November 18th – 29th 1938
#1 – Passenger list for Thanksgiving Week cruise from New York to Haiti, Jamaica, and Cuba
#2 – Thanksgiving Dinner Menu – November 24th
#3 – Myrtle Bank Hotel (Jamaica) information sheet for Gripsholm cruise guests
#4 – motorline gripsholm – Farewell Dinner Menu (November 28th)
(See other related listing for Fred Myers's Rum advertising.)
In March 1923 RAB Sverige-Nordamerika placed an order for their first newbuilding, the first MS Gripsholm, with Armstrong Whitworth & Co in Newcastle upon Tyne. She was the first diesel-engined liner to be built for the transatlantic service. The Gripsholm was launched and christened on 26 November 1924, and delivered on 7 November 1925. On the same date her owners officially changed their name to Svenska Amerika Linien / Swedish American Line, and on 21 November the Gripsholm set out on her maiden voyage from Gothenburg to New York. Encouraged by the success of the Gripsholm, SAL placed an order for a ship of similar but larger design with the Blohm & Voss shipyard in Hamburg on 28 October 1926. In 1927 the company decided to enter the cruise market, offering various cruises during the northern hemisphere winter season.
The Myrtle Bank Hotel was to become one of the most famous hotels in the world until it was destroyed by fire in the 1960s.
IAN FLEMING: I first went to Jamaica on a Naval Intelligence assignment around 1942 to meet with my American opposite numbers from the Office of Naval Intelligence to see if we could do something about the U-boat sinkings in the Caribbean. I stayed in the good old Myrtle Bank Hotel, and it poured every day--and I loved every minute of it. I'd never been in the topics before and I thought they were wonderful, as I suppose any Scotsman would. I was determined that at the end of the War I'd come back and find a plot and build a house and live in it whenever I could.