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The SS Leonardo DaVinci

Updated on October 16, 2014

SS Leonardo Da Vinci: 1960s First Class Italian Ocean Liner

The SS Leonardo Da Vinci was a first class ocean liner, and one of the most innovative of its kind. Built by one of the best shipbuilders in the world, and made to replace the Italian Line's Andrea Doria that was lost in 1956. The SS Leonardo Da Vinci was launched in 1960

1963 at the age of ten, my husband crossed the Atlantic Ocean with is Mother and siblings to visit her family in Naples on the SS Leonardo Da Vinci.

The Great Sea Cruise


New York Harbor in the late 1960s

SS Leonardo Da Vinci Features

First Class - Lido Deck

The pool reserved for the first class passengers was heated with infrared rays. The private plumbing had been increased up to eighty per cent in tourist class.

Inside The SS Leonardo Da Vinci


Cabin Class Swimming Pool

The design of the Leonardo da Vinci was based upon the Andrea Doria, but the improvements were many. For example, the after deck area had been freed from cargo cranes and such, leaving an unobstructed lido area with six swimming pools.


Tourist Class Pool Cafe

The SS Leonardo Da Vinci 1967 - "Life Aboard An Ocean Liner" Parts 1 and 2

It is always a pleasure to learn something, and recently I found a few clips on YouTube that involve the great SS Leonardo Da Vinci. This is a wonderful way to learn more about the great cruise liner.

SS Da Vinci's Sister Ship: Michaelangelo

This video provides an excellent historical reference of the SS Da Vinci's Sister Ship, The SS Michaelangelo. The footage includes everything about the ship from the time it was built, until the time it was scrapped. This was a true luxury liner, and one that not only fulfilled its duty as a passenger ship, but also served the purpose of becoming a floating barracks prior to its demolition.

The Picture History Of The Italian Line

The Picture History of the Italian Line, 1932-1977
The Picture History of the Italian Line, 1932-1977

A picture paints a thousand words, and nothing describes the experience of oceanic travel better than that which was recorded on film. The history of the great Italian Line is best told by those who saw it first.


The End Of The Line

"The beautiful LEONARDO DA VINCI on her final Italian Line liner voyage from New York to the Mediterranean in March 1977. It was also her final call in Lisbon.

-- Luís Miguel Correia

The photo in this area is by the blogger quoted above, and by clicking on his name you will be taken to his ship blog. It is well written, and his photography is great.

Most of the cruise liners of built during the post war years were designed with exquisite taste, and made to accommodate all walks of life with comfort during their ocean voyage.

One of the saddest things to learn about the SS Leonardo Da Vinci was that when it was retired, it was dismantled. This site will be updated as more information is obtained about the ship's interior designers, passengers, and art.

Many thanks to WebShots NavItalia for the vintage photos of the interior of the ship. By clicking on the large photos, you will be directed to the Navitalia Photo Collection.

Cabin Class Lounge

Thank you for your interest in the great Italian Ocean Liners. If you were ever a passenger on the SS Leonardo Da Vinci, your story and links are welcome here.

Welcome To The Lounge

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    • profile image

      Rita Hanoun 3 years ago

      We immigrated to Canada in March 1966. We traveled via the Leonardo da Vinci. I was young and did not appreciate it, but I do now.

      I feel very privileged.

    • Herman IV profile image

      Herman IV 6 years ago

      Never knew this ship existed! Very neat lens!

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 6 years ago

      What a superb ship. Love Italian designs and way of life. Blessed and featured on Blessed by Skiesgreen 2012, hugs

    • Ram Ramakrishnan profile image

      Ram Ramakrishnan 6 years ago

      Never been at sea. Perhaps I will one day. Your interesting lens has lit the spark.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I was on the Leonardo Da Vinci June 1967.If any one has any photos we were in Cabin Class.Left N.Y we stopped in Sicily,Portugual,Gibraltar then to the Port Of Naples.What an experience..that I will never forget.

    • Zut Moon profile image

      Zut Moon 6 years ago

      Never been on that one but I sure do love cruise ships. The best way to travel in my opinion.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Wow, Our father Anthony Vella took our Family of 6, from New York (Born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada) to Malta on this great ship!!!!! These photos bring back so many memories.............Wiish I could go back!!!!!

    • Violin-Student profile image

      Violin-Student 6 years ago

      I've never managed to get out to sea on one of these magnificent ships. Thanks very much for this lens. Very informative.

      --Art Haule

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 6 years ago from Southampton, UK

      It's amazing how the liners of the 1960s are a far cry from the huge cruise ships we have now. I think style and extravagance are still there, but in a different way. Nicely done, good memories here for many people who sailed on her I am sure, blessed.

    • profile image

      pawpaw911 6 years ago

      Liked the cross section view of the ship.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      i was 8 coming to the us with my mom. everybody was so nice.WHAT A Beautiful Ship she was.ANN from ny

    • OldStones LM profile image

      OldStones LM 6 years ago

      It is nice nice to learn something new. I had never heard of the SS Leonardo Da Vinci.I enjoyed this glimpse at the history of a great ship.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      What a lovely step back in time, I son't know the I recall hearing about the SS Leonardo Divinci before, nicely done!

    • CruiseReady profile image

      CruiseReady 6 years ago from East Central Florida

      Oh, I would love to have sailed the Leonardo Da Vinci... or her sister ship. What a wonderful memory that would have made!

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 6 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      Very interesting.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Never been on a ship before. :( But a lovely lens. Thanks.

    • Bella Stella profile image

      Bella Stella 7 years ago

      This is a nice lens but I was also impressed by the story of Carolyn Clemens. It is such a pitty that you had those problems during the cruise. I know how it feels and this can destroy a trip that you might have been planning for months...

    • profile image

      ShamanicShift 7 years ago

      I was never a passenger, but I enjoyed this great lens about it -- blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I was a passenger on the SS Leonardo Da Vinci in April, 1960 It was a lovely ocean liner and I was a very young, happy young army wife. My husband did not have enough rank for the government to pay my way sooooo I bought my own ticket, $230. It was a two week trip from New York to Milano and I was a sick young lady. We had a storm on a Thursday night with the ship rocking and rolling. Can't tell you about the fook as I only went to the dining room once in the two weeks! Had some food with me but wasn't able to eat very much. The steward watched my little girl while I went up, up, up to the dispensary. I got a shot and that helped with the seasickness. As I went up in the ship things got much nicer, carpet thicker, better decorations, ect. Quite a trip for a very young wife and mother. Shared my room with two young German girls and a sixty something Italian lady, going back to Italy for the first time in forty some years. Her husband was on the ship also but they didn't share a stateroom since it was less expensive to share with other folks of the same sex! What a happy day when we arrived in Genoa.