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Cruise Control

The magic of the sea is irrepressible and these movies shot on cruise liners are certainly a great way to evoke memories of the ocean.

Here is our list of movies that will make you want to hop on to cruise for a vacation that has the sun, sand and the sea of course.

An Affair to Remember

The 1957 released movie stars Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr and routinely finds itself in lists of the most romantic movies of all time. Shot aboard the transatlantic ocean liner SS Constitution, the lead couple fall in love on the ocean liner and agree to meet six months after their trip if end their respective relationships. However when the couple decides to meet each other, Deborah meets with an accident that leaves her unable to walk. The couple then meets accidentally much after and the movie ends with them finally getting together. The love story that plays out on the cruise liner when the couple gets attracted to each other is a key highlight.


The lilting tunes of Celine Dion’s theme song ‘My Heart Will Go On’ have almost become iconic in the 1996 movie Titanic. Starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, this is a cruise movie that fictionalizes the sinking of the RMS Titanic and is easily one of the most loved cruise movies in recent times. Shot aboard the Akademik Mstislav Keldysh, this movie directed by James Cameroon was one of the most expensive movies of its time. The winner of 11 Oscar awards, this movie was an epic love story intertwined with human emotions in the face of loss and despair that hit a six at the box office.

The Poseidon Adventure

This 1972 film directed by Ronald Neame and based on Paul Gallico’s eponymous 1969 book stars Gene Hackman, Red Buttons, Carol Lynley, Roddy McDowall and Ernest Borgnine and was filmed aboard RMS Queen Mary. The story is based on SS Poseidon, a fictional aged luxury liner sailing from New York City to Athens on her final voyage when she is overturned by a tsunami. The story centers around how a preacher leads the small group of survivors to safety. A visual spectacle the movie deservedly won the Special Achievement Academy Award for Visual Effects as well as the Academy Award for Best Original Song for the famed number ‘The Morning After’.

The Last Voyage

This 1960 disaster film stars Robert Stack, Dorothy Malone, George Sanders and Edmond O’Brien and chronicles the story of an ocean liner that sinks in the Pacific Ocean. Filmed aboard the French luxury liner SS Ile de France, the story unfolds when a boiler explodes and causes a massive hole in the ship. The captain however holds off calling an emergency in the hope that the ship will sail through. What follows is a drama of survival as the guests make it to the lifeboats as the ship eventually sinks.

A Night to Remember

This 1958 film plays out the final night of RMS Titanic before it sank and stars Kenneth More. Said to be one of the most historically accurate versions of the Titanic, the movie showcases how the unsinkable Titanic collides with an iceberg and the chaos that ensues after. The film’s climactic sinking of the vessel is spot on and is just 37 minutes shorter than the actual tragedy and has been shot in real time. The action and restrained performances of the team is a big highlight of this movie and the focus really is on the ship itself which makes this one for all sea lovers.

This story first appeared in Gulf Life’s Sep 2019 issue here:

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