Travel Terms & Conditions through the ages

Cunard. Fastest ocean service in the world. Boston Public Library
Cunard. Fastest ocean service in the world. Boston Public Library

The Gjenvick-Gjøvik Archives is one of my favorite new discoveries, a fascinating resource for the cultural history of transatlantic travel and immigration. Check out this passenger list from Rotterdam to New York in 1915.

The website might be bright orange but that’s not the only thing that reminds me of Easy Jet! We tend to think of the early twentieth century as the golden age of travel, but here is a refreshing reminder that getting from one place to another is and always has been a huge pain.

Berths and Staterooms should be reserved as soon as possible in order to secure the most favorable location, especially during the summer season, when all available rooms are usually engaged considerable time (sometimes months) previous to departure of the steamship

Baggage. — Merchandise and Household-Articles are not accepted as baggage, but pay regular freight, as per tariff.
Steamer Trunks should not be higher than 13 inches, and of the usual width and length, so that they can be placed under the berth or sofa in the stateroom.
LARGER PIECES of Baggage are not permitted in the staterooms, but are stowed away in the baggage hold.

Steamer Rugs can be hired on board from the Purser at a charge of 1.— for one trip.

Seats at Table. — Seats at table, are allotted by the chief Steward or his assistent.
Dogs. — Passengers are reminded that, under the laws of the United Kingdom, the importation of dogs into Great Britain is prohibited unless a permit has been first obtained from the Board of Agriculture.

Okay, so it’s not exactly £40 extra for a suitcase in the hold and £6 for a crappy G&T. And life on board a steamer was probably a little more exciting than the 6:50 am flight to Split: (!)

The attention of the Managers has been called to the fact that certain persons, believed to be professional gamblers, are in the habit of travelling to and fro in atlantic steamships.