Wednesday, January 07, 2009

VENUS at anchor in Funchal

Peaceful view of Funchal waterfront in the early 1950s showing VENUS anchored in the bay.
The Pontinha pier had not yet been extended to her present form...