Luis Miguel Correia of “Ships and the Sea” has revealed former Classic International Cruises ships PRINCESS DANAE and ARION have just been renamed by current owner Portuscalecruises as LISBOA and PORTO.

Undated photo of PRINCESS DANAE
Undated photo of PRINCESS DANAE

Following the demise of  Classic International Cruises (CIC), four of it’s ships were bought from the creditors by 44-year-old entrepreneur Rui Alegre, who is starting a new cruise line.

In November 2012, creditors seized the 1955-built PRINCESS DAPHNE (ex PORT MELBOURNE, DAPHNE, etc.) along with the 1955-built PRINCESS DANAE (ex PORT MELBOURNE, DANAE, etc.), arrested in Marseille along with the 1948-built ATHENA (ex STOCKHOLM, VOLKERFREUNDSCHAFT, etc.), the 1965-built ARION (ex ISTRA, ASTRA, etc.) detained in Montenegro, and the 1960-built FUNCHAL when the Portuguese division of CIC collapsed.

The FUNCHAL remains in Lisbon in the midst of an ongoing refit with renewed plans to return to service soon.

Portuscalecruises Fleet

LISBOA 1955 16,531 tons 532’ x 70’ 568 passengers (ex PORT MELBOURNE THERISOS EXPRESS, DANAE, ANAR, STARLIGHT PRINCESS, BALTICA, PRINCESS DANAE). Rebuilt from a Port Line refrigerated cargo ship PORT MELBOURNE into a cruise ship by Carras Cruises in 1976. Almost destroyed by fire in 1991, the ship was completely refurbished with much of the interior rebuilt.

PORTO 1965 5,888 387’ x 54’ 320 passengers (ex ISTRA, ASTRA, ASTRA I, ARION). Originally built as one of a pair of vessels for the former Yugoslavian State Shipping Company, Jadrolinija. Purchased by Arcalia Shipping in 1999 and completely rebuilt in 2000.

AZORES 1948 16,144 tons 525’ x 69’ feet 552 passengers (ex STOCKHOLM, VOLKERFREUNDSCHAFT, VOLKER, FRIDTJOF NANSEN, ITALIA I, ITALIA PRIMA, VALTUR PRIMA, CARIBE, ATHENA). The oldest large ocean-going cruise ship in operation, originally constructed as a trans-Atlantic liner for the Swedish American Line. Sold to Italian operators in 1989. The ship was completely rebuilt at a reported cost of $150 million in 1994.

FUNCHAL 1961 9,563 tons 507’ x 63’ 471 passengers.


Special thanks to Luis Miguel Correia, Peter Knego and Shawn Dake



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