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1960s: SWAN SONG


Our story stops in 1962. Great ships like the Oceanic, twins Michelangelo and Raffaello, and of course, the venerable Queen Elizabeth 2, were either under construction, or still on the drawing boards. Though there was continuing talk of a sister to the United States, and a smaller version: President Washington for American President Lines, neither would come to pass.


Notable ships hitting the scene between 1960 and 1962 include the France, Leonardo da Vinci, and Windsor Castle. France, even with her winged stacks, was not, as some lamented, as revolutionary as Normandie, and da Vinci was a larger, perhaps less graceful looking replacement for Andrea Doria. Windsor Castle is in the mix as her interiors blended elements classical and modern. As soon as images from P&O's Canberra and Oriana can be had, they will be added.


The last two American passenger ships of note were the President Roosevelt, and the nuclear ship Savannah. In the 1960s, increasing operating costs and labor issues would plague US-flag ships. Many were laid up and ultimately found careers under foreign operators. Of the American ships discussed in these pages, only the United States and Savannah remain.


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