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The Sinking of the Andrea Doria – A Firsthand Account

October 22 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


The RMS Titanic was not the only luxury transatlantic ocean liner to suggest ‘largest, fastest, safest… and yes, unsinkable’. The SS Andrea Doria was a flagship of the Italian Line (Società di navigazione Italia) put into service in 1953, only to face a similar fate of the Titanic just 3 years later. The NYC-bound ship collided with another, the Stockholm, off the coast of Nantucket, and while it immediately started to take on water, it stayed afloat for 11 hours on its side. This fortune along with the calm, appropriate behavior of the crew, improvements in communications, and the rapid response of other ships culminated in a remarkably successful rescue of 1,660 of the 1,706 passengers and crew, thus averting the scale of tragedy from that of the Titanic in 1912. Join us in this not-to-be-missed audience with Julia Hansen, a passenger aboard the Andrea Doria in 1956, to hear first hand about this incredible survival story and the dynamic life and pursuits she’s led since.

About the Andrea Doria

Measuring some 697 feet (212 meters) in length, it could carry approximately 1,240 passengers and 560 crew members. The liner was noted for its luxuries, which included three outdoor swimming pools and numerous works of art. In addition, the ship was equipped with notable safety features, such as 11 watertight compartments as well as radar, which was then a relatively new technology. On January 14, 1953, the Andrea Doria set sail on its maiden voyage, traveling from Genoa, Italy, to New York City. The liner proved highly popular and subsequently made numerous other Atlantic crossings.

The Italian passenger liner that sank on July 25–26, 1956, after colliding with the Stockholm off the coast of Nantucket in the Atlantic Ocean. The maritime disaster resulted in the deaths of 51 people—46 from the Andrea Doria and 5 from the Stockholm.

About Julia Hansen

Julia Hansen survived the famous shipwreck of the transatlantic passenger vessel, Andrea Doria, in 1956. Julia was originally on Wall Street. Ultimately, she was able to pursue her passion for theater as head of the Drama League of NY where she founded the Directors Project. Alumni include such outstanding directors as Christopher Ashley, Artistic Director of the La Jolla Playhouse, James Bundy, Dean of the Yale School of Drama and Artistic Director of the Yale Repertory Theater, and Diane Paulus, Artistic Director of the American Repertory Theater at Harvard University. Next, she founded Theater Masters to help emerging playwrights. Her most recent program, JNS Theater for Social Change, uses playwriting to look at current critical topics. Students learn how to write a short play, thereby, having to defend more than one side of an issue to make it compelling. This program presently is at The University of Nebraska and Ohio State University. A Vassar graduate, Julia loves being in Aspen, New York, London, Nantucket and Palm Beach. She has a global web of friends from her far-reaching interests and activities therein, most notably the theatre. She has spoken at The Society for the Four Arts in Palm Beach, the English Speaking Union in New Orleans, the Somerset Club in Boston, The Colony Club in New York and the Arts Club in Chicago.


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CLS Member
The Sinking of the Andrea Doria - A Firsthand Account
$ 10.00
119 available
General Admission
The Sinking of the Andrea Doria - A Firsthand Account
$ 10.00
125 available


October 22
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm