Published: January 6, 2021 - 12:01 AM
Artists Rendering of the Funchal in the proposed Signature Living Livery.
Signature Living, a Liverpool based hotel operator, has exclusive rights to CW Kellock & Co shipbrokers to conduct a private auction of a veteran Portuguese cruise-ship Funchal. The auction is expected to happen at the broker's London office on January 29, 2021.
The 9,600 ton Funchal was intended to operate party cruises between British ports and Ibiza. A video released by Signature Living shows a fully renovated Funchal modified to provide an outdoor oasis of deck spaces, bars, pools, lounge chairs and vibrant outdoor spaces. Signature Living branded the Funchal as the world's ultimate beach club,
Signature Living had placed the Funchal on the open market over a year ago due to cash flow issues. Not finding any tenders at the asking price of $4.7 million dollars, the ship has been sitting idle in Lisbon Portugal. The asking price is very close to what Signature Living paid for the ship at auction in December 2018.
The January 2021 auction has been driven by a number of factors including the COVID-19 outbreak, a shortage of cash, larger than expected renovation costs to achieve their vision, new COVID prevention methods; expected multi-year slump in the cruise industry along with poor earning from their land based hotel and a restructuring of the company due to entering administration.
Funchal as Originally Built for Portuguese state-owned shipping company Empresa Insulana de Navegacao
The ship was built by Danish shipbuilder Helsingor Skibsvaerft for Portuguese state-owned shipping company Empresa Insulana de Navegacao in 1961 to operate liner services and worldwide cruises. The Funchal has a capacity of 500 guests. The ship is rich in history serving as the Portuguese President Thomas' private yacht on several occasions when visiting the Azores, Madeira,
It is expected that based on the current state of the cruise industry, the amount of ships on the market and low demand, that ship scrappers will most-likely be the winning bidders.
Copyright NYCRUISINFO.com (c) 2020