Eastern Cruise Lines
Western Cruise Lines
Admiral Cruise Line
These pages are devoted to postcards and photographs of the Eastern Cruise Lines fleet, plus their subsidiary Western Cruise Lines. The company was later rebranded as Admiral Cruise Line and as such was taken over by the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line (RCCL). The table below gives links to postcard career histories of selected individual ships owned. Below the table is a Fleet History showing company and commercial cards in Eastern/Western/Admiral colours.
The original Eastern Steamship Company was formed by Charles Wyman Morse in 1901, from the merger of of several East Coast shipping lines. Ownership changed over the years, and other companies were merged. In 1914 it declared bankruptcy, but in 1914 it reappeared as Eastern Steamship Lines, and continued until the outbreak of war (in the US) in 1941, at which time it had eight major ships and dozens of smaller local vessels operating on services from Norfolk, Virginia in the south, to St Johns, New Brunswick in the north. In later years, cruises were operated in addition to the scheduled passenger voyages. Only the Evangeline and the Yarmouth (both from 1927) were returned to the company after the war, and they were placed on a Boston-Yarmouth route during the summer, with cruises from Miami in the winter. In 1954, they were sold, along with the company name, to F. Leslie Fraser.
Fraser renamed Yarmouth as the Yarmouth Castle, and started cruising out of Miami. Evangeline received a refit, and began operating 10-day cruises from Miami. Although American-owned, the ships ran under the Panamanian flag. Fraser then negotiated a contract with the government in Nassau, and Yarmouth Castle was renamed Queen of Nassau whilst running 3-day and 4-day cruises between Miami-Nassau for two years. When the contract ended, she reverted to being the Yarmouth Castle, and received some modernisation. In 1962, Fraser sold the company to W.R.Lovett, and in 1970 it passed out of American ownership to Norwegian Company Gotaas-Larsen.
Gotaas-Larsen were mainly involved in tankers, but they also had an interest in Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines (RCCL). The tanker business was in decline, so cruise ships became of greater interest to them. They renamed their newly acquired company Eastern Cruise Lines. In 1972, they part-exchanged the small Ariadne with Chandris for their Atlantis, which became the Emerald Seas. She successfully operated 3- and 4-day cruises from Miami. In 1980, they acquired the Calypso for a wholly-owned subsidiary, Western Cruise Lines, operating 3- and 4-day cruises out of Los Angeles as the Azure Seas. Gotaas-Larsen then acquired a 51% interest in Sundance Cruises, who ran a single ship, the Stardancer, in Alaska during the summer, and out of Los Angeles in winter. The combined group was renamed Admiral Cruises. None of the three ships in the fleet were purpose-built for their services, so Admiral ordered the Future Seas from French builders. She was to become the first vessel tailor-made for the US short-cruise market, though she never sailed under her intended name. Gotaas-Larsen then engineered the merger of their two companies Admiral and RCCL to form Royal Admiral Cruises. However, Carnival Cruise Line was also trying to buy into RCCL at this time. One of the RCCL partners, Arne Wilhelmsen, managed to raise finance to buy out the other partners, and Royal Admiral never happened. The Stardancer and Future Seas became RCCL's Viking Serenade and Nordic Empress, and the Emerald Seas and Azure Seas were both sold.
Ships on This Page:-
Azure Seas
Bahama Star (1)
Bahama Star (2)
Emerald Seas
New Bahama Star
Yarmouth Castle
Associated Pages:-
Carnival Cruise Line
Chandris Lines
Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines
Zim Lines
Cruise Ship Postcards
Ocean Liner Postcards
Simplon Postcards Home Page
Table of Ship Histories
Name  Other Names  Built
 Ariadne  Patricia, Bon Vivant, Ariane

 Emerald Seas  President Roosevelt, Atlantis  1944
 Azure Seas  Southern Cross, Calypso, OceanBreeze, Imperial Majesty

