the return from San Francisco was made by train.  

Arriving at Hong Kong on 16 March 1910 before dawn, 100 passengers embarked on the river steamer Kinshan for the 90-mile run to Canton for a tour there. The traditional Crossing of the Line ceremony was held aboard between Labuan (Borneo) and  Batavia (Java).

The call at Manila on 20-21 March 1910 was enlivened when Cleveland, under the command of the pilot, rammed Pier No. 3 on arrival.

One of the private railway carriages reserved for the Clark world cruise tourists in India. Credit: Around the World on the Cleveland

Arriving at Diamond Harbour (For Calcutta) on 9 April 1910, Cleveland remained there until the 12th during which many took an overland tour to Benares, Lucknow, Cawnpore and Agra, Delhi and finally Bombay  via a special carriage on the train, "a first-class car on a specially constructed train means luxury and comfort unknown even in an American pullman car." Cleveland had, meanwhile, sailed from Calcutta for Bombay (via Colombo) where she arrived on the 22nd. For those preferring to stay aboard, the port calls were all multi day, allowing full day or overnight excursions as well. 

By the time Cleveland got into the Red Sea, the wind scoops on cabin portholes blossomed and multiplied.  One of her selling points was an electric fan in each stateroom. Credit: Around the World on the Cleveland.

Although Clark had announced two more world cruises, eastbound from New York in October 1910 and westbound from San Francisco in February 1911, these in fact did not take place. Indeed, on 26 April, the Overland China Mail reported: 

NO MORE CLARK TOURS. There will be no more Clark around-the-world trips. Shortly before the sailing of the Cleveland with the large party which visited Manila, Mr Frank C. Clark, who personally conducted the party, stated that this trip would be the last. This decision was reached as a result of the heavy fines imposed by the United States customs officials upon the Cleveland for carrying passengers from one American port to another in a foreign yessel.

Although the initial fine had indeed be waived, this and other logistical challenges weighed heavily on Clark although the initial two cruises had been spectacularly successful and doubtless profitable.  According to the San Francisco Examiner, Clark paid $1 million for the Cleveland charter and cleared a $200,000 profit on the two voyages.  

Advertisement for two additional world cruises in Cleveland for October 1910 and February 1911 which were not operated. 

As had happened before, Clark had paved the way with the first world cruises and HAPAG would themselves return to the field with their own world cruise with Cleveland in late 1911/early 1912 and again in late 1912/early 1913.  It would another decade before Clark would return with his first post-war world cruise, one of the first two circumnavigations ever made. 

Meanwhile, Clark had completed their 12th Mediterranean-Orient cruise with the NDL's Grosser Kurfurst.  Departing New York on 5 February 1910 with 559 passengers, she called at Funchal, Cadiz, Gibraltar, Algiers, Valetta, Piraeus, Constantinople, Smyrna, Beirut, Haifa, Jaffa, Alexandria, Naples, Villefranche and Cherbourg (12 April). There, one could make a direct express connection back to New York via NDL Express, returning 19th or have a longer European stay and take any NDL sailing home. The total mileage for the 73-day cruise, one of Clark's longest, was 14,977. And what of Arabic's competing Mediterranean cruise for White Star? Well, that attracted 459 passengers or more than 200 fewer than booked her 1909 cruise on charter to Clarks.

Their underbooked Mediterranean cruise perhaps discouraging a repeat for White Star Line, they again arranged a charter for Arabic with Clarks to perform a 71-day Mediterranean cruise from New York on 4 February 1911 which was first advertised on 5 June. This attracted 602 bookings, furthering establishing Clarks as the undisputed leader in this now classic annual cruise. 

Under Captain W. Finch, Arabic left Liverpool on 21 January 1911 for New York after a complete overhaul, whence she sail on Clark's 13th Mediterranean cruise on 4 February. 

The Liverpool Journal of Commerce of 23 January 1911 reported:

When the Arabic left Liverpool she had on board:--.--Sixty tons potatoes, 80 cwt. carrots and turnips, 350 barrels flour, 8,000 lbs. oatmeal, 10,000 lbs. butter, 12,000 lbs. sugar, 4,000 lbs. tea and coffee, 15,000 lbs. ham and bacon, 60 tons fresh meat, 12,000 head poultry, 600 head game, 74 barrels apples, 18,000 oranges, 56,000 eggs, 1,500 gallons milk, 60 gallons cream, and 2,000 quarts ice cream. Of course further supplies will be secured at various ports of call. The linen comprises some 30,000 pieces, the glass 8,000 pieces, and the china 18,000 pieces.

Elaborate arrangements have been made for the comfort of those undertaking the cruise. An augmented orchestra is being carried to provide music  for the concerts, dances, &c., that have been planned, and a varied programme of entertainments, intellectual as well as recreative, will aid in assuring the enjoyment of passengers. A grand illumination, garden party, and ball will be held in honour of the cruise at the Shepheard's Hotel, Cairo, on March 9th, and hospitality will be extended to the " six hundred " at other ports in the Mediterranean. 

In the seventy days' duration of the cruise the Arabic will steam some 14,000 miles, which will bring the total distance covered by her as a pleasure yacht to close on 100,000 miles. 

After landing quite a number of her passengers at Naples on 25 March 1911, as usual, for overland tours or, a longer stay in Italy, and returning via the regular White Star service from there to New York,  Arabic, "profusely decorated with bunting, arrived at Liverpool on 8 April. Those desiring a direct connection on to New York, transhipped to Laurentic which arrived there on the 16th.

During the cruise a continual round of entertainments and amusements took place on board, and the party during the whole 70 days' cruise resembled a large borne circle where everything was joviality, good humour, and pleasure. A newspaper, entitled "The Arabic Argosy," was published at intervals, the articles being written by passengers, and the circulation increased with each edition, personal tit-bits being its chief feature. Lectures were given by specially qualified lecturers, and as the subjects taken were the various places at which the liner would touch, and they were delivered preceding the arrival of the steamer at the respective places, they furnished valuable information, and enabled the tourists to formulate their plans and visit the numerous places of interest at the ports without loss of time. The cruise was the seventh the Arabic has made, and proved to ho even more successful that any of its predecessors. 

Liverpool Journal of Commerce, 10 April 1911

It was a successful resumption of the Clark/Arabic association, one of the earliest evergreens in cruising.  


The White Star twin-screws steamer  Arabic, 16,000 tons, will leave New York for the Mediterranean and Orient on February 8th on a 70 days' pleasure cruise of exceptional scope and interest, calls being made at Madeira, Cadiz, Gibraltar. Algiers, Malta, Athens (Phaleron Bay), Constantinople, Smyrna, Caifa, Jaffa, Alexandria, Naples, and Villefranche, returning thence via Queenstown and (or) Liverpool to New York. 

 This will be the Arabic's eighth successive winter cruise from York in the Mediterranean such has been the popularity in the past with those leisured Americans who can happily exchange the rigours of winter for the genial climate of the Orient.

On this cruise the Arabic steams nearly 14,000 miles, and, in addition, tourists cover some 1,100 miles by rail on the various land excursions. Visits of 12½ days to Egypt and 5½ days to the Holy Land are included in the itinerary, special lecturers are engaged to give addresses to passengers on the numerous interesting places of antiquity that will be seen.

An augmented orchestra is carried to provide music for the dances and concerts that are, to man, one of the most enjoyable features of a pleasant cruise. 

Liverpool Journal of Commerce, 4 January 1912

No ship was chartered more often by Clark's than White Star's Arabic with seven Mediterranean cruises in all. Credit: Rich Turnwald collection. 

Frank Clark announced on 31 May 1911 that he would operate only one cruise for the coming season and this coincided with Hamburg-Amerika announcing they were rebuilding their former record breaker Deutschland into the cruise ship Victoria Luise which would make a world cruise in 1912.

Clark's 14th Mediterranean-Orient Cruise would be seventh (and last) using Arabic, the 71-day trip leaving New York on 8 February 1912. This sailed with 568 passengers.

Fancy dress participants on Arabic's Boat Deck on the 1912 cruise. Credit: eBay photo.

When the 70-day, 14,000-mile cruise ended upon Arabic's arrival in the Mersey on 11 April 1912, the Liverpool Daily Post reported: "From Villefranche the steamer came on to Liverpool where 165 of the passengers disembarked yesterday morning. Some proceeded to London, and others are going back to New York by the White Star liner Celtic, which left the Stage yesterday. Yesterday morning when in the river the Arabic was beautifully decorated with bunting. All her passengers were highly delighted with the cruise." 

Hitherto, none of the ships that Clark had chartered had been designed or built with cruising in mind, either as a fulltime or part-time occupation. Such vessels could be counted on the fingers of one hand at the time. Nor had he ever chartered a Cunarder, a company that had yet to offer a cruise themselves or have any of their ships engaged on them.  For the 15th Clark Mediterranean Cruise, departing New York 15 February 1913, Clark accomplished both when in mid June 1912 he announced the charter of Cunard's Laconia.  

Thanks to Frank C. Clark, the very first Cruising Cunarder was Laconia, yet she and sister Franconia had been the first true "dual purpose" trans-Atlantic liners, designed for the Boston run (summer) and Mediterranean service (winter), the later actively promoted, too, as a quasi cruise for First Class on a roundtrip basis, but also for occasional one-class cruising.  This was effected by a then unique harmonising of the interior decor and furnishings of the First and Second Class public rooms and cabins and ability to combine both into a single class for cruising.   Laconia, in fact, differed from Franconia in having her two dining rooms linked by a series of private salons which when opened up, joined the two rooms. Both were famous as the first Cunarders with a gymnasium whilst Laconia boasted the first installation of Frahm "anti-rolling tanks."  

Laconia's First Class dining saloon which could be joined with the similarly decorated Second Class one for cruises. 

For Clark, Laconia was the most ideal of all the ships he chartered before the war.  New (launched at Swan Hunter, Wallsend-on-Tyne, on 27 July 1911, she made her maiden voyage on 20 January 1912), perfect in size and speed (18,099 grt, 600 ft. by 71 ft. and 17 knots) and with superb accommodation for 300 First and 350 Second Class, Laconia had it all.  Indeed, that she only made this one cruise before the outbreak of the First World War which she would not survive, was indicative of just how successful she was on her normal liner runs with her capacity for 2,200 Third Class when demand for emigrant space, both from Britain and the Mediterranean, was never greater before the war. 

First advertisement for the 1913 Laconia cruise. Credit: Gazette Times, 26 May 1912.

With "Constantinople sanitary conditions exaggerated; Cholera germ dormant in Winter and war practically ended," what better time to voyage to the Aegean and Dardanelles aboard Laconia? Credit: New York Tribune, 7 December 1912. 

Mr. Clark reports that while Panama has been the loadstone to attract many who would other have gone to Egypt and the Riviera, and the Balkan War has had its terrors for some, still the list of passengers will be a representative one numbering quite 600 persons who come from 34 states and from Canada.
Fitchburg Sentinel, 11 February 1913

Laconia was indeed sailing into troubled waters, indeed a war zone, on this cruise with the First Balkan War waging between the Ottoman Empire and the Balkan League (comprising Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece and Montenegro) which had begin in October 1912 and lasted until May 1913.  Indeed, the last major naval action of the war, the Battle of Lemnos, was fought in the Aegean in January 1913, just one month before Laconia sailed into the same waters.  It, like the war overall, was a complete defeat for the Ottomans. Even so, there were 599 passengers sailing on the first Cunarder to depart on a cruise on  15 February 1913 amid festive scenes of farewell:

Upon leaving New York it seemed that every passenger on this ship must have had at least several friends at the wharf to see them off and bid them 'bon voyage.' Fully several thousand people lined the docks, and as our ship steamed out, a great cheer went up from the friends on shore, handkerchiefs waving, bidding all a pleasant and safe journey. 

