Lake Trips That Are Different
Read This Carefully
(Courtesy of Vintage Views Archives*)
PROVIDING for the comfort and convenience of our guests during their cruise on the Great Lakes and interpreting the pleasures of a yachting trip is a profession with the Chicago, Duluth and Georgian Bay Transit Company.
The two lake trips, offered by this company, embody the best thought of men who began to study Great Lakes transportation problems twenty years ago. This season — 1918 — represents the sixth year of this service. The trips were inaugurated by the Chicago, Duluth and Georgian Bay Transit Company, in 1913, and gained immediate popularity with the traveling public — 6000 people making the trip on the one boat (S.S. NORTH AMERICAN) during that season. This tremendous travel that first Summer necessitated the building of the second ship (S.S. SOUTH AMERICAN) which was placed in service the Spring of 1914.
The trips this season are so arranged as to be complete in their scenic schedule without becoming tedious or tiresome. Both trips contrive to stop at some port of scenic or historical importance each day. Ample time is allotted for sightseeing at all ports of call.
The two big ships NORTH AMERICAN and SOUTH AMERICAN represent the acme of comfort and convenience in water travel, being modeled after the larger and newer of the trans-Atlantic steamers.
The ships were built primarily for passenger travel and their entire complement of officers and crew are, at all times, at the service of the guests. The NORTH AMERICAN and SOUTH AMERICAN are 2317 and 2612 tons respectively, and have four decks or staterooms with two promenade decks. In addition to the regular staterooms, each boat has parlor rooms, completely furnished with large double or twin beds, mahogany dressers and private bath or shower. Large social assembly halls, ballroom, card-rooms, sun-parlors and children’s playgrounds are included on both boats. The children’s playground is on deck enclosed with heavy meshed wire and contains a large sand pile, swings, games, etc. These playgrounds are in charge of competent women attendants. The social assembly salons are equipped with pianos and Edison cabinet phonographs. A large variety of records are always at the disposal of the guests.
No detail is overlooked to make the trip a pleasant and memorable experience. An orchestra plays during luncheon and dinner, and in the glass enclosed ballroom each evening. (Sundays excepted.) A hostess is employed to arrange entertainment during the evening for guests who do not care for dancing. Many unique performances have been staged on the boats, as it is the duty of the hostess to discover any celebrity of talent making the cruise, and induce them to lend their especial gifts for the benefit of the other guests.
Careful attention is given the cuisine of the boats, which is unexcelled. The food is well served by neat waitresses and the dining rooms and kitchens are large, light and modern in every respect.
We invite correspondence, or, if possible, visits to our offices and agencies. Your inquiry will receive careful and personal attention.
The Chicago Duluth & Georgian Bay Transit Co.
Editor’s note: The S.S. North American sailed until the early 1960s (although not regularly during its final years). The S.S. South American stopped sailing in 1967. To learn more about these and other passenger ships on the Great Lakes, visit the Marine Historical Society of Detroit online (mhsd.org).
*Historic brochure text, advertising copy and nostalgic prints are reprinted with permission from the personal archives of M. Christine Byron and Thomas R. Wilson, owners of Grand Rapids-based Vintage Views Prints (vintageviewsprints.com), authors of books including “Vintage Views of the Mackinac Straits Region” (Arbutuspress.com), and avid collectors of the past (see Wavelengths, page 12).