The rebuilding of the Portuguese cruise ship FUNCHAL is moving on with the ship tied up at the Matinha Pier, a far off jetty in the port of Lisbon once used by tankers. Her return to service has been postponed until late March 2012 with another extensive dry-dock period at the NAVALROCHA yard in February.
Taking all the care of a unique 50-year old girl is no simple task but is exactly what FUNCHAL's dedicated owner since 1985, Mr. George Potamianos is doing. And he is doing it well as I have been able to check with regular visits onboard the FUNCHAL. This is also a costly matter of love and the invoice is up to €16 million to cover the never ending demands of SOLAS 2010 which seems to have been designed to have all those remaining classic old passenger ships removed from the market.
One such ship broken up in China last year was the SAGA ROSE. "The SAGA ROSE was a most beautiful passenger ship and we did consider seriously to purchase her, but the costs involved with her SOLAS upgrade were very, very high" so told me Mr. Potamianos last week on board the FUNCHAL.
So FUNCHAL is in fact a lucky ship, still afloat under her original name and flag since 1961. We all look forward to her first cruise in late March 2012 from Lisbon to Madeira just the same as her maiden voyage in November 1961...
Photos of FUNCHAL alongside Matinha on 7 August 2011.
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