Vulcania, the Journey of an Ocean Liner from 1926 to 1974

The Vulcania

The Vulcania was an ocean liner launched in 1926, the sister ship of the ocean liner Saturnia. In addition to being an ocean liner, it was also used as a troop transport ship and hospital ship.

It made its maiden voyage on December 19, 1928, departing from Trieste on the route Trieste-Naples-Patras-New York.

In 1936, the ship was transferred, along with the rest of the Cosulich Company fleet, to the Italia Shipping Company. In December of the same year, the Vulcania made its last voyage on the route Trieste-Naples-New York-Trieste.

In 1941, the ocean liner was requisitioned by the Italian state to be used as a troop transport ship in North Africa.

From April 1942, in agreement with the allied forces, transformed into a hospital ship, it began the repatriation service of interned civilians (especially women and children) and wounded Italian soldiers from Italian East Africa, with the protection of the International Red Cross.

Since the Allies feared a scuttling of the above units in the Suez Canal, which would have been forcibly closed for months, to reach East Africa the four ships were obliged by treaties to circumnavigate Africa.

The third and final mission ended in Taranto in August 1943. Following the armistice of September 8, 1943, the Vulcania embarked a part of the students of the Naval Academy, which then had its headquarters in Brioni, to transfer them to a port in Puglia.

Unlike the twin Saturnia, the Vulcania did not carry out this mission, having been made to run aground. It was then requisitioned and used by the Germans.

On March 29, 1946, the Vulcania was chartered to the American Export Line for service on the New York-Naples-Alexandria of Egypt-New York route.

During this period, the ship made 6 voyages, the last of which commenced on October 4, 1946, and concluded on November 15, 1946.

Subsequently, the ship was returned to the Italia Company and transported to Genoa, making an intermediate stop in Naples.

Upon its return, the ocean liner underwent a comprehensive refurbishment and refitting at the shipyard. In July 1947, it embarked on the Genoa-South America route. On September 4, 1947, it resumed service on the Genoa-Naples-New York route. The last service on this route began on September 21, 1955.

On October 28, 1955, it was reassigned to the Trieste-Venice-Patras-Naples-Palermo-Gibraltar-Lisbon-Halifax-New York route. The last service on the new route began on April 5, 1965.

At the end of its service, the ship was sold to the Siosa Grimaldi Line, which renamed it Caribia and repurposed it for cruises. The ocean liner was decommissioned in 1973.

On September 18, 1973, the decommissioned ship was towed to the port of Barcelona.

From there, it embarked on its final journey, still in tow, to the city of Kaoshiung, on the island of Taiwan.

The demolition of the once majestic ocean liner commenced on March 15, 1974.(Redazione)


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