Maritime Monday for March 05, 2012 – Mare Nostrum, Part Uno

Monkey Fist
Total Views: 254
March 4, 2012

imageoriginal: 1909, maggio, 9 – Italia, Navigazione Italiana a vapore “La Veloce”
more on Biblioteca Gastronomica


“We take up arms to resolve, after having resolved the problem of our land frontier, the problem of our maritime frontiers; we want to break the territorial chains which suffocate us in our own sea; since a people of forty-five million souls is not truly free if it does not have free access to the ocean.”

–Benito Mussolini; Declaration of War on Britain and France, 10 June, 1940

Between  1861 and 1960 over 25 million Italians emigrated, the biggest, most sustained voluntary mass migration in modern times, and with a passenger shipping industry that met that need for a century.

In steerage and in suites, the ancestors of over 17 million present day Americans  crossed the Atlantic by ship.

Mare Nostrum, ‘our sea’, shaped the lives of Italians in war and peace. Not just as the geographic coast of the country, but as a gateway to the wider world, to a better life and what their leaders saw as a stronger nation and empire. Italy built battleships and cruisers out of all proportion to its size and economy and a plethora of cruise lines and ships that carried Latin hopes and dreams across the globe.

above right: Venezia – Trieste – Ancona published by the Societá Nazionale di Servizi Marittimi, c. 1912. Signed Stab. A. Marzi, Roma
see also: New York – Mediterraneo en Seconda Classe circa 1930. Printed by Soc. Stab. Arti Grafiche Alfieri & Lacroix, Milano – (travel brochure)


Travel brochure “Your Trip to Italy” circa 1935
Signed “Vittorio Grassi.” Published by the ENIT (Italian State Tourist Department)
Printed by Treves Treccani Tumminelli – Milano-Roma


First Class 2-Bed Cabin
Adriatica Line (‘Adriatica’ Società di Navigazione or Società Anonima Adriatica Navigazione)

Ports of call: Trieste, Venice, Brindisi, Piraeus, Istanbul
Sailing April-June 1937 — Aboard MV Rodi, 1938

Seized on 10 June 1940 at Malta after being intercepted by the British Contraband Control before Italy entered the war. Claimed by Ministry of War Transport and renamed Empire Patrol. On 29 September 1945, she sailed from Port Said, Egypt bound for Kastelorizo, Greece with 496 Greek refugees.

Caught fire when 38 nautical miles (70 km) from Port Said and abandoned. Taken into tow but capsized and sank on 1 October when still 18 nautical miles (33 km) from Port Said.


Steamship brochure: Adriatica’, Societá an. di Navigazione Venezia – Grand Express, Europe to Egypt, August 1937; front and back views


left: Time-table for Adriatic Service 1937, Jadranska Plovidba d.d. Sušak (front cover)
back covermore Adriatic Service brochures

For over 60 years since its formation in 1932 the Adriatica Line provided maritime connections from Venice, Italy to Albania, Croatia, Greece, the Middle East and North Africa.

By 1937 the Italia Flotte Riunite concern had made rapid recovery and repaid the Government bonds which had supported it. It was then changed into a Limited Company under the name Italia Societa Anonima di Navigazione. Lloyd Triestino was incorporated into the new company.

Adriatica Line (Adriatica di Navigazione S.p.A.) on –
Adriatica Line (‘Adriatica’ Società di Navigazione) on Timetable Images –


ADRIA (“Adria” S.A. di Navigazione Marittima)

Ideal Pleasure-trips in the Mediterranean – Regular Weekly Service
New First Class Motor Vessels
Ports of call: Fiume Trieste Venezia – Fiume Ancona Bari, Catania, Malta, Messina, Palermo, Napoli , Livorno, Genova, Imperia, Marseille, Barcelona, Valencia
Aboard: Puccini, Donizetti, Catalani, Rossini, Verdi and Paganini
c. 1931

This company was based at Fiume, Italy, now Rijeka in Croatia. Formed as “Adria” Royal Hungarian Sea Navigation Co. in the Croatian part of Hungary in the 1880s. Adria was merged into Tirrenia in the late 1930s.

Click to view the back cover (detail)


Florio; Società Italiana di Navigazione; Città di Napoli
Naples, Palermo, Tunis — Sailings 1931


Promotional brochures; c. mid-1950s
Ports of Call:
Venice, Ancona, Bari, Catania, Malta, Messina, Palermo, Naples, Leghorn, Genoa, Imperia, Marseilles, Barcelona, Tarragona, Valencia.
Aboard: Città di Alessandria, Città di Messina, Celio

*click through for links to interior views and see some splendid specimens
of mid-century modern accommodations

Tirrenia S.p.A. di Navigazione on wiki:

Tirrenia was founded in 1936, resulting from the nationalization of many private-owned Italian lines. After World War II, the few ships surviving the conflict were used to connect Italian islands, mainly Sardinia, to the mainland. In the 1970s ships were gradually replaced by ferries, and since the end of 1980s the company has been upgrading its older units with faster ones capable of reaching 35-40 knots. However, most of these were unpractical or too expensive to operate and are now planned for sale or scrap.  (more)

Tirrenia was founded from the merger of Florio and CITRA. Adria of Fiume joined later.
more on Timetable Images


Lloyd Latino – Sailings July, 1924

Lloyd Latino was a subsidiary of the French company Société Génénerale de Transports Maritimes (SGTM). The vessels were owned by that company and were used in a joint operation of SGTM and Lloyd Latino.  Ports of Call: Naples, Genoa, Marseilles, Valencia (optional), Almeria (optional), Dakar, Rio de Janeiro, Santos, Montevideo, Buenos Aires. Aboard the VALDIVA

(see full image) — – more


– (full size 1560 × 1341) –
deck plans for DANTE ALIGHIERI and GIUSEPPE VERDI (5906 X 4173 px) –

Lloyd Sabaudo

image[38][1][3][2]Formed at Turin in 1906 and started the Genoa – New York passenger sailings in 1907 via Naples and Palermo and the Genoa – Buenos Aires service the same year. In 1912, the head office was transferred from Turin to Genoa.

In 1913, a subsidiary company, Marittima Italiana was formed to operate services to the Near East, Red Sea, East Africa, India and the Far East. In 1919 an Italy – Australia service was also started. In 1929 Lloyd Sabaudo took financial control of Cosulich Line, Lloyd Triestino, Marittima Italiana and Adria Lines.

By 1932 the world shipping depression caused the fusion of Lloyd Sabaudo, Cosulich and Navigazione Generale Italiana with the formation of a new company, Societa Italia Flotte Riuniti (alias ‘Italia’).

Lloyd Sabaudo Soc. Anon. Per AzioniSocieta Marittima Italiana on –


The Famous Counts: Lloyd Sabaudo advertising postcard series published in Genova
Grande Expresso – Conte Verde and Grande Expresso – Conte Rosso
Signed “Saiga

Founded in 1906, Lloyd Sabaudo was a passenger service shipping company connecting Italy to ports in Asia and the Americas. Ads for its various lines frequently included images of Medieval knights on crusade, similar to the four seen here charging across the skies. The company would later merge with Italian Line in 1932.


SS Conte Rosso

Italian Passenger Steamer of 18,017 tons, built in 1922 by Wm Beardmore & Company, Dalmuir, Yard No 611 for Lloyd Sabaudo, Genoa. Powered by steam turbine engines, twin screw giving a service speed of 18 knots. Engines by Wm Beardmore & Company Dalmuir.

At time of build the largest liner to be built at Dalmuir. Her launch was somewhat abortive as she stuck on the slips and had to wait two weeks until relaunch. Considered one of the finest liners of her day. 2,366 passengers (208 first class, 268 second class, 1,890 third class).

