Cruise and Liner History – The Italian Line’s ANDREA DORIA…
The Italian Line’s Andrea Doria was one of the largest, most luxurious, and most beautiful passenger ships in the world – indeed, it was one of the most gorgeous ocean liners ever built – 700 feet long with sweeping lines, lovely decor, and expensive artwork. However, it had design problems affecting its stability and seaworthiness; these flaws contributed to severe listing after the collision of July 25, 1956.
While steaming west in the foggy North Atlantic late that evening, the ship collided with the east-bound Swedish liner Stockholm about 50 miles southeast of Nantucket Island and 200 miles east of New York City. Fifty-one people were killed in the accident; hundreds needed rescue. Many crew members of the Andrea Doria were among the first to abandon ship (a contravention of proud maritime tradition); their cowardly absence contributed to widespread panic during the rescue. Many injuries resulted. Passengers dropped children into lifeboats, though this was not necessary. Norma Di Sandro, age four, died in a Boston hospital after being dropped.
The Stockholm suffered a crumpled forward section and eventually limped into New York harbor, while the Andrea Doria slipped beneath the waves on the morning of July 26 after an 11-hour wallow. The ship rests today in 235 feet of cold, dark, swirling, shark-infested water. See Life magazine’s coverage here with a piece by Walter Lord, author of “A Night to Remember” about the Titanic.