Italian Line
The Italian Line or Italia Line, also known as the Italia di Navigazione S.p.A., was a passenger shipping line
Shipping line
-History of shipping lines:Large-scale shipping lines became widespread in the nineteenth century, after the development of the steamship in 1783. At first, Great Britain was the centr of development; in 1819, the first steamship crossing of the Atlantic Ocean took place and by 1833, shipping lines...

 that operated regular transatlantic
Transatlantic crossings are passages of passengers and cargo across the Atlantic Ocean between the Americas and Europe. Prior to the 19th century, transatlantic crossings were undertaken in sailing ships, which was a time consuming and often perilous journey. Transatlantic crossings became faster,...

 services between Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 and the United States, and Italy and South America. During the late 1960s the company turned to running cruises
Cruise ship
A cruise ship or cruise liner is a passenger ship used for pleasure voyages, where the voyage itself and the ship's amenities are part of the experience, as well as the different destinations along the way...

, and from 1981 it became a global freight operator.


The company was founded in 1937 through a merger of the Genoa
Genoa |Ligurian]] Zena ; Latin and, archaically, English Genua) is a city and an important seaport in northern Italy, the capital of the Province of Genoa and of the region of Liguria....

-based Navigazione Generale Italiana
Navigazione Generale Italiana
Navigazione Generale Italiana was an Italian shipping company formed in 1881 by the merger of I & V. Florio of Palermo and Raffaele Rubattino of Genoa...

 (NGI), the Turin
Turin is a city and major business and cultural centre in northern Italy, capital of the Piedmont region, located mainly on the left bank of the Po River and surrounded by the Alpine arch. The population of the city proper is 909,193 while the population of the urban area is estimated by Eurostat...

-based Lloyd Sabaudo
Lloyd Sabaudo
The Lloyd Sabaudo was formed in Turin in 1906 and began passenger service in 1907, expanding to link Italy to ports in Asia as well as North and South America. In 1932 it merged with several other Italian shipping lines to form the Italian Line.-References:...

, and the Trieste
Trieste is a city and seaport in northeastern Italy. It is situated towards the end of a narrow strip of land lying between the Adriatic Sea and Italy's border with Slovenia, which lies almost immediately south and east of the city...

-based Cosulich STN lines, encouraged by the Italian government. The new company acquired the Cosulich-owned ships MS Saturnia and MS Vulcania
MS Vulcania
The MS Vulcania was an Italian ocean liner built by Cantiere Navale Triestino, Monfalcone, northern Italy in 1926 for the Italian company, Cosulich Line.-Characteristics:...

, the Lloyd Sabaudo-owned SS Conte Rosso
SS Conte Rosso
SS Conte Rosso was an Italian ocean liner active in the early 20th century.Named after Amadeus VII, Count of Savoy, the so-called "Red Count", the Conte Rosso was noted for her lavish Italian interior decoration. Because much of its sailing would be in warmer waters, the designers included an...

, SS Conte Biancamano
SS Conte Biancamano
Conte Biancamano was an Italian liner launched in 1925. The name was chosen in honor of Humbert I Biancamano, founder of the Savoy. She was built in the Scottish shipyards named William Beardmore & Co. in Dalmuir around Glasgow. She was built for the Genovese shipping company named Lloyd Sabaudo...

 and SS Conte Grande
SS Conte Grande
The SS Conte Grande was a Lloyd Sabaudo Line ocean liner built in 1927 by Stabilimento Tecnico Triestino in Trieste, Italy, to service the transatlantic passenger line between Genoa, Italy, and New York City. Launched on 29 June 1927, her maiden voyage was from Genoa to Naples to New York City,...

 and the NGI-owned SS Giulio Cesare
SS Giulio Cesare
SS Giulio Cesare was initially a liner of the Navigazione Generale Italiana, which was later operated by the Italian Line. The ship was used to transport first class, second class, and tourist-class passengers.-Features:...

