Te Vega  Commercial Cruising - 1950's

Around Thanksgiving 2000, I found this commercial cruise brochure on the web.  I purchased it from a collector and scanned it in for everyone to enjoy.  Captain Darr was Te Vega's most famous captain.  The top masts were gone at this time after the terrible de-masting in late 1951.  Jim Stoll had them added back on the in the early 1970's.  It appears that Captain Darr was skipper from 1951 until the Stolls bought the ship in 1969.  The commercial cruising gave way to a deep sea studies by the Stanford University through the early to mid 1960's.  After the federal grant for sea measurements ran out, TeVega was put up for sale and the Stolls bought it.  Te Vega's measurements of ocean water properties are famous with environmentalists and can be found in public databases referenced all over the web.

This is a the complete brochure in poster form at 24 dpi.  I archived a scan at 300 dpi.  Contact me for more information.
All the important information and photos are shown in detail below.


Some interesting notes: Te Vega operated under the business name 'Darr Lines'.  The brochure touts 'Te Vega is the finest scheduled passenger schooner in the world ... and one of worlds finest schooners".  Te Vega hosted 12 passengers at time along with Captain Darr and his crew of seventeen.   At the time, she had a 200hp Winton Engine.  Story has it, that the engine blew in the late 1950's and Te Vega traveled to England under sail alone to have the its new Mirrlees engine installed.

Only the aft cabins were available for passengers - 1=Rigil ,2=Nukki? ,3=? ,4&6=Capella/Vega, 5=Sirus.  Unfortunately, the forward cabins were not shown.  Notice the difference in stairs.
Cruising on Te Vega was for the wealthy.  In 1955 dollars:  A four week voyage from Honolulu to Tahiti was about $1100/pp or $2800/pp for a 7 week round trip voyage with an 11 day Society Islands tour included.  Every cabin shared a bathroom and had air-conditioning!

This is the main salon looking port quarter.  I think that those are mirrors on the aft bulkhead.
"To the dockside romance of sailing a schooner, are added the finest comforts Captain Dar provides below in the air-conditioned lounge.  This room is larger than living rooms in most homes.  Its library, comfortable furnishings and dining table are similar to modern ocean liners."

This is the main salon looking port quarter where a cabin stood in the 70's
"In Te Vega's dining area, guests learn to know each other.  They enjoy the finest foods, wines and service.  They linger over coffee to share the days experiences ashore or tally up the flying fish and porpoises seen on a day's cruise.  For cocktail hour, Te Vega's steward prepares the finest rum creations or regular favorites"  
Not the Te Vega that we knew!

This looks like the starboard aft cabin.
"Staterooms and connecting baths in the Te Vega are like your bedroom and bath at home.  Every modern convenience for luxurious cruising is found aboard.  Gleaming white bathtubs and fixtures, even plug-ins for electric razors, are standard aboard this fine ship."

This is the port side by the gang-way looking aft. - Te Vega didn't have a large deck house then.
"Days on deck while at sea are timeless and happy.  Sumptuous meals below and snacks above make calorie counting a problem.  A steward's department of five takes interested and perfect care of passengers.  Te Vega service is the result of careful selection of crew and fin training."

"A gala farewell with hulas and leis at Honolulu harbor sends Te Vega out past Diamond Head, ..on the her way to Tahiti ..."

" Anchored in Paradise!  Her Te Vega, her gleaming white hull in the warm sun, lies tranquilly in Papetoia Bay, Island of Moorea, first port of call on the 11 day cruise among the islands.  Crystal clear water invites swimming day or night.  Palm groves for feasting ashore.  Peaks and clouds for unbelievable scenery."

Omer Darr, Pacific sailing master, dies By Burl Burlingame Star-Bulletin  Friday, October 15, 1999  (OBITUARIES)

In the mid-'50s, Darr acquired the 134-foot schooner Te Vega, one of the largest steel-hulled schooners ever built, and began a deluxe sailing cruise line, voyaging from Honolulu to Tahiti and back six times a year. He also sailed the 96-footer Wanderer on charters from California to the South Pacific. Stanford University acquired Te Vega and retained Darr as skipper, studying ocean currents in the mid-'60s.

In 1951, Alex North wrote Cinerama South Seas Adventure which was a large and sweeping score for a panorama film.  Perhaps TeVega was in the film.

From "Alex North at the movies" (not complete score) Fifth Continent Music Classics (FCMC) Label 'X' ATM CD 2004 Copyright 1995, Published 1996 Fifth Continent Australia Pty. Ltd.

  1. Overture
  2. Journey to Hawaii
  3. Ted and Kay
  4. Surf Riding
  5. Start of Te Vega's Voyage
  6. King Neptune
  7. Trip to Tonga
  8. Head Diver Sequence
  9. Driving Through New Zealand
  10. Welcome
  11. Kangaroo Roundup
  12. Finale
  13. End Credits
Composed and conducted by Alex North