All five former ships of Classic International Cruises will be back in cruise service in the near future.
FUNCHAL saw her refit resumed as soon as new owners finished purchase of the ships from bank Montepio Geral.
Four owning companies have been set up in MaDEIRA Island, Portugal, on 11 January, each one to take ownership of a single ship. Meanwhile a new cruise management company called PORTUSCALE CRUISES has been established on 27 February and an office has opened already in downtown Lisbon with several former staff of CIC back at work.
ARION which had been detained last September in Kotor and later moved to nearby Montenegro port of Bar was realeased in March and left Bar on 9 March sailig for Lisbon with a crew of 22 men. She arrived Lisbon on 15 March and a refit is due to start this week in Lisbon.
Captain Filipe who brought ARION home is now on his way to Marseilles to bring ATHENA to Lisbon as soon as possible and PRINCESS DANAE also has already a Portuguese crew onboard and is due in Lisbon soon.
ATHENA is already contracted for a season of charter cruising from the Black Sea for the Russian market under the name ASTORIA. She will operate in the Black Sea and Mediterranean (East Med and the Adriatic) from July until late November.
New owner Mr. Rui Alegre is considering to rename all ships with Portuguese names except FUNCHAL. So let's wait and see how things evolve, but so far it could not have been better news four this group of classics.
Mr. George Potamianos sons, Emilios and Alexander Potamianos kept the PRINCESS DAPHNE under their own ownership and they got the ship also from bank Montepio free of debts, so let's see if they will be able to follow their Father footsteps and are able to develop their business the way George Potamiaos did after he purchased FUNCHAL in Lisbon in August 1985.
Luís Miguel Correiahttp://lmcshipsandthesea.blogspot.com