, SS Duilio
SS Duilio
SS Duilio was the first Italian super ocean liner and one of the largest Italian merchant fleet until 1925. She was 24,281 gross tons and was the sister to SS Giulio Cesare that launched in 1921...

, SS Roma
SS Roma (1926)
SS Roma was a 30,000 gross register ton ocean liner built for the Italian shipping company Navigazione Generale Italiana of Genoa by Ansaldo shipyard in Sestri Ponente. She was the sister ship to MS Augustus...

 and MS Augustus
MS Augustus
MS Augustus was a combined ocean liner and cruise ship built in 1927 for Navigazione Generale Italiana. The ship was later transferred to the new Italian Line after the merger of Navigazione Generale Italiana. Her sister ship was SS Roma-History:...

. The same year two previously commissioned ocean liner
Ocean liner
An ocean liner is a ship designed to transport people from one seaport to another along regular long-distance maritime routes according to a schedule. Liners may also carry cargo or mail, and may sometimes be used for other purposes .Cargo vessels running to a schedule are sometimes referred to as...

s were delivered to the company: SS Rex
SS Rex
The SS Rex was an Italian ocean liner launched in 1931. It held the westbound Blue Riband between 1933 and 1935. Originally built for the Navigazione Generale Italiana as the SS Guglielmo Marconi, its state-ordered merger with the Lloyd Sabaudo line meant that the ship sailed for the newly created...

, that captured the Blue Riband
Blue Riband
The Blue Riband is an unofficial accolade given to the passenger liner crossing the Atlantic Ocean in regular service with the record highest speed. The term was borrowed from horse racing and was not widely used until after 1910. Under the unwritten rules, the record is based on average speed...

 in 1933, and SS Conte di Savoia
SS Conte di Savoia
SS Conte di Savoia was an Italian ocean liner built in 1932 at the Cantieri Riuniti dell'Adriatico, Trieste.Conte di Savoia was originally ordered for the Lloyd Sabaudo line, however, after a merger with the Navigazione Generale Italiana, the ship was completed for the newly formed Italia Flotte...


During World War II, the company lost many ships, including the Rex and the Conte di Savoia. Others were captured by the United States and converted into troopships; four of them survived the war: Conte Biancamano, Conte Grande, Saturnia, and Vulcania.

Commercial service was resumed in 1947 under the company's new name Società di navigazione Italia. In addition to the four vessels returned to the company by the United States, two new vessels, SS Andrea Doria
SS Andrea Doria
SS Andrea Doria[p] was an ocean liner for the Italian Line home ported in Genoa, Italy, most famous for its sinking in 1956, when 46 people died. Named after the 16th-century Genoese admiral Andrea Doria, the ship had a gross register tonnage of 29,100 and a capacity of about 1,200 passengers and...

 and SS Cristoforo Colombo
SS Cristoforo Colombo
SS Cristoforo Colombo was an Italian ocean liner built in the 1950s, sister ship of the famed and tragic .-Origins and construction: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...

 were commissioned in 1953 and 1954. In 1956, Andrea Doria, the company's three year old flagship collided with the Swedish ship Stockholm near Nantucket and sank, with passenger deaths estimated at 46 or 55. The company replaced the Andrea Doria with the SS Leonardo da Vinci, which went into service in 1960. This ship was based on the same design as Andrea Doria, but was larger, and featured technical innovations.

In the late 1950s, aircraft
Jet aircraft
A jet aircraft is an aircraft propelled by jet engines. Jet aircraft generally fly much faster than propeller-powered aircraft and at higher altitudes – as high as . At these altitudes, jet engines achieve maximum efficiency over long distances. The engines in propeller-powered aircraft...

 passenger travel had yet to have a noticeable effect on ocean-going passenger numbers between the United States and the Mediterranean. The Italian Line, therefore, ordered two new ships, the SS Michelangelo
T/S Michelangelo
SS Michelangelo was an Italian ocean liner built in 1965 for Italian Line by Ansaldo Shipyards, Genoa. She was one of the last ships to be built primarily for liner service across the North Atlantic. Her sister ship was the SS Raffaello....

 and SS Raffaello
T/S Raffaello
SS Raffaello was an Italian ocean liner built in 1965 for Italian Line by the Cantieri Riuniti dell'Adriatico, Monfalcone. She was one of the last ships to be built primarily for liner service across the North Atlantic. Her sister ship was the SS Michelangelo.-Design and construction:Italian Line...

