Monday, November 19, 2012


"GUGLIELMO MARCONI" at the end of 1975 was transferred to ITALIA LINE to operate on the Brasil/Argentina service together with CRISTOFORO COLOMBO, she started the new employment in January of 1976, after a refit she turned up in Lisbon looking brand new, sleek, shining and to die for, I remember seeing her for the first time from onboard a local tug with other friends and colleagues, later we would step on board for the first time to know the new ship and get acquainted with the crew. Her new route started in Napoli, than Genova, Cannes, Barcelona, Lisbon, Rio de Janeiro, Santos, Montevideo and Buenos Aires, returning home exactly via the same ports of call, at the time we were expecting this new service to be long lasting, that or course was not to be the case, in fact this new service for MARCONI lasted less than two years, the decrease in passenger numbers using transatlantic liners was more than evident , all these liners were doomed, people would fly and would get to their destination in hours not days/weeks, our ship was designed for emigration, she needed emigrants and they were lacking in numbers month after month. After all these years I still remember clearly that comparisons with the other ships were inevitable, CRISTOFORO COLOMBO, was a one off ship, AUGUSTUS who MARCONI came to replace was a traditional ageing liner compared to the new ship, so the majority of first onlookers was favourable to the old duo, for me MARCONI was splendid, looking younger with a design created for speed, her funnel and mast incredibly beautiful, I completely fell in love with the new ship and can't describe how pleased I was to know that she would be a monthly visitor to Lisbon, remember thinking, I have to travel on this ship, only 18 at the time, first job was to persuade family to let me go, in those days 18 years old was very much a child and children woud not go to sea on their own. Four months later I was on board MARCONI as a passenger. First two photos above, the very first brochure of the ship distributed to the new overseas agents, bottom image, our ship at Genoa with the new ITALIA LINE colours. With these simple words I hope I have expressed what I felt about "MY NEW SHIP", since then I've developed a truly great admiration for her, today nearly four decades on, I can quite categorically state, she was "MY SHIP", one of my favourites ever

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