Designed to replace the lost Italian Line's ANDREA DORIA in 1956, the LEONARDO DA VINCI of 1960 was probably the best looking of all modern classic post-WW2 passenger ships. As my friend Bill Miller wrote recently, "The Leonardo da Vinci was pure perfection. I think she was one of the most beautiful, stunningly handsome liners of her time. Everything about her exterior was perfect. She was a classic beauty."
I remember seeing the LEONARDO in her original black hull livery and she really looked superb. She visited Lisbon several times by the end of her short liner career, in 1975 to 1977 and as such I was able to photograph her several times in Lisbon. After a short spell of cruising from Florida to the Bahamas under the management of Costa Line, the LEONARDO was laid up in La Spezia, Italy, where she was lost by the most strange of ship fires.
Conceived and built as a true flagship of state, an Italian prestige liner owned by the Government controlled Finmare Group, the LEONARDO DA VINCI was very expensive to run and always operated thanks to the generosity of Italian taxpayers until the scheme was discontinued in 1973-77. Although there was some interest to improve her for full time cruising, nothing happened and she was destroyed.
Texto e imagens /Text and images copyright L.M.Correia. Favor não piratear. Respeite o meu trabalho / No piracy, please. For other posts and images, check our archive at the right column of the main page. Click on the photos to see them enlarged. Thanks for your visit and comments. Luís Miguel Correia