Transatlantic records have been broken by the “Rex” and the “Conte di Savoia” of the Italia Line. These two vessels are the largest and fastest of the Italian luxury liners which ply between New York and the Mediterranean.
A WELCOME FROM THE BRIDGE of the Conte di Savoia to the Italian liner Rex at speed. The Rex, 51,062 tons gross, was completed in 1932. She has a length of 879 ft 11 in, a beam of 102 feet and a depth of 30 ft 8 in. Designed for a speed of 27¼ knots, she broke the record for the westbound Atlantic crossing in August 1934, with an average of 28.92 knots between Gibraltar and the Ambrose Light, New York. The previous holder of this record was the Conte di Savoia.
TO many people living in Great Britain a transatlantic crossing means a voyage between Southampton and New York. Though they may be aware of the existence of other routes, such as those from Southampton to Canadian ports or from Liverpool or Glasgow to North and South America, they are inclined to think of the Southampton-
There is, however, between the North American continent and Europe, an important service which is not primarily concerned with the seaports of northern Europe. New York and Naples are connected by a direct express steamer service maintained by two of the most up-
The route taken by the Rex and her sister involves the crossing of the Atlantic from New York to Gibraltar, or vice-
Thus the service is especially attractive to those Americans who respond to the appeal, of this enchanting part of the Mediterranean coast, as well as to those who are irresistibly drawn by the lure of Italy. Apart, however, from the tourist and seasonal trade, there is a constant and important business traffic. As large numbers of Italians live in or have business with the United States, the value of the link will be appreciated. The voyage between New York and Genoa is made in six and a half days.
The Rex, elder of the two vessels, was built by the Ansaldo Yard at Sestri Fonente, in the Gulf of Genoa, and was completed in 1932. Her gross tonnage is 51,082. She is 879 ft 11-
The designed speed is 27½ knots, but the Rex has proved herself capable of a considerably faster rate. When she broke the record for the Atlantic crossing on the trip completed on August 16, 1934, she averaged 28.92 knots between Gibraltar and the Ambrose Light, New York. She had followed the official North Atlantic steamship track for vessels bound for the United States.
To enable the Rex to maintain her high rate of speed she is fitted with four screws, each of them driven by a triple-
The Conte di Savoia has many points of resemblance to the Rex, but she is not identical in design. Launched on October 28, 1931, by H.R.H. Princess Maria of Piedmont, the younger ship was built by the United Adriatic Shipyards at Trieste, the famous seaport at the head of the Adriatic. The Conte di Savoia has a gross tonnage of 48,502. Her length is 814 ft 7-
Her designed speed is the same as that of the Rex. In May 1933 she secured the westbound record with 27.53 knots from Gibraltar to the Ambrose Light, New York. She held this record until August 1934, when it was taken from her by the Rex. The Conte di Savoia, also, is a quadruple-
In the same way as the Rex, she has two streamlined funnels, either with a greater diameter of 43 feet and a lesser diameter of 23 feet. These are taller than the funnels of her sister, as their height above the Sports Deck is 56 feet.
AN EXCLUSIVE FEATURE OF THE CONTE DI SAVOIA is the stabilizer, adopted for the first time in a large passenger liner. The stabilizer, which was made at the Vickers-
An exclusive feature of the Conte di Savoia is the provision of a stabilizer. This device has been adopted for the first time in a large passenger liner. The stabilizer in the Conte di Savoia consists of three gyroscopes, of the Sperry type, of equal dimensions. Each gyroscope has a fly-
Some idea of the capacity of these two ships will be obtained from a study of the passenger accommodation. At first four classes were provided in either vessel -
Passengers 2,032, Crew 732
There are few people who do not regard the expression “second-
In the same way, shipping companies are fighting shy of second class. The Italia Line evolved a brilliant substitute for the hated denomination, and special-
The Rex can accommodate 378 first-
Thus when either ship is full, she has the population, of a large village. It is true that this population is congregated for less than a week or so, but it requires during that period the services of a large crew, in the Rex this totals to the surprising figure of 732, or just under one employee to three passengers. The Conte di Savoia can manage with a crew of 651.
In the Rex’s total of 732 there are fifty-
The Conte di Savoia has one more officer, as she is provided with five instead of four pursers under the Chief Purser.
The deck hands number eighty in the Rex and seventy-
It is interesting to examine the make-
There are two head waiters and two assistant head waiters. Six barmen need the assistance of 112 assistants. Coffee is so important in an Italian liner that there are four “coffee-
Passengers who are particular about their clothes will be glad to hear that there are three wardrobe keepers, a tailor’s presser, a laundryman and three women starchers and ironers.
Fourteen Boilers in the “Rex”
Hairdressing and its cognate crafts are in the hands of two ladies’ hairdressers, five barbers and one manicurist. A miscellaneous list of trades includes two gymnasium stewards, two photographers and three printers. The printers produce the ship’s newspaper, the Corriere del Mare (“Sea Post”), which is a daily publication. Finally, there are fifteen firemen to deal with any emergency in their sphere.
The kitchen staff, under a chef assisted by a second chef, amounts to eighty-
The eight auxiliary dynamos have an output of 5,300 kilowatts, enough to light a town of the size of Southampton (population 176,000). The number of electric lamps in the ship is approximately 18,000. The Rex has three turbo-
Comprehensive safety appliances have been equipped in the two ships. The Rex is divided into fifteen water-
THE CLUB ROOM on the social deck of the Conte di Savoia. With its bar and dance floor, the Club is an attractive leature of the first-
her depth 32 ft 5-
In either ship the driving machinery is divided into numerous water-
Since the Titanic disaster in 1912 the provision of sufficient lifeboats has engaged the closest attention of the authorities in every civilized country. Either of the two Italian liners has lifeboats of the most up-
There are also two motor launches either capable of holding thirty-
Fireproof bulkheads, of which there are eight in the Rex and twenty in the Conte di Savoia, minimize the risks of fire at sea. Every fireproof bulkhead is fitted with fireproof doors. In the newer ship the fire-
The Rex and the Conte di Savoia have comprehensive wireless telegraphy installations. The Conte di Savoia has a radio-
Lido in the Atlantic
The liners are fully and luxuriously equipped, but the Conte di Savoia will receive detailed attention in this chapter as she is perhaps even more completely fitted than her sister.
The scheme of decoration is particularly fine, being the work of the Italian architect Gustavo Pulitzer Finali, of Trieste.
The Sun Deck gives access to a large open-
FROM THE SUN DECK AND THE SPORTS DECK access is obtained to the open-
In the forward end of the Promenade Deck is a belvedere, so called because it commands an uninterrupted view of the sea, Between the funnels is a veranda. The Grand Open-
The Social Deck, mainly reserved for first-
We now reach the most striking feature of the ship -
The apartment is decorated with a profusion of marble pilasters, classical sculptures, friezes and cornices in the style of the seventeenth century. In the hall is a bronze bust by Mariya Lednicka of H.R.H. Princess Maria of Piedmont, sponsor to the vessel. The total floor area of the Grand Colonna Hall is 5,918 square feet and its height is 24 feet. The central space is reserved for dancing. Opening out of the hall are the first -
In the forward part of A Deck is the third-
On B Deck, forward, are a third-
Aft of this is the third-
The remaining three decks are given over mainly -
Passenger accommodation in the Rex is equally suitable and lavish, but the lay-
THE GRAND COLONNA HALL in the Conte di Savoia is the most striking feature of the ship. The hall takes its name and the spirit of its decorations from the gallery of the seventeenth-
[From part 42, published 24 November 1936]
The Rex also featured on the cover of Part 33 of Shipping Wonders of the World, with the following caption:
This week’s cover shows the Rex, belonging to the Italia Line. The Rex, a quadruple-
The illustration is by Harry Hudson Rodmel.
The Rex also appeared as the fifteenth article in the series Merchant Ship Types (Part 20).