Booking Passage On A Steamship - 1910 Travel Guide
The cost of a first-class passage to Europe varies with the line and the season of the year. Vessels of the first class command a very high minimum rate even "out of season." At the time of writing it is hardly possible to obtain a first-class passage for less than $87.50, on good ships, and good accommodations will cost $110.00 to $125.00 on other than Mediterranean steamers.
The choicer cabins bring extremely high prices, and it is nothing unusual to find accommodations which are a thousand dollars or more for cabins. for one or two persons. There are many factors connected with the price of staterooms; the time of passage must he considered, for every increased knot of speed means a vastly increased coal consumption, which is almost inconceivable to the layman; the saving of a day in passage may mean double coal consumption.
The costliness of ships must also be considered. It naturally costs more to travel in a vessel which has involved the expenditure of $7,000.000 than in a comparatively small and cheap ocean liner costing five or six hundred thousand. A slower boat with large freight-carrying capacity is often more comfortable than the express steamer which races through the water at a high rate of speed with constant vibration. The number of passengers is also much more limited and there is more room for promenading and for the steamer chairs.
Those who wish to rest at sea should bear this in mind. The traveler who desires comfortable lounges. palm-gardens. Dutch cafés, gymnasiums, and Turkish baths. electric baths. etc. should be willing to pay some $25.00 or more extra for
The proper plan to pursue is to write to the New York office of the five or six principal trans-Atlantic lines. The intending traveler will receive courteous letters accompanied by diagrams and with price lists of all staterooms : this will enable one to select accommodations within his means.
The minimum fares which are charges charged when accommodations are available are given beyond, so apply early if you are seeking low fares.
Berths are usually not considered engaged unless secured by a payment of 25 per cent of the passage money, and never less than $25.00 per berth for first cabin accommodations. The balance of the passage money, both outward and return, should be paid and the receipt surrendered at least three weeks prior to the date scheduled for the sailing from the port of New York. Otherwise the company reserves the right to dispose of such reserved accommodations to others and the sum paid is forfeited if the engaged berth or berths have not been resold.
In case of sickness or death the company usually refunds all except agent's' commission. In case of necessity the lines have the right to substitute some other steamer or steamers, and even change the date of sailing without notice, and passengers have no claim or demand upon the companies except for a refund of the amount paid on account of the accommodation reserved.
When applying for berths, either by mail or wire, the name of the steamer, date of sailing, the number and sex of passengers, and the desired class of accommodations should be stated. Passengers who do not sail on a steamer for which they have engaged accommodations, or purchased a ticket, will forfeit fifty per cent. of the passage money, unless notice is given not later than three weeks previous to sailing. or the accommodations have been re-sold.
When passengers are kept from sailing by misadventure, the company usually allows them to sail on other steamers of same line. A steamship company is a business corporation, and their good nature, which is large, should not be imposed upon.
Prepaid tickets are good for a year and are not transferable, and may be extended by paying the difference between the rate in effect at the date of issue ana date of sailing. Each company has special rules for the cancellation of such tickets.
Return tickets may be extended by paying the difference between the rate in effect at the date of issue and date of sailing. There are special regulations relative to cancellation which may be learned by addressing the cora. pany issuing the ticket.
Interchangeable Return Tickets.
The return portion of first and second cabin round trip tickets is available for return passage by any of the fol lowing lines, provided the tickets have been issued by one of the other lines or at the option of the holder will be accepted for passage by any of the fol lowing lines: American Line, Atlantic Transport Line, Austro-American Line, Cunard Line, Dominion Line French Line, Hamburg-American Line, Holland-America Line, Leyland Line, North German Lloyd, Red Star Line, White Star Line.
- (a) There be room vacant on the steamer by which the passenger desires to sail.
- (b) All the conditions in the ticket and regulations of the carrying line shall be accepted and hinding on the passepgeri whether they are contained in the original return ticket which the passenger holds or not.