. Construction of the ships took longer than expected, and they were not delivered until 1965. Being late into service, they were not able to profitably compete on the North Atlantic route. Although planned for cruising as an alternative, the ships had several design flaws that made their use as cruise ships problematic.

Despite huge financial loss, the Italian Line operated the transatlantic route until 1976, after which the Leonardo da Vinci was withdrawn from service; the Michelangelo and Raffaello had already been withdrawn the previous year. The Leonardo da Vinci became a cruise ship in 1977–1978, after which it was withdrawn due to high fuel costs. In 1979 and 1980 the company operated two ex-Lloyd Triestino liners, SS Galileo Galilei
SS Galileo Galilei
SS Galileo Galilei was an ocean liner built in 1963 by Cantieri Riuniti dell' Adriatico, Monfalcone, Italy for Lloyd Triestino's Italy—Australia service. In 1979 she was converted to a cruise ship, and subsequently sailed under the names Galileo and Meridian...

 and SS Guglielmo Marconi
SS Guglielmo Marconi
SS Guglielmo Marconi was a ocean liner launched on 24 September 1961 for Lloyd Triestino's Genoa—Sydney service. Her sister ship was SS Galileo Galilei. The Guglielmo Marconi made her maiden voyage in November 1963. In 1976, Guglielmo Marconi was transferred to the Naples-Brazil-River Plate...

, as a cruise ships, but this again proved unprofitable.

Because of the unprofitability of the cruise business, the Italian Line turned to freight shipping. It operated its principal container services between the Mediterranean, the west coast of North America, and Central and South America, carrying about of freight in 2001.

Previously owned by the Italian government, the company was privatized in 1998 when sold to d'Amico Società di Navigazione. In August 2002, it was acquired by CP Ships
CP Ships
CP Ships was a large Canadian container shipping company, prior to being taken over by Hapag Lloyd in late 2005. CP Ships had its head office in the City of Westminster in London and later in the City Place Gatwick development on the property of London Gatwick Airport in Crawley, West Sussex.The...

, and in 2005 the Italian Line name ceased to exist following CP's one-brand strategy. CP Ships itself was bought-out in late 2005 by TUI AG
TUI AG is a German multinational travel and tourism company headquartered in Hanover. Until 2001 it was an industrial and transportation company named Preussag AG, which in the mid-1990s decided to reinvent itself as a tourism, shipping, and logistics company...

, and merged with Hapag-Lloyd
Hapag-Lloyd is a German transportation company comprising a cargo container shipping line, Hapag-Lloyd AG, which in turn owns other subsidiaries such as Hapag-Lloyd Ships and a cruise line, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises which is now integrated into TUI AG, Hanover...

 in mid-2006.

International identifiers

Standard Carrier Alpha Codes
The Standard Carrier Alpha Code is a unique code used to identify transportation companies. It is typically two to four alphabetic letters long...


BIC Code (Container prefixes): ITAU

Passenger ships

Container ships

Built Name Tonnage Capacity Shipyard IMO number Call sign Flag Status/Comments
1985 Aquitania 17702 GT Stocznia Szczecinska S.A.
Szczecin Shipyard
Szczecin Shipyard or New Szczecin Shipyard was a shipyard in northwestern city of Szczecin, Poland. Formerly known as Stocznia Szczecińska Porta Holding S.A. or Stocznia im. Adolfa Warskiego. The shipyard specialized in the construction of container ships, chemicals transport ships, multi-purpose...

