Since Arthur Anderson invited William Makepeace Thackeray to take a cruise in 1844, and to write about it, British shipping lines have offered passage for no other reason than leisure on their vessels. By the 1880s, passenger ships designed solely for cruising were being built and the cruise ships kept many a shipping line afl oat during the Depression years, whether offering booze cruises to nowhere for alcohol-starved Americans, or out of unlikely ports such as Immingham to Norway for the British middle classes. Ian Collard tells the story of British cruising from these early days until the advent of the Second World War, when British cruise ships were caught in ports the world over. During the war years many cruise ships were used as armed merchant cruisers and a great number were sunk, sometimes in heroic circumstances, such as the loss of the SS Jervis Bay to the German battle cruiser Admiral Scheer, which saw a VC won by the Jervis Bay's captain
Ian Collard a well-known local author and has written many books on ocean liners and cargo ships, particularly those sailing out of Liverpool itself. Acknowledged as one of the local experts, he has even appeared on radio to tell of his times as an author. He lives in the Wirral, within sight and sound of the Mersey.