Saw service as a troopship beginning 1940. On the 24th May 1941 she was lost with all hands after being sunk by British submarine HMS Upholder (P37) East of Sicily in position 36.41N/15.42E. 1291 perished.

image53[1]_thumbSS Dante Alighieri (1914 – 1949)

SS Dante Alighieri was an Italian ocean liner for Transatlantica Italiana. During World War I she was employed as a troopship carrying United States troops to France as part of the Cruiser and Transport Force. In 1927, she was sold to Japanese firm Nippon Yusen Kaisha and renamed Asahi Maru.

Operating as a hospital ship during WWII, she was damaged in a collision in 1944 in Japan, and eventually scrapped in 1949.

more on wikipedia

(image source)


The SS Conte Biancamano (Italian for “White Hand”)
In Genoa, departing on her final voyage

A Lloyd Sabaudo Line ocean liner built in 1925 by William Beardmore and Company in Glasgow, Scotland, to service the transatlantic passenger line between Genoa and Naples, Italy, and New York City.

During World War II, in 1941, she was captured by the United States in Cristóbal and was used as an American troopship — renamed USS|Hermitage|AP-54 — capable of holding up to 7000 people and transporting them to both the Atlantic and Pacific fronts. After the war, in 1947, she was returned to the Italian Line and returned to the name of Conte Biancamano.

On 26 March 1960, she began her last voyage from Italy to New York. After 364 crossings, during which she had carried 353,836 passengers, she was scrapped.

more: SS CONTE BIANCAMANO on Crusing the Past 

Lloyd Sabaudo on Maritime Timetable Images –


Austrian Lloyd (Lloyd Austriaco) Sailings effective January 1910Lloyd Triestino/Marittima Italiana / Sailings September 1926-December 1927Lloyd Triestino; Sailings effective February 1, 1928

History of Lloyd Triestino / Società di Navigazione Lloyd Triestino on TheShipsList

more on Timetable Images
Lloyd Triestino on The Last Ocean Liners
Travel brochure for the Lloyd Trestino “Round Trips to the Levant” 1930
Travel brochure “India – Lloyd Triestino Marittima Italiana” 1930


Cosulich Line; ‘Cosulich’ Soc Triestina di Navigazione

Austro-Americana, also known as Unione Austriaca after the Cosulich brothers bought an interest in the line in 1903, was based in Trieste in Austria-Hungary. When that empire was dissolved after WW1 and Trieste became a part of Italy, Austro-Americana was reorganized as Cosulich Line, (Societa Triestina di Navigazione, or Cosulich STN) which was merged into Italian Line in 1937.  —timetableimages

fleet info and more on The Ships List
Cosulich Line on wikipedia –


Postcard: Cosulich Line; SS Oceania – built by Alexander Stephen & Sons, Glasgow


Cosulich Line; Oceania c.1932 by ALBERTO BIANCHI
right: Espressi Sud America/Italia Cosulich. by FILIPPO ROMOLI (1901-1969)


La Vulcania
built by Cantiere Navale Triestino, Monfalcone, northern Italy in 1926 (wiki)

The second of three near-sister ships built for Italy’s Cosulich Line (the others were Saturnia and Urania), Vulcania is considered one of the most successful passenger ships ever built.

imageDuring her career she carried more passengers than any other Italian-flag ship. In the prewar years she had four classes and regularly called at ten ports: Trieste, Venice, Patras, Messina, Palermo, Naples, Gibraltar, Lisbon, Halifax, and New York; in the mid-1930s she also undertook Caribbean cruises. In 1937, she was given new engines, then the most powerful diesel machinery ever fitted in a ship, which increased her service speed to twenty-one knots.

Vulcania’s wartime service began with special trooping duties during the Italian-Ethiopian war in 1935. She resumed her transatlantic sailings until Italy entered World War II in June 1940. Requisitioned as a troop transport, she sailed in support of Italy’s North African campaign, and in 1942, under charter to the Red Cross, she repatriated refugees from East Africa.

Italy surrendered in 1943 and Vulcania later saw duty as a U.S. troopship. Formally requisitioned after the war, she made six voyages for American Export Line before reverting to Italia. Vulcania made one voyage to South America in 1947 before entering express service between Genoa, Naples, and New York. When Andrea Doria and Cristoforo Colombo joined the fleet in 1955, Vulcania and Saturnia resumed their prewar schedule until 1965.

