Liner History: Excellent video of the SS Andrea Doria. The magnificent passenger ship was an ocean liner for the Italian Line (Società di navigazione Italia) home ported in Genoa, Italy, most famous for its sinking in 1956.
SS Andrea Doria was an ocean liner for the Italian Line (Società di navigazione Italia) home ported in Genoa, Italy. Named after the 16th-century Genoese admiral Andrea Doria, the Andrea Doria had a gross tonnage of 29,100 and a capacity of about 1,200 passengers and 500 crew. For a country attempting to rebuild its economy and reputation after World War II, the Andrea Doria was an icon of Italian national pride. Of all Italy’s ships at the time, Andrea Doria was the largest, fastest and supposedly safest. Launched on June 16, 1951, the ship undertook its maiden voyage on January 14, 1953.
On July 25, 1956, approaching the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts bound for New York City, the Andrea Doria collided with the eastward-bound MS Stockholm of the Swedish American Line in what became one of history’s most famous maritime disasters. Struck in the side, the Andrea Doria immediately started to list severely to starboard, which left half of her lifeboats unusable. The consequent shortage of lifeboats might have resulted in significant loss of life, but improvements in communications and rapid responses by other ships averted a disaster similar in scale to the Titanic disaster of 1912. 1660 passengers and crew were rescued and survived, while 46 people died as a consequence of the collision. The evacuated luxury liner capsized and sank the following morning.
The incident and its aftermath were heavily covered by the news media. While the rescue efforts were both successful and commendable, the cause of the collision and the loss of the Andrea Doria afterward generated much interest in the media and many lawsuits. Largely because of an out-of-court settlement agreement between the two shipping companies during hearings immediately after the disaster, no determination of the cause(s) was ever formally published. Although greater blame appeared initially to fall on the Italian liner, more recent discoveries have indicated that a misreading of radar on the Swedish ship may have initiated the collision course, leading to some errors on both ships and resulting in disaster.
The Andrea Doria was the last major transatlantic passenger vessel to sink before aircraft became the preferred method of travel.
Andrea Doria had a length of 212 m (697 feet), a beam of 27 m (90 ft), and a gross tonnage of 29,100. The propulsion system consisted of steam turbines attached to twin screws, enabling the ship to achieve a service speed of convert|23|kn|km/h, with a top speed of convert|26|kn|km/h.
Andrea Doria was not the largest vessel nor the fastest of its day: those distinctions went to the RMS Queen Elizabeth and the SS United States, respectively. Instead, Andrea Doria was designed for luxury by the famous Italian architect, Minoletti.
Since it sailed the southern Atlantic routes, Andrea Doria was the first ship to feature three outdoor swimming pools, one for each class (first, cabin, and tourist).
The ship was capable of accommodating 218 first-class passengers, 320 cabin-class passengers, and 703 tourist-class passengers, and 563 crew on ten decks.
With over $1 million spent on artwork and the decor of the cabins and public rooms, including a life-size statue of Admiral Doria, many consider the ship to have been one of the most beautiful ocean liners ever built.