"Dream Cruise"

Aboard the S.S. Argentina -

November 1948

"Picture Story" by Ruth Orkin


On this page are a few of Ruth Orkin's photos published in the "Coronet" magazine, October 1949.

(Permission to reprint same is granted by Mary Engel, daughter of Ruth Orkin and Morris Engel.)


A tour of the ship leads, inevitably, to the bridge.  Passengers who expected to find the Captain [Commodore Thomas N. Simmons] a gruff old salt are happily surprised as he patiently explains the secrets of guiding a hotel on the sea.

By the afternoon of the deck luncheon, strangers on the passenger list begin to have familiar faces.  They talk of the long, lazy days ahead, plan for the high adventures that lie beyond the horizon.

The intricacies of the rumba are unveiled to a California businessman by the charming instructress.  For him, this cruise means restored energy, a new strength for the burdens of business back home.

Near the equator, preparations are made for traditional crossing-the-line ceremonies.  On the fateful day, "polliwogs" are initiated into King Neptune's Court to the howling delight of the audience.

Good-humored banter floats up and down the gangway as the voyagers debark.  An undercurrent of sharp anticipation prevails, however, for most have never before set foot on foreign soil.

Ten times the ship weighs anchor and moves on; then finally the bow turns homeward.  Behind now are Buenos Aires, the bustling coffee piers of Santos and the primitive beauty of Bahia.  Next stop:  U.S.A.   [Photo is of ship docked in Rio.]

In the quiet of tropic nights, free of small burdens, newlyweds catch glimmers of the understanding that will give mature meaning to their life together.  This is the legacy of their dream cruise.

Young honeymooners cherish every fleeting moment of their new and wonderful world.  Shipboard is a traditional scene of romance, and long will they remember the precious days of this idyl.

Keyed by sparkling glassware, gaily decorated tables and formal dress, dinner in the salon is held in an aura of glamour.  Professional entertainers lend the final touch to enchanted evenings at sea.

A dream cruise is no longer a luxury for the wealthy few.  The New England judge and California businessman, honeymooners and a vacationing accountant, form a representative cross section of America.

One morning, passengers stand at the bow for the last time, quiet pride in their hearts.  The Statue of Liberty stands clear in the sunlight, and behind the Gallant Lady rise the towers of home.


See Ruth Orkin Photo Archive to learn some very interesting historical facts about the photographer, view some of her famous photos, and read about two independent films Ms. Orkin made along with her husband, Morris Engel.






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