Sold to Grimaldi-Siosa Line and renamed Caribia, she ran as an immigrant ship between Southampton, Vigo, and Lisbon, and various Caribbean islands, before being put into Mediterranean cruise service. After stranding near Nice, France, she was sold toship breakers and arrived at Kao-Hsiung for scrapping on July 20, 1974.

(text source) – (inset image source)


First to Offer Private Balconies

The SATURNIA and VULCANIA were the first liners to offer large numbers of cabins with private balconies. There had been various ships prior to that which had a handful of private verandahs and promenades for the suites, but not in the numbers the Italian twins offered.

more on: History of the Italian Line and the MS VULCANIA


deck plans and interior views: (in Italian) SATURNIA e VULCANIA (1927-1928)
Travel brochure:
Cosulich Line; Tourist Class, Saturnia & Vulcania c. 1930.
Published by Cosulich S.T.N., Trieste. (Front cover)


Neptunia & Oceania: la terza classe (Florida International University)

Discovering the Cosulich Family on Yacht-OnLine

imageIt’s not just the story of an important family (maritime entrepreneurs from the second half of the nineteenth century until modern times.) – it also depicts great historic events and developments in technology and dress spanning more than a century.

The roots of the Consulich family of Lussino lie in the Venetian period, and like the other wealthy families of this island in Croatia’s Kvarner Gulf, they made their fortune from the sea. The members of the family had shared ownership in a number of ships that they captained themselves, or in other vessels with close relatives on board.

Callisto and Alberto Cosulich bought their first steamships – the Elena Cosulich and Antonio Felice Cosulich allowed them to open links between Trieste and the major ports of North and South America. These were the destinations for emigration from the old country, and the red and white Cosulich ships played an important role…

keep reading
inset image: Callisto Cosulich on Fratelli Cosulich
(more history of the Cosulich company)

Data Emissione: 01/06/1855
Luogo Emissione: GENOVA — Nazione: ITALIA
eyeball gigante

The Italia Società di Navigazione a Vapore was founded in Genoa in 1899 to operate services between Italy and South America. Although registered in Italy, the company was controlled by Hamburg America Line. In 1906 Hamburg America sold their share of the company to Navigazione Generale Italiana and sailings to New York and Philadelphia started in 1908. In 1917 Italia was absorbed into the new company Transoceanica Società Italiana di Navigazione.

fleet information and more on The Ships List
‘Italia’ Società di Navigazione a Vapore on Timetable Images –


Poster published by Lega Navale Italiana for a cruise by Italian Line’s
Giulio Cesare to the Canary Islands, Madeira and Morocco

imageBuilding of the Giulio Cesare (21,782 grt in 1934, 634 ft. long) started already before WW1, but wasn’t completed until 1922. Her owner, Navigazione Generale Italiana, put her initially on the Genoa-New York route, then from 1925 on the route to La Plata.

When NGI became part of the new Italian Line in 1932, the Giulio Cesare was moved to the Genoa-Cape Town run. Another reorganization of Italian shipping saw her transferred to Lloyd Triestino in 1937. She sailed on the Far East route until laid up in 1940.

In 1942, during the Second World War, SS Giulio Cesare was chartered to the International Red Cross for a time before being laid-up in the port of Trieste. She was sunk during the Allied bombing of Trieste in 1944.

Her sister Duilio (23,635 grt in 1934, 635 ft. long) had a very similar career: while launched in 1916, she was completed in 1923, transferred to the La Plata route in 1928, then followed her sister  to the same tragic end in 1944.

image: Sailings February-December 1934 (click thru to see brochure)

SS Giulio Cesare on wikipedia –


Transatlantico SS Conte di Savoia, c. 1930

Italian Line (Italia) ‘Italia’ Società di Navigazione

imageIn the late 1920’s Italy’s Il Duce, fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, decided that his country should me among the leading ones in the world on all areas, be it science, military, or the high seas.