 Stardancer  Scandinavia, Viking Serenade, Island Escape 

Fleet History
Yarmouth Castle + Evangeline
These two ships were both built by William Cramp of Philadelphia in 1927. They were acquired from Eastern Steamship Lines by F.L.Fraser in 1954. This first card shows a pre-Fraser Yarmouth leaving Boston in 1953 during her last years on the Boston-Yarmouth service.
A modern card by CT Publishing (serial 083).
The photo is by David Pearson, and shows the original Eastern company funnel colours with a blue house flag and letter 'E'.
The Yarmouth was renamed Yarmouth Castle, then Queen of Nassau, back to Yarmouth Castle and plain Yarmouth between 1954 and 1961. Two official Eastern Shipping Corporation cards as Queen of Nassau are shown below. The funnel and house flag showing the letter 'F' for Fraser. The cards were printed by Colourpicture of Boston (why the English spelling of Colour/Color?) and have serial numbers K8056 and K8224. The top card was posted from Ft.Lauderdale in March 1956.
The Evangeline was given a more substantial refit than was Yarmouth Castle initially. This Eastern Shipping Corp card shows the additions aft. This card was printed by T.N.Gilbert of Miami, and has serial S19567. The card details state:- "SS Evangeline - Cruises from Miami, West Indies, Caribbean & South America. 7-Day from $130, 10-Day from $190, 14-Day from $260"
The Evangeline and Yarmouth were sold in 1961 to the Yarmouth Steamship Company, and operated in competition out of Miami. The Evangeline was renamed Yarmouth Castle. This official card shows both vessels. The Yarmouth Castle was lost to fire in 1965, which hastened the demise of the company.
Bahama Star (1)
The Bahama Star was previously the Arosa Star of Arosa Line. She had been built in 1949, and was owned by Eastern from 1959-69.
Eastern Steamship Corp. official card of Bahama Star.
This Eastern Steamship Corp. card shows Bahama Star at Nassau.
The card details read:- "Largest cruise ship sailing from Miami to Nassau! 100% air-conditioned.
Dock-to-dock service. 3-Day Cruise sails every Friday. 4-day Cruise sails every Monday."
The Ariadne was originally the Swedish Lloyd Patricia. She was then sold to Hamburg-America, who gave her the name Ariadne. She served with Eastern from 1961-1972. This Eastern Steamship Corp. card shows Ariadne still with original funnel, now sporting 'L' for Lovett, who bought the company from Fraser in 1962.
A complete postcard history of this ship is available on this link.
" S/S Ariadne - 7-Day Cruising Holiday sailing from Miami every Saturday to Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands."
Another Eastern Cruise Lines postcard of Ariadne with original funnel.
" The only luxury ship for Caribbean Cruises from downtown Miami."
A later Eastern Steamship Corp. official card of Ariadne, with new funnel. " S/S Ariadne - Year-round cruises from Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale to Nassau and Freeport"
New Bahama Star - Bahama Star (2)
The New Bahama Star was previously the Jerusalem (2) of Zim Lines. her name was later rendered as Bahama Star.
Eastern Steamship Lines' official card, plus card back showing stamp of Oceanic.
"The Finest Ship for Nassau from Downtown Miami"
Eastern Steamship Lines' official card. (serial no. 234104).
A later Eastern Steamship Lines' official art card (scan supplied by Txema Salazar).
Eastern Steamship Lines' official card.
Scan: Rogerio Gouveia
Emerald Seas
The Emerald Seas was bought from Chandris Lines, who had found her fuel consumption too heavy for long distance cruising.
A postcard history of this ship is available on this link.
This is an Eastern Steamship Lines' official card of Emerald Seas. (serial no.P4092).
Eastern Steamship Lines' official card of Emerald Seas. (serial no.142974)
Funnel colours changed again when Eastern Steamship Corp. was sold to Norwegian owners Gotaas-Larsen.
The company was renamed Eastern Cruise Lines - this is one of their official cards of Emerald Seas.
Eastern Cruise Lines' official card of Emerald Seas. (serial no.P10675)
Eastern Cruise Lines' official card of Emerald Seas. Printed in Spain. "No other 3-and 4-night Bahamas cruise gives you so much".
The company was renamed again when merged with Sundancer Cruises. This is an Admiral Cruises' official card of Emerald Seas.
Chantry Classics modern card CC/S179 of Emerald Seas in Admiral Cruise Lines colours.
Photo by W.H.Moojen at Nassau.
Azure Seas
The Azure Seas was originally the Shaw-Savill liner Southern Cross. She was bought to instigate west coast cruises with a wholly owned subsidiary, Western Cruise Lines.
A complete postcard history of this ship is available on this link.
This is Western Cruise Lines official card of Azure Seas (s/n P7366).
Another Western Cruise Lines official card of Azure Seas (also s/n P7366).
Admiral Cruises official card of Azure Seas.
Admiral Cruises official card of Azure Seas (s/n 75M 3/90).
"A floating fiesta of Mexico's charming port of Ensenada and Catalina Island on the Azure Seas' 3- and 4-night cruises. The 4-night cruise also includes scenic San Diego."
The Stardancer was Sundance Cruises only ship. They merged with Eastern to form Admiral Cruises. She became the RCCL Viking Serenade when Admiral was merged. Built as a car ferry for DFDS, her chunky ferry looks were further spoilt when the funnel was shortened and an RCCL 'sky lounge' were fitted.
A complete postcard history of this ship is available on this link.
Sundance Cruises card of Stardancer.
Scan: Rogerio Gouveia
This is an official Sundance card in Alaska.
Sundance Cruises card of Stardancer in thePanama Canal.
Sundance Cruises card of Stardancer in Mexico.
An official Admiral Cruises card of Stardancer.
A Mexican card of Stardancer at Puerto Vallarta, serial V7209N.
The top picture shows the card as printed. However, the picture is a mirror image, and the scan below shows the image in its correct form.
Future Seas
The Future Seas was ordered by Admiral Cruises to replace Emerald Seas. She never appeared with this name, and became the Nordic Empress for RCCL. I have added cards of Nordic Empress to my RCCL page on this link.
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