The Laconia is one of the largest and fastest boats of the Cunard Line, and I have found it to be a very steady ship in pushing its way through the Atlantic. 

Saturday, February 24 was celebrated as Washington's Birthday. A 7 a.m. the band played 'The Star Spangled Banner,' and the Stars and Stripes hoisted to the masthead. The entire interior of the ship was decorated with the American colors mingled with the British flag. In the evening a full dress ball was given, which was a grand affair. All the ladies, as well as the gentlemen, were in evening dress.

Letter by H.L. Boas, Reading Eagle, 15 March 1913

The only incident during the cruise was at the beginning. On 23 February 1913, Laconia arrived at Funchal, Madeira and upon her scheduled departure the next day, there was an explosion in her forward high-pressure cylinder on her port engine.  A wireless sent from the ship advised her engineers had disconnected it and she was able to proceed on her cruise, departing Funchal at 2:00 a.m. on the 25th for Cadiz.

There was some tension when Laconia, upon arrival in the Dardanelles on 9 March 1913, was challenged with a shot across her bows from a Turkish port, but taking note her oversized Red Ensign and a prominent American flag at her fore truck, was allowed to dock at Constantinople. 

Constantinople is still a beleagured city and the passage of the Laconia through the Dardanelles Sunday afforded a fine opportunity to see the Turkish army camps and preparations to repel invaders…. The tourists have received every consideration and courtesy from the residents of Constantinople and surrounding places, refuting reports of dissension among the inhabitants.

The Gazette Times, 14 March 1913

Arriving at Naples from Alexandria on 5 April, Laconia stayed for a full six days before proceeding to Villefranche and docked at Liverpool on the 19th. The Liverpool Post reported that "For practically the whole of the two months' cruise glorious weather prevailed… the voyage was calculated to be productive of much good from the point of view of the health of the passenger. The Laconia, it is of interest to note, is the largest steamer that ever been up the Bosphorus or into the Black Sea. She has also the distinction of being the only cruise steamer having gone up to Constantinople during the trouble times of the early part of the year."  Many of her passengers made a direct transfer to Mauretania for a quick passage to New York. This was, alas, Laconia's first and only cruise and she and sister Franconia were both casualties in the First World War. 

Credit: The Churchman

Too much in demand on her winter Mediterranean-New York run to free her for a repeat charter for winter 1914, Clark looked for a replacement for Laconia and settling on Holland America Line's flagship Rotterdam, he added to his innovating, groundbreaking "firsts" for cruising.  She was, at once, at 24,149 grt, 667 ft. by 77 ft., 17 knots, the largest vessel yet to make a cruise and as such would also break records for being the largest vessel to call at every single Mediterranean and Aegean port of call visited on the cruise.  In addition, this marked the first time that line flagship would be used on a cruise and only the third Holland America vessel to make such a voyage.  Not only was she bigger than Clark's first cruising recordbreaker, Celtic, but she would carry more passengers and set the record for the most number of cabin passengers to sail in a single vessel from New York.  

At the time, Rotterdam was the largest vessel to undertake a cruise when she undertook Clark's 16th Mediterranean Cruise in winter 1914. 

Launched at Belfast on 3 March 1908, Rotterdam followed the Harland & Wolff model set with the 1905 Amerika for the largest class of intermediate North Atlantic with accommodation second to none but of moderate speed.  Indeed, at time of completion Rotterdam, by far the largest ship commissioned by Holland America, had only HAPAG's Kaiserin Auguste Victoria and NDL's Amerika as rivals for her magnificent First Class appointments, public rooms and space. But unlike those two, the Dutch liner had an equal allotment of First (520) and Second (555) Class berths and of comparable quality to permit a merging of the two for cruising.  In addition to the Edwardian elegance of her public rooms, Rotterdam boasted a practical "first": the first glass-enclosed promenade deck on the Atlantic.

Rotterdam, First Class dining room.

First announced on 3 June 1913, the 64-day voyage, the 16th Clark's Mediterranean Cruise offered such luxuries as 56 rooms with brass bedsteads and private bathrooms, 150 single cabins and all passengers ate in the magnificent First Class dining saloon with it two-deck high central well, small tables with table lamps and "overcrowding," indeed Rotterdam  which normally accommodated 1,075 First and Second Class and 2,250 Third Class, would sail with fewer than 850 aboard.  

 The Holland-America steamship Rotterdam, which arrived yesterday from Rotterdam and anchored over night in the fog, will sail for the Mediterranean on Monday, under charter to Frank C. Clark, with the largest number of cabin passengers that has ever left this port in a single vessel. The list has representatives of nearly every State in the Union. At present 840 passengers are booked, and expected additional bookings may slightly increase the record number.

New York Sun, 28 January 1914

The Holland America Line's mammoth steamship Rotterdam will steam from her Hoboken pier at 1 a.m. Monday, February 2, for a cruise of 14,742 miles, through the Mediterranean with a record 840 passengers in the first cabin. 

Detroit Free Press, 1 February 1914

Not since Cedric, also on charter to Clark, left New York with 826 in February 1902, had so many saloon class passengers sailed in a single vessel as the 842 aboard Rotterdam upon her departure from the port on 2 February 1914. It would remain a record for many years.  

Passenger numbers aside and the soon routine of setting new records at each of her calls as being the largest vessel to visit the respective ports, it was as routine a cruise as ever operated by Clark and elicited less press attention than others other than the usual planted arrival notices.  

A master of self promotion, Frank Clark "planted" arrival notices in the press for each of Rotterdam's port calls as he had with most of his cruises. The fact she was the largest ship to call at each of the ports was certainly newsworthy.  

Rotterdam's call at Constantinople did occasion a report in the Gazette de Hollande, 4 March 1914:

A Constantinople correspondent reports the recent arrival there of the steamship Rotterdam, of the Holland America Line, with 840 tourists from New York on board. The vessel had just been visiting the Piraeus, following which a cruise had been made through the whole of the Bosphorus as far as the channel joining it to the Black Sea. The fine, colossal ship, he writes, took up her moorings at the Galata quay, where she had many admirers, making a very favourable impression as viewed from the shore. This impression was still more strengthened aboard the Rotterdam by the entire arrangements, the excellent order and the good looking, able appearance of all the crew. The passengers were very pleased with their stay on board and with the entire organization of the interesting journey. The members of the Dutch Embassy and Consulate spent some pleasant hours on board. After the tourists had enjoyed a pleasant visit to the Turkish Capital, the  Rotterdam left for her next destination, Haïfa, then Jaffa (for Jerusalem) and Alexandria (Egypt).

An undoubted success, on 11 April 1914 it was announced that Frank Clark had again chartered Rotterdam for their 17th Mediterranean-Orient cruise, departing New York on 14 February 1915.  It was not the only planned cruise for that year and back on 15 March 1913, when reporting on the success of the Laconia cruise, the Boston  Evening Transcript reported that "Several scores of pleased members of this cruise already have booked for Clark's 1915 round-the-world cruise through the Panama Canal by chartered steamer." Construction of the canal, begun in 1904, was completed ten years later and the waterway opened on 15 August 1914.  Clark was not the only one to plan a complete world circumnavigation and HAPAG planned two such voyages, in Cleveland, for 1915 and this, unlike the Clark voyage, was extensively advertised indicating that perhaps only these would have actually taken place.  

Final advertisement for Frank C. Clark for the duration of the First World War, Chicago Tribune, 3 November 1914.

Of course, the outbreak of The Great War on 4 August 1914 both overshadowed the opening of the Panama Canal and effectively ended the nascent cruise trade for the duration. Ironically, despite America's neutrality, American firms like Clarks were devastated by the war.  The final advertisement both for Rotterdam's 1915 Mediterranean cruise and for Frank C. Clark Tourist Co. appeared in  the Chicago Tribune on 3 November 1914 and the company largely shut down operations.

Credit: Victoria Daily Times, 16 September 1915.

On 19 August 1915 the ship perhaps most associated with Clarks, the "Millionaires Ship," Arabic was torpedoed and sunk by U-24 on a commercial crossing from Liverpool to New York off the Old Head of Kinsale, Ireland with a loss of 44 lives.  Laconia, also on a commercial crossing from New York to Liverpool, was torpedoed and sunk on 25 February 1917 by U-50 off Fastnet, with 12 casualties among her passengers and crew. 

In 1916, Clark resumed operations with a selection of tours to Alaska, Japan & China, but the entry of America into the war in April 1917, resulted in the company shutting down again for two years.

In March 1916, Clark reopened with tours being sold to Alaska in June and "superior character tours" to Japan and South America that summer and autumn. One, to Japan and China, was offered departing 5 October from Vancouver in Empress of Russia and a South America trip from New York starting 27 January 1917.  These were last advertised in February 1917 and with the American entry into the war that April, that was the last heard of Clark tours for two years.

Meanwhile, the pressures of the closing down of his business and marital problems took their toll on Frank C. Clark who suffered a complete nervous breakdown in February 1918. Estranged from his wife, Estrella, whom he married in February 1904, he moved to the Palace Hotel, San Francisco, for convalescence.  Citing "extreme cruelty," Clark for divorced in Reno, Nevada, citing a loveless marriage, alleging his wife married him only for his money (Clark was routinely described in the press as "millionaire" back when that meant something), was "too intimate with his colored butler" and had even poisoned his pet parrot. The divorce was granted in February 1919 and that July, Clark, aged 57, married his former nurse during his recovery, Golinda J. Wright, aged 35. Despite a settlement of $25,000 plus $5,000 in legal fees ordered in 1920, Estrella Clark would sue Frank Clark in 1922 for $100,000 claiming the divorce was fraudulent although this was dismissed by the courts in April 1925. 

If anyone yearned to Carry On Cruising, it was doubtless Frank Clark and indeed many of his former customers.  Recovery of liner services, of course, took priority and much of the world upended by the war was hardly ready to welcome tourists. Additionally, NDL and Hapag which had played such a pivotal role in the development of cruising were hors de combat and the British lines had to first replenish war ravaged fleets before they could have surplus tonnage to charter for cruising.  

Yet, cruising would be revived in remarkably short order.  Lines like Cunard, Anchor and Canadian Pacific frankly way overbuilt immediately after the war. Cunard-Anchor alone commissioning 17 new liners which were evolutions of the pre-war Laconia/Franconia in being of moderate size and speed and more suitable to potential cruising.  Then the United States severely restricted immigration in 1922 just as these new ships were coming into service.  They had been built during astonishing inflation in shipbuilding costs, some even paused on the ways, and to earn their keep soon became linchpins in the inter-war cruising fleet. 

Spurring a revival of cruising, too, was the market and money to pay for it which was overwhelmingly American.  The wealth created in the United States during the First War World was astonishing. American exports went from $2.4 billion in 1913 to $6.2 billion three years later, unemployment dropped from 16.4% in 1913 to 6.3% in 1916 and average wages rose from $11 a week in 1914 to $22 in 1919. The transition to peace was not without problems with a quick shutting down of wartime production, returning soldiers looking for work, inflation and two recessions, one in 1918-19 and a stronger one in 1920-21.  But it was not called The Roaring Twenties in America for nothing and the rest of the decade experienced enormous, sustained prosperity and a great increase in the Middle Class and the consequent rise in consumer spending including travel that was no longer exclusive to well-off spinsters, clergy and the rich.

