Friday, August 19, 2011

FUNCHAL original first class public rooms

When introduced fifty years ago, the Portuguese liner FUNCHAL was a magnificent small passenger ship. Today she is still afloat and getting a 20 million USD life extension refit. She is a credit to her builders, the Elsinore Shipyard in Denmark, and her designer, a great Portuguese naval architect , Admiral Rogério de Oliveira.
FUNCHAL had very comfortable and modern facilities for 80 first class passengers: from top to bottom, the First class lounge, now the Gama lounge, the First class bar, now the Oporto Bar (whose wodden counter is still on board and preserved for future use) and the beautiful stairs that were doomed by SOLAS 1997.
Back to FUNCHAL's naval architect, Admiral Rogério de Oliveira is a brilliant ship designer. He did the designs of PRINCIPE PERFEITO, FUNCHAL, PONTA DELGADA as well as very successful naval ships, cargo ships, trawlers and tugs... He turned forty on board FUNCHAL on 15 October 1961, on the same day the liner left Elsinore on her stormy delivery voyage to Lisbon (arrived 19 October 61). He is still hard at work in his office at 8.00 AM every day and turns ninety on next October 15. What a brilliant man...
Looking into the photos I wish FUNCHAL interiors could be fitted as built again. The original scandinavian designed furniture is long gone. Former passengers still talk of her black and red leather sofas of timeless beauty.

Texto e imagens /Text and images copyright L.M.Correia. Favor não piratear. Respeite o meu trabalho / No piracy, please. 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
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