On 27 September 1932, Rex departed on her catastrophic maiden voyage.
If not for the Titanic tragedy, Rex’s initial journey might be remembered today as the most horrendous maiden voyage ever undertaken by a top tier ocean liner. No lives were lost, but many reputations took a heavy beating during Rex’s debut journey.
Many of the international celebrities boarding Rex in Genoa believed that the new superliner would break Bremen’s transatlantic speed record on her very first crossing. Premier Benito Mussolini, who was on site to wish everyone a bon voyage, certainly believed so.Rex actually could have shattered Bremen’s record had fate not intervened. While still in the Mediterranean, her engines failed. The liner sat in Gibraltar for three days waiting for repairs to be completed. Meanwhile, Italian Line saw passenger after passenger depart the stranded vessel. It was hardly an auspicious start for Il Duce’s dream ship.
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