MV Italia

GRT 20,223
Length 609 Feet
Breadth 78 Feet

Built by Blohm & Voss of Hamburg in 1928 for Swedish American Line (SAL) she was named “Kungsholm”. She ran on the North Atlantic route between Europe and North America in the 1930’s.

She was requisitioned by the US Government during World War II and renamed “John Ericsson”. During the war she operated as a troop carrier and took part in the invasion of Normandy on D-Day in 1944.

Sold to Home Lines in 1948, she was refitted and renamed “Italia”. She served until 1964 when she was sold to Freeport Bahama Enterprises who renamed her “Imperial Bahama” and used her as a floating hotel.

She was sold for scrap in 1965.

This is a Postcard from Dan in Georgia. Dan is a kindred spirit who loves Ships, Airships Old Aircraft and postcards. He runs the AirShips.Net website dedicated to the Hindenburg and other Zeppelins.

Thanks for the fantastic postcards, Dan. I’ve sent a couple more in reply!

61 Replies to “MV Italia”

  1. My family and I emigrated to the US in November 1954 on the Italia. I was 10 years old at the time so I don’t remember too much. I know at one time I snuck over to first class. We were scheduled to come in May but due to quotas in those days we had to delay till November. We came directly into New York Harbor, because they had closed Ellis Island during the summer. I have menus from every day on board. Would love to hear from anyone who was on the Italia at that time.

  2. Thank you for this page! As part of going through my parents’ effects, I found my mother’s immigration card that shows she came across on the MS Italia on the 16-April to 25-April sailing in 1955.

    I knew they came via Canada, eventually ending up in Milwaukee.

    Will also be looking for passenger manifests at some of the sites suggested. You all have made my day.

  3. I came to Canada on the MS Italia which left Southampton on December 12, 1959. Does anyone remember the terrible Atlantic storm we experienced coming over?

  4. I came over from Southampton England to Halifax and landed on June 29, 1952 on the Italia. The crew was all German and only 12 English speaking passengers. The voyage was rough and much sea sickness. I remember quite a bit of it although I was only 7. My mother was Canadian from Nova Scotia and my father was English. He spent some of the war in Canada with the RAF. Tough times but all is well that ends well.

  5. Looking for manifest for MS Italia’s voyage from Hamburg to New York in 1952, leaving Hamburg near end of March and arriving Halifax 8 April

    Thank you,

    Earle Lockerby

  6. Ulrike Klopfer,

    Sorry for taking almost two years to reply. I had thought that the arrival date in Halifax was June 6th. I don’t suppose that the ship went to NY and then Toronto 2 days later.

  7. My parents and I came to the United States from Germany in 1953. We sailed on the M.S. Italia, leaving Cuxhaven on July 18, 1953 and arriving in New York harbor on July 29, 1953, after stopping at Southampton, LeHavre and Halifax. It was a steamy ,hot day in New York Harbor as we steamed through the Verrazano Narrows and spotted “The Lady” through the mist in the harbor. We docked at Pier 86 and cleared Immigration there. We ended settling in Flushing, New York and I remained there for the next 38 years, with the exception of 4 years that I spent in the U.S. Air Force, three of which I was stationed at Sembach Air Base, Germany. I really enjoyed the trip on the Italia and my dad could always find me below decks, looking into the engine room. I enjoy looking for and finding new pictures of the Italia. I still have our Home Lines tickets, a postcard of the Italia, the passenger list from our trip and a dinner menu, locked in our safety deposit box.

  8. My family took the Italia in December 1959 and yes I remember the terrible crossing. My Dad, an airman in the RCAF, who was being posted from #1 Air Division HQ in Metz, France to his new assignment in Comox, British Columbia recalled being sick the whole trip over. I was 9 at the time and had a great time with my sister and brother exploring the ship and getting under the feet of the harried staff. I am writing a blog on his career ( )and found this site while looking for a photo of the ship. Neil, would it be possible to use it? Thanks!

  9. I Imigrated from Bremen, Germany to Montreal , Canada in 1960. Leaving Bremen Cuxhaven August 11, 1960 , I was 19 years old. Still have the original Ticket # W 200873, passenger list and menues. Cost of the one way ticket was US $ 233.50 , I don’t remember much about the interior of the ship. Captain Glaucoma Stabon was in charge. Most passengers boarded in Le Havre France .Farewell Dinner was “Brest of Vermont Turkey August 18, 1960. I have not posted this before.

  10. @John H. Warner:
    I believe I have footage of the very passage you were on.
    I´m currently digitizing it from old 8mm reels. Maybe you´d like to have a look.
    I´ll upload it to my YT-Account “foundvintage8mm”. Check there and leave a comment.
    It will be online within the next days.

    Cheers Jens

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