About The Series

About The Series

Cruise through History is a collection of short stories grouped by the sequence of many popular cruise itineraries, rather than by country, or period of history. The stories are all true. As the stories move from port to port, they randomly move through time. They are offered not for knowledge alone, but to augment the joy of travel.

It is not necessary for the cruise passenger to peruse several volumes assembling information for the several countries that can be visited on a single cruise. The assemblage is complete in one place. At each port there is a person, a site, an event, or a community of customs, which serves as emblematic of the times and allows the history of
place to be drawn together in a fascinating context for the short-term visitor.

An example of a travel cruise itinerary is seen on the map below and can be found in Itinerary I-London to Rome has many ports listed but not all ports shown were actually visited during any one cruise.

Itinerary Map of the ports discussed in 1st of series London to Rome

Itinerary Map of the ports discussed in 1st of series London to Rome

No apology is made for the choice of subjects. They have been chosen in an arbitrary manner on the whim of the author, accumulated from past travels, for your enjoyment. The desire is that the reader will share the fun. No attempt is made to be politically correct, or give a chamber of commerce gloss to the stories evident in the remnants of the past. Knowledge of history can teach us a great deal about ourselves, and the human condition, but only if it is honest and fairly told. No doubt it is the quest for “real” that draws adults to travel as often and for as long as they are able.

No effort is made to fully educate those who slept through world history in school, but rather to tell the bits the teachers left out, perhaps intentionally. History in all its glory and warts is fascinating. It easily could be a favorite subject of all students, were the full extent of human folly allowed in the classroom, prior to graduate school. In fairness to history teachers of pre-graduate-college students, so much of the lust, greed, and family blood, that drive the events of history, would be lost on those too young to appreciate imperfection as a natural consequence of adulthood.

The desire to seek knowledge, about distant places and times, fuels international tourism. Many travelers who found history in school to be dull, later in life seek to fill in the gaps in their knowledge, with personal experience. This is the opportunity for the events of one’s life to give rich meaning to the human condition and to enjoy stories of fact for which fiction is no rival.

Praise is due to the many historians and other scholars who have delved deeply into source data to ponder the minute details of history for pedagogical pursuits. Such information has been mined here, with attribution, for the lively details, which will heighten the traveler’s enjoyment of the past. History is a public good. The more it is found to be enjoyable, the more it will be valued.

Apology is due to those who hoped to foster disciplined scholarship in the author. This is reading for an out-of-the classroom experience. Endnotes are inserted in the text to give due credit to the scholars who have provided valuable information and to remind the reader that these stories are true. The presence of source notes is not to feign an academic appearance. Editorial sidebars and fun bits are in the endnotes.

Where interesting facts exist they are assembled in a story to enhance a port visit on the itinerary. When there are gaps in the facts, or mysteries remain, they are not supplemented by fiction. Rather, an effort is made to look at the known as a guide to the unknown. The reader can draw their own conclusions, day dream through the gaps, and enjoy the reason that so much popular fiction and movies are drawn from historical facts.

As the reader travels to distant ports, the available on-site tour guides will likely give an approved history and, if the traveler is fortunate, an archaeological understanding of distant places. Guidebooks and cruise directors will furnish current local information of where to eat and stay, or what to purchase in the area. This series does not attempt to furnish those resources. These stories are offered to give historical context to the sites often visited as cruise destinations. The stories highlight individuals and their impacts to the landscape that can still be seen.

The stories that traverse the landscape in a Cruise Through History introduce local personalities, sometimes reacquainting the traveler with an historic figure in unexpected circumstances. They prompt a look at not just what exists and the technology of how, but also why events occurred, or why the remnants of human effort look as they do. Where did the missing pieces on the landscape go, as conquests by subsequent cultures altered, evolved, and incorporated the past into their times? What were the intended and unintended consequences that have become the fabric of complex history? These stories take travelers beyond the castle ruins to the people who built them and lived there.

The itineraries in this series have stories at each port that seek to inspire cruise travelers to rise out of their deck chairs and investigate a destination with honesty and irreverence, or the potential traveler to rise from the sofa and embark on a Cruise through History. There is no stigma of a school assignment. Earn an “E” for enjoyment.

Itinerary Series forthcoming-

  1. London to Rome – Along the Coasts of France, Iberia, and Northern Italy
  2. Rome to Venice – Around the Boot, Up the Adriatic, with Islands of the Mediterranean (Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica)
  3. Athens to Cairo – Greek Islands, Turkey and the Eastern Mediterranean
  4. Ports of the Black Sea
  5. Agadir to Alexandria – Southern Mediterranean, North Africa, and the Atlantic Islands
  6. Miami to Montreal – East Coast of North America
  7. San Diego to Sitka – West Coast of North America
  8. Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean Islands
  9. Ports of South America
  10. Around the British Iles – England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland
  11. Ports of the Baltic Sea
  12. Ports of the North Sea – Hanseatic League, Iceland, and Greenland
  13. Cape Town to Beijing – Africa, India, and the Far East
  14. Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands