Classic cruise ships ‘arrested’

//Classic cruise ships ‘arrested’

The future of Classic International Cruises is in doubt following the “arrest” of three of its four ships for alleged non-payment of fuel bills and crew wages.
Their oldest ship, the 64-year-old Athena, was seized in Marseille at the weekend, together with Princess Danae – which was held briefly last month in Dublin over a fuel bill for £60,000. A third ship, Arion, has been detained in Kotor, Montenegro, although CIC’s Princess Daphne continues to operate under charter to a German cruise company.
The 16,000-ton Athena was chartered to Belgian company AllWays and its passengers returned home by plane and train after their cruise was brought to an end. There were only 286 on board the ship, about half its passenger capacity. Princess Danae, built in 1955, carries 568 passengers.
Each ship has about 250 crew, who are believed to be still on board.
George Potamianos, the founder of CIC, died in his adopted home of Lisbon in May this year and control of the company transferred to his twin sons, Alexandros and Emilios. Some reports suggest they have inherited a “situation of financial chaos” and it now seems likely the company’s bankers have decided it is time to call in their debts.
Athena operates in Australia from December to April. The ship is scheduled to leave from Marseille on November 12 for a 36-night voyage to Fremantle. It should leave Western Australia on April 15 for a 40-night voyage to Portsmouth.
A spokesperson for Classic International Cruises’ Australian office would not comment on the ship’s seizure, insisting that “all Australian programmes and itineraries are proceeding as planned,” and maintaining that – contrary to police reports – Athena was currently undergoing a scheduled drydock in Marseille.

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:43+00:00 19 September 2012|Cruise News|1 Comment

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

One Comment

  1. penny 19 October 2012 at 10:01 am - Reply

    I’m booked on the southbound voyage to Fremantle. Not sure whether to book my flight to Marseille….. If the trip is cancelled, any idea how soon they will do it? The Athena is a wonderful old ship, I have done the long voyage twice already and enjoyed every minute.

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