Tag Archives: charles dickens

“A gigantic hearse with windows”

“A gigantic hearse with windows,” was author Charles Dickens’s comment after joining one of the steamship Britannia’s first Atlantic crossings in January, 1842.

Dickens and his wife had the misfortune to encounter several days of tossing and pitching storms enroute from Liverpool to Halifax which left them and their cramped little cubbyhole of a cabin waterlogged.

Reading of the latest Carnival cruise ship disaster is a reminder that while the ships and their accommodations have changed greatly, after 171 years the journey can still be a gamble.