No longer, too, would Frank C. Clark be the only American cruise agency. The post-war cruise market was big enough to inspire and support new competitors in the field including American Express Co., Frank Tourist Co., James Boring Tours and Raymond-Whitcomb, all of whom followed the Clark model (indeed many of their cruising executives, managers and travel staff cut their teeth employed by Clarks before the war) and chartered ships from the major lines who still saw the trade as somewhat alien to their core business and lacked the experience to conduct it on their own. 

On 20 December 1920 Herbert E. Clark died in his sleep in his home in Jerusalem, aged 63, and was buried in the Jerusalem Protestant Cemetery.  Every much a part of the innovation and success of Clark cruises and tours as Frank Clark, he was much missed.  

First post-war Clark tour advertisement. Credit: Evening Public Ledger, 30 April 1919.

Resuming operations in spring 1919, Frank C. Clark, still headquartered in the Times Building, New York, advertised their first post-war tours, still to Japan/China for  30 July and 11 October on Pacific Mail's Korea. 

On 2 December 1920 a rather inconspicuous advertisement appeared in the New York Times announcing "Clark's 17th Annual Cruise to the Mediterranean" departing 4 February 1922 "specially chartered large ocean liner." It was further announced that "books would open May 1st."  In the event, the 63-day cruise was completely sold out within 10 weeks.

Credit: News Journal, 20 July 1921

The "specially chartered large ocean liner" was eventually revealed to be a ship that would be brand new to the company that operated her, indeed the cruise would be but her second voyage in their colours. 

On 3 May 1921 Canadian Pacific purchased the famous former HAPAG liner Kaiserin Auguste Victoria (built in 1906 by Vulkan-Werft’s Stettin yards) for £353,000 from the Shipping Controller.   Although CP announced on 4 June the renamed Empress of Scotland would make her first voyage from Liverpool to Quebec on 29 July with sailings through October after which the ship would be refitted that winter, she was instead chartered on 7 July to  Frank C. Clark.  

The magnificent Empress of Scotland, by Norman Wilkinson. 

Empress of Scotland was the largest vessel in the Canadian Pacific fleet until the advent of Empress of Japan in 1930 and introduced luxuries hitherto unknown on the Canadian route.  Remeasured at 25,037 grt with dimensions of 705 ft.  overall length and 77 ft. beam, Empress of Scotland was still the ninth largest liner in the world in 1922.  

Empress of Scotland, First Class dining saloon. 

The accommodation for 465 First Class was the finest on the Canadian route with 25 large suites and cabins with one, two and three-beds.  The splendid public rooms were restored to their pre-war magnificence including the winter garden with its wicker furniture and fountains and the single sitting dining saloon in Empire décor in white and gold.  There were 400 ft. long promenades on A and D Decks, that on A deck was now glass enclosed for half its length forward. 

The popularity of the Empress of Scotland is well proven from the fact that she was full up just ten weeks from the day the Mediterranean cruise was announced. Scores were turned away who wanted rooms with bath, and about 15 are on the waiting list for anything given up. 

Frank C. Clark of New York has induced the Canadian Pacific to charter him a second ship, viz., the Empress of France, to leave New York Feb. 11th, a week behind the Empress of Scotland, for a very extended cruise of 74 days.

Norwich Bulletin, 3 October 1921

When Empress of Scotland's cruise completely sold out in 10 weeks, Clark immediately made arrangements to charter another Canadian Pacific liner to undertake a "second section" cruise with the same itinerary a week later to accommodate the overflow of bookings. On 27 September 1921 it was announced that Empress of France had been chartered for second cruise leaving 11 February 1922 and longer at 74 days.  Remarkably, over 200 persons booked this within a week of the announcement. 

First advertisement for Clark's unique second Mediterranean cruise in Empress of France. Credit: New York Tribune, 29 September 1921. 

The classic Hoffmann photo of Empress of France sailing from Southampton. 

Destined to be one of the great cruise ships of the 1920s, Empress of France was one of the last pair of ships ordered by Allan Line, famous for being the first Atlantic liner with a cruiser stern. Launched as Alsatian on 22 March 1913 at Wm. Beardmore, Glasgow, she made her maiden voyage from Liverpool to Saint John on 17 January 1914. At 18,461 grt, 571 ft. by 72 ft., she and near sister Calgarian had the most fleeting of careers before the First World War, but laid claim to being the largest, fastest and finest ships on the Canadian route. Calgarian would not survive the war, but now transferred like the rest of the Allan fleet into that of Canadian Pacific after 1918, Alsatian now renamed Empress of France retained her bragging rights, at least until Empress of Scotland entered service. 

Empress of France's First Class baronial dining saloon and lounge. 

There, too, was little to choose from between Empress of France and Empress of Scotland in terms of impressively decorated and amply provided public rooms and deck space and excellent accommodation, the France having berths for 263 First and 504 Second as well as 848 Third.  Together, they gave Clark an enviable pair for an extraordinary "back to business" winter 1922 season.

On 23 October 1921 it was reported that J. Harley Dickinson of Montreal, Cunard's tourist manager, had been engaged by Frank C. Clark Co. as their General Manager.  He brought 25 years experience as a tourist manager to the post including leading the Laconia's Mediterranean cruise and recently organising the Rotarian spring 1920 tour to Edinburgh, totalling 1,200 people, in Caronia and Cameronia

Empress of Scotland sails from New York. Credit: Library of Congress. 

There had never been anything quite like it in the Port of New York when, between 4-14 February 1922, three great liners sailed on cruises to the Mediterranean: Empress of Scotland (Clarks) on the 4th (835 passengers), Empress of France (Clarks) on the 11th (780) and George Washington (Raymond & Whitcomb) on the 14th with 652. 

Never before had so new (well at least to her new owners) a liner made a cruise and that for Empress of Scotland was only her second for Canadian Pacific.  After trials in the North Sea, Empress of Scotland arrived at Southampton on 13 January 1922.  Her maiden voyage commenced  seven days later, calling at Halifax on the 30th and reaching New York the following day.  It was first and only time a Canadian Pacific liner made her maiden voyage to New York. The ship’s stay in New York was marred when on 1 February 1922 during boiler room work, a gas explosion injured ten.  Under Capt. C.G. Evans, OBE, she sailed on the 4th with 835 passengers on her 63-day cruise to Madeira, Spain, Gibraltar, Algiers, Athens, Constantinople, Haifa, Egypt, Naples, Villefranche, Monte Carlo, Le Havre and Southampton (1 April).

Empress of Scotland at Lisbon on her cruise. Credit: eBay auction photo.

For Empress of France, her Clark charter was her second voyage in Canadian Pacific's revised livery of plain buff funnels and a white sheer line added to her black hull and also mark her shifting homeports from Liverpool to Southampton, the new terminus for the Empress liners. 

Bidding farewell to Mersey, Empress of France, repainted in CPS's revised colours, sailed from Liverpool for the last time on 27 January 1922 and docked at  St. John. on 3 February.  Proceeding to New York, Empress of France arrived there on the 7th to prepare for her first cruise, the 74-day voyage would call at Las Palmas, Funchal, Lisbon, Cadiz, Gibraltar, Tangier, Algiers, Genoa, Livorno, Venice, La Spezia, Naples, Phaleron Bay,  Constantinople, Haifa, Alexandria (10  days in Egypt), Villefranche, Le Havre and Southampton. With 780 passengers, she sailed from New York at noon on the 11th. The cruise went off without a hitch and Empress of France concluded it at 6:30 a.m. 17 April when she made her maiden arrival at Southampton. Of her total list, 365 had disembarked at Monaco and another 306 at Havre with the remainder boarding a special train for London.  

Credit: New York Herald, 27 January 1922.

The first post-war Mediterranean cruises for Clarks had been an undoubted success, but even before they departed, far wider horizons  beckoned.  

On 21 January 1922 it was announced that Empress of France had been chartered for a round the world cruise from New York on 23 January 1923. The 113-day circumnavigation would take her through the Panama  Canal, to Treasure Island, San Francisco, Honolulu, Yokohoma, Kobe, Nagasaki, Hong Kong, Manila, Batavia, Singapore, Rangoon, Calcutta, Colombo, Bombay, Suez, Port Said, Naples, Gibraltar, Havre and Southampton. It was only the second true circumnavigation announced, after the war aborted cruises planned for 1915 by HAPAG. 

This was followed on 26 January 1922 by the announcement that  Empress of Scotland had been chartered for the company's 19th Mediterranean cruise, from New York on 3 February 1923 and lasting 56 days. 

Then on 12 March 1922 American Express Co. pre-empted Clark with their announcement that the chartered Cunard liner Laconia would make the first true circumnavigation of the world on 25 November that year, two months earlier than the other announced world cruises departing in early 1923.

With sailings in Laconia (American Express), Resolute (Raymond Whitcomb) and Samaria (Thos. Cook), Clark had plenty of competition for his Empress of France world cruise. 

It would be an understatement to say that the World Cruise was the "it" trip of the early 1920s with American Express, Raymond-Whitcomb and Thos. Cook all offering such voyages.  Indeed, Raymond-Whitcomb had originally planned to offer two departures, a week apart, in Resolute and the brand new Holland America liner Volendam, but in the end, only Resolute was used.  As it was, Frank Clark now had real competition both for the world cruise but the cruise trade in general. 

On 5 January 1923 Empress of France (Capt. E. Griffth, RNR) sailed from Southampton for St. John, her only traditional winter crossing of the season. Arriving there on on the 14th, she sailed the next morning for New York and docked there on the 17th.  When she departed on her world cruise at 5:05 p.m. on the 23rd, she had 803 passengers aboard, a record for such a trip.

Empress of France in the Pedro Miguel Lock, Panama Canal. Credit: Eldredge Collection, Mariners' Museum. 

Empress of France arrived at first port of call at Havana on 26 January 1923 6:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m., before proceeding to Colon where there was a meeting with fleetmate Empress of Britain on one of her West Indies cruises (the first operated directly by CP)  and then Panama Canal transit, the first for a Canadian Pacific liner on 31st.

Having already steamed 5,451 of the total 28,812-mile voyage, Empress of France arrived at San Francisco on 8 February 1923, and afforded an enthusiastic reception amid beautiful weather. Unlike the other world cruise ships, Empress of France was a coal burner and this was to cause problems early in her voyage. In addition to embarking  another 75 passengers, she took on bunkers. Alas, the quality of the coal was so poor as to make her more than 11 hours late in reaching her next destination, Hilo, Hawaii, and when she finally reached Honolulu the evening of the 15th, she took on another 1,500 tons of better quality coal which saw her across the expanses of the Pacific.  
Although not the only world cruise ship that season, Empress of France's arrival in all of ports of call aroused considerable local press coverage. 

Crossing the Line Ceremony aboard Empress of France.

