Until 1962 people traveling between Baltimore and Norfolk, VA could take an overnight steamer to the mouth of the Chesapeake. Designed for luxury and leisure, the Baltimore Steam Packet Company’s ships provided elegant service, including fine staterooms and sumptuous meals. But demand for the 12-hour trips had been declining for decades and the company continually reduced service. It had abandoned its Washington, D.C. to Norfolk run in 1957. In Oct. 1961, the company announced that it was temporarily suspending all passenger service and in May 1962 the board voted to liquidate the 122-year-old company. Improved highways and increasing travel by air made this a particularly slow way to travel. It has started providing transportation in 1840, long before anyone thought about the automobile.
Still the company maintained fine dining service. The ship’s menu below was probably used sometime between 1957 and the time the company stopped operations since the route map only shows service to Baltimore and Norfolk.