Up to this point Italy had not had a strong shipping company under it’s flag. Il Duce came to the conclusion that three of Italy’s main companies, NGI (Navigazione Generale Italiana), Lloyd Sabaudo and Cosulich Line, would be merged to form a single, strong company, the Italia di Navigazione (or Italian line).

Mussolini decided that for the first time in it’s history, Italy would build a pair of large, fast and prestigious liners to compete on the Trans-Atlantic trade. In 1927, it was announced that soon Italy was to commence building “two ships which the whole world has been waiting for,” later named Rex and Conte di Savoia. Of these two, the Rex (the ‘King’) would be faster and larger, while Conte di Savoia was to be more luxurious and stable. The Rex was launched in 1932, on the tenth anniversary of Mussolini’s rise to power.

By war’s end, Italy had lost 31 of it’s 37 passenger ships. Two of the oldest ships, Saturnia and Vulcania, continued to provide service until 1965, when Michelangelo and Raffaello entered in service.

more on Project Michelangelo
– inset: Sailings May 1935-January 1936


Trieste 1931 Cantiere San Marco; due delle eliche del transatlantico Conte di Savoia

“Italian Liner To Defy The Waves” on Popular Mechanics, April 1931:

Conte di Savoia had one unusual feature designed to increase passenger numbers. Three huge gyroscopes were fitted low down in a forward hold. These rotated at high revolutions and were designed to eliminate rolling – a persistent problem on the rough North Atlantic crossing that affected all shipping lines. In practice they reduced the rolling by slowing down the rolling period, however, they also caused the vessel to “hang” annoyingly when the vessel was on the extreme limit of her rolls. For safety reasons the system was quickly abandoned.

SS Conte di Savoiaon wikipedia –
Conte di Savoia (more photos)


image source: Cruising the Past; Wonderful YouTube video of the Rex

The SS Rex was an Italian ocean liner launched in 1931. It held the westbound Blue Ribbon between 1933 and 1935. Originally built for the Navigazione Generale Italiana (NGI) as the SS Guglielmo Marconi, its state-ordered merger with the Lloyd Sabaudo line meant that the ship sailed for the newly created Italia Flotta Riunite (Italian Line). On May 12, 1938, in a demonstration of U.S. air power, three YB-17 bombers of the U.S. Army Air Corps intercepted the Rex 610 miles at sea in a highly publicized event.

The Rex operated transatlantic crossings from Italy with its running mate, the Conte di Savoia. On 8 September 1944, off Koper, Rex was hit by 123 rockets launched by RAF aircraft, caught fire from stem to stern, rolled onto the port side, and sank in shallow water. The ship was broken up at the site beginning in 1947.

more: Blue Ribbon Holders Part 17 on Retrorambling


Ogden’s Cigarettes “Ocean Greyhounds; SS REX” (series of 50 issued in 1938)
– see also: Conte di Savoia

The celebrated Blue Riband of the North Atlantic for the fastest Atlantic crossing is one of the defining elements of the 20th century ocean liner. Ocean Liner as superlative dates to Brunel’s famous Great Eastern and the competition for the title of fastest and biggest.

The Race for the Blue Riband also defined the ocean liner forever in people’s memory as a North Atlantic one. Many more liners were on other oceans and routes, with longer and more arduous crossings, but the shipping lanes linking the Old World and the New World were the busiest and most profitable and therefore have passed into legend.

The Italia Line’s REX was the only Italian ship ever to hold the Blue Riband. The Rex and her elegant stablemate, the CONTE di SAVOIA, did much to popularise first class travel to the Mediterranean among Americans.

The Race for the Blue Riband: The Transatlantic Liners; 1838 to the Present
Blue Riband on wikipedia –


SS Rex, The Transatlantic Greyhound on

imageUnfortunately, Italy sided with Germany but despite this both the Rex and the Conte di Savoia continued their transatlantic crossings until 1940. The Rex was thought to be too large and vulnerable to be risked as a troopship or for any use during the Second World War and so was sent to be laid up at Pola, Bari and later at Capodistria near Trieste on the Adriatic Coast.

