NEW YORK (AP) — When the steamship considered the first cruise ship to originate in America left its New York City pier 150 years ago, the passenger list included a little-known California newspaperman writing under the pen name Mark Twain.
By the time the six-month overseas journey ended, the writer born in Missouri as Samuel Clemens was famous for his newspaper dispatches describing his experiences visiting Europe, North Africa and the Holy Land with American sightseers. The popular book from those dispatches — “Innocents Abroad” — allowed him to quit newspapers and start writing novels.
A new documentary on the 1867 voyage of the Quaker City, “Mark Twain’s Journey to Jerusalem: Dreamland,” airs at 8 p.m. Monday on the PBS World Channel .
Historians consider the voyage to be America’s first large-scale tourist excursion cruise.