Cruise Ships History: Italian Line’s beautiful liner CONTE DI SAVIOA captured by New York based artist Scott McBee and link to his wonderful article on this great ship found on New York Social Diary.



Scott Houston McBee’s rendering of the Conte di Savoia.


Principessa Mafalda with family and friends aboard the Conte Di Savoi.

Princess Mafalda married the Prince of Hesse.  In 1943 when Mussolini was overthrown, and the King led the country into the Allied camp, both the Princess and Prince were sent to a concentration camp where they died.


Conte Di Savoi First Class passengers in dinner dress visiting the stabilizer system – a first for trans-Atlantic liners in the 1930s.

CLICK HERE to read Scott McBee’s excellent New York Social Diary article on the famous Italian Line’s Conte di Savoia.

n1383527827_209.jpgScott McBee is a New York based artist and designer. He received his BA in graphic design and illustration from San Diego State University.

In 1989 Mcbee launched a successful career in commercial illustration, designing for such major firms as Young & Rubicam, BBDO and Ogilvy.

In addition to his commercial work, Mcbee has developed this beautiful fine art series of large scale ocean liner painting. McBee’s nautical series reflects a life long passion for ocean liners.

conte-di-savoia-1.jpgWith painstakingly precise detail, McBee’s large format gouache paintings (typically 3 x 9 ft. on acid free 90-lb. Paper) are rendered in bright, accurate livery, and continue in the tradition of historic navel architectural painting.

SS Conte di Savoia (Count of Savoy) was built in 1932 at Cantieri Riuniti del’Adriatico, Trieste. Originally ordered for the Lloyd Sabaudo line, a merger with the Navigazione Generale Italiana meant that the ship was completed for the newly formed Italia Flotte Riunite.

contedesavoia.jpgThe new Italia line also controlled the Rex, a sister ship to the Conte Di Savoia (though slightly larger). The Rex was completed just two months before the Conte.

The Conte di Savoia was more modern in decoration and appearance than the Rex, and is considered one of the most beautiful liners ever built.


1939 – the beginning of World War II – the CONTE DI SAVOIA (Italian Line), AQUITANIA (UK), QUEEN MARY (UK), NORMANDIE (French Line) and ILE DE FRANCE (French Line) are docked in New York City.



About Michael L. Grace

During the mid-80s, Michael Grace worked as a writer on the TV Hit Series THE LOVE BOAT. He wrote many of the two hour special featuring great stars of the past, including Lana Turner, Claire Trevor, Anne Baxter, Ethel Merman, Alexis Smith, etc. The public’s access to these stars, in familiar dramas and comedies, made them want to go on a cruise. They could see the stars in an ordinary world as “regular” people. The phenomenally successful series was responsible for creating the cruise industry as we know it today. By the time he was writing for Love Boat, the great steamship companies and their liners were flying hand me down foreign flags, painted like old whores, scrapped or doing three day cruises to the Bahamas. He had sailed on over thirty ships and liners with his parents, aunt and grandmother in late 50s to early 70s. The very successful CRUISING THE PAST website has been an outgrowth of Michael’s strong interest in cruise and social history. Drawing on his own knowledge and a vast maritime and social history collection, he is able to produce a very successful website. Michael is part of the award winning team that created the internationally performed award winning musical SNOOPY, based on PEANUTS by Charles M. Schultz. He has written for television and films. Read more by going to "About" (on the above dashboard) and clicking "Editor"…