In 1943 the Italians surrendered and the Rex passed into German hands. In 1944, the Germans intended to blockade the harbour at Trieste. To prevent entering and exiting of the harbour they had chosen a massive object – the Rex. The Rex had to be immovable, and therefore it was decided to sink her in the harbour entrance. The Allies of course wanted to prevent this blockade, and sent out British bombers to sink the Rex before she arrived to the spot. The British bombers arrived in time before the Germans, and completed their sad task.

One of the British pilots remembers:

“She still looked big and beautiful actually, and it seemed sad that one had to sink something of that sort. But at the same time this was war, the war had been going on for five years. And during the war you can’t really question the target and say that ship is too beautiful to sink… and so if we were told to sink it, then we would do our best to sink it.”

Thus the Rex was destroyed by Allied bombers on the 8th September 1944 during the Second World War. In 1947 she was broken up where she lay. A sad end to a lovely ship.

– inset:
Sailings November 1950-January 1952
SS Rex on wikipedia


The REX was decorated in a classic style for the time, where the majority of ships were following the recently introduced Art Deco, real sand was scattered in the outside swimming-pools in order to promote the publicity that involved the ship, as she was dubbed “Riviera Afloat”

more on The Cruise Ships and Ocean Liners blog
vintage color print ad for SS Rex; Lido Deck c. 1938

Rex, Conte di Savoia: la classe turistica

see also: Roma: la prima classe; Italia Flotte Riunite, Genova
Wolfsonian Collection; Travel, Transportation, and Tourism


postcard: SS Cristoforo Colombo, Italian Line
SS Cristoforo Colombo on The Last Ocean Liners –

SS Cristoforo Colombo was an Italian ocean liner built in 1953, sister ship of the famed and tragic SS Andrea Doria.

The origins of the Cristoforo Colombo lie in the situation of the Italian Line at the end of World War II. The war had been devastating to them, as two of their newest and largest ships – the SS Rex and SS Conte di Savoia – had been destroyed. The Italian Line at this point decided to build only moderately-sized ships that were very luxurious, comfortable, and stylish.

In the spring of 1964, the Cristoforo Colombo carried the Pietà from the Vatican to the 1964 New York World’s Fair. The statue was put in a crate that was filled with plastic foam, then lowered onto a rubber base in the first class pool where the least damage was likely to happen to it. During the actual loading, the ship had been put in dry dock so that she would not move and jeopardize the crate or its content.

Only easily removable snap hooks secured the crate so that it could be released easily in case of accident. In case the ship sank during the voyage, the crate had the ability to float. Once in New York, the crate was lifted by a heavy-lift floating crane onto a barge that was put alongside the ship.

more on wikipedia


The 233 meter long SS Leonardo da Vinci was launched in 1960. Although based on the same basic design as the Andrea Doria she was larger than her predecessors (image source)

She was a very advanced ship for the time, boasting air conditioning throughout the ship, private toilets in all cabins, retractive stabilizer wings, and two independent engine rooms; both capable of moving the ship on their own if the other engine was somehow damaged.

In the early 1960’s Italia Line even announced that by 1965, Leonardo da Vinci would be equipped with nuclear reactors to provide power instead of traditional steam turbines. This never came to pass. By 1958, half of the people who crossed the Atlantic were doing so by air.

SS Leonardo da Vinci on wikipedia –


Interior: Leonardo da Vinci, built in 1960 to replace the sunken Andrea Doria
– more interiors: LEONARDO da VINCI 1960s First Class Italian Ocean Liner


Leonardo da Vinci destroyed by fire in Genoa Harbor in July 1980. She burned for four days and eventually capsized. The burnt-out hulk was later righted and towed to the scrapyard at La Spezia where it was scrapped in 1982.

more images on WoodenBoat Forums

Sinking of the Andrea Doria
1957 Pulitzer Prize – Photographer: Harry Trask, Boston Traveler

The Andrea Doria

Late on the evening of July 25th, 1956, the Italian ocean liner Andrea Doria was sailing off Nantucket Island in heavy fog. It collided with the Swedish liner Stockholm. Although the Andrea Doria listed sharply and thus some of the vessel’s lifeboats could not be used, the ship stayed afloat for about 11 hours after the collision, and 1,660 passengers and crew were rescued; fewer than 50 died. The Stockholm, less seriously damaged, aided in the evacuation. The Andrea Doria capsized and sank the following day. The Andrea Doria was launched in 1951 and had a double hull and 22 watertight compartments. It was considered one of the safest passenger vessels of the era.

