The classic Portuguese passenger ship FUNCHAL entered the NAVALROCHA Drydock no. 1 on the afternoon of 9 February 2011 for refit and SOLAS upgrade.
FUNCHAL has been in Lisbon since September 2010 and was berthed at the Matinha pier upriver near the old tanker terminal of Cabo Ruivo, now the Parque das Nações marina where conversion work started several months ago. As part of her extensive modernization now underway the FUNCHAL will stay in drydock for about one month and her refit will be concluded next July.
Photographs of FUNCHAL moving downriver to the NAVALROCHA yard taken today, 9 February. FUNCHAL is the last traditional Portuguese passenger ship, all her former fleetmates having been scrapped. She was built at Elsinore for Empresa Insulana and entered service in November 1961. In 1972-73 she was converted for full-time cruising in Amsterdam, where the original steam turbines were replaced by more economical Diesel engines. In August 1985 she was purchased by the Great Warwick Company, Inc., and has been managed by Mr. George Potamianos ever since with considerable success.
The bold decision to invest 12 million Euros to upgrade an already 50-year old cruise ship was taken by Mr. Potamianos considering her excellent structural condition and because she is very economical to operate. With most of the remaining classic cruise ships being scrapped these days, it was considered that there is still a market for small older classic passenger ships to cruise worldwide, so let's wish every success for FUNCHAL and her Classic International Cruises fleetmates.
Last but not the least, the FUNCHAL is still sailing under her original name and Portuguese flag...
Texto e imagens /Text and images copyright L.M.Correia. For other posts and images, check our archive at the right column of the main page. Click on the photos to see them enlarged. Thanks for your visit and comments. Luís Miguel Correia