In 1964 the "WILLEM RUYS" was sold to FLOTTA LAURO, today MSC CRUISES and was renamed "ACHILLE LAURO", the ship went into a massive reconversion but kept her beautiful lines, she was a regular caller to Lisbon as a result I have great memories of this fantastic vessel, she is also a ship of my youth, "ACHILLE LAURO" became even more famous because of the 1985 hijacking, she was lost by fire in 1994 on the 2sd of December, the same day she started her maiden voyage back in 1947.
Photos copyright of Royal Rotterdam Lloyd Museum, except first image, postcard of my private collectionwww.krlmuseum.nl
This post is dedicated to all the Italian followers of this blog. This past week saw an unprecedented number of pageviews from Italy, I was really pleased to notice that the post "WILLEM RUYS BECOMES ACHILLE LAURO" is the most popular post of this blog, leading by far all the posts related to the COSTA CONCORDIA's tragedy, so despite the relevance of the tragic events which obviously dominated the news not just in Italy but around the world, there is an obvious interest on Italian passenger liners and this is reassuring for me, I do believe that the most beautiful liners came out of Italy, this is why I have chosen CRISTOFORO COLOMBO for many the most elegant liner ever built as a testimony of appreciation to the great nation that Italy was and still is as far as shipping and ship building is concerned, so thank you to all my Italian followers, I will endeavour to carry on with the best possible work on this blog. Postcards of my collection
Built in Germany in 1997, the cruise ship "HAMBURG" is owned by Hapag-Lloyd and was previously named COLUMBUS, she is only 15.200 GRT and cruises at 16 knots, the ship has capacity for 400 guests and is today operated by Plantours as the "HAMBURG". She is a fine looking small yacht-like vessel with very luxurious interiors and provides to her passengers a very cosy and friendly atmosphere, the ideal size ship for many passengers. I have never photographed the "HAMBURG" or previously the COLUMBUS so have to thank two keen contributors to this Blog, top image by Harald Oanes in Norway and Rui Agostinho for the other two photos, in Lisbon.
The SS "LEONARDO DA VINCI" was an ocean liner built by ANSALDO SHIPYARDS at Genoa in 1960, the ship was intended as a replacement for the ill-fated ANDREA DORIA to operate on the North Atlantic run with ITALIAN LINE, she was as built 33.340 GRT and had a top speed of 25.5 knots. The ship left on her maiden voyage on the 30th June 1960 from Genoa to New York, she was kept on this service until 1965 when the new superliners MICHELANGELO and RAFFAELLO entered service, LEONARDO was then used on cruising in the MED, CARIBBEAN, SOUTH and NORTH AMERICA, after the withdrawal of the new superliners from service on the North Atlantic due to lack of passengers LEONARDO was back on the transtlantic service, but only for a brief spell, she went back to cruising until 1978 when she arrived at La Spezia in Italy to be laid up, she caught fire in 1980 and was considered a total loss, she was finally scrapped in 1982, a brief career for such a beautiful ship, she was not a lucky vessel unfo…