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Classic International Cruises
(Arcalia Shipping)



These pages are devoted to postcards and photographs of the Classic International Cruises fleet, the operating name for Portuguese ship owners Arcalia Shipping. An alphabetical list of ships covered on this page is shown below. The table below this, gives complete career histories for selected ships. Below the table are postcards of the 2001 fleet in current colours (previously they carried yellow funnels with a blue band).
 
 
Ships on this Page:-
Arion - Classic International: 1999-
Athena - Classic International: 2005-
Funchal - Classic International: 1985-
Ocean Monarch - Classic International Cruises: 2008-
Princess Danae - Classic International: 1996-
Princess Daphne - Classic International Cruises: 2008-
 
Associated Pages:-
Costa Line - Linea "C"
Portuguese Liners
Cruise Ship Postcards
Ocean Liner Postcards -
Simplon Postcards Home Page
 
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Table of Ship Histories
Name
Other names
 Built
 Arion  Istra, Astra, Astra I
 1965
 Athena  Stockholm, Völkerfreundschaft, Italia Prima
 1948
 Funchal  
 1961
 Princess Danae  Port Melbourne, Danae, Baltica, Princess Danae
 1955
 Princess Daphne   Port Sydney, Daphne, Switzerland, Ocean Monarch, Princess Daphne    1955 






Classic International Fleet List
 
 
Funchal
(Classic International: 1985- )
 
Funchal was built for the Portuguese line Empresa Insulana de Navegacao, Lisboa, and was used on the Lisbon-Azores-Madeira route. She was reconditioned as a full time cruise ship in 1973, when her steam turbines were replaced by diesels. Her exterior profile has changed little, with only a small extra deck added over the stern, and large tenders now carried in front of the bridge. Funchal is 9846 grt in size, 501 ft long and carries 402 passengers. She is currently owned by Arcalia Shipping, Panama, and has been marketed as International Cruises and Classic International Cruises.
 
A complete history of Funchal
Additional photos of Funchal at Harwich



The two official Classic International Cruises postcards below of Funchal, released late 2000, show the extended accommodation aft.









Princess Danae
(Classic International: 1996- )
 
The Princess Danae was built in 1955 as the fast cargo liner Port Melbourne (with sister Port Sydney) for Port Line's UK-Australia express service. They had a service speed of 17 knots, faster than most contemporary cargo ships. This made them suitable for conversion to passenger use and in 1972, both ships were sold to John Karras for conversion to car ferries. However, the plans changed, and instead they were completely rebuilt as the up-market cruise ships Danae and Daphne, operated by Delian Cruises on lengthy (and expensive cruises). The venture was not a success, and both ships were offered for charter, Daphne sailing for Lauro Lines amongst others. Both ships were then chartered by Costa Lines, and purchased outright in 1984.
 
In 1990, Danae and Daphne were transferred to Prestige Cruises, a joint venture between Costa and Sovcomflot, receiving new funnel colours. In 1992, Danae was damaged by fire whilst undergoing a refit. The remains were sold for rebuilding, and she served as Baltica in 1994, before becoming Princess Danae for the Lisbon-based company Arcalia Shipping, who now trade as Classic International Cruises, and who also manage the Funchal.
 
A complete history of Princess Danae
Additional photos of Princess Danae at Harwich



A Classic International Cruises official card of Princess Danae.



A Classic International Cruises official card of Princess Danae.



Classic International Cruises official card of Princess Danae.



Classic International Cruises official card of Princess Danae.






Arion
(Classic International: 1999- )
 
Arion was built as the Istra in 1965 by Brodogradiliste Uljanik in Yugoslavia (now Croatia) for Jadranska Linijska Plovidba (the Yugoslav state shipping company). She has a sister Dalmacija, which is still in service in 2007 Adriatic Cruises along the Croatian coast. The sisters operated a long route from Venice calling at numerous Yugoslav, Greek, Lebanese and Egyptian ports, including Piraeus and Dubrovnik in both directions. They were the first large trans-Mediterranean passenger ships to be built in Yugoslavia, and were fitted with enclosed swimming pools. First class cabins all had private facilities and were on the promenade, upper and main decks. The sisters carried 165 first class passengers and 52 tourist class. Twin-screws driven by Sulzer diesels of 7500bhp gave a speed of 18 knots, and stabilisers were fitted from new. They were measured at 5465 grt and were 384ft long.

Istra sailed as Astra from 1991, becoming Astra I in 1997. She remained under the Yugoslav flag and operated on charter to German owners, before eventual purchase by Arcalia shipping of Lisbon in 1999, who renamed her Arion. Current passengers are listed as 312 in 141 cabins, and tonnage is 5888grt.
 
Complete history of Arion




Year 2000-issued Classic International postcards of their 1999 acquisition Arion.



Year 2000-issued Classic International postcards of their 1999 acquisition Arion.



