The following letters were recieved in response to the competition in the last issue of the Gazette asking readers to name the five ships in the photograph above and the date the photograph was taken. There were a record number of responses; all are reproduced below.

29 August 1998 - To the Editor: Wonderful issue of the Gazette. Aren't your three ships on page 19: Doric, Oceanic (not Homeric) and Statendam. I sailed in the latter two and are sure of them. Also, I think the NAL ship is Sagafjord. Best,

Greg Straub

31 August 1998 - To the Editor: Re the photo on page 19 of the Gazette, the following are the ships: Sagafjord, Doric, Michelangelo, Oceanic, Rotterdam, Statendam. Thanks for some wonderful reading. Sincerely,

Richard Maren

1 September 1998 - To the Editor: Re photograph on page 19 of the Summer Gazette: The solution is an easy one as the subject photo hangs in my den. It was first published on the front page of The New York Times of June 8th, 1975, and celebrated the first time that the Port Authority's renovated piers were fully occupied. The time is most likely 11:00 a.m. to noon as the Michelangelo appears ready to sail with a tug made fast astern, and three of the four "Saturday Afternoon" ships are refueling prior to their scheduled 4:00 o'clock departure.

The occupants were, left to right, Sagafjord (distinguished from her fleet-mate by her more molded funnel); Doric (nee Shalom), Michelangelo, (distinguished by the triangular bar roof at the first class pool), Oceanic, unmistakable; and Rotterdam and Statendam, stalwarts of the Saturday sailings to Nassau and Bermuda.

When the photograph first appeared, I recently had moved from New York to Pittsburgh. I obtained an original from the Times for framing because it perfectly captured my love of ocean liners and New York. Best regards,

Ralph O'Hara

1 September 1998 - To the Editor: To answer your challenge to the members, here's my identification of the liners in the "Luxury Liner Row" picture in the Summer Gazette. From left to right: Sagafjord, Doric, Michelangelo, Oceanic, Rotterdam V and Statendam V.

I believe the year is the summer of 1974--last year of service for Michelangelo and first for Doric.

I do not know if you remember me. We met in Miami a few years back when you came down for the Normandie Exhibition at the Bass Museum. We also met you on the 1996 QE2 Bermuda cruise.

I enjoy the Gazette immensely. Thank you for all your work.

Jesus Mendez


CLUE 1: The skyscraper One Astor Plaza on skyline, upper right, was topped out late 1971 ( I was the design architect); so the photograph can be no earlier than 1972.

CLUE 2: Michelangelo was laid up July 1975, and Raffaello's last voyage from New York was April, 1975. Thus, the date of the photograph lies somewhere between 1972 and 1975.

CLUE 3: The early Homeric had two stacks; Oceanic was a regular visitor in 1974.

CLUE 4: The twin stacks is probably Doric-ex-Shalom-ex-Hanseatic. The Doric made her maiden voyage into New York in March 1974.

CLUE 5: The mystery ship in the extreme right appears to have Holland America's logo on her stack. The deck configuration--king posts, aft deck swimming pool--all look like Statendam IV; she was making regular 7-day Bermuda cruises April 20 through November 9, 1974.

Thus, my guess is 1974 and the ships, left to right: Sagafjord or Vistafjord, Doric, Michelangelo or Raffaello, Oceanic, Rotterdam V, Statendam IV.

Der Scutt

(Trustee Scutt followed his first letter above with another:)

1 September 1998 - To the Editor:

This will confirm my research on identification of luxury liner row on pager 29 of the Gazette. The picture could have been taken in 1974 but, in fact, it was June 1975. I had the ships correct. See page 92, Luxury Liner Row by William Miller.

Der Scutt

1 September 1998 - To the Editor: The "mystery ships" (page 19, Summer Gazette): My guesses are, left to right, Doric, Oceanic and Statendam

I look forward to every Gazette!Best wishes, Sincerely,

Bob Graham

3 September 1998 - To the Editor: Here's the correct answer to the quiz: Left to Right: Sagafjord, Doric, Michelangelo (dark top to after mast) Oceanic, Rotterdam, Statendam. With kindest regards, sincerely,

Sal Scannella

5 September 1998 - To the Editor: I have studied the photograph on page 19 of the Gazette and am now going to boldly wade in with my guesses for the names of the ships which are not readily identifiable. The ship next to the Vistafjord or Sagafjord is, I believe, the Eugenio Costa which was in New York earlier this year in a bid to become a gambling ship.

Next to the Raffaello/Michelangelo is not the Homeric but the larger Oceanic which now sails as the Big Red Boat. Finally, the ship next to the Dutch Rotterdam is, I believe, the Dutch Statendam.

As for the year of the photograph, we can see cars parked on the roof of the piers. That tells us we are looking at the New York City Passenger Ship Terminal which I think opened around 1965. The Raffaello and Michelangelo went out of service a very few years after that. This narrows the time period quite a bit.

I'll be very interested to see how many of our members agree with my guesses. Sincerely,

Bob Lipeles

13 September 1998 - To the Editor: I'm sure by now you have had countless answers to your question about the ship pictures in the last issue of the Ocean Liner Gazette. I am in Sarajevo, Bosnia, right now and it took a while for my copy to get to me.

Do let me see if I am correct: #1--Sagafjord looks like she has the round funnel.
#2--Shalom, Zim Lines.
#3--Raffaello or Michelangelo
#4--Oceanic, Home Lines,

It was fun trying to guess what each ship is. I enjoy each and every issue. Keep up the good work. Sincerely,

James Ducker

(Your Editor was impressed and overwhelmed by the wealth of informed, entertaining responses to the little puzzle from the last Gazette.

First, his thanks to all those who correctly divined that the southernmost Home Lines vessel was Oceanic rather than Homeric. And what a wealth of useful information correspondents provided about arcane details of identification: That Sagafjord's funnel was "more molded" than Vistafjord's, that Raffaello could be distinguished from Michelangelo in at least two subtle ways, either by the triangular bar roof of the first class pool or the different shape of the pool itself. And leave it to architect Der Scutt to tie in the existence of buildings ashore to zero in on the date. Well done to all who took the time and trouble to enter the competition. The first (and only) prize must go to member Greg Straub whose entry was postmarked 29 August and correctly identified the missing ships as well as corrected your Editor's gaffe about the Homeric. A copy of William Miller's invaluable reference work, Transatlantic Liners, 1945-1980 has been dispatched down to Chester County as Greg's prize.)


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