My real passion for ships and particularity passenger liners started when I was five years old and saw "SANTA MARIA" for the first time in Lisbon, after that first glimpse of the ship my father took me on various occasions to the port of Lisbon to admire "SANTA MARIA" and her sister ship the 1952 built "VERA CRUZ", a member of my family went a few years later to Africa on "VERA CRUZ" to serve in what was known then as the Colonial War. "SANTA MARIA" was built in Belgium by JOHN COCKERILL and delivered to COLONIAL NAVIGATION COMPANY in 1953, she was 21.357 GRT and had a top speed of 23 knots, the vessel became world news when in 1961 was abducted by members of a group known as DRIL which was opposition to the Antonio Salazar government, this episode marks the first political kidnapping of an ocean liner in modern history. "SANTA MARIA" and "VERA CRUZ" ended their days prematurely in 1973 when they were scrapped, a sad ending for two wonderful ships with such a great potential to be converted for cruising.
Photos used in this post copyright Luis Miguel Correia
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
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 un
Back in July I was arriving Nice on board "CORSICA AND SARDIGNIA FERRIES", "MEGA EXPRESS", the brand new cruise ship "CELEBRITY EDGE" was anchored at Villefranche-Sur-Mer, she is one of the newest cruise ferries in service, built by CHANTIERS DE L'ATLANTIQUE she was delivered in October of 2018. Photos Vitor Francisco, July 2019