Liberty Lines was established in 1993 under the name of Ustica Lines by the Captain Vittorio Morace who, following important professional experiences in the main Italian shipowning groups, decided to found Ustica Lines with the aim of combining what the sea has separate, the islands.
Thus was born, with a single hydrofoil, the fast shipping company Ustica Lines which, choosing the best collaborators, equipping itself with avant-garde ships, seizing promising market opportunities and being able to count on the constant support of its customers who have shown that they appreciate its services, has been able to develop and renew itself, reaching the world record in the fast transport of passengers on the sea.
In 2016, following the acquisition of the shipping company Siremar – Compagnia delle Isole and Traghetti delle Isole, Ustica Lines changed its name to Liberty Lines and assumed the current operational structure which sees it manage a fleet of over 30 fast vessels (between Hydrofoils, Catamarans and Monohulls) with which it is able to guarantee a fast and reliable service to over 3 million passengers who choose to travel every year between Italy, Croatia, Slovenia as well as Sicily and smaller islands.
Liberty Lines today is a modernly organized company, the sixteenth shipping company in Italy by turnover, the first in the world in the fast maritime transport of passengers, the only one in the world to have a shipyard that carries out the work exclusively on its own means.
The Company, which has maintained its headquarters in Trapani, relies on the cooperation of more than 600 employees and is the trustee of public transport agreements that have been promoted by the Sicilian Region, the Friuli-Venezia Giulia Region and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Sustainable Mobility to ensure passenger transport even in economically disadvantaged market conditions.
It all starts with Vittorio Morace
The history of Liberty Lines begins with the foundation in 1993 of “Ustica Lines” by the Commander Vittorio Morace, a Neapolitan shipowner who, following decades of experience in the shipping world, decides to undertake a new ambitious and innovative project. The entire fleet consists of a single hydrofoil and the company connects only the ports of Naples, Ustica, Favignana, Trapani, Pantelleria and Kelibia, in Tunisia.
Sea transport for passengers with fast naval units expands
The newborn company immediately seized new market opportunities and expanded rapidly by creating new connections and acquiring new naval units: in 1995 it inaugurated the Lampedusa-Linosa route, subsequently the Trapani-Egadi Islands line.
The investment for the construction of new naval vessels
Attention to the quality of the shipping, innovation, and attention to the safety and comfort of passengers lead the company to invest in the construction of new naval vessels. The company thus acquired 33% of the share package of the Rodriquez shipyard in Messina, where five HSC hydrofoils were built from 1997 to 2003. These were absolutely innovative units for the time which allowed Liberty Lines to become the point of reference on the international scene for fast naval transport.
Entry into the international market: landing in Spain
The Canary Islands launch the first world tender for fast passenger transport and choose the quality of Ustica Lines. In the same year, the company won the European tender, called by the Sicilian Region, for connections with the Egadi Islands and Ustica and for the Trapani-Pantelleria line.
New goals and new routes to continue to grow and innovate
This period is marked by the inauguration of several new lines between Sicily and the Pelagie Islands, subsequently the fleet of the Snav company is acquired which is used for the connections of the Aeolian Islands and the connections with Messina, Milazzo, Palermo and Naples are also inaugurated.
In 2010, together with RFI (Gruppo Ferrovie dello Stato), with which in 2008 it set up the Metromare dello Stretto Consortium, Liberty Lines won the tender for the fast maritime connection for passengers between Messina, Reggio Calabria and Villa San Giovanni.
Liberty Lines is born
In 2016 Ustica Lines becomes the protagonist of two very important acquisitions that will have the effect of doubling the size of the company and determining its rebranding into Liberty Lines, in honor of the name of the first ship that Commander Morace purchased at the beginning of his entrepreneurial adventure.
From the acquisition of the shipping company Siremar – Compagnia delle Isole (formerly Tirrenia Group) and at the same time of 50.9% of Traghetti delle Isole, a shipping company that operates services for the smaller islands of Western Sicily, in fact, a shipping group was born which obtained the primacy, worldwide, in the fast maritime transport of passengers.
Puglia in Italy and Greece: new destinations
In 2017 Liberty Lines is present in Puglia with fast connections between Italy and Greece made through transport lines established between Otranto, Corfu and Paxos.
Trieste and the Istrian coast: the new tender
Liberty Lines won the three-year tender for the maritime connection from Trieste to the neighboring republics of Slovenia and Croatia organized by the Autonomous Region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia.
Stability and sustainability
In December 2022, Liberty Lines was awarded the new five-year tender promoted by the Sicilian Region for connections between Sicily and the Aeolian, Egadi, Pantelleria, Pelagie and Ustica which provides for over one hundred thousand departures a year until the end of 2028 and also , with the aim of a rapid renewal of its fleet in terms of efficiency and sustainability, has commissioned the construction of twelve new high-speed hybrid ships which will have revolutionary characteristics and which will guarantee significant benefits to the territories in which they will operate.
Deep roots and a look to the future
2023 will be a very important year for Liberty Lines because, in addition to celebrating its thirtieth birthday, the company will be able to welcome the advent of the first of the new generation hybrid fast ships which will guarantee a reduction in C02 emissions of around 30 % and NOx by about 80% compared to similar units currently in operation.
These new ships will in fact be able to navigate in fully electric mode near ports, therefore without emitting noise and fumes and to subsequently recharge the battery while navigating in the open sea. In doing so, the company will make its tangible contribution to safeguarding the very delicate ecosystems of its destinations while continuing to guarantee a fast and efficient transport service.
The code of ethics
The Liberty Lines Code of Ethics brings together the set of values that we recognise, accept and share, and the responsibilities that we assume both within our organization and towards external stakeholders for the proper functioning, reliability and reputation of the company , factors that constitute a decisive asset for the success of the company.
Liberty Lines S.p.A. aware of the social and economic mandate entrusted to it by law, it offers its passengers the best possible level of quality and safety. This commitment takes the form of an integrated Management System for Quality and safety referring to the UNI EN-ISO standards 9001:2015 and UNI EN-ISO 45001:2018 and for an anti-corruption system referring to the UNI EN-ISO standard 37001:2016 designed to promote an organizational culture inspired by the principles of integrity, compliance and transparency, with the main objective of “zero tolerance”.