Edwin W. Stephan, founder and visionary of Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, has died at the age of 87.
In the late 1960s, he envisioned a cruise line offering year-round cruises from Miami on ships of a kind never before seen in the industry. His goal was to build three cruise ships that provided a level of service and luxury that would surpass what hotels were offering on land.
Under his watch, Royal Caribbean built Song of Norway, the first ship purpose-built for cruising. The cruise ship first set sail from Miami, Florida on November 7, 1970. The ship was built for more than just transporting passengers from one destination to another. The open decks were for enjoying sun and ocean breezes, features that quickly became standard on all cruise ships.