, Poland
8300975 HPUE Panama 1991 chartered, 1993 purchased from Cyprus
1989 Cristoforo Colombo 32630 GT Fincantieri-Cantieri Navali Italiani S.p.A.
Fincantieri - Cantieri Navali Italiani S.p.A. is a shipbuilding company based in Trieste, Italy. It was formed in 1959 and is the largest shipbuilder in the Mediterranean, and one of the largest in Europe...

, Italy
8618449 ICYS Italy 2002 to d'Amico
D'Amico is an Italian surname which may refer to:*Antonio D'Amico , Italian model and fashion designer*Andrea D'Amico *Andrea D'Amico *Frank D'Amico, Canadian politician...

 shipping Italia
1989 Amerigo Vespucci 32630 GT Fincantieri-Cantieri Navali Italiani S.p.A.
Fincantieri - Cantieri Navali Italiani S.p.A. is a shipbuilding company based in Trieste, Italy. It was formed in 1959 and is the largest shipbuilder in the Mediterranean, and one of the largest in Europe...

, Italy
8618451 ICBA Italy 2002 to d'Amico shipping Italia
1991 S. Caboto 15783 GT Fincantieri-Cantieri Navali Italiani S.p.A.
Fincantieri - Cantieri Navali Italiani S.p.A. is a shipbuilding company based in Trieste, Italy. It was formed in 1959 and is the largest shipbuilder in the Mediterranean, and one of the largest in Europe...

, Italy
8618413 ICMS Italy 2002 to d'Amico shipping Italia
1992 California 17123 GT Naikai Zosen Corp., Japan 8901743 ICFC Italy 2002 to d'Amico shipping Italia
1994 Cielo del Cile 15778 GT Thyssen Nordseewerke GmbH
Nordseewerke is a shipbuilding company located in Emden, Germany. The name Nordseewerke means "North Sea shipyard" in German. The shipyard employs some 1,400 people and is the second-largest plant in Emden, following Volkswagen...

, Germany
9046253 ELVB3 Liberia 2002 to d'Amico shipping Italia
1997 Dollart Trader 16165 GT MTW Schiffswerft GmbH, Germany 9162356 V2OD5 Antigua & Barbuda 2002 to d'Amico shipping Italia
1998 Cielo di San Francisco 25359 GT Volkswerft Stralsund GmbH
Volkswerft is a shipyard in the hanseatic city of Stralsund on the Strelasund. It is part of the German Hegemann-group.The Volkswerft was founded in 1945 as Ingenieurbau Ges.m.b.H....

, Germany
9153408 DGZO Germany 2002 to d'Amico shipping Italia
1998 Cielo del Canada 25361 GT Meeres-Technik-Wismar, Germany 9138290 V2PE2 Antigua & Barbuda 2002 to d'Amico shipping Italia
2000 Cielo del Caribe 13066 GT Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft
Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft
Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft is a German shipbuilding company located in Flensburg. The company is trading as Flensburger and commonly abbrevated FSG.-History:...

 MbH & Co. KG, Germany
9202053 ELXN2 Liberia 2002 to d'Amico shipping Italia
2002 Cielo d'America 25580 GT Thyssen Nordseewerke GmbH, Germany 9239733 ICCV Italy 2002 to d'Amico shipping Italia
2002 Cielo d'Europa 25535 GT Thyssen Nordseewerke GmbH, Germany 9236664 ICCP Italy 2002 to d'Amico shipping Italia

  • GRT = Gross Register Tonnage
    Gross Register Tonnage
    Gross register tonnage a ship's total internal volume expressed in "register tons", one of which equals to a volume of . It is calculated from the total permanently enclosed capacity of the vessel. The ship's net register tonnage is obtained by reducing the volume of non-revenue-earning spaces i.e...

  • GT = Gross Tonnage
    Gross tonnage
    Gross tonnage is a unitless index related to a ship's overall internal volume. Gross tonnage is different from gross register tonnage...

Further reading

External links

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