World’s most notorious ship disasters

New Video: Sinking of the ANDREA DORIA


San Marco Line; Società di Navigazione ‘San Marco‘ 1931
Ports of Call: Ancona, Venice, Brioni, Pola, Abbazia, Fiume
Aboard Lorenzo Marcello and Lazzaro Mocenigo
more on Timetable Images

Orazio was completed by Cant ed Officine Meridionali, Baia, and delivered to Navigazione Generale Italiana in 1927. She was 11,669 GRT, 506 feet long, 61 feet 9 inches beam. Twin screw, powered by two Burmeister & Wain diesel engines producing 6,600 BHP, giving a 14 knot service speed. Accommodation was provided for 110 first, 190 second and 340 third class passengers, with a crew of 200.


After the 1932 merger of leading Italian shipping companies to form Italia, the 1927 built Orazio was employed on their Genoa to the West Coast of South America service. On 21 January 1940 Italy was still a neutral country, but while Orazio was on a voyage from Genoa to Barcelona she was stopped off Toulon and searched by the French Navy. Orazio had 645 people on board, many of the passengers being Jewish refugees. The French authorities removed some German citizens and after a four hour delay she resumed her voyage, in rough seas in a growing Mistral.

At 05:12 she suffered a crankcase explosion in her port B&W propulsion diesel engine, which ignited diesel fuel from the fractured fuel lines. The resultant fire spread rapidly throughout the ship. Although ships were quickly on the scene, rescue efforts were severely hampered by the bad weather and 106 people died in the blaze. The ship sank during the night of 21/22 January 1940. (photo of smoldering Orazio here)

Passenger Ship Disasters pt 2 on ShipsNostalgia


post-merger brochures:
ROMA; The First Class. booklet for the Italian Lines (Italia, Cosulich, Lloyd Trestino, Adria), circa 1935  —  right: Italia, Cosulich, Lloyd Triestino, Linee Italiane per Tutto il Mondo
see also:
Crociere; 1935 for the Italian Lines (Italia – Cosulich, Lloyd Trestino, Adria)
Designed by Pizzi & Pizio – Milano


Villain & Fassio (Società Italiana di Navigazione Mercantile Villain & Fassio)
c. late 1920s. Click through to see a positively spectacular brochure.


left: Back cover of a travel brochure for Venice Lido, 1934. Signed “Tanozzi,” designed by “Tridentum, Trento,” published by Soc. Acc. Stamperia Zanetti, Venice — right: Travel brochure for the Adriatic coast of Italy, published by the Ente Provinciale per Il Turismo, Trieste, 1936.  Signed “Pizzi & Pizio, Milano”


left: Timetable for the “Linea Postale per L’Impero Etiopico” 1938.  Published by Ignazio Messina & Co., Genova. (front cover) — right: Advertisement for Italia; Flotte Riunite, Genova & Consulich STN, Triests from “Le Vie d’Italia, Rivista Mensile del Touring Club Italiano” (Review of the Italian Touring Club) circa 1932


left: Travel book “Die Seebäder Italiens,” 1934. Published by the Ente Nazionale Industrie Turistische (ENIT – Italian State Tourist Department) and the Ferrovie dello Stato (Italian State Railway).  Designed by Stabilimento Arti Grafiche Bertarelli, Milano. — right: Travel book “Seaside Resorts in Italy” 1933. Published by the Ente Nazionale Industrie Turistische (ENIT – Italian State Tourist Department) and the Ferrovie dello Stato (Italian State Railway).  Designed by Stabilimento Arti Grafiche Bertarelli, Milano.

