Haynes World - ships, ferries, a laugh on the ocean wave, and other interesting things...


METAMORPHOSIS: From Liners to Cruise Ships (Part 2)

Saturday 30th September 2017 (continued)
We were finally taken back to the shipyard entrance, handed in our hard hats, and thanked our guides for a wonderful afternoon.

Maurizio drove us back to town where we parked and then walked along to the Metamorphosis Exhibition.

The Monfalcone Exhibition

The banner

There were lots of people around and many were going into the Galleria. We followed them into the venue.


Another view

Inside the booklet

Where's Wallis? booklet

Immediately we could see model ships, pictures of ships, a video playing on a large screen at the other end of the hall, books for sale, leaflets about the Exhibition, and lots of exhibits that immediately attracted our attention. One of them was the good ship OCEANIC, which Home Lines (founded by the Cosulich family) had originally intended to be a liner, but later became the first modern passenger ship to be intended exclusively for cruising. She was launched in 1963.


Photograph by Ted Scull

Michelangelo photographed by Ted Scull

Michelangelo again

Model of Michelangelo

Model of Oceanic

Oceanic being fitted out

Monfalcone site in 1963

The latest Italian Navy ship built at the yard

View into the Galleria

Over an hour later we said our goodbyes and left the wonderful Galleria. It had been a fascinating experience to visit the Exhibition and follow the explanations of the Metamorphosis of the Company and Shipyard from Liners to Cruise Ships.

Maurizio drove us back to our hotel for a chance to drop off various souvenirs and quickly prepare to go out again, this time to drive the short distance around the bay to Trieste for dinner. We parked and walked along part of the promenade, familiar to me from my first visit here in November 2014 before sailing on COSTA DIADEMA on her maiden voyage. (See blog piece with more details.) She was built by Fincantieri and now I have experienced their Monfalcone shipyard at very close quarters.

Trieste's old Fish Market

One of the brightly lit buildings was the old Fish Market and we made a quick detour inside; Maurizio is to lecture there in a few days time, and he wanted to show us the inside of this converted building. Inside we were introduced to a Mrs Cosulich, and then to her husband, and she mentioned that she was involved with the arrangements for the annual boat festival of Trieste - the Barcolana. This is an historic international sailing regatta taking place each year in the Gulf of Trieste, with the highlight being the event held on the second Sunday of October. It must be an extraordinary sight, to see so many little sailing vessels in the Gulf. I've read that about 25,000 sailors take part (www.barcolana.it) during the weeks of the Regatta.

There were huge advertising pictures showing on the screen in the vast hall, and then I was offered a Virtual Reality experience for 3 minutes! I sat and had a headpiece placed on me, and suddenly I was sitting on one of the racing boats with a 360⁰ view of everything going on around me on the water! It's one thing to know about new technology, but even more fun to experience it.

We left the Fish Market reluctantly but had to get to a local side street restaurant for a dinner booking. We all enjoyed a freshly cooked and presented meal, as we discussed the events of the day. We had done many interesting things and were so glad to have made arrangements to visit the Metamorphosis Exhibition - which turned into many more events.

Tomorrow we plan to visit the Museo Cantieristica Monfalcone whilst it is open in the morning, take photographs of the MSC ships in the Fincantieri shipyard from local viewpoints in Monfalcone and then head to Venice to see what we can see.

To be continued...