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Thank you!

I want to post a THANK YOU to all my readers, 6,200 read and discussed controversial about the controversial design of Le Nouveau FRANCE ... As a soothing I post this design idea of mine.

HISTORY - As HAPAG Director Albert Ballin invented the modern cruise 126 years ago

As HAPAG Director Albert Ballin invented the modern cruise 126 years ago, vacation on a ship, an invention of Albert Ballin, 33, then director of sales at HAPAG - was like a revolution when Albert Ballin advertised his first Orient Expedition as vacation. It too is the starting point of expedition and exploration cruising. Just as at the beginning of 19th century in its first decades crossing the ocean with a steamboat was thought of as similar unachievable reaching the moon. And now someone was sending a floating hotel with passengers seeking for pleasure on the dangerous seas ...
What many do not know, however, is that the modern days cruise exactly started in 1891 - on a HAPAG ship, the AUGUSTA VICTORIA. 
by Earl of Cruise 
AUGUSTA VICTORIA auf Reede vor Piräsue - drawing courtsey by Christian Wilhelm Allers, Backschisch Erinnerungen an die Reise der AUGUSTA VVICTORIA in den Orient
Sure there had been since the beginning of steam liners, especially in the United Kingdom, offers for pleasure journeys on board of the early steamers. PENINSULAR and ORIENTALSTEAM NAVIGATION COMPANY was offering free cabin space to adventurous travelers, that wanted taking a voyage for pleasure. This was starting 1836, the founding year of P&O in 1834, when British upper class members made their Grand Tour. And when the line got the mail contract extended to Alexandria, P&O offered luxury travels to Gibralt, Malta, Athens and Alexandria. This falsely is seen in the UK as the start of modern cruising. And P&O CRUISES is seen on the Island as the oldest cruise company ... But these voyages still had been liner passages with ports of embarkation for trade or refueling, not for touristic purpose. Ever repeating the same wrong facts, don´t turn them into truth.
Albert Ballin by Christian Wilhelm Allers in Backschisch - own collection
Of help for developing a touristic market in general and onboard ships, had been back then a certain Mr. Cook, Thomas Cook, who was the inventor of package tours.
QUAKER CITY by Clary Ray - Source: National Library of Congress, USA
In 1867, Mark Twain participated in a multi-month cruise from New York through the Mediterranean. This was carried out with a chartered steam boat, QUAKERCITY. About one hundred passengers took part in the trip. From the organizational form the trip was roughly comparable to a cooperative in which the passengers bought themselves in by shares. A New York entrepreneur appeared as an organizer. Twain published his adventures and experiences of this journey in his work "The Innocents Abroad". According to Twain's descriptions, the concept of such an organized sea voyage was a novelty in the US.
Albert Ballin
NORDDEUTSCHER LLOYD organized a one-off cruise onboad their KAISER WILHLEM II, later HOHENZOLLERN, where the vessel with members of the German society traveled in the wake of the empirial yacht HOHENZOLLERN to his annual Norway visit.
Alber Ballin Kaiser Wilhelm II
smy HOHENZOLLERN, 1880, the first of empirial yachts, in Bergen - own collection
The idea of the vacation trip with AUGUSTE VICTORIA would become such a success - that on the North Sea coast was the beginning of the cruise, as we know it to this day - no one guessed it during that cold January morning 1891. Nevertheless, January 22nd, 1891 seemed to be tous Cuxhaven on its way over to admire the group of "bold travelers" who went on board the HAPAG Transatlantic Greyhound AUGUSTA VICTORIA. It was one of the largest, most modern, fastest and luxurious steamers in the world. The passengers, Albert Ballin among them, they wanted to set off on new shores: a two-month cruise to the Mediterranean.