As it had with Clark's Cleveland cruises, Japan was a focus of the cruise with seven days in Yokohama before sailing on 6 March 1923 for Kobe, then to Nagasaki where she coaled for a total of 14 days in Japan before departing on the 12th for Hong Kong where she arrived on 15th.  There, chartered steamers took passengers up the Pearl River to Canton.  The next major destination was India, Empress of France arriving at Diamond Harbour on 11 April for tours to Calcutta, Darjeeling, Agra and Delhi and remaining there for three days before continuing to Bombay, sailing from there, via Colombo (20th) for Egypt on the 25th. After four days at Suez, she sailed on 7 May for Port Said, via the Canal, and then direct to Naples were she arrived on the 10th. From there it was onwards, via Gibraltar to Le Havre when many disembarked for their own Continental touring and finally ending at Southampton where many transferred directly to Empress of Britain, which would get them to Quebec on the 23rd. 

Meanwhile, Clark had successfully completed their 19th cruise to the Mediterranean and their second with Empress of Scotland. If Empress of France had good company round the world, it was nothing like the veritable armada sailing from New York to the Mediterranean between 20 January-10 February 1923:
  • Homeric, 20 January 1923 (Cook's) 501 passengers
  • Scythia, 30 January 1923 (Frank's Tourist Co.) 312 passengers
  • Empress of Scotland, 3 February 1923 (Clark's) 808 passengers
  • Mauretania,  7 February 1923 (American Express Co.) 562 passengers
  • Rotterdam,  10 February 1923 (Raymond & Whitcomb) 492 passengers
Of course, it's worth nothing that Empress of Scotland's cruise was, by far, the best subscribed although the most celebrated was that of Mauretania, her first, and the first time a Blue Riband holder made a cruise.

The press release statisticians were again put to work and readers were informed that a total of 253,500 meals or 3,900 per day would be served in the course of the 65-day cruise. Empress of Scotland (Capt. J. Gillies, CBE) sailed at midnight Saturday 3 February 1923, from New York for Madeira, 2,761 miles distant, arriving there on the 10th. Cadiz, for Seville, was reached on the 12th.  She anchored in Phaleron Bay on the 20th for Athens and Constantinople two days later.  The ensuing arrival at Alexandria gave her passengers the traditional extensive 12½-day stay in Egypt that Clarks pioneered. This included a Nile Cruise in the chartered steamer Britannia, balls at the Continental, Savoy, Semiramis and Shepheard's Hotels, etc.  Empress of Scotland left Alexandria on 17 March for Naples where she arrived on the 20th. Many disembarked there and at Villefranche two days later, but Empress of Scotland still had 500 aboard when she arrived at Southampton on the 31st. 

In one of the most important announcements for the Company's future, Canadian Pacific stated on 16 March 1924 that they would henceforth operate all cruises under their own management and direction, ending the chartering of vessels to tourist firms like Frank C. Clark. In doing so, they were the first British North Atlantic line to do so and cruising came to play an increasing role.

The final advertisement for the planned 20th Mediterranean Cruise in Baltic from New York 27 June 1924. Credit: Pennsylvania  Gazette, 13 April 1924.

Not all of Clark's cruises were successful.  In December 1922 advertisements began to appear for the 20th Cruise to the Mediterranean which, unusually, would be in mid summer, and marketed mainly to the university market.  The 61-day Mediterranean Summer Cruise would depart New York on 27 June 1923 and be aboard the chartered White Star Line's Baltic with rates starting at just $600.  This was formally announced by White Star Line until 18 February 1923.  For unknown reasons, the charter did not go ahead and the cruise was last advertised on 13 April. At the same time, Thos. Cook & Son began to promote a similar cruise using the chartered Anchor liner Tuscania from New York on 3 July. 

The brochure for Clark's 21st Mediterranean Cruise for February 1924 which, with the cancellation of the originally planned 20th cruise for July 1924, also in Baltic, was eventually promoted as the 20th departure.

Instead, Frank C. Clark on 25 March 1923 began to  advertising the 21st Mediterranean cruise, again in Baltic, from New York on 2 February 1924, 65 days  as well as Clark's 4th Cruise Round the World from New York on 19 January 1924 "by luxurious liner, specially chartered. Full details ready soon." These were duly released at the end of May with Cunard's Laconia chartered for the voyage. 

As the first trans-Atlantic liner to transit the Panama Canal on a world cruise, Laconia is to depicted in this famous Charles Turner painting.

Of course, Laconia had pipped Clark's Empress of France by two months as the first liner to complete a true circumnavigation of the world in November 1922.  Indeed, she was the very first ship chartered by Clarks to have any kind of cruising record under her belt before sailing for them. And, of course, Clarks were unique in chartering both Laconias for cruising. 

Laconia, First Class lounge. 

Laconia, Scythia and Samaria were the classic, indeed ubiquitous "20,000-tonner" intermediates which would figure in interwar cruising as much as Cunard's intermediate services to Boston and New York. Launched by Swan Hunter on 9 April 1921 after several frustrations, Laconia had to be completed in Rotterdam owing to endless shipyard strikes and made her maiden voyage to New York on 25 May 1922. At 19,680 grt, 601 ft. by 74 ft, and with a speed of  16 knots from geared turbines driving twin screws, Laconia's superior accommodation for 350 First and 350 Second Class was in many ways ideal for cruising with impressive public rooms in First Class that defied the "intermediate" quality of her speed and specification. 

With some 600 passengers, Laconia (Capt. Edgar Britten) sailed at 1:00 a.m. on 19 January 1924 on Clark's fourth world cruise and her second.  This was personally escorted by Frank Clark. The ship's call at Los Angeles (San Pedro) on 30 January was the first by a Cunarder and a major event for the port which had recently hosted Empress of Canada on her delivery voyage. During her call, Laconia hosted a luncheon for "shipping men" and was opened for public inspection and "hundreds took the opportunity of boarding her" whilst her passengers toured the new tourist attraction of the new capital of the world's film industry: Hollywood.  Laconia also embarked another 120 passengers there for the world cruise before sailing for Honolulu where she arrived on 6 February for a two-day call. 

Honolulu is genuinely glad to welcome to good ship Laconia and her gallant 700 who are arriving this morning. Something over a year ago this superb Cunarder made a call here on her maiden round-the-world tour. Since that time we of Hawaii have a felt a particular interest in this great ship and on her return she will be greeted as a something of an old friend.

Honolulu Advertiser, 6 February 1924

It was remarked by the press said when Laconia arrived at Honolulu that she carried 300 more passengers than on her first visit in 1922. During an interview, Clark mentioned that he was chartering the new Anchor liner California for his next world cruise in 1925. Before setting off for the long nonstop stretch to Yokohama, Laconia took on full bunkers and 8,000 tons of fresh water.  It was reported that Laconia was the first British ship to be equipped with the Sperry gyro pilot and Capt Britten said it gave a 50% truer course than hand steering, and, of course, Laconia was also the first liner to circumnavigate the world by automatic steering. 

After 30,000 miles and 23 ports, Laconia arrived at Liverpool on 12 May 1924.  Many of her passengers had landed at Cherbourg on the 10th to transfer to Scythia for a direct connection to New York.

Still graceful if a little dated in the long cruise trade, Baltic was the oldest ship employed on the Mediterranean cruise circuit from New York in 1924. Credit: www.merchant-navy.net/member Gary L

The choice of Baltic for Clark's 20th Mediterranean Cruise was somewhat surprising and whereas Celtic has been the Wonder of the World when Clark first sent her cruising, Baltic was now 20 years old, still coal-fired and a generation apart from Laconia.  But at 23,876 grt, 729 ft. by 75.6 ft., Baltic was bigger and still a popular vessel.  Indeed, when Baltic departed New York for the Mediterranean on 2 February 1924, her 713 passengers was a far bigger list than any of the other ships sailing for the Mediterranean that season.
  • Empress of Scotland, 14 January (CPR) 385 passengers
  • Belgenland, 19 January (Cook's) 419 passengers
  • Scythia, 30 January (Frank's) 390 passengers
  • Rotterdam, 6 February (HAL) 453 passengers
  • Reliance, 9 February (Raymond & Whitcomb) 411 passengers
The discovery of the by Howard Carter of the tomb of King Tutankhamen in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt on 4 November 1922 had inspired an enormous interest in travel to Egypt and the ancient sites there, Greece, the Holy Land and indeed all of the Mediterranean.  But with the newfound popularity and now accustomed winter cruise to the Middle Sea, came a certain ennui and Baltic accomplished her 64-day cruise in obscurity with nary a press mention. 

First advertised on 3 February 1924, Clark's 5th World Cruise would be aboard the new Anchor liner California, from New York on 10 January 1925. Additionally, Laconia would again be chartered for the 21st Mediterranean Cruise departing New York on 31 January. 

California, one of the classic 1920s Anchor Line intermediates, in the Clyde. Credit: Robertson of Greenock photograph, www.dalmadan.com.

The charter of California began a long association between Anchor Line and Clarks who would go on to charter three of the line's five ships.  If any line overbuilt immediately following the First World War it was Anchor who, allied with Cunard since 1911, were a major participant in the epic post-war building programme of the company and their associates that included no fewer than five "16,000-tonners" to replenish Anchor's war ravaged fleet. Of these, two were intended for the company's Mediterranean-New York service which, with severe U.S. restrictions on immigration from the region enacted in 1922, was closed  down.  It was too late to cancel the ships and consequently Anchor had at least two vessels in surplus of requirements and thus would be an early and eager charterer of tonnage for cruise operators through the inter-war period as well as eventually operating an extensive cruise programme of their own. 

RM.S. California, First Class lounge. Credit: www.gjenvick.com

Anchor's Cameronia (1921, 16,365 grt), Tuscania (1922, 16,991 grt), California (1923, 16,792 grt), Transylvania (1925, 16,923 grt) and Caledonia (1925, 17,046) were all  similar at 552 ft. by 70.5 ft, with twin-screw, double-reduction geared turbines giving them 16 knots and, unlike their Cunard cousins, had modern cruiser sterns. With excellent accommodation for roughly 265 First and 456 Second (and 1,000 Third), they were ideal for the cruising market although with Cameronia holding down the base Glasgow-New York run year round and Tuscania chartered to Cunard for long periods, the latter three ships did most of the cruising work.  The 1925-pair, Transylvania and Caledonia, had two dummy funnels to impart an profile that was more imposing than graceful and boasted more lavish interiors.  

Credit: Honolulu Star Bulletin, 16 January 1925.

On a slightly altered schedule, California left New York on 20 January 1925 with   for Havana, then through the Canal to Los Angeles and on to Honolulu, Yokohama, Kobe, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Manila, Batavia, Singapore, Rangoon, Calcutta, Colombo, Bombay, Suez, Port Said, Haifa, Athens, Naples,  Monaco and Cherbourg where passengers could transfer directly to the New York-bound Aquitania to return on 22 May. Frank Clark would not make the trip and instead A.P. Albinia and John Vester aboard to manage the cruise.   Of her 580 passengers, there were 200 men and 350 women, the youngest being 16 and the oldest, 82. 

THE CRUSADERS. Still another vessel of the Cunard fleet left Liverpool on Saturday, and will seen here no more until she has completed a lengthy cruise of the Mediterranean. This was the Laconia, a ship which is specially designed to afford all the comforts of terra firma on the high seas. She due to leave New York on  January 31st, and her trip will cover something in the region of 10,000 miles. Some 700 rich 'Americans have arranged to indulge in the "little holiday." The vessel will proceed to Haifa where six days will be spent by the passengers in extended excursions into the Holy Land through what is virtually the gateway to Palestine. At Alexandria three days will be spent in visiting the Valley of the Tombs and ancient Egyptian ruins. Included in the Laconia's itinerary are Madeira, Cadiz, Gibraltar, Algiers,, Phaleron Bay, Constantinople, Naples, and Villefranche. The tour terminates at Cherbourg on March 28th when the American tourists can either transfer to one of the regular steamers  of Cunard Line sailing for New York or prolong stay to tour other parts of Europe. 

