The Andrea Doria
A floating museum that hit hard times off Nantucket
With its ceramic decorations and murals painted by the best Italian artists, the Italian luxury liner Andrea Doria was thought of more as a floating museum than a cruise ship. It was first launched on June 16, 1951, and made 50 successful voyages before its horrifying 51st in 1956.
The vessel left Genoa, Italy, for New York on July 17 with just over 1,700 passengers and crew members aboard. On the morning of July 25, the Swedish-American liner, the Stockholm, left its port in New York for a trip across the Atlantic. The two gigantic ships crossed each other's paths off the coast of Nantucket, Mass., that night with tragic results. Amidst heavy fog, darkness, and miscalculations by the captains, the bow of the Stockholm slammed into the starboard side of the Andrea Doria just after 11:00 pm. The blow caused a 30-foot gash in the Andrea Doria and sent the ship on a slow, 12-hour descent to the bottom of the ocean. Fifty-two people were killed. The Stockholm survived the blow and helped with the rescue mission.