Already in the 1940’s when I was a first-class dining room steward aboard Holland America Line vessels, I had been initiated into the daily activities of ship life and its few available recreation or entertainment options.
Here is the dining room of the "Nieuw Amsterdam" where I worked as a first class steward, late 1940's
Thus, while putting our proposed project together for the world cruise, I included lectures on the culture of several ports-of-call. We gave our Art classes every day while at sea, for one hour. No art class was held when lectures were scheduled, normally two days before arriving at port. Lecturing was not new to me. Already in the 1960’s I had done the circuit at various cities in Ontario, but on contemporary art. The screen, projector and slide equipment aboard ship were like everything else, state-of-the-art. Here follows the itinerary of “Royal Viking Sky”, the 1974 eastbound world cruise:
Fort Lauderdale, Bermuda, Barbados, Haiti, Bahia, Rio de Janeiro, Cape Town, Durban, Madagascar, Mozambique, and Mombasa (African Masks, Zulu Bead Symbolism),
Zulu Dancers, Durban
Seychelles, Bombay/Mumbai, (Mogul Miniatures and Hindu Art), where authentic classic dance and musical performers came aboard the ship, Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong, Osaka, Nagasaki, Honolulu (Hula and dance symbolism), San Francisco, Los Angeles, Panama (San Blas indigenous textile art/Molas).
Here is the itinerary of the “Royal Viking Sea” voyage, 1975, westbound: New Orleans, Haiti (Voodoo and primitive art), Colombia and Panama (folklore and primitive art), Puerto Vallarta (Mexican contemporary art), Tahiti (Paul Gauguin), Rarotonga, Wellington, Picton (on Maori tattoos and symbolism), Sydney (Aboriginal Dream Time art), Port Moresby, New Guinea (wood carvings and ancestral masks), Singapore, Bangkok, Bali (Balinese batiks, art, masks and dances), Sri Lanka, Seychelles, Bombay/Mumbai, Mombasa, Cape Town, Rio de Janeiro, Bahia, Caribbean, Jamaica, Ft. Lauderdale, New York.
We were free from 11:30 am onwards to enjoy, mingle and participate in whatever was on offer in the daily program, “Skald”.
Natasha and the Dance Instructor in "The King and I"There were also various musicals Natasha volunteered to perform in. Next post we’ll talk about a few memorable moments at sea.