Under Canadian Pacific’s red-and-white-checkered flag, the company’s founders, George Stephen and William C. Van Horne, created a rail-sea service from Liverpool to Hong Kong. Boasting sternwheelers, Great Lakes bulk carriers, ferries, and luxurious ocean-going liner leviathans, the Canadian Pacific shipping line sailed around the globe. In both world wars the entire fleet served gallantly as Allied troop carriers. After the Second World War, the company staved off the realities of the jet age for as long as it could, replacing liners with container ships, until what was left of the legendary maritime operation was sold off in 2005.
With a witty and informative style, author Peter Pigott evokes not only the nostalgic heyday of ocean travel but reveals a slice of almost-forgotten Canadiana. From the stifling steerage quarters of immigrant ships to the elegant drawing rooms of nautical titans such as the ill-fated Empress of Ireland and the Empress of Asia, from U-boat-haunted convoys to container ships, shore dwellers and old salts alike will be delighted with Sailing Seven Seas.