SS Coamo and SS Borinquen

SS Coamo and SS Borinquen

SS Coamo and SS Borinquen

Twin Sisters of the New York

Caribbean cruises were not always the luxury cruise ship experience they are today.

In the 1920s and 30s, regular steamship service to the West Indies was plentiful, refrigerated cargo holds for carrying the island’s perishables.

She would run with the slightly smaller and slower San Lorenzo (ex-Erazo 1919) until Borinquen replaced her in 1931-a dramatic improvement.

 There was no air service between Puerto Rico and the continent during this period.

Passenger travel with any sort of comfort was found only by sailing with the Porto Rico Line.

Most times, the trip between New York and San Juan would take 3Y2 days and was considered a fine cruise.

The minimum fare for the eleven-day round trip cost $150.

Together, the Coamo and Borinquen maintained weekly sailings from .

New York to San Juan and Ciudad Trujillo (Santo Domingo) in the nearby Dominican Republic.

The Porto Rico Line was incorporated in 1890 and operated twenty-five cargo ships, all registered under a variety offoreign flags.

When Puerto Rico became a United States territory late in 1898,

the Porto Rico Line had to dispose of its fleet altogether and create a US-flag fleet to remain in the trade.

From 1898 until its end in 1949, the company’s ships operated solely under the US flag.

In 1907 the Porto Rico Line, along with the Ward line (Cuba Mail Line), the Clyde Line, the Mallory Line (both consolidated in 1934),

and the Southern Steamship Company, was acquired and became a subsidiary of what became the Atlantic,

Gulf, and West Indies Steamship Company (AGWI).

TheAGWI subsidiaries operated independently; AGWI planned and made the expenditures for the building of ships for the subsidiaries and controlled rhe companies.

The Coamo and the Borinquen could be called twin ships, or sister ships, bur a discerning observer would notice differences between the two.

SS Coamo and SS Borinquen

Twin Sisters of the New York

Caribbean cruises were not always the luxury cruise ship experience they are today.

In the 1920s and 30s, regular steamship service to the West Indies was plentiful, refrigerated cargo holds for carrying the island’s perishables.

She would run with the slightly smaller and slower San Lorenzo (ex-Erazo 1919) until Borinquen replaced her in 1931-a dramatic improvement.

 There was no air service between Puerto Rico and the continent during this period.

Passenger travel with any sort of comfort was found only by sailing with the Porto Rico Line.

Most times, the trip between New York and San Juan would take 3Y2 days and was considered a fine cruise.

The minimum fare for the eleven-day round trip cost $150.

Together, the Coamo and Borinquen maintained weekly sailings from New York to San Juan and Ciudad Trujillo (Santo Domingo) in the nearby Dominican Republic.

The Porto Rico Line was incorporated in 1890 and operated twenty-five cargo ships, all registered under a variety offoreign flags. When Puerto Rico became a United States territory late in 1898,

the Porto Rico Line had to dispose of its fleet altogether and create a US-flag fleet to remain in the trade.

From 1898 until its end in 1949, the company’s ships operated solely under the US flag.

In 1907 the Porto Rico Line, along with the Ward line (Cuba Mail Line), the Clyde Line, the Mallory Line (both consolidated in 1934),

and the Southern Steamship Company, was acquired and became a subsidiary of what became the Atlantic, Gulf, and West Indies Steamship Company (AGWI).

TheAGWI subsidiaries operated independently; AGWI planned and made the expenditures for the building of ships for the subsidiaries and controlled rhe companies.

The Coamo and the Borinquen could be called twin ships, or sister ships, bur a discerning observer would notice differences between the two.

For example, the Coamo’s bridge was beautifully crafted from mahogany, and its lifeboats were staggered on two boar decks,

while the Borinquen’s bridge was more utilitarian-painted white steel.

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