Italian Line

The Last Ocean Liners


 

Italian Line The Italian Line, or Societa di Navigazione Italia enjoyed enormous popularity for their good food and enthusiastic service, and as well for the relatively warm weather of their mid-Atlantic crossings. Italian Line ships all featured several outdoor pools and sunny open deck areas to take advantage.

Cristoforo Colombo was a beautifully proportioned ocean liner, the finest Italy could produce, even in a land of superb artists. Her unfortunate sister ship Andrea Doria sank in a 1956 collision and was replaced by the new Leonardo da Vinci, an evolved version of the others built for the Italian Line in the 1950s. They had a strong national following.

Italian Line Each class had its own main lounge, dining room and swimming pool with veranda bar. First class and Cabin class each also featured a separate ballroom and First class included an additional cocktail bar and observation lounge.

The Cristoforo Colombo and Leonardo da Vinci offered a sailing every one to two weeks on the express route from New York to Gibraltar (6 days), Naples (8 days), Cannes and Genoa (9 days).

Italian Line In 1965, the much larger and faster, ultramodern Michelangelo and Raffaello were introduced on the Italian Line's New York express service, cutting a full day off the transatlantic schedule. They were splendid twin luxury superliners with six swimming pools, original artworks, opulent public rooms and private facilities in every cabin. Service aboard Michelangelo and Raffaello was immaculate, food was flawless, wine flowed and the dance bands played on.

Italian Line The two former express ships had their hulls painted white, and were redeployed. Cristoforo Colombo took over the Adriatic route from the retiring Saturnia and Vulcania. Leonardo da Vinci was assigned to a New York to Naples run via Spain and Portugal and undertook more cruises. Soon, Michelangelo and Raffaello began to offer winter cruises from New York to the Caribbean and more ports were added to some of their Mediterranean crossings, rebranding them as "Mediterranean-Go-Rounds".

Italian Line "You are in Italy the moment you step on board and enjoy the beauty of the murals, paintings and tapestries created especially for these vessels by the finest modern Italian artists. Everything aboard is conducive to the complete relaxation of both body and spirit ..."

Italian Line The Italian Line also operated the very fine ocean liners Giulio Cesare and Augustus on the important route from Italy to Brazil and Argentina. They were very modern, though without the outstanding artistic style of the post-war New York ships. Over a four year period after the 1956 loss of Andrea Doria, Giulio Cesare and Augustus also assisted on the New York run. In 1964, they were converted from three classes to two, carrying the wealthy in First class and tourists and migrants in Tourist.

Italian Line A lesser known Italian Line service connected Italy with the West Coast of South America via Mediterranean and Caribbean ports, through the Panama Canal and then southward as far as Chile. The ships employed on this service starting in 1963 were the Donizetti, Rossini and Verdi, known as the "Three Musicians". With up to 14 intermediate ports, there was considerable cargo handling... generally manufactured goods enroute to South America and returning with cotton, minerals and coffee.

In 1973, Cristoforo Colombo was moved to the South America service to replace Giulio Cesare, which had developed serious mechanical issues. One of the last to give up, by 1977 all Italian Line transatlantic service had been discontinued for the usual economic reasons.


Sample minimum one-way fares from New York to Genoa: First class $422; Cabin class $317; Tourist class $253; from Genoa to Buenos Aires: First class $680; Cabin class $452; Tourist class $295; Fares are per person in U.S. dollars as of spring 1969.


Continue to the ships below ...



Go to Italian Line sailing schedules or select schedules by ship below:


Cristoforo Colombo - 1954 - Italian Line
Cristoforo Colombo Italian Line
Built: 1954 by Ansaldo SpA, Sestri Ponente, Italy Gross tons: 29191 Length: 700ft (213m) Width: 90ft (27m) Draft: 30ft (9m) Speed: 23kn Power: 50000 shp Propulsion: Steam turbines twin screw Passengers: 229 First 222 Cabin 604 Tourist End of service: Rerouted 1973; sold 1977
 

Leonardo da Vinci - 1960 - Italian Line
Leonardo da Vinci Italian Line
Built: 1960 by Ansaldo SpA, Sestri Ponente, Italy Gross tons: 33340 Length: 761ft (232m) Width: 92ft (28m) Draft: 30ft (9m) Speed: 23kn Power: 52000 shp Propulsion: Steam turbines twin screw Passengers: 413 First 342 Cabin 571 Tourist End of service: Cruising only from 1977; laid up 1978; scrapped 1980
 

Michelangelo - 1965 - Italian Line
Michelangelo Italian Line
Built: 1965 by Ansaldo SpA, Sestri Ponente, Italy Gross tons: 45911 Length: 902ft (275m) Width: 102ft (31m) Draft: 34ft (10m) Speed: 26.5kn Power: 87000 shp Propulsion: Steam turbines twin screw Passengers: 535 First 550 Cabin 690 Tourist End of service: Laid up 1975; sold 1976
 

Raffaello - 1965 - Italian Line
Raffaello Italian Line
Built: 1965 by Cantieri Riuniti dell'Adriatico, Trieste, Italy Gross tons: 45933 Length: 902ft (275m) Width: 102ft (31m) Draft: 34ft (10m) Speed: 26.5kn Power: 87000 shp Propulsion: Steam turbines twin screw Passengers: 535 First 550 Cabin 690 Tourist End of service: Laid up 1975; sold 1976
 

Giulio Cesare - 1951 - Italian Line
Giulio Cesare Italian Line
Built: 1951 by Cantieri Riuniti dell'Adriatico, Monfalcone, Italy Gross tons: 27078 Length: 681ft (208m) Width: 87ft (27m) Draft: 28ft (9m) Speed: 21kn Power: 37000 bhp Propulsion: Diesel twin screw Passengers: 180 First 1000 Tourist End of service: Scrapped 1973
 

Augustus - 1952 - Italian Line
Augustus Italian Line
Built: 1952 by Cantieri Riuniti dell'Adriatico, Trieste, Italy Gross tons: 27090 Length: 680ft (207m) Width: 87ft (27m) Draft: 28ft (9m) Speed: 21kn Power: 37000 bhp Propulsion: Diesel twin screw Passengers: 180 First 1000 Tourist End of service: Laid up 1976; scrapped 2011
 

Donizetti - 1951 - Italian Line
Donizetti Italian Line
Built: 1951 by Cantieri Riuniti dell'Adriatico, Trieste, Italy Gross tons: 13140 Length: 528ft (161m) Width: 69ft (21m) Draft: 25ft (8m) Speed: 18kn Power: 14000 bhp Propulsion: Diesel twin screw Passengers: 136 First 536 Tourist End of service: Laid up 1976; scrapped 1977
 

Rossini - 1951 - Italian Line
Rossini Italian Line
Built: 1951 by Cantieri Riuniti dell'Adriatico, Trieste, Italy Gross tons: 13225 Length: 528ft (161m) Width: 69ft (21m) Draft: 25ft (8m) Speed: 18kn Power: 14000 bhp Propulsion: Diesel twin screw Passengers: 136 First 536 Tourist End of service: Laid up 1976; scrapped 1977
 

Verdi - 1951 - Italian Line
Verdi Italian Line
Built: 1951 by Cantieri Riuniti dell'Adriatico, Trieste, Italy Gross tons: 13226 Length: 527ft (161m) Width: 69ft (21m) Draft: 25ft (8m) Speed: 18kn Power: 14000 bhp Propulsion: Diesel twin screw Passengers: 136 First 536 Tourist End of service: Laid up 1976; scrapped 1977