The death occurred on Tuesday January 21, 2014 of Captain Paul Emile Francoeur (90). For many years under different ownerships of Eastern Steamship Lines (ESL) he was Master of their SS Ariadne. NAUTICAL LOG served during 1969 as 2nd. Officer in the SS Ariadne which CAPT. Paul commanded on cruises from South Florida. In fact he was one of the original South Florida cruise ship Masters.
Born in St. Alexis de Matapedia, Gaspe, Quebec, Canada he served in various ships before joining Eastern Steamship Lines. In 1970 he was accepted into the Biscayne Bay Pilots Association as a Port of Miami Pilot until retiring in 1991.
Eastern Steamship Lines was founded in 1901 by the Wall Street financier C. W. Morse and consolidated several small New England coastwise passenger lines. They offered service from New York to New England ports and winter cruises to Florida. Ceasing operations during World War 2 they resumed afterwards. In 1954 the line was bought by F. Leslie Fraser who transferred the ships to Panamanian registry. Cruise service offered was along the coast of New England and the Canadian Maritimes until 1962 when the line was sold to W. K. Lovett an investment banker, owner of the "Piggly Wiggly" supermarkets well known here in the South.
In 1970 Eastern Steamship Lines was sold to a Norwegian company Gotaas-Larson, it was not a particularly happy match with ESL and its ships going out of business. At that time the Norwegians were moving to take over the South Florida cruise business and Gotaas-Larson was itself swallowed by the corporate swamp which resulted in the current Royal Caribbean Cruise Line (RCCL).