Italy on brochure graphics – Ente Nazionale Industrie Turistische
(ENIT – Italian State Tourist Department)


Interior for an ocean liner bar and lounge area; circa 1935
Artist: Antonio Quaiatti; Treiste, Italy
Mitchell Wolfson, Jr. Collection; Florida International University, Miami Beach


Libera Line (Navigazione Libera Triestina – NLT) c. 1936
Ports of call:
Los Angeles, Acajutla, La Libertad, Balboa, Cristobal, Las Palmas, Barcelona, Marseilles, Genoa
Aboard: Cellina, Fella, Feltre, Leme, Rialto


– Fratelli Grimaldi, Italy Sailings June 1951
– The
Simplon Postcards website has a page on the history of the Grimaldi-Siosa Line with many postcards/photos –
Cruise Ship Odyssey has a page which includes a brief history of Fratelli Grimaldi and Siosa Lines with numerous photos –

Siosa Line (Grimaldi-Siosa Lines; Sicula Oceanica SA) Sailings September 1966-July 1967

Ports of call:
Naples, Genoa, Cannes, Barcelona, Rotterdam (Flushing), Le Havre, Southampton, Vigo, Lisbon, Madeira, Bermuda, Kingston, Curaçao, La Guaira, Trinidad, Grenada, Barbados, St. Lucia, Martinique, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Antigua, Tenerife
Aboard Caribia

Achille Lauro

MS Achille Lauro was a cruise ship based in Naples, Italy. Built between 1939 and 1947 as MS Willem Ruys, a passenger liner for the Rotterdamsche Lloyd. It is most remembered for its 1985 hijacking. In 1994, the ship caught fire and sank in the Indian Ocean off Somalia.

On October 7, 1985, four men representing the Palestine Liberation Front (PLF) took control of the liner off Egypt as she was sailing from Alexandria to Port Said.

The hijackers had been surprised by a crew member and acted prematurely. Holding the passengers and crew hostage, they directed the vessel to sail to Tartus, Syria, and demanded the release of 50 Palestinians then in Israeli prisons.

After being refused permission to dock at Tartus, the hijackers killed disabled Jewish-American passenger Leon Klinghoffer and then threw his body overboard. The ship headed back towards Port Said, and after two days of negotiations, the hijackers agreed to abandon the liner in exchange for safe conduct and were flown towards Tunisia aboard an Egyptian commercial airliner.

United StatesPresidentRonald Reagan ordered that the plane be intercepted by F-14 Tomcats from the VF-74 “BeDevilers” and the VF-103“Sluggers” of Carrier Air Wing 17, based on the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga, on October 10 and directed to land at Naval Air Station Sigonella, a N.A.T.O. base in Sicily, where the hijackers were arrested by the Italians after a disagreement between American and Italian authorities.

The other passengers on the plane (including the PLF leader, Abu Abbas) were allowed to continue on to their destination,despite protests by the United States. Egypt demanded an apology from the U.S. for forcing the airplane off course.


Nov. 30, 1994: Passengers of the Achille Lauro leave the
burning Italian cruise ship aboard a life boat

The Achille Lauro caught fire of the coast of Somalia and efforts to fight the fire were unsuccessful. The ship sank on Dec. 2 of that year. It was a sad end to a ship with a tragic history.

In 1953, the vessel collided with another passenger ship. In 1964, the ship was sold to the Star Lauro cruise line and renamed Achille Lauro, after the company owner. The Achille Lauro then suffered at least two more fires and another collision.

World’s most notorious ship disasters


1960s: A young Silvio Berlusconi singing on a cruise ship
Silvio Berlusconi; a life in pictures


Part Duo, Next Week!

Special thanks to Björn Larsson at Maritime Timetable Images

Monkey Fist

Monkey Fist is a smack-talking, potty mouthed, Yankee hating, Red Sox fan in Baltimore, Maryland. In addition to compiling Maritime Monday, she blogs about nautical art, history, and marine science on Adventures of the Blackgang.

Submit story ideas, news links, photographs, or items of interest to her at [email protected]. She can also out-belch any man.

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