Following the withdrawal of Funchal from direct operation due to poor advance bookings, it now seems that Portuscale Cruises has ceased to be a cruise operator at all. Funchal is now available for charter and it would be a great shame if this 1961-built ship is just left to rot after the great expense incurred in refitting her to a very high standard. Portuscale has a medium-term charterer for Azores in Cruise and Maritime Voyages, but the little 1965-built Arion has not yet come back into service following her refit.

That just leaves Lisboa, the 1970s conversion of the Port Line passenger and cargo ship Port Melbourne, which has recently been sold for breaking at Aliaga in Turkey. Built in 1955, this 16,531gt vessel served Port Line until 1971, by when the company was part of Trafalgar House Investments.

She was sold to Greek owners for conversion into a car ferry, but that never happened and instead she was converted into a cruise ship, becoming Danae. She had a variety of subsequent names and became Princess Danae for Classic International Cruises in 1996, and then became Portuscale’s Lisboa.


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