The view on deck during embarkation and disembarkation could cause euphoria and excitement given the length of the voyage and the new sights and sounds of the port. The few stops at port during the North Atlantic voyages were times of intense excitement especially after being at sea for several days.
“I ran upstairs to the prom deck in a panic – If I didn’t see Ireland I’d scream. But there she still was when I got there – the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen and so unlike anything I’ve ever seen. There was no fog, so the view was perfectly clear. One word? Green. But that couldn’t sum it up. We steamed out of the harbor at Cork and on either side were high-bluffs, rolling green hillsides broken by hedges, and little villages here and there. I was surprised by the number of what appeared to be manor houses. The waves, as they do in all good fairy books, were crashing against the shore, and there was an occasional break in the rocks which revealed grey, sandy beaches. There were yellow and orange fields of flowers – I don’t know what they were, but the contrast with that glorious green was worth the trip to see. I’d have to visit the country someday.”
Passengers traveling aboard an ocean liner went through security and immigration as they do today. However, the procedures seemed more personal and relaxed aboard an liner and the atmosphere reduced Judith’s anxiety.
“The immigration officer and I talked for quite a while this afternoon – marvelous man” and a “very understanding gentleman.”
Whereas departure could induce melancholy and apprehension in travelers, the arrival at the end of a lengthy journey was a time of intensive excitement. The length of the voyage meant that traveling aboard an ocean liner was often a precursor to a prolonged stay at the final destination.
“[I] wasn’t sure how I was going to go about managing my 500-pound trunk . . . full of books and All My Worldly Possessions.”
A photograph taken by Judith on her return to the United States.
A pamphlet that lists the route of the Sylvania also includes a statement concerning the emotional impact of disembarkation.
A pamphlet encouraging passengers to stock up on alcohol before disembarking.
A card requesting that Judith contact on-board Immigration.
A British pamphlet welcoming passengers.
A baggage claim ticket.