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Sitmar Line [Societa Italiana Trasporti Marittimi]

1937 - 1988

Institution: Sitmar Line [Societa Italiana Trasporti Marittimi]
SITMAR began in 1937 when Alexandre Vlasov carried coal in the Mediterranean using two small cargo ships, subsequently lost during WWII. SITMAR was restarted after the war, and slowly assembled a new fleet of passenger and cargo ships.

SITMAR obtained contracts with the International Refugee Organisation (IRO) to take refugees from Europe to Australia and other nations, these contracts ended in 1952.

In 1955 SITMAR won the Australian Government contract to take emigrants from Southhampton to Australia. SITMAR lost this contract in 1970.

After loosing its contracts SITMAR turned to the cruise liner trade.
The company used the name Sitmar Cruises in Australia, and abandoned the passenger liner trade to operate full-time as a cruise liner in 1974.

In July 1988, Sitmar Cruises was purchased by the P&O Group. In Australia, the operation was renamed P&O-Sitmar Cruises, and in 1991 became P&O Holidays.