The Cruise through History Series is illustrated with photographs taken over my decades of travel. There are also photographs of fellow travelers who are delighted to share. Not all the personalities and events in the Cruise through History stories are amenable to photographing, particularly if they lived so long ago. Sometimes cartoons best illustrate events. Fortunately, I have met some wonderful artists who have added their talent to Cruise through History presentations and books.
The Cruise through History logo is the work of cartoonist and courtroom artist, Dana Verkouteren of Cabin John, Maryland. The characters smile at me and remind me not to take history, or myself, too seriously. The cartoons in the stories are the work of Digby & Rose Creations, Washington, DC.
Vikings never wore Hawaiian shirts and sunglasses. They only wear helmets with horns in Wagnerian operas, never on a ship. Our little Viking in the logo is reminiscent of the trolls that greet visitors at the docks in Bergen, Norway, or the little garden elves in the gardens of homes along the wharf in the Falkland Islands. He is as at home on a cruise ship as he would be in a little grass-covered house in Torshavn, Faroe Islands, an outpost Denmark.
The lady on the bow of the ship in the logo could be from the 18th or 19th centuries in Europe. She reminds me of a well-dressed Eugenie, empress of France, wife of Napoleon III, and doyenne of Biarritz as she gave a toast at the opening of the Suez Canal. The happy lady also could be one of the heads of the vineyard estates of Portugal in the 1860s, who learned their craft from their good friend Joseph James Forrester. As Forrester and two ladies were on a picnic excursion on the Douro, a sudden current caused their small craft to tip. The two ladies were thrown high in the air and, buoyed by their skirts, came to a soft landing as they floated down the river. Forrester was not as fortunate. The gold he carried in his money-belt to pay his workers later in the day became an anchor that ended his amazing career. The glass is a martini glass. The toast to Forrester would be of quality port wine.
The cavalier gentleman in the waistcoat and funny pants takes us to the 16th and 17th centuries, where there were no cameras. Men, such as Ralph Fitch traveled from London to points around the world, at the turn of the 17th century, dressed as the smiling fellow.
Throughout the Cruise through History presentations on cruise ships, on college campuses, and in travel presentations throughout the United States, as well as in the books, the cartoons of Digby & Rose entertain as they inform. The events of history are such fun. Fiction can’t compete with reality. That is why I enjoy putting together Cruise through History stories. I hope that you too will enjoy the cartoon art and illustrations of Cruise through History.