Iconic “Funchal” cruise-ship left high and dry in Lisbon

The iconic “Funchal” cruise-ship, sold so promisingly at auction two years ago for €3.9 million, is back in the doldrums, thanks to a combination of the pandemic and people dreaming possibly to excess.

One of four boats purchased in 2013 with an unsecured bank loan from Montepio by mercurial Portuguese businessman Rui Alegre – once married to Portugal’s ‘richest woman Paula Amorim’ – the noble boat was destined to be turned into a floating fun palace (click here).

But the company that ‘snapped it up’ with dreams of sailing to Ibiza has now gone into administration itself.

After five years waiting for ‘new life’, the boat is very possibly never going to get one.

Says negocionline, its maintenance costs alone run to around €40,000 a month – and these along with the costs of ‘recuperating the ship’, as well as paying for its ‘prolonged immobilisation’ at Matinha docks will very likely mean the next trip will be to the scrapyard.

This is exactly what happened to ‘sister ships’ ‘Porto’ and ‘Lisboa’ and may also be the destiny of fourth cruiseship Astoria, which has been stuck at Tilbury Docks in UK for years, and was due to be towed to Lisbon this autumn.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com