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,
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,
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,
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.
1 September 1998 - To the Editor: ANSWER TO PUZZLE: LUXURY LINER ROW, OCEAN LINER GAZETTE SUMMER 1998, PAGE 19:
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.