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The First Class Pont Promenade, with serried enfilade of deck chairs, of the France of the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique, more commonly known as The French Line. 1962. Image courtesy the private collection of John Cunard-Shutter.

The First Class Pont Promenade, with enfilade of serried deck chairs, of the France of the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique, more commonly known as The French Line. Image courtesy the private collection of John Cunard-Shutter.

Une cabine sur le Normandie

A First Class Cabin with Terrace of the steamship Normandie, flagship of the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique/The French Line. Image courtesy the private collection of John Cunard-Shutter.

The First Class deluxe apartment Normandie of the France of the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique/The French Line. 1962. This homage suite was the favourite of my Parents; twice crossings were postponed due to unavailability. Note the distinctive CGT-embossed Lalique-commissioned ashtray on the occasional table, today a prized collector’s item. Image courtesy the private collection of John Cunard-Shutter.

The First Class deluxe apartment Normandie of the France of the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique/The French Line. twice crossings were postponed due to unavailability.

The ill-advised Sun Deck First Class Patio - looking distressingly like a Nevada-based Route 66 motel - of the France of the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique/The French Line. 1962. Seventeen years hence, this rectangular "well" would conveniently become the "socket" into which the Sun Deck Pool was snugly fitted when the vessel was converted into the Norway of the Norwegian Caribbean Line (NCL). Image courtesy the private collection of John Cunard-Shutter.

The ill-advised Sun Deck First Class Patio - looking distressingly like a…

The First Class Grand Hall of the Ile de France, flagship of the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique/The French Line. 1927. Image courtesy the private collection of John Cunard-Shutter.

The First Class Grand Hall of the Ile de France, flagship of the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique/The French Line. Image courtesy the private collection of John Cunard-Shutter.

The First Class Salle a Manger (Dining Room) on board the refurbished, post-War Ile de France (1949), restored as the flagship of the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique, more commonly known to English-language passengers as The French Line.  Image from the Private Collection of John Cunard-Shutter.

The First Class Salle a Manger (Dining Room) on board the refurbished, post-War Ile de France (1949), restored as the flagship of the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique, more commonly known to English-language passengers as The French Line. Image from the Private Collection of John Cunard-Shutter.

The restrained First Class Grand Salon (Lounge) of the France of the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique/The French Line. 1962. It was here, during a particularly turbulent 1974 West-bound crossing, one of the last the vessel would make, that an unsuspecting (and thus blameless) Joan Crawford taught me - by elegant example - how to smoke a cigarette. Image courtesy the private collection of John Cunard-Shutter.

The restrained First Class Grand Salon (Lounge) of the France of the Compagnie…

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A Tourist Class cabin on the France of the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique, more commonly known as The French Line. Image courtesy the private collection of John Cunard-Shutter.

The subtle, two-tiered elegance of the Tourist Class Salle a Manger (Dining Room) of the France of the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique, more commonly known as The French Line. 1962. Image courtesy the private collection of John Cunard-Shutter.

The subtle, layered elegance of the Second Class Salle a Manger (Dining Room) of the France of the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique, more commonly known as The French Line. Image courtesy the private collection of John Cunard-Shutter.

The intimate First Class Cabaret d’Atlantique of the SS France

The intimate First Class Cabaret d’Atlantique of the SS France

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