AUGUSTA VICTORIA, later after her lengthening the name was corrected to AUGUSTE VICTORIA, placed in service in 1889 and named for Empress Auguste Victoria, wife of German Emperor Wilhelm II, was the first ship of the AUGUSTA VICTORIA Class and the first of a new generation of luxury HAMBURG AMERIKA LINIE ocean liners. She was the first continental European liner with twin propellers, each driven by one machine each, and when first placed in service, one of the fastest liners in the North Atlantic trade. In 1897, the ship was rebuilt and lengthened. In 1904 she was sold to the Imperial Russian Navy, which renamed her KUBAN.
In November 1889, Nellie Bly sailed to Southampton on the Augusta Victoria on the first leg of her 72-day race around the world.
AUGUSTA VICTORIA was also the first luxury liner at HAMBURG AMERIKA LINIE, introducing the concept of the "floating hotel". A concept created by Albert Ballin. Up to those days ocean liners, steamships, had been more or less like ferry boats with only a few public rooms.
Albert Ballin
 Routing of AUGUSTA VICTORIA in 1891 during the first modern cruises - courtsey HAPAG-LLOYD CRUISES
Albert Ballin
Relaxing passengers on the promenade deck of AUGUSTA VICTORIA - courtsey GETTY IMAGES
The AUGUSTA VICTORIA voyage was planned with land excursions in 13 ports. Transport, accommodation, First Class service and a modern animation program came from a single provider: from HAPAG. The cruise director onboard this first modern cruise was Albert Ballin himself. It was not only the first modern cruise that started on January 22, 1891, it was the world's first all-inclusive package: the first organized holiday from a single source - and thus the beginning of a tourism offer, booming since.
Christian Wilhelm Allers
Backschisch, Erinnerungen an die Reise der AUGUSTA VVICTORIA in den Orient
Christian Wihelm Allers
Impressions from aboard AUGUSTA VICTORIA
Albert Ballin
Impressions from ashore
Albert Ballin
Albert Ballin
Source of the five photographies above: KLINE BOOKS
Albert Ballin, the young HAPAG director, was also in Cuxhaven on the pier. He should have been particularly tense. Because this tour had been his idea, since 1890 he was working on his very personal project. He had fought for it, against great resistance: "who would go voluntarily for weeks on a ship was the unanimous opinion then?"
Albert Ballin
AUGUSTA VICTORIA Damensalon / Ladies Salon - own collection
Albert Ballin
AUGUSTA VICTORIA Lichtschacht / Lightdome above the dining room - own collection
Albert Ballin
AUGUSTA VICTORIA Speisesaal I. Klasse / Dining Room First Class - own collection
This opulent decoration was common on all liners, it was recalling Baroque, Renaissance and Rockocko, and her we have the Wilhelminian Style
At the end of the 19th century, the world was brought together for the first time thanks to modern means of transport and communication. Long-distance worlds had become attainable, and there was a wealthy public who wanted to get known of these worlds, but without the hardships and dangers that a journey on their own would have brought with them. The possibility to offer both travel and accommodation and tourist program together did not have any of the first travel agencies, no railway and no hotel. Only on a ship could it be that combined.
Albert Ballin
It was the Grand Tour on a new level. 
The young director of HAPAG, then 33 years old, owed his success mainly to an extraordinary intuition, coupled with the ability not only to grasp time flows, but also to implement them practically and profitably. Ballin saw exactly where the HAPAG actually had a problem: her glamorous flagship AUGUSTA VICTORIA lay useless in the winter in lay up. Hardly a traveler would cross the grim North Atlantic to the storm season. Ballin now proposed to the board to send the steamer to the Mediterranean in the winter, as a "pleasure-boat" for amusement of travelers, a trip into the Orient, the dreamland of Europe, a fashion and longing destination for wealthy travelers. His colleagues were now accustomed to Ballin's  unconventional ideas. But this time he seemed too far off. The gentlemen were still from an era in which one could not, without a need, take a sea voyage in which an Atlantic passage had been likened with a "walk into prison with the prospect of drowning". And now maritime just for pleasure?
The response was clear: "It was missed even in my immediate surroundings", Ballin said soberly, "not to people who thought it was not quite right in my little room". No one, the HAPAG board directors were sure, would spend so much money on such a thing: the classless tour, offered only with First Class service, which would cost about 1,600 to 2,400 Goldmark, an amount of money of about twice to triple the income of a normal top workers' or clerges household. But Ballin got through and quickly showed that he had correctly estimated and calculated: The first offer of the "Excursion" already met with an international response that exceeded all expectations, especially those of Albert Ballin himself. In the end not all interested parties could be taken. Ballin, who accompanied "his" premiere as a host, cruise director, finally welcomed 174 German, British and American travelers in Cuxhaven, including 67 women, mainly adventurous British ladies.
The reason for the majority of men onboard could be for the gentlemen to be free for some time and getting rid of their women at home ...
Albert Ballin
Christian Wilhelm Allers, selfportrait in Backschisch
A historical journey, therefore, and Ballin, a natural talent also in terms of public relations, had invited not only journalists of leading newspapers, of e.g. "Hamburger Nachrichten", "Norddeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung", "Hamburger Fremdenblatt", "Hamburgischer Correspondent“, "Berliner Börsen Courier" and from abroad. In each port the reportes telegrphed to their publishers stories of the last events on board AUGUSTA VICTORIA. So the whole of the newspaper-reading Germany and international audience was able to take part in the journey. Between the beginning and the end of the cruise on March 22, 1891, there were eight weeks.He invted but also one of the most important German reportage writers and artist, ChristianWilhelm Allers, then 33,. With his help he created another novelty: the on-board newspaper.
Albert Ballin
AUGUSTA VICTORIA ZEITUNG, the first onboard newspaper, initiated by Albert Ballin and edited by Christian Wilhelm Allers - courtsey HAPAG-LLOYD CRUISES

