OBITUARY | Vittorio Morace, founder of Italy’s Liberty Lines

Vittorio Morace, founder of Italian ferry company Liberty Lines (Photo: Liberty Lines)

Vittorio Morace, the founder and the former chairman of Italian ferry company Liberty Lines, died earlier this week in Cadiz, Spain, at the age of 81.

Nicknamed “Comandante” (“Commander”), the Naples-born Morace entered the shipowning business in the 1970s with the purchase of his first cargo vessel. Not long after, he was appointed a managing director of Alilauro, which currently specialises in fast ferry services between Naples and Italy’s Gulf Islands.

In the 1980s, Mr Morace relocated to Spain, where he launched a new fast ferry connection with the Canary Islands. In 1993, he founded Ustica Lines – now renamed Liberty Lines – to provide a high-speed vessel link between Sicily and the Italian mainland. The company has since expanded to also provide ferry connections with Greece and Croatia.

Mr Morace returned to Spain in 2016, having handed the management of Liberty Lines over to his son Ettore.

Outside of shipping, Mr Morace also dabbled in professional sports management. He was also well-known in Italy as chairman of the Trapani football club from 2005 to 2018, when the club was sold to local company FM Service.

Baird Maritime

The best maritime site on the web. The sea's our scene!