The growth of air travel
New developments in airline technology in the 1950s and 1960s brought down the cost of long-distance travel by air. Millions who had crossed the oceans on liners could now afford to do so on aircraft.
The shipping lines responded by stressing how enjoyable sea travel was compared to a flight in cramped conditions.
|Union-Castle Line ephemera. © NMM|
However, for those who simply wanted to get from A to B, air travel proved a far more practical and attractive option.
By the end of the 1960s, most of the long-distance liner services had ended.
More people now travel in and out of London than ever before, but very few do so by sea. The hundreds of aircraft crossing the skies of London each day have replaced the huge liners that once sailed into the port.
Travelling by sea for pleasure
|The Viceroy of India (1929) cruising in Northern waters. © NMM|
If ordinary long-distance travel by sea has almost disappeared in the age of passenger jets, travel for pleasure has become a boom industry.
Many shipping lines had a long tradition of running pleasure trips for the wealthy.
Since the 1960s, pleasure cruises have become much more affordable for millions of people.
London will never again see the likes of the Dominion Monarch or the Mauretania, but luxury cruise liners can occasionally be seen on the Thames.
|The cruise liner Seabourn Pride on the Thames. © NMM|