Liverpool Journal of Commerce, 19 January 1925

Once again, Clark could claim the largest number of passengers sailing in one ship on a Mediterranean cruise  from New York when Laconia cleared New York on 31 January 1925 on the firm's 21st cruise.  Her 687 passengers, representing 40 states in the Union, again exceeding the still considerable competition that season:
  • Homeric, 24 January (Cook's) 453 passengers
  • Scythia, 29 January (Frank's) 353 passengers
  • Rotterdam, 4 February (HAL) 543 passengers
  • Empress of Scotland, 9 February (CPR) 411 passengers
  • Samaria, 5 February (Raymond & Whitcomb) 375 passengers
A highlight of the Clark's itinerary were the tours to Rome (from Naples) during the Papal Jubilee proclaimed by Pope Pius XI. 

For the first time in many years, Clark's would operate a summer cruise when on 2 February 1925 it was announced that Cunard's Lancastria had been chartered for a new itinerary combining Norway and the Western Mediterranean, sailing from New York on 1 July. The 53-day  11,592-mile itinerary would call at Lisbon, Cadiz, Tangier, Gibraltar, Algiers, Naples, Genoa, Monaco, Cherbourg, Goteborg, Oslo, Bergen, Leith, Hamburg, Southampton and back to Cherbourg where one could transfer to a New York-bound Cunarder or take a later sailing. 

Odin Rosenvinge painted this placid view of Lancastria which, thanks to Frank Clark, became one of Cunard's most active and successful inter-war cruise ships.

The Clark charter of Lancastria would be the first cruise for a ship that would become one of Cunard's most prolific inter-war cruise ships and her Mediterranean & Norway itinerary would be an annual offering, one of the most popular of Clark's cruises. Indeed, only Arabic completed more cruises (seven in all) than Lancastria (6) for Clarks. 

Yet another of "those" inter-war Cunard-Anchor intermediates, Lancastria (16,243 grt, 522 ft. by 70.5 ft.) proved how interchangeable they could be, having been laid down for Anchor as a sister ship to Cameronia but by the time she was launched as Tyrrhenia by William Beardmore, Dalmuir, on 31 May 1920, it had already been decided she would instead be completed for Cunard, a year late owing to strikes.  The handsome Lancastria never settled down, making her maiden voyage to Montreal on 13 June 1922 followed by a stint on the Hamburg-New York run before joining the Liverpool-New York service in March 1924 after renaming as Lancastria and a refit as "Cabin" steamer with 580 Cabin Class berths and 1,000 Third.  As Clark would demonstrate, the vessel which now had a name anyone could pronounce and spell, had the making for a dandy cruise ship.

Lancastria, Cabin Class dining saloon. Credit: www.gjenvick.com/

Lancastria, Cabin Class lounge. Credit: www.gjenvick.com/

Even though announced closer to departure than was Clark's custom, the Lancastria summer cruise was an enormous success, attracting 771 passengers which was, in fact, the most to sail from New York on a cruise that year.  It was said that women outnumbered men by five to one and many were school teachers. Sailing from New York on 1 July 1925, Independence Day was, of course, celebrated aboard (if anything 4 July having equal significance for Cunard as being the day R.M.S. Britannia inaugurated the company's trans-Atlantic service):

INDEPENDENCE DAY AT SEA. Independence Day was celebrated on board all Cunard liners at sea on Saturday. According to wireless messages received the Atlantic weather was ideal, and the festivities commenced early with sports and games, and continued with banquets. at which various speeches were delivered, also masquerade balls. These festivities took place on board the Franconia, which is on a cruise to the North Cape: the Lancastria, also on a cruise to Mediterranean, the Aquitania, due at Southampton to-morrow, with over two thousand passengers; the Laconia, Carmania, Samaria, and the Mauretania, the world's fastest liner.

Liverpool Journal of Commerce, 6 July 1925

Lancastria attracted considerable attention when she anchored in Leith Roads, Scotland for two days, 6-7 August 1925, quite the largest ship seen in the harbour, and from where her passengers landed for tours to Edinburgh and Trossachs. 

Credit: Los Angeles Evening Express, 6 July 1925.

In July 1925, Frank Clark announced his most audacious cruising programme for 1926 with four cruises.
  • The 6th World Cruise, 20 January,  Laconia (Cunard Line),  128 days
  • The 22nd Mediterranean Cruise, 30 January,  Transylvania (Anchor Line), 62 days.
  • 1st South American Cruise, 4 February,  Caledonia (Anchor Line), 50 days.
  • 2nd Mediterranean & Norway Cruise, 1 July Lancastria (Cunard Line),  53 days
The signs of present and future prosperity are daily making themselves felt, in many ways, one of the indicative being the demand for travel opportunities.

It was the response to just such an urge on the part of Frank C. Clark's large clientele of globe trotters than led to his chartering the magnificent 17,000-ton Caledonia of the Cunard-Anchor Line, with her great broad decks, elevator, gymnasium, veranda café, and arranging a South American cruise that reflects in its appointments the utmost luxury in pleasure cruises, it has been announced.

The itinerary covering nearly 14,000 miles take in St. Thomas, St. Pierre, Martinique (of earthquake fame), Fort de France, Barbados, Montevideo and the world's gayest metropolis, Buenos Aires, from thence to Rio de Janeiro, then to Para, and up the incomparable Amazon, returning with stops at Havana and Nassau.

The Caledonia leaves New York on February 4, 1926, and completes the cruise on March 26, a total of fifty days.

The rapidity with which reservations for this marvelous cruise are being taken up is a duplicate of the success attending Mr. Clark's Norway and Western Mediterranean cruise, in the specially chartered new S.S. Lancastria, with practically all accommodations taken at this time. 

Cruises such as these are the finest form of recreation the average American businessman and his family can indulge in.

Lancaster New Era, 8 August 1925.

Despite the above and extensive initial advertising, the South America cruise disappeared by the third week in August 1925, for reasons unknown. However, at about the same time Cunard had decided place Tuscania on their London-New York service and Anchor withdrew the old favourite Columbia so it may been decided the brand new Caledonia should be kept on the Clyde-New York run for winter 1926.

No other company could claim to offer their Sixth Cruise Around the World let alone in a ship that would be embarking on her third such voyage, but Clark's achieved both distinctions when R.M.S. Laconia (Capt. E.T. Britton) sailed from New York on 20 January 1926.  Belgenland, would, it should be noted, was also sailing that winter on her third world cruise. One of five ships making round the world cruises that season (Franconia, Belgenland, Resolute and Empress of Scotland being the others), Laconia was scheduled to pass Franconia, which was circumnavigating eastwards, between Manila and Hong Kong.  When she left New York, Laconia had 520 passengers, representing 38 states in Union, in addition to Canada and Cuba, making it by far the best subscribed world cruise of the season.  Frank C. Clark was aboard for this one and prompted a nostalgic column in the Honolulu Advertiser of 9 January:

On Friday, February 12, there will arrive at Hilo the Cunard liner Laconia with a Frank C. Clark world cruise party aboard. Mr. Clark will personally be in charge. Sixteen years ago, after the United States fleet under Admiral Bob Evans circled the globe, resulting in a large amount of publicity for world ports, Mr. Clark thought it would be a good idea to charter a liner and send it around the world with a cruise party of tourists aboard. 

According the S.S. Cleveland was chartered and the Clark agent proceeded to sell the tour. The result proved such a success that the cruise was sent out the following year, and again on the Cleveland. The purpose of these cruises was to show that persons of modern means might see the world at a nominal expense. Traveling around the world had always been considered a rich man's luxury.

Clark is a pioneer in the tourist business. He goes after the man who had never done at travelling, but who has always wanted to. He shows him how it can be done at an expense within his means and will all the comforts of home on a first class steamer. With the arrival of Laconia it will mark the sixth world cruise of Frank C. Clark Tours and the fourth in as many years.

The war put a crimp in the tourist business, but now this has come to be known as the age of travel. Everybody is doing it. Rich man and poor man alike. Travel in itself is an education. In placing the world tour within reach of the man of moderate means Frank Clark has erected a monument for himself in the field of education. Today, thanks to Mr. Clark, the man from Lone Star Junction may recite with equal authority of his world travels as the man from Central Park West, New York City.

Ray Coll, Honolulu Advertiser, 9 January 1926

During her call at Los Angeles (San Pedro) on 5 February 1926, 110 more passengers embarked and Laconia bunkered with several tons of oil, fresh provisions including, of course, California fruit and produce. The following day, one of her world cruise rivals, Resolute, joined her alongside Pier 1.

As usual the Honolulu papers gave the visiting Laconia the best press coverage where her arrival was front page news for two days. Credit: Honolulu Star Bulletin, 12 February 1926.

Top: Honolulu Harbormaster Capt. W.R. Foster greets Laconia's Capt. E.T. Britten on arrival and, bottom: H.E. Vernon of Davies & Co. (Cunard port agents) shakes hand with Frank Clark. Credit: Honolulu Star Bulletin, 13 February 1926.

Laconia coming into dock below the Aloha Tower... just look at all the porthole windscoops! Credit: Honolulu Star Bulletin, 13 February 1926.

The man himself. Credit: Honolulu Advertiser, 13 February 1926.

On this cruise, Laconia would make her first return to Hilo since her maiden world tour in 1922, arriving there at 6:00 a.m. on 12 February and sailing at 6:00 p.m..  She then proceeded to Honolulu where she docked at Pier 8 the following morning. "We have had a splendid cruise so far." Clark told reporters, and added that Hawaii was his passengers' favourite destination followed by Egypt, then Colombo and Indian ports.  It was also noted that the ship's $100,000 in liquor was put under seal on arrival at Hilo and Laconia would be "dry" ship until clearing U.S. territorial waters. She sailed for Yokohama at 4:00 p.m. on the 14th.

The ship's compliment  was swelled at Athens on 11 May 1926 when Laconia took aboard 160 of Otranto's passenger after the Orient liner, also on a cruise, struck a rock off Cape Matapan, and damaged. Her passengers were given the option of returning to Liverpool or await another vessel and Laconia additionally called at Plymouth on the 21st to land  84 passengers wishing to travel to London direct.

When Laconia arrived at Liverpool on 23 May 1926 to end her 30,060-mile circumnavigation, it was reported by the Daily Mirror that her crew had come home with a baby crocodile, monkeys, hundreds of parakeets and canaries, native musical instruments, ebony elephants, chinaware, toys and whole suites of bamboo furniture purchased in Hong Kong for a few shillings a piece.  A entire fleet of taxis had to be dispatched to cart it all  and crew members home after four months at sea.

For the 22nd Mediterranean Cruise, it was a new ship both for Clark's and indeed Transylvania's first cruise as well the first three-funneled ship employed on a Clark's cruise since Kaiserin Maria Theresia all those years ago on the 4th cruise back in 1903. For although being otherwise sister ships to California, Anchor's final two intermediates, Transylvania and Caledonia, aimed for a more imposing presence, each being given not one but two "dummy" funnels. 