- (c) That the passenger pays the difference, if any, between the value of the accommodation called for and the value of the accommodation he selects in the steamer by which he travels.
- (d) In the event of the original re turn ticket calling for trans. portation on a specific steamer or date, the transfer cannot be made unless application for transfer is presented more than 28 days before such specific date, unless the passenger. at the time of making application for transfer, presents the authority of the Line for which the original return ticket was issued, for the transfer being made.
- (e) In the event of the passenger selecting accommodations of a lower tariff rate than that shown on the original return ticket, the difference hetween the value of the accommodation called for and the value of the selected accommodation will be refunded by the carrying Line, less 10 per cent.
First and second cabin return tickets issued by any of the above mentioned lines will also be accepted for passage by any other of them, subject to the usual conditions.
Return tickets and prepaid tickets issued at a certain rate will only be available for transportation covered by such rate.
Holders of such tickets desiring to sail on a steamer or in accommoda-tions for which a higher rate is in force will be required to pay the ad-ditional fare, or in case lower priced accommodations are engaged, the dif-ference will be refunded, subject to the company's rules.
Return accommodations may be secured through the company's general passenger offices, either hy cable or pay second class rates, but have ac-cess to the first cabin accommodations. If interested, write the company for their rates and rules.
buch is in brief about all the gen-eral information which can be given on the subject of the securing or berths or staterooms.
The practice of the various companies is so widely at va-riance that nothing more of a gen-eral nature can be given. Each com-pany employs a corps of correspond-ents who are entirely familiar with the transportation business and whose pleasure it is to reply fully regarding by letter ; if by cable, at passenger's expense.
If a passenger is prevented from sailing on a steamer for which return accommodations have been re-served, a transfer to an earlier or later steamer can be made by applying to the company's general passenger of-fice, provided application for this transfer be made not later than three weeks previous to departure of the steamer on which herths had originally been reserved.
On some lines servants accompanying first cabin passengers, if they have access to the first cabin accommodations, must pav a special rate. which will be made known on application to the company. On other lines servants such special information as the cost of transporting bicycles, automobiles, dogs and other animals, excess bag-gage, and transportation of infants; special regulations as to children, etc.
It is very difficult in compiling a book of this nature to avoid a suspi-cion of partiality. The editor does not recommend any particular line or any particular steamer. It is mat-ter for individual judgment and usu-ally the passage money paid is a satisfactory criterion of the accommodations which may be expected.
The annexed table shows the number of cabin and steerage passengers landed at the port of New York for the year 1909 by all the principal steamship lines. The relative number of cabin passengers carried has, of course, a certain bearing on the standing of the line. Thus, a line bringing over six, eight, or ten thousand passengers, is much to be preferred to a line that only carries three, four, or five hundred first cabin passengers a year.
In nearly all cases the smaller number of passengers indicates lower rates. As the names of tbe agents are given, and they all have offices in New York City (the addresses being given elsewhere), tbey can be readily addressed for rates, information as to baggage, sailings, etc. All of these agents have telephones and may be communicated with by those living in New York or tbe immediate vicinity by this means. It is hoped that this table, which is official, may prove of considerable value to the intending traveler.
The succeeding table of general rates is subject to change without any notice whatever, and the editor and publishers disclaim any responsibility for the information which is herein conveyed. In a general way, however, it is valuable as showing average minimum rates. It is of course not possible to obtain accommodations at these rates unless very early application is made, or steamers are carrying very few passengers.
The steamer companies should in all cases be written to before it is assumed that accommodations at the minimum rate can be supplied. The big tourist agencies also sell tickets 'oy all lines.
While the prospective traveler is assumed in the majority of cases to embark at New York, still the information given applies to other ports as well.
The maps of harbors include Portland, Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Seattle. The list of steamers plying from other ports is covered as far as possible. but changes are very apt to occur which cannot be guarded against in a work of this kind. See chapter on "Statistical Information."