Shipping: The Atlantic Swell

For a change, the Atlantic below, as well as the sky above, was crowded with tourists. Since 1957, the last year before jets went into transatlantic service, ships have experienced a worrisome 25% decline in passengers. But reservations are now running about 6% ahead of last year, and such luxury liners as the France, Rotterdam and Cristoforo Colombo are booked solidly through mid-September. For the first time in five years, the ship lines expect to break the 1,000,000-passenger mark.

The airlines this year will carry at least 21 times that many passengers, but the transatlantic ship lines have improved their...

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