Swedish American Line, or "Svenska Amerika Linien", specialized mainly in tourism rather than emigration, carrying wealthy Swedes wanting to visit the U.S.A. and prosperous Swedish-Americans wanting to visit the old country. As well, their ocean liners operated cruises in the off-season, usually to the Mediteranean, the North Cape and Baltic, but also to the Pacific, around South America, into the Caribbean and around-the-world.
Gripsholm was built in Italy and was a fine-looking motorship of moderate speed. All public rooms were on Veranda Deck, with each class having a lounge, veranda, smoking room, library and card room. First class space was forward and the Tourist class midship to aft. There were indoor and outdoor swimming pools and all First class staterooms and all but about 20 in Tourist class had private facilities.
The superb Kungsholm was built in the 1960s as an improved running mate. Slightly larger, faster and built almost exclusively for all year one-class cruising, Kungsholm public rooms were spread over Veranda and Promenade Decks and there were indoor and outdoor pools. Almost all staterooms had two lower beds and optional folding upper, although unlike Gripsholm, there were some inside cabins.
Their eastbound transatlantic routing was from New York to Copenhagen (8 days) and Gothenburg (9 days). On the westbound crossing departure from Gothenburg and Copenhagen were usually on the same day, with arrival in New York 9 days later. In cruise service, Gripsholm's capacity was limited to 440 and Kungsholm's to only 405 passngers.
"Carefree days await when you cruise on the nine-story, sea-going palace, GRIPSHOLM, for this lovely vessel is a happy ship with a happy crew. Your very first sight of this gleaming white cruise ship will delight you - and you will leave everyday cares behind the very moment you cross her gangway."
Sample minimum one-way fares from New York to Gothenburg: First class $370; Tourist class $245; Fares are per person in U.S. dollars as of spring 1969.
Go to Swedish American Line sailing schedules or select schedules by ship below:
Built: 1957 by Ansaldo SpA, Sestri Ponente, Italy
Built: 1966 by John Brown & Co, Clydebank, Scotland