The 1960s witnessed a magnificent, if misguided, swansong for the ocean liner. As the decade progressed a steady succession of elaborate new ‘ships of state’ populated the world’s sea lanes, in futile defiance of the vapour trails above them. Into this atmosphere of one-upmanship the Italian Line introduced Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raffaello, the largest, fastest and most prestigious passenger liners in the nation’s post-war merchant marine. Named after the Renaissance masters, this book tells their stories, from troubled inception to heart-rending finale. It explains their design origins and interior décor, relates the triumph and tragedy of their all-too-brief careers and provides an insight into what it was like to live, work and take passage on these vessels, each with their own special personality. Profusely illustrated throughout, this book pays tribute to the ships and the people who brought them to life.