A Ship Afloat ... A World Apart
By ALLAN KELLER
(Courtesy of Bob and Ken Bradsell)
SHIPWRIGHTS fashioned her of steel, a pretty woman christened her BRASIL, and she slipped into the warm waters of the Gulf of
Not for months did she have all her engines, pumps and dynamos; her evaporators, tanks and double shafts.
But a day came when she was complete; thousands of tons of fuel oil in her arteries, thousands of miles of cables and wiring for
her nervous system, radar and lights and telemotors for her brain.
A SHIP is born twice, once on the ways, again when crew and passengers go aboard to call her home.
So, Phoenix-like, she sailed away from New York, steering south for warmer lands—a sleek,
swift, man-made courier, whiter than any gull.
She made her first landfall at Barbados, where trade winds kiss the sandy cliffs of Bathsheba, then legged it down the ocean wastes
The old seemed younger, the young more tolerant, when the great round saucer of the world at sea held only this one,
By day the sun was warm. By night the Southern Cross rode high in the velvety darkness, beckoning the ship to the equator, and
A SHIP afloat is a world in microcosm. Men eat and play and sleep, secure because welder, steam fitter and caulker built a stout
craft and master and mates know the lore of the sea.
Clocks serve to mark the coming of bouillon, tea and dinner. Time itself stands still. It is the cheapest commodity on the high
A distant light at night, marking the passing of a tramp steamer; a porpoise frolicking off the cruise ship's bow, a black tern
against a sun-drenched sky—all these count more than hours and minutes.
Peace comes at sea, an overwhelming sense of well-being. Here, if anywhere, the traveler can mend the raveled sleeve of care.
A MORNING comes when the land reaches out to meet the sea. Sugarloaf and Corcovado lie dead ahead, framing one of the two or three
most beautiful harbors on earth.
Fireboats hurl their streams, fashioning a mist in which a thousand rainbows shine. Bands play and people shout, for the BRASIL, in
a way, is their ship, named for a good neighbor.
Cargo from mills, blast furnaces and warehouses of the North pour from the hold; whistles blow, chains rattle in the hawsepipes and
the ship moves on.
Santos, Montevideo, Buenos Aires; names that stood out like gems in the battered geographies of a New England schoolroom.
Coffee in plump bags pours into the holds like an unending brown stream. Meat from the Pampas, hides from Uruguay; all the raw
resources needed by the North are somehow swallowed by the ship.
THE BRASIL leads two lives: one serious and work-a-day below decks, another gay and colorful on sun deck, promenade and in the
pools. Below is a world of commerce, freight rates, competition; top-side is reserved for music, fun and romance.
Bahia, as Portuguese as Lisbon, and Trinidad, green as only the jungle can be green, slip past, lost in the milky wake churned up
by the twin propellers.
Blue Caribbean merges into steel gray Atlantic. Engines throb rhythmically and the Southern Cross dips below the horizon.
Day fades into night and night into day until one morning when solitude is shattered by a thousand sounds and a great lady holds
her torch aloft, marking a safe landfall. Home is the cruise ship from the sea.
Announces Gala Cruise to the Northlands
A new cruise by a great new ship, the S.S. Brasil, has just been announced by Moore-McCormack Lines.
The Brasil, internationally known as one of the most luxurious ships ever built, will depart from New York May 14 on a gala
33-day "Northlands Spring Cruise," according to Albert J. Keenan, Jr., Mooremack vice president. She will visit eight countries — Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Germany, Scotland, England and Ireland — and make stops at 14 ports including seven capitals.
Her glamorous itinerary provides for arrival at Bergen, Norway, Thursday, May 21st; then she proceeds to Eidfjord (Hardangerfjord),
Gothenburg, Aarhus, Ronne (Bornholm), Stockholm, Helsinki, Visby, Travemunde (Lubeck), Copenhagen, Oslo, Leith (Edinburgh),
Southampton and Dublin.
"When spring comes to the scenic northland," Mr. Keenan said, "there is no more fascinating and pleasant travel area in all the
world. Back in the 30's we used to operate passenger ships to this area — the Scanpenn, the Scanmail, the Scanstates, the Scanyork — and we are frequently asked why we don't run one of our modern new
liners to the fjord country and the principal cities of the northland. The special Spring Cruise is in answer to this demand. We are diverting the Brasil from the South American run for this one voyage."
The Brasil is an all first-class ship. Minimum fare per adult for the voyage will be $1350, Mr. Keenan said. From the
minimum, fares range upward to $4750 for a double bedroom, sitting room and two bathrooms. All rooms on the Brasil are "outside" rooms and all have draft-free air-conditioning with individual temperature control.
Passengers who desire can turn off the air conditioning and open the portholes or windows.
The Brasil, recently completed for Mooremack at a cost of $26,000,000, was especially designed for cruise service. She is
equipped with Denny-Brown stabilizers to reduce roll. She cruises at better than 23 knots.
She has two outdoor swimming pools, one for adults and the other for the junior set, each with adjacent sports areas. Heated salt
water is used in each pool. Atop her dummy stack (engine exhaust goes through king posts at the vessel's stern) is an observation deck 100 feet above the water line. This innovation provides an unusual vantage point from which
passengers can view the magnificent scenery as the ship enters and leaves ports of call. Another innovation, near the juniors' swimming pool, is a snack bar where the younger set can order soft drinks, dance to juke-box music and have gab sessions. Nearby is a children's area where
youngsters can enjoy games under supervision.
For those who do not wish to join in organized activities, there are "quiet lounges" and card rooms. One of these rooms is
separated from the main lounge, with close-by night club area, by glass partitions so that passengers who wish to observe rather than participate in dancing and other activities may watch the fun in seclusion.
Every facility for a memorable vacation has been built into the Brasil — a wide promenade deck for the strollers, a theatre,
a dance studio with an instructor in charge, a library, a beauty salon, a gymnasium, Swedish massage parlors, even a ship’s store where anything from gifts to sportswear can be purchased.
The Mooremack cuisine is internationally famous and features, on the Brasil, smorgasbord at lunchtime on the promenade deck. The
ship’s commissary also prepares favorite dishes to the order of the passenger.
Shore trips on the cruise are under direction of Thomas Cook and Son so that passengers can make the most of sightseeing and
Following this one special cruise, the Brasil will rejoin her sister ship, the S.S. Argentina, in Mooremack’s
fortnightly South American service, Mr. Keenan said. She arrives back in New York Wednesday, June 17.