Travel Trivia

This week I will share with you a comical excerpt from one of my clients who just went on his/her first cruise.

This just goes to show that you can always learn something new especially while traveling!

From my client’s correspondence:

“I bought a book on cruising (which I should have done before) and a lot makes sense to me now. For example, I could never understand why the captain would come on and say, “This is your captain from the bridge…” In looking at a diagram (from the book), I see the portion of the ship which is the navigation bridge. Now I won’t wonder what bridge he is talking about.”

I suppose he/she did not watch The Love Boat, Tora Tora, Mister Roberts or Titanic. I am not sure is he/she was looking for an actual bridge (structure built to span physical obstacles) somewhere on the boat or a bridge from where he/she originally boarded the ship.

This prompted me to ask the question, “Why is the command center called the bridge?” Luckily, what we do not know, Google does and I quote:

“Traditionally, sailing ships were commanded from the quarter deck, aft (rear) of the mainmast. With the arrival of paddle steamers, engineers required a platform from which they could inspect the paddle wheels and where the captain’s view would not be obstructed by the paddle houses. A raised walkway, literally a bridge, connecting the paddle houses was therefore provided. When the screw propeller superseded the paddle wheel, the bridge was retained.”

Considering mankind has been sailing for thousands of years, it is interesting that such a nautical term is still used in these modern times. When I think of paddlewheels I think of the Mississippi River, Mark Twain, and the 1850’s.

So for all you non-cruisers and those who have always wondered, now you know the meaning and the origin of the term: the ship’s bridge. Google goes on to tell the history into modern times.

If you have experienced any interesting travel trivia and would like to share, I’m all ears! (Hmmmm, I wonder where that term came from…)

About alwaysharriet

With thirty years experience in corporate and leisure travel consulting, Harriet Ahouse has traveled extensively throughout the Caribbean and worldwide. An avid scuba diver, she understands the requirements of travelers both on land and in the water. On the European scene she has offered traditional and personalized travel itineraries throughout the continent--Italy, France, and England are some of her favorites. As a Virtuoso Agent, she also has extensive resources to enhance her expertise in designing individual destination travel itineraries--and honeymoons--worldwide!
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