"On 22 January 1891 the Augusta Victoria started the first German cruise. Tagelang has set the ship in pack ice, but in time `Prachtwetter` ceased, In Cuxhaven hellish life, blue sky. The whole village (nest) and the surrounding area on the legs, to H.M. The Emperor and our departure. Enormous hurrays! The music band blows on it, all hats and handkerchiefs are panned." An hour and a half is the journey through ice and snow, "which looks like thick cream".
Christian Wilhelm Allers (1857 - 1915)
The German Kaiser, Wilhelm II., was at the same day in Cuxhaven with his empirial yacht HOHENZOLLERN and visited the ready to sail AUGUSTA VICTORIA, where he met Albert Ballin for a talk.
The beginning of the trip, at sea, however, was somewhat tedious: the stormy Biscay was hard on the passengers. This is a phenomenon that can be seen even today with the new floating shopping malls that sail in Biscay - out of the blue a storm can build up, or the weather is changing within minutes from sunny to rainy and could. In the quieter waters of the Mediterranean, however, the journey of AUGUSTA VICTORIA came to a single triumph. With a length of 145 meters and a width of 17 meters, the largest ship, which had ever been docked there, was officially welcomed and enthusiastically celebrated. The mood of the travelers could not have been better, which was also on the culinary offer. 
Albert Ballin
Captain Heinrich Barends and his officers onboard AUGAUSTA VICTORIA - courtsey HAPAG-LLOYD CRUISES
While under the deck the heaters slaved, while Captain Heinrich Barends and his 245 strong crew (note: 174 passengers and 245 crew! 0,7 pax to crew, or 1,4 crew for each pax) contributed to the success of the trip as well as the tirelessly playing music band, Albert Ballin himself took care of almost everything. In contrast to the organized life on board the long land excursions often led to regular adventure trips. The stranger was at that time still really strange and only a bit touristic tapped. The HAPAG had relied on the British travel agency of THOMAS COOK & Son. The refreshment cakes of the British were very popular in the desert, but the transport offered, proved to be rather problematic. On the heights of Lebanon´s maountains, an amusing Hamburg crowd would almost have fallen victim to a snow storm. Ballin had the ship waiting in Beirut until the involuntary survival tourists came back on board. 
The following pictures are copies from my facsimilé of Backschisch
Albert Ballin
AUGUSTA VICTORIA in Cuxhaven, Alte Liebe
Albert Ballin
Christian W Allers Backschisch, Naples Carabinieri 1891
Albert Ballin
Goody to travel companions in Naples
Albert Ballin
Christian W Allers Backschisch, Monday market at the Yeni Valide Mosque 1891 Istanbul
Albert Ballin
Christian W Allers Backschisch, Plateau of Giza
The tourist the innocent and unaware being ...
Albert Ballin
Christian Wilhelm Allers Backschisch, day at sea on board AUGUSTE VICTORIA
Albert Ballin
Albert Ballin
Christian Wilhelm Allers made later some paintings out of his collected material on the cruise, the gate Bab en-Nasr in Cairo, 1896
Christian W Allers Backschisch, At home again (Capri Villa Allers)
Albert Ballin
AUGUSTA VICTORIA became a popular cruise vessel, renowned for its over the top service, here in Bellsund Spitzbergen during a Norway Ice Sea Cruise - own collection
A number of passengers smuggled their own alcoholics on board, but learned that this task was unneccessary, as they had been served with best available beverage money could buy.Given that Albert Ballin had discovered a market gap. The HAPAG then filled this gap consistently. HAPAG organized regularly and very successful cruises - named Gesellschaftsreisen. HAPAG even took a step further on and beyond. HAPAG signed a contract for the first ever purpose built cruise vessel in modern history - PRINCESSIN VICTORIA LUISE. The offers by HAPAG had become that popular, that middle class members started asking for a cruise, and HAPAG ordered the less luxurious METEOR. This cruise purpose built cruise vessel too became popular beyond expectations.
When the vessel was realized on the slip at BLOHM&VOSS, the nobility of Hamburg was ridiculing about Albert Ballin, the "megalomaniac is building his own luxury yacht".
albert Ballin
PRIZESSIN VICTORIA LUISE, the first purpose built cruise vessel in modern history - courtsy coloured by Daryl LeBlanc
In 1905 HAPAG aquired the most important travel agency of the day in the Empire of the German - CARLSKE´s REISEBUREAU in Berlin. HAPAG continued this new venture as "REISEBUREAU der HAMBURG AMERIKA LINIE".
METEOR, 1905, the cruise vessel for the less richer clientele of the rich - own collection
NORDDEUTSCHER LLOYD joined the upcoming cruise trend pre WWI. After the war the LLOYD got fame for its cruises, still famed for its service born out of the hanseatic rivalry with HAPAG. The fame lasted especially among the US American travelers, even when Germany drifted into the Nazi dictatorship, and boykott was claimed against Germany. HAPAG still had its big share in the mid war years international cruise business. International most regarded had been RESOLUTE and RELIANCE, the world circumnavigation cruise vessels. Both originally built pre WWI for HAPAG´s South America service.
Albert Ballin
RELIANCE, after rebuilding and destruction of a fire - Source: Wikipedia 
Albert Ballin
Hapag cruise poster with RELIANCE / RESOLUTE
After the merger of HAPAG and LLOYD into HAPAG-LLOYD, the freight division was split off, and HAPAG-LLOYD KREUZFAHRTEN, now more intenational "named" CRUISES, was formed as the luxury cruise division of the TUI GROUP, Europe´s biggest tour operator.


Expedition Cruises - HAPAG-LLOYD CRUISES gets two new expedition ships


HISTORY - German Greyhounds I

HISTORY - German Greyhounds II

Reiseberichte - ss COLUMBIA 1890 von Gustav Kopal in Die Gartenlaube

HISTORY - ss ARIADNE - HAPAGs first expedition cruise ship?


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