Classic International's cruise ship Arion in winter lay-up in Lisbon.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, Lisbon, 28th October 2003.
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Classic International's cruise ship Arion in winter lay-up in Lisbon.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, Lisbon, 28th October 2003.
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Classic International's cruise ship Arion in winter lay-up in Lisbon.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, Lisbon, 28th October 2003.
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Classic International's cruise ship Arion in winter lay-up in Lisbon.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, Lisbon, 28th October 2003.
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Classic International's cruise ship Arion in winter lay-up in Lisbon.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, Lisbon, 28th October 2003.
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Classic International's cruise ship Arion in winter lay-up in Lisbon.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, Lisbon, 28th October 2003.
Click to open larger image in new window



Arion at Dubrovnik.
Photo: © Neven Jerkovic, 2004.
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Arion at Dubrovnik.
Photo: © Ivo Batricevic, 2004.
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Arion at Dubrovnik.
Photo: © Neven Jerkovic, 2004.
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Arion at Dubrovnik.
Photo: © Ivo Batricevic, 2004.
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Arion at Dubrovnik.
Photo: © Neven Jerkovic, 2004.
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Arion at Dubrovnik.
Photo: © Ivo Batricevic, 2004.
Click to open larger image in new window






Athena
(Classic International: 2005- )
 
Athena was originally the Stockholm (4) of Swedish American Lines.
 
Stockholm (4) was the first post-WW2 liner built for Swedish American, being delivered from Gothenburg builders in 1948. She was the largest passenger ship built in Sweden at that time. Stockholm (4) is most famous for her collision with the Italia Line flagship Andrea Doria, which sank in 1956 off New York. The Stockholm (4) was sold to East German company VEB Deutsche Seerederei in 1960, becoming the Völkerfreundschaft, for use by the Freier Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund (Trades Union). Völkerfreundschaft was sold in 1985 to Neptunus Rex Enterprises, and was laid up in Southampton as the Volker. In 1986 she was renamed Fridtjof Nansen and used as a refugee hostel in Oslo.
 
Star Lauro acquired the ship in 1989 and intended to have her refurbished as the Surriento. She was laid up in Genoa, and renamed Italia I, until sold on to Nina Cia. di Navigazione who completed the refit, transforming the appearance. She was renamed Italia Prima and cruised in the Mediterranean. In 1995, Italia Prima was chartered to Neckermann Seereisen from 1995 until 1998, and then Air Maritim Seereisen (Valtur Tourist) as Valtur Prima until 2001, when a planned series of cruises from Havana, Cuba ran into problems. Valtur Prima remained laid up in Havana. She was next chartered by Festival Cruises, again from Havana. She was renamed Caribe, but Festival Cruises collapsed and the ship remained unused until moved to Lisbon in 2004 for a 10 year charter with Classic International Cruises. After a refit, she entered service as the Athena.
 
Complete history of Athena



Official Classic International postcard of Athena
Scan: Carlos Monteiro - shipsinsulana.planetaclix.pt
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Official Classic International postcard of Athena
Scan: Carlos Monteiro - shipsinsulana.planetaclix.pt
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Athena leaving Harwich
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 27th May 2006
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Athena leaving Harwich
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 9th June 2006
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Athena leaving Harwich
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 9th June 2006
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Ocean Monarch - Princess Daphne
(Classic International Cruises: 2008- )

Each Princess Daphne image links to a larger copy


In 2008 Ocean Monarch was sold to Classic International Cruises, joining her sister Princess Danae. It was announced that she would become the Princess Daphne, but for 2008 continued to run as Ocean Monarch.
 
Complete history of Princess Daphne
Additional photos of Princess Daphne at Dover



Ocean Monarch at Dubrovnik in Classic International colours (Portuguese flag)
Photo: © Ivo Batricevic, September 2008



Ocean Monarch at Dubrovnik in Classic International colours
Photo: © Ivo Batricevic, September 2008



Ocean Monarch at Dubrovnik in Classic International colours
Photo: © Ivo Batricevic, September 2008



Ocean Monarch at Dubrovnik in Classic International colours
Photo: © Ivo Batricevic, September 2008



Ocean Monarch at Dubrovnik in Classic International colours
Photo: © Ivo Batricevic, September 2008



Princess Daphne arriving at Dover on 10th May 2011
Photo: 2011 Ian Boyle
PRINCESS DAPHNE - Photo: 2011 Ian Boyle - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Princess Daphne arriving at Dover on 10th May 2011
Photo: 2011 Ian Boyle
PRINCESS DAPHNE - Photo: 2011 Ian Boyle - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Princess Daphne arriving at Dover on 10th May 2011
Photo: 2011 Ian Boyle
PRINCESS DAPHNE - Photo: 2011 Ian Boyle - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Princess Daphne arriving at Dover on 10th May 2011
Photo: 2011 Ian Boyle
PRINCESS DAPHNE - Photo: 2011 Ian Boyle - www.simplonpc.co.uk









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