Cruise Ships in the Movies


Cruise ships have provided the setting for a large number of films over the years. With the golden era of cinema coinciding with the growth of commercial cruise holidays – the two have often been intertwined. For a cruise fan – it’s always exciting when you catch a glimpse of a ship on the silver screen. So here we are exploring which ships were used in famous films, and offer a few exciting facts and titbits along the way.

The Last Voyage – Ile de France

Ile De France

Shortly before being scrapped, the CGT’s Ile de France was used as a floating prop for the 1960 disaster film, The Last Voyage. CGT (Compagnie Générale Maritime) were so horrified to discover how the ship was being used in the film, they demanded her name was omitted from the final edit. The ship was considered to be line’s most beautiful and was used by the Allies during World War II.

The Ile de France was also named as the ship in the Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe classic, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

The Sea Chase – HMCS New Glasgow


The ship in the John Wayne action film, The Sea Chase, is played by HMSC New Glasgow. The film follows Wayne’s attempt to get his German freighter home during the first few months of World War II, pursued by British and Australian troops. In real life the HMCS New Glasgow actively participated in WW2, helping to sink the final U-boat. The ship was decommissioned following the war and entered the entertainment business.

An Affair to Remember – Queen Mary

Queen Mary

Not only did Cary Grant play a character in An Affair to Remember who meets the love of his life aboard Cunard’s legendary Queen Mary, but the actor also met his real-life wife, Betsy Drake, on the same ship. So passionate about the accuracy of the cinematic depiction that he insisted extras playing the crew change the buttons on their uniforms as they were not the correct buttons.

The Oscar-winning love story has remained enduringly popular with movie-lovers. The 1993 hit, Sleepless in Seattle, openly acknowledged the influence of An Affair to Remember, leading to a surge of 2 million extra sales for the Grant film.

Speed 2 – Seabourn Legend

Seabourn Legend

Speed 2 is the widely maligned sequel which took the premise of the original (a speeding bus which will explode if its travelling speed drops below 50mph) and took it to the seas. The Seabourn Legend has enjoyed a more successful career, currently celebrating her 23rd year on the seas having recently transferred to Windstar Cruises under the moniker Star Legend.

Out to Sea – MS Westerdam

MS Westerdam

Starring the classic double act, Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, Out to Sea follows the two protagonists as they seek out affluent single ladies on a cruise aboard the MS Westerdam from Holland America Line. However the MS Westerdam in the movie is not the MS Westerdam still in service today. The ship is currently sailing as the Thomson Dream, having been switched to Thomson Cruises in 2010.

Even if you don’t have Hollywood wages, the exclusive Cruise1st deals mean you can enjoy glitz and glamour on the seas. Visit our homepage, here, or call our dedicated team on 0808 2746 777 for our full range of exceptional deals.

Book a Cruise on a Movie Ship!

Image sourced via Wikimedia Commons and Flickr Creative Commons. Credit: Gail Frederick, Yorick_R, Robert Pernett. By Centpacrr at en.wikipedia (Transferred from en.wikipedia by SreeBot) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


About Author

Claire has worked in the travel industry since leaving college in 1994. One of this blog's most regular contributors, Claire covers cruise news and industry trends.

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