The Lloyd Triestino Trio
Austrian Lloyd was founded as an insurance company in 1833 and when Trieste became part of Italy in 1919 the company name was changed to Lloyd Triestino. A shipping section was established in 1936, and Lloyd Triestino became one of the world's biggest shipping companies.
After World War II Lloyd Triestino re-established its Australian service with existing ships and began a rebuilding programme ordering seven new liners. Of these new liners three were for the Australian service, launched in 1950 these three ships became known as the Treistino Trio.
The first to be built was the Australia launched on 21 May 1950, departing Trieste on 19 April 1951 and arriving in Melbourne on 17 May. The second ship Oceania launched on 30 July 1950, departed Genoa for its maiden voyage on 18 August 1951.The third, Neptunia, launched on 1 October 1950, departing on its maiden voyage on 14 September 1951 and arriving in Brisbane on 18 October.
In 1958 all three ships were withdrawn from service for a refit – air-conditioning was extended throughout the entire ship and accommodation altered to be suitable for 136 first class passengers and 536 tourist class passengers. From October 1960 Neptunia began operating as a single tourist-class ship; however the Australia and Oceania were not altered in this way.
In 1960 Lloyd Triestino placed orders for two new liners which would be twice the size of the existing Australian fleet and were built to replace the Triestino Trio. When these new ships entered the trade in 1963, Australia, Oceania and Neptunia were withdrawn from the Australian trade and transferred to the Italia line. The Australia was renamed the Donizetti, Oceania renamed Rossini and Neptunia renamed Verdi.
The Triestino Trio had all emerged from the same shipyard in the 1950s and spent their entire careers operating together; they ended their careers in La Spezia, Italy within months of each other. Donizetti and Rossini were laid up in late 1976 joined by Verdi in January of 1977. All three ships were offered for sale with Donizetti and Verdi purchased by shipbreakers in June 1977. Rossini was moved to another Italian company, Tirrenia, but with no use for her she was also sold to shipbreakers in September 1977.