No more Scottish understatement for the final pair of Anchor Line intermediates, Transylvania (above) and Caledonia assumed a Big Ship Look with three funnels each; both were introduced to the U.S. cruise trade by Frank Clark and very successfully. Credit: dalmadan.com

Launched at Fairfield, Govan, on 11 March 1925 (she was actually laid down back in 1923 but work was suspended for almost two years after the U.S. introduced immigration restrictions), Transylvania was off on her maiden voyage to New York on 12 September so was nearly brand new when she made her maiden cruise for Clark's with whom she be associated with with for next five years as would her sister, Caledonia.  In addition to all those funnels which made the 16,923-grt, 578 ft. by 70 ft., look much bigger, Transylvania impressed indoors, too, with a fine range of quite lavishly decorated public rooms for her 279 First and 344 Second Class which, combined, were ideal for cruising purposes.

Impressive inside, too: Transylvania's First Class dining room. Credit://www.gjenvick.com/ 

Transylvania, First Class smoking room.

Under Capt. D.W. Bone, Transylvania sailed from New York on 30 January 1926 with 700 passengers, once again the Clark's boat was the best patronised of another armada of Mediterranean-bound liners that winter that included Republic (522 passengers), Homeric (521), Scythia (340), Samaria (385), Rotterdam (516) and Empress of France (477) with Carinthia (356) and California (456) following in spring and summer.   Following a well trod course, Transylvania proceeded to Funchal,  Lisbon, Cadiz, Gibraltar, Algiers, Tunis, Carthage, Phaleron Bay (Athens), Constantinople, Haifa, Alexandria, Naples, Villefranche, Monte Carlo, Cherbourg; and return to New York via Aquitania.

Complete itinerary of Transylvania's first cruise. 

The signs of present and future prosperity are daily making themselves felt, in many ways, one of the indicative being the demand for travel opportunities.

It was the response to just such an urge on the part of Frank C. Clark's large clientele of globe trotters than led to his chartering the magnificent 17,000-ton Caledonia of the Cunard-Anchor Line, with her great broad decks, elevator, gymnasium, veranda café, and arranging a South American cruise that reflects in its appointments the utmost luxury in pleasure cruises, it has been announced.

The itinerary covering nearly 14,000 miles take in St. Thomas, St. Pierre, Martinique (of earthquake fame), Fort de France, Barbados, Montevideo and the world's gayest metropolis, Buenos Aires, from thence to Rio de Janeiro, then to Para, and up the incomparable Amazon, returning with stops at Havana and Nassau.

The Caledonia leaves New York on February 4, 1926, and completes the cruise on March 26, a total of fifty days.

The rapidity with which reservations for this marvelous cruise are being taken up is a duplicate of the success attending Mr. Clark's Norway and Western Mediterranean cruise, in the specially chartered new S.S. Lancastria, with practically all accommodations taken at this time. 

Cruises such as these are the finest form of recreation the average American businessman and his family can indulge in.

Lancaster New Era, 8 August 1925.

If ignored by the press, Lancastria's second Mediterranean-Norway cruise, from New York on 30 June 1926, left with a full list of 712 passengers.  This compared to Carinthia's 364 sailing the previous day for Norway for Raymond & Whitcomb and California's 456 departing on 1 July for the Mediterranean chartered by Thos. Cook. By now, even Cunard had cottoned on to the idea of operating their own cruises and that winter Lancastria operated three long Mediterranean cruises from Southampton. 

In 1909 and 1910 the very first around the world cruise ever planned were inaugurated by Frank C. Clark, when he managed two signally successful cruises on the Cleveland. As the pioneer, both of Mediterranean and around the world cruise, as well as the unchallenged past master of cruise management, four more successful cruises were operated in 1923, 1925, with full passenger lists, and the 1926 cruise is now on its way.

And now is offered to the American public another de luxe cruise on the magnificent new Cunard and Anchor Line California (17,000 tons)… the supremacy of the Clark Cruises can be easily verified by asking any one our 19,000 cruise patrons. A staff of competent directors and chaperones to manage the cruise will be personally selected by Mr. Clark. 

Frank C. Clark Co. press release, August 1926

Although it was initially announced that Clark would be chartering Laconia for the 7th World Cruise, in August 1926, this was changed to California, departing New York on 19 January 1927 for 121 days. 

In October 1926, advertisements begin to appear for Clark's 23rd Mediterranean cruise, once again with Transylvania, from New York on 29 January 1927.  

Especially successful have been the bookings for Frank C. Clark's seventh cruise around the world, which sailed last Wednesday from New York, on the specially chartered new Cunard liner California, for a 121-day itinerary, embracing the Hawaiian Islands, Japan, China, the Philippines, Java, Burma, India, Ceylon, Egypt, the Holy Land, the Mediterranean ports, Cherbourg, etc. The California will call at Los Angeles on February 5, before starting for the Orient.

Mr. Clark stated that there were a total of 600 reservations made for this seventh cruise, so that the California is sailing with a complete list of cruising passengers. This is said to be most gratifying as most tourist agencies have been led to expect a decided falling off in 1927 reservations.

Pittsburgh Daily Post, 23 January 1927

The only Anchor Line ship to make two world cruises, California also made winter voyages on the line's Bombay service. Credit: eBay auction.

On her second world cruise, California sailed from New York on 19 January 1927 under Capt. Alexander Collie with 444 passengers. The fifth world cruise ship to dock at the port that season, she arrived at Los Angeles (San Pedro) on 4 February 1927 and embarked 140 there in addition to the 30 who boarded in Havana. 

Like Laconia, the year before, California's called at Hilo the day before arriving at Honolulu.  She anchored off Hilo on 11 January 1927 with 614 passengers, including former Governor of California, Friend W. Richardson and his wife. Rough weather prevented the ship from leaving the ports for half a day and she came into  Honolulu late on the 12th, docking at Pier 10. There, A.P. Albina, Cruise Manager, told reporters that the Anchor liner Caledonia would be chartered for the 1928 World Cruise, Caledonia would be chartered. 

California had the misfortune of being in Kobe (as was Empress of Scotland on her world cruise) on 7 March 1927 when the city and surrounding region was rocked by a major earthquake that devastated the city and port.  This occurred in the late afternoon when passengers were returning to the ship after touring ashore, and the ship listed in the tidal wash from the quake and the landing stage partially collapsed. Seven were injured, one passenger seriously, and another, Mrs. Glen-Schultz, age 63, was flung into the water. A steward, George Prentice, dived into the water to save her, receiving a head injury in the process but the poor woman would die of shock shortly afterwards.  The leading stoker, a seaman and the laundry made of the vessel were also injured.  Undamaged, California continued on her voyage, departing that evening for Shanghai. 

Transylvania's Mediterranean Cruise departed from New York on 28 January 1927 with another excellent list of 651 which again bested the competition which was even more considerable that season: 
  • Doric, 22 January (Boring) 498 passengers
  • Homeric, 22 January (Cooks) 453 passengers
  • Scythia, 26 January (Frank) 348 passengers
  • Rotterdam, 3 February (HAL) 471 passengers
  • Samaria, 9 February (Raymond & Whitcomb) 385 passengers
  • Empress of France, 12 February (CPR) 436 passengers
  • Carinthia, 29 March (Raymond & Whitcomb) 260 passengers
By then, such things were no longer the stuff of dreams or even of interest to armchair travellers, and Clark's 23rd Mediterranean Cruise attracted scant press coverage except for this account of Transylvania's extended stay in Alexandria, Egypt 2-12 March 1927:

The s.s. Transylvania, of the Anchor Line, manned by a Glasgow crew and commanded by Captain D.W. Bone, recently spent a week at Alexandria, Egypt, when a full programme of amusements was organised at the Merchant Seamen's Home, the captain and crew foregathering with other Scots in Alexandria. Besides whist drives and concerts, the Transylvania gave a big dance at which 400 guests, including the Consul-General, were present, and ship's hospitality was much appreciated in Alexandria.

Glasgow Herald, 15 April 1927

First planned for 1926, then rescheduled for 1927, Clark's South American and Mediterranean Cruise in Caledonia never took place and the ship, instead, made two West Indies cruise for Cunard-Anchor. Credit: eBay auction photo. 

The leaflet brochure for the "not to be" South American and Mediterranean Cruise. Credit: eBay auction photo. 

The enticing itinerary for a cruise that would never be. Credit: eBay auction. 

If there was ever a fated never to happen Clark Cruise, it surely was that to South America and the Mediterranean. First, announced in 1925 for January 1926, then planned for February 1927 (and for which there was even an attractive brochure printed), it never took place. Instead, for this latest cancellation, Cunard-Anchor sent Caledonia on their own cruise to the West Indies, as announced in October 1926, from New York on 22 January 1927 on a 31-day itinerary followed by a second departure on 26 February.  

Democrat & Chronicle, 20 March 1927.

By 1 March 1927, Clark's 1928 programme was already set:
  • 8th Around the World cruise, 16 January, 125 days Caledonia
  • 24th Mediterranean Cruise, 25 January, 65 days Transylvania
  • 1st South Africa-India Cruise 25 January, 99 days "proposed"

Already proving to be one of Clark's most popular itineraries, the 3rd Mediterranean & Norway Cruise aboard Lancastria got underway from New York on 2 July 1927 with 714 passengers, the most to sail in a cruise from New York that year. This compared favourably with the 431 booked for Thos. Cook's summer Mediterranean cruise in California on 30 June with 431 aboard and Raymond & Whitcomb's 28 June North Cape trip aboard Carinthia with 410. 

In many respects, Summer 1927 was a halcyon period for ocean travel and the peak of the Roaring Twenties in America.  Indeed, when Lancastria sailed, she did so along with Homeric, Republic, La Savoie and Pennland with Mauretania, Cameronia, Columbus and Duilio coming in. The rush continued the following day and in all some 14,000 sailed for Europe, the streets leading in and out of the North River piers jammed with taxis. 

Some of Lancastria's passenger setting off on horse-drawn four-in-hand coaches for a tour of the Trossachs.  Credit: The Scotsman, 9 August 1927.

As in past cruises, the call at Leith attracted much local attention, and Lancastria's 700 American tourists were the most seen there at one time all season.  Her departure on 7 August 1927 was delayed some hours owing to fog. 

One of the things which American tourists are discovering is that we do not on his side refer to tartans as "the plads" or "the plaids." "Do you mean to tell me," one of the Lancastria trippers exclaimed in Edinburgh on Saturday, "that a kilt is not made of plaids?" She was informed that a kilt and a plaid were two different articles of attire. "Waal, waal!" she exclaimed, "when I return home I guess I shall write to the papers and put our people right."

Leven Advertiser & Wemyss Gazette, 13 August 1927.

On the final leg of the cruise, from Hamburg to Southampton, Surgeon Rear Admiral Shand, R.N. (Ret'd) a passenger aboard, performed a successful apendectomy on a 15-year-old fellow passenger aboard in heavy heavyin the North Sea.  Admiral Shand was formerly in charge of the Royal Navy Hospital at Malta and had retired in 1923. 

The steamer Caledonia has been equipped with every accessory that can contribute to the ease and amusement of the tourist, whose convenience and comfort will be furthered by the resourcefulness of the experienced agents of the Frank C. Clark organization, at every stop or port of call, assuring for this cruise an even great degree of success than in the previous ones.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 18 January 1928

Nothing came of the proposed India/South Africa cruise that winter but for the first time, Clark's sent a matched pair on their winter cruises with Caledonia undertaking the 8th Round the World Cruise on 16 January 1928 followed by Transylvania on the 24th Mediterranean Cruise on the 25th.

Off to see the world, Caledonia in New York Harbor. Credit: dalmadan.com

The last North Atlantic liner and largest ever commissioned by Anchor Line, Caledonia completed, some two years late, the company's post First World War newbuilding programme. Laid down in 1923, she was not launched until 11 March 1925 and made her maiden voyage to New York on 12 September.  Like her near sister, Transylvania, she measured 578.5 ft. by 70 ft. and had a gross tonnage of 17,046 and her epic three-funneled profile made even more impressive with more pronounced cowls capping them.  

Caledonia, First Class smoking room.

There were 382 passengers for Caledonia's world cruise (Capt. Alexander Collie who commanded California on her last world cruise for Clark's), boarding at New York on 16 January 1928 compared to 267 who sailed in Franconia (Cook's)  on the 7th and 328 in Resolute (HAPAG) the same day and the later was the first world cruise directly operated by the German Line.  The Montreal Gazette described Caledonia's list as "persons of prominence from practically every state in the country." Among those aboard were the Baronesses Weiss and Hatvany of Hungary, the Huyler family (eastern candy makers) and journalist B.F. McLelland. 

It was, of course, Caledonia's first world cruise so almost all of her port calls were maiden ones.  She came into Los Angeles (San Pedro) on 1 February 1928, two hours late owing to fog,  and whilst her passengers explored the famous sites of Hollywoodland and lunch at the Biltmore, Caledonia embarked another  85 passengers there and took on 30,000 barrels of fuel oil, 700 tons of water, fresh fish and other supplies.

Credit: Honolulu Star Bulletin, 10 February 1928.

After calling at Hilo on 8 February 1928, Caledonia now with 457 aboard, came into Honolulu the following morning. Sunny weather and a rainbow over the mountains greet her arrival as did the Royal Hawaiian band playing island melodies and the national anthems of Great Britain and the United States as she came alongside Pier 11. She sailed the following evening for Yokohama. 

Although it had already been announced that Caledonia had been chartered for the 1929 World Cruise, that for 1928 would prove to be the 8th and last such trip organised by Clark's. 

Making it a round two dozen such voyage for Clark's. Transylvania "run like a mammoth private yacht" left New York on 25 January 1928 for the Mediterranean with a full list of 620 passengers, sailing the same day for many of the same ports was Scythia for Frank Tourist Co. with 366 whilst four days earlier Carinthia (Raymond & Whitcomb) with 413 and Homeric (Cook's) with 372 were also off for the Mediterranean.  Indeed, Transylvania's 620 was the most to sail from New York on a cruise that year.

Finally introducing a new and modern graphic image-- the brochure for the 1928 Norway and Western Mediterranean. Credit: eBay auction photo. 

New, too, was the design for Souvenir Passenger List. Credit: eBay auction photo.

The popularity of European cruising is again evident, as proven by the list of 600 passengers, making the trip on Frank C. Clark's Norway, Europe and Mediterranean Cruise, sailing June 30th, from New York, on S.S. Lancastria

Meriden Record, 25 June 1928

If Transylvania's Mediterranean cruise of 1928 was the best patronised of all cruises from New York that year, Lancastria's 4th Norway & Western Mediterranean was the second busiest with 575 aboard as she sailed from New York on 30 June on the 52-day voyage, returning 21 August.

The initial cruise offerings for 1929 included a 110-day world cruise in Caledonia from New York on 16 January 1929 which was cancelled in August 1928. Credit: Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 26 February 1928.

The brochure for the cancelled 1929 World Cruise.  Credit: eBay auction photo.

It was announced during Caledonia's 1928 voyage that the vessel had already been engaged for Clark's 1929 World Cruise departing 16 January.  In the event, this not materialise and was last advertised the end of July 1928.  On 23 August  it was reported that the cruise had been cancelled for unspecified reasons. 

With the cancellation of the world cruise, the sole Clark cruise in winter 1928-29 was the 25th Mediterranean cruise, from New York in Transylvania on 30 January 1929, the 66-day itinerary introduced a new call at Casablanca. Clarks again took the record for the best booked long Mediterranean cruise that season with 546 aboard when Transylvania sailed from New York amid exceptional competition that year:
  • Samaria, 22 January (Raymond & Whitcomb), 333 passengers
  • Homeric, 26 January (Cook's) 412 passengers
  • Scythia, 29 January (Frank) 328 passengers
  • New York, 31 January (HAPAG) 295 passengers
  • Rotterdam, 7 February (HAL) 402 passengers
  • Calgaric, 14 February (Boring's) 443 passengers
  • Carinthia, 8 April (Cook's) 312 passengers
  • California, 2 July (Cook's) 418 passengers

What had been a routine cruise ended rather abruptly when, coming into Cherbourg on 28 March 1929, Transylvania crashed in dense fog  onto La Cocque,  a rock ledge 10 miles west off the port, at 4:50 a.m.. The shock of the impact was enough to throw some passengers out of their berths.  When the ship began settling by the bow with a sharp list, Capt. Robert Erskine put his 300 passengers (many other had already disembarked at earlier calls at Villefranche and Naples) onto tenders which took them into port. Their baggage, too, was loaded onto tugs, and taken to Cherbourg, the cruise now obviously over.  After "five hours of desperate effort," Capt. Erskine  managed to get the ship off the ledge, after discharging 500 tons of fuel oil, and at high tide  and anchored in the roadstead.  She was then able to proceed into port under her steam by 11:00 a.m.. Pumps kept the water in check before she could be drydocked by late that evening.  Seventy of her passengers sailed in Carinthia for New York, 30 entrained for Paris and others sailing for England the next day in Scythia.

Striking photograph of the heavily listing Transylvania coming into Cherbourg after freeing herself from rocks on approach. Credit: Daily Mirror, 30 March 1929.

Holed in nos. 1, 3 and 4 ballast tanks, the damage to Transylvania was estimated to be £40,000,  and after temporary repairs at Cherbourg, she sailed to Glasgow for complete repairs by Fairfields, involving the replacement of 72 hull plates forward. She did not resume service until that June.

The annual Mediterranean and Norway Cruise of Lancastria once again coincided with the peak of the June summer eastbound sailings.  When she left New York on 29 June 1929 with 601 passengers (the most to sail in a single ship on a cruise from the port that year), Lancastria joined 11 other liners, carrying a total of 15,000 passengers, departing for Europe, including Leviathan

Frank C. Clark, pioneer of world cruises, who, after thirty-five years of experienced at the helm of a flourishing business, enjoys the title of 'the Dean of Cruises,' predicted recently a greater traffic in cruises this winter as a reaction from the recent stock market recession. 'This prediction is based on actual experience,' said Mr. Clark, substantiating his remark by pointing out that after 1903 and 1907 depressions, he carried more tourists on his cruises than at any other time.

The psychological reason for this is not far to seek, he said, for whenever the stock market heads for a climax, an anti-climax follows in the form of a desire to relax on the part of the people-- a desire to recuperate physically and rest from business worries at a cost far lower than they can live at home. What count be delightful in these circumstances than a cruise on the Mediterranean, away from the business world? He asked. 

This week has already shown a remarkable increase in reservations for the next Mediterranean cruise wich starts from New York, January 29, 1930, on the specially chartered Cunard and Anchor Line steamer Transylvania.

Montreal Gazette, 20 November 1929

Between Lancastria's return from her 5th summer cruise and dispatching Transylvania on her 5th (and Clark's 25th) Mediterranean cruise on 29 January 1930, the Roaring Twenties came crashing to an end with the collapse of the American stock market in October 1929 which quickly depressed the economy of the United States and much of the world. 

The effect of the "Crash" and the evolving Depression on most industries was pronounced and no less in the shipping industry where high tariffs has already impacted the cargo trade and with widespread unemployment in the U.S., even restricted immigration fell off.  Cruising, still in its infancy, and its market largely centered on the upper middle class and precisely those who had investments, was especially hard hit.  During this time, it was telling that agencies like Frank C. Clark, whose core customer was the earliest victim of the stock market crash, planted cheering forecasts for better days as the above, while seeing the market for their traditional longer European itineraries evaporate.

A "snap" of Transylvania on what would prove to be the 27th and last Clark's Mediterranean cruise. Credit: eBay auction photo. 

The Mediterranean will again receive the annual cruise sponsored by Frank C. Clark. January 29 marks the twenty-seventh occasion of these world renowned cruises when the specially chartered Anchor Line steamer, Transylvania, glides gently down the New York harbor, heading for a colorful trip to the old world countries. 

Montreal Gazette, 27 January 1930

The call of the Mediterranean again received its annual response in the cruise operated by Frank C. Clark. The specially chartered Cunard and Anchor liner Transylvania sailed from New York yesterday with more than 400 passengers, and according to Mr. Clark, more passengers than any other Mediterranean cruise leaving New York this season. Practically every state in the Union is represented in the cruise party.

Pittsburgh Post Gazette, 30 January 1930

Even so, it was "business as usual" at least in winter 1930 and while the smallest list for a Clark Mediterranean cruise ever, Transylvania's 409 customers once again bested all comers that season:
  • Carinthia, 25 January (Raymond & Whitcomb) 339 passengers
  • Homeric, 25 January (Cook's) 278 passengers
  • Empress of Scotland, 3 February (CPR) 274 passengers
  • Rotterdam, 6 February (HAL) 369 passengers
  • Calgaric, 15 February (Boring's) 364 passengers
  • Empress of France, 13 February (CPR) 239 passengers
  • Carinthia, 8 April (Raymond & Whitcomb) 218 passengers

Combined, the nine liners carried 2,490 passengers to the Mediterranean that winter season. 

Fittingly, Frank C. Clark was aboard to host what would prove the 26th and final long Clark's Mediterranean Cruise, surely one of the most repeated and popular long cruise itinerary in the history of cruising, as Transylvania sailed from the Chelsea Piers, New York at 6:00 p.m. on 29 January 1930, 35 years after he escorted his first party aboard Friesland

A poor copy of Clark's proposed 27th Mediterranean Cruise in Laurentic scheduled for 31 January 1931 that never occurred. Credit: eBay auction photo. 

The attractive brochure was the only enduring souvenir of the cancelled 27th Clark's Mediterranean Cruise aboard Laurentic. Credit: eBay auction photo. 

Frank C. Clark, pioneer of world cruises, reports that his sixth cruise to Norway and the Mediterranean, which does not sail until June 29, is already more than half sold out.

This big early response is, in his opinion, a sure sign of the return of prosperity. He is so sure that this is true that he had, even at this early date, chartered the new palatial 19,000-ton White Star liner Laurentic for his 27th Mediterranean cruise, which will sail from New York on January 1931.

Montreal Gazette, 6 March 1930

First advertisement for 27th Mediterranean Cruise in Laurentic for 31 January 1931. Credit: Baltimore Sun, 22 June 1930.

True enough, there was no sense, despite the hard times, that Transylvania had completed Clark's final long Mediterranean cruise. Although there would be no further Anchor Line charters and, instead, the company resumed an acquaintance with White Star Line. The choice of Laurentic (b. 1927/18,724 grt) was interesting given, although newer and larger than the Anchor liners, was not nearly so well appointed inside and was, of course, famous for being the last coal-fired Atlantic liner to be delivered. 

It was left to Lancastria to sail on what would be the very last Clark cruise and her 6th Mediterranean & Norway voyage.  The 12,225-mile voyage commenced from New York on 28 June 1930 and attracted the most number of passengers ever: 712 which was, in fact, the most to sail from New York that year on a cruise. 

C.A. Holstein of North West Street writes under date of July 2 on board the Cunard R.M.S. Lancastria that he is enjoying the trip en route to Europe immensely, and the weather is ideal. He attended an Order of the Eastern Star and a Masonic meeting on board the ship and was put on the social committee of the former. Dancing and bridge are popular diversions. Mr. Holstein speaks of seeing a school of whales and many flying fish. The boat makes about 400 miles daily

Waukegan News-Sun, 28 July 1930

The crossing has been perfect and my part has been on deck every moment to advantage.

This particular ship is Cunard's pet. It has every luxury imaginable. We have champagne every day and we drink to the health and happiness of absent friends.

Letter from I.H. DeWees in Montgomery Advertiser, 29 July 1930.

The ship and passengers had a narrow escape, departing Naples on 19 July 1930, two days before it was struck by a serious earthquake.  Lancastria returned directly to New York, sailing from Southampton and Le Havre on 9 August and arriving on the 18th with 500 passengers, the others having decided to layover in Europe or Britain and taking a later boat. 

First advertisement for the Clark North Cape Cruise in Calgaric, 29 June 1931. Credit: Courier Journal, December 1930. 

White Star announced on 20 October 1930 that Frank C. Clark has chartered Calgaric for a North Cape, Norwegian fjord and Scandinavian capitals cruise from New York 29 June 1931.  The proposed Laurentic 27th Mediterranean cruise was last advertised in December 1930 and was cancelled by the beginning of the year. 

Frank C. Clark, dean of the cruising business, in an interview in New York, asserted that while travel was light during the early part of the winter, there has been a marked improvement in the cruising business. He stated that the steamer Britannic of the White Star Line sailed on her second West Indies cruise, with over 600 passengers, and that other steamers sailed recently with better passenger lists than anticipated.

Clark, in his interview said: 'The North Cape and Norway cruise, leaving June 29 by the Calgaric, is booking up very well, and a full ship is practically assured.'

Conditions in Europe are improving slowly, just as they are here, and Americans will be welcomes with open arms everywhere'

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 26 March 1931

Credit: Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 28 June 1931.

Despite such optimistic forecasts, the Calgaric charter, too, was cancelled by May 1931 and instead Clark blocked space in Homeric from New York 3 July to Southampton where passengers would transfer to a reprogrammed North Cape Cruise in Calgaric that left on the 11th. This attracted 140 passengers.

The Depression quickly changed the character and logistics of cruising from the United States. By 1931, only Raymond-Whitcomb were left chartering full ships for long cruises from New York and, instead, most were directly operated by the lines themselves although subcontracting the shore excursion and cruise staff to agencies like Cook's, American Express and for a few years, to a considerably diminished Frank C. Clark Co. Conversely, National Tours, Inc., came out of nowhere in 1930 and chartered Cunard-Anchor ships with abandon for short 7, 9 and 10-day cruises from New York to the Bahamas, Cuba, Bermuda and the Canadian maritimes.  Before long, too, liner companies including Cunard and White Star were dispatching the erstwhile prides of their Atlantic fleets on short "booze cruises" during their New York turnaround between crossings.  Cruising was changing and the steamship industry like so many fighting for survival and Clarks soon bowed out, an early casualty of turbulent and difficult times. 

Frank C. Clark's last cruising venture was as sales agent and shore excursion manager for the Tourist Class passengers for Statendam's Mediterranean cruises in 1933-35.  Credit: eBay auction photo. 

On 2 October 1932, Holland America began advertising a 56-day Mediterranean Cruise for Statendam departing 9 February 1933  This was the flagship's first Mediterranean cruise and was sold in two classes.  American Express were appointed sales agents and shore excursion managers for First Class and Frank C. Clark for Tourist Class.  This was repeated in 1934 with Statendam's 8 February, 58-day and in 1935, 7 February 58-day Mediterranean cruises.  Tracing, in many respect, the original Clark's Mediterranean itineraries, these would provide a fitting fade-out for the company. 

The final newspaper advertisement referencing  Frank C. Clark Co. in conjunction with Statendam's February 1935 Mediterranean cruise. Credit: Chicago Tribune, 27 January 1935.

That was the last heard of Frank C. Clark Tourist Agency and the company closed down after completing its arrangements for Statendam's 7 February 1935 cruise.

Credit: Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 4 February 1939.

On 4 February 1939, Frank C. Clark passed away in Manhattan after a short illness. He was aged 76. 

Cruising, of course, did not die with Frank Clark and even before America's entry into the Second World War, had evolved from "The Clark Way" to shorter, more vacation oriented itineraries from the classic two-month-long Mediterranean cruises and world-girding itineraries Clark originated.  It would be 30 years until another visionary and entrepreneur, Ted Arison, would be as influential in developing the cruise holiday as Frank C. Clark who remains one of the true pioneers in the field. 

Full ship charters by Frank C. Clark Co.
1895 - 1930

1st Mediterranean Cruise
Friesland (Red Star), 6 February 1895, 437 passengers

2nd Mediterranean Cruise
Aller (NDL). 5 February 1898, 355 passengers

3rd Mediterranean Cruise
New England (Dominion),.1 February 1900, 524 passengers

4th Mediterranean Cruise
Celtic (White Star).8 February 1902, 826 passengers

1st West Indies Cruise
Kaiserin Maria Theresia (NDL), 14 January 1903, 266 passengers

5th Mediterranean Cruise
Kaiserin Maria Theresia  (NDL), 7 February 1903, 421 passengers

1st Norwegian Cruise
Kaiserin Maria Theresia  (NDL), 2 July 1903

6th Mediterranean Cruise
Grosser Kurfürst (NDL), 8 March 1904, 817 passengers

7th Mediterranean Cruise
Arabic (White Star), 2 February 1905, 632 passengers

8th Mediterranean Cruise
Arabic (White Star), 8 February 1906, 632 passengers

9th Mediterranean Cruise
Arabic (White Star), 7 February 1907, 639 passengers

10th Mediterranean Cruise
Arabic (White Star), 6 February 1908, 648 passengers

11th Mediterranean Cruise
Arabic (White Star), 4 February 1909, 691 passengers

1st Round the World Cruise
Cleveland (HAPAG), 16 October 1909, 644 passengers

2nd Round the World Cruise
Cleveland (HAPAG), 5 February 1910, 750 passengers

12th Mediterranean Cruise
Grosser Kurfürst (NDL), 5 February 1910, 559 passengers

13th Mediterranean Cruise
Arabic (White Star), 4 February 1911, 602 passengers

14th Mediterranean Cruise
Arabic (White Star), 1 February 1912, 568 passengers

15th Mediterranean Cruise
Laconia (Cunard), 15 February 1913, 599 passengers

16th Mediterranean Cruise
Rotterdam (Holland America), 2 February 1914, 842 passengers

17th Mediterranean Cruise
Empress of Scotland (CPR), 4 February 1922, 835 passengers

18th Mediterranean Cruise
Empress of France (CPR), 11 February 1922, 780 passengers

3rd Round the World Cruise
Empress of France (CPR), 23 January 1923, 803 passengers

19th Mediterranean Cruise
Empress of Scotland (CPR), 3 February 1923, 808 passengers

4th Round the World Cruise
Laconia (Cunard), 19 January 1924, 720 passengers

20th Mediterranean Cruise
Baltic (White Star), 2 February 1924, 713 passengers

5th Round the World Cruise
California (Anchor), 10 January 1925, 580 passengers

21st Mediterranean Cruise
Laconia (Cunard), 31 January 1925, 687 passengers

1st Mediterranean & Norway Cruise
Lancastria (Cunard), 1 July 1925, 771 passengers

6th Round the World Cruise
Laconia (Cunard), 20 January 1926, 630 passengers

22nd Mediterranean Cruise
Transylvania (Anchor), 30 January 1926, 700 passengers

2nd Mediterranean & Norway Cruise
Lancastria (Cunard), 1 July 1926, 712 passengers

7th Round the World Cruise
California (Anchor), 19 January 1927, 584 passengers

23rd Mediterranean Cruise
Transylvania (Anchor), 29 January 1927, 651 passengers

3rd Mediterranean & Norway Cruise
Lancastria (Cunard), 2 July 1927, 714 passengers

8th Round the World Cruise
Caledonia (Anchor), 16 January 1928, 467 passengers

24th Mediterranean Cruise
Transylvania (Anchor), 25 January 1928, 620 passengers

4th Mediterranean & Norway Cruise
Lancastria (Cunard), 30 June 1928, 575 passengers

25th Mediterranean Cruise
Transylvania (Anchor), 30 January 1929, 546 passengers

5th Mediterranean & Norway Cruise
Lancastria (Cunard), 29 June 1929, 601 passengers

26th Mediterranean Cruise
Transylvania (Anchor), 29 January 1930, 409 passengers

6th Mediterranean & Norway Cruise
Lancastria (Cunard), 25 June 1930, 712 passengers

Total number of passengers carried: 26,060

Ships Chartered by Frank C. Clark: 

Arabic: 7 cruises
Lancastria: 6 cruises
Transylvania: 5 cruises
Laconia (II): 3 cruises
Kaiserin Maria Theresia: 3 cruises
Cleveland: 2 cruises
California: 2 cruises
Grosser Kurfürst: 2 cruises
Empress of France: 2 cruises
Empress of Scotland: 2 cruises
Friesland: 1 cruise
Aller: 1 cruise
New England: 1 cruise
Celtic: 1 cruise
Laconia (I): 1 cruise 
Rotterdam: 1 cruise
Baltic: 1 cruise
Caledonia: 1 cruise

A Pilgrimage to Jerusalem: The Story of the Cruise to the World's Fourth Sunday-School Convention … by Charles Gallaudet Trumbull, 1905
Around the World on the Cleveland, William Givens Frizell, 1910
The Hoosier Girl Abroad: A Diary of Seventy-seven Days Attending the World's Sunday-School Convention, Anna Robinson Black, 1904.
In Mediterranean Lands... the Cruise of the Friesland, S.R. Stoddard, 1895 
Our Cruise in the Mediterranean, James T. Wilson, 1899
Steamin' to Bells, Around the Middle Sea, Alfred James Pollock McClure, 1900
The Cruise of the Celtic Around the Mediterranean, R.H. McCready and H.M. Tyndall, 1902.
Travels from the Grandeurs of the West to Mysteries of the East, Charlton Bristow Perkins, 1909

Boston Evening Telegraph
Boston Globe
Brooklyn Citizen
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Buffalo Evening News
Chenago Semi-Weekly Telegraph
Chicago Tribune
Civil & Military Gazette
Detroit Free Press
Evening Public Ledger
Fitchburg Sentinel
Gazette de Hollande
Gazette Times
General Advertiser
Hawaiian Gazette
Honolulu Advertiser
Honolulu Star Bulletin
Liverpool Journal of Commerce 
Los Angeles Evening Express
Manchester Courier and Lancashire
News Journal
Norwich Bulletin
 Minneapolis Journal
Muscatine News-Tribune
New York Herald
New York Sun
New York Times
New York Tribune
Pennsylvania  Gazette
Pittsburgh Daily Post,
Reading Eagle
San Francisco Examiner,
Semi-Weekly New Era
Woodstock Sentinel
Victoria Daily Times



Additions/Corrections/Contributions welcomed
contact the author at posted_at_sea@hotmail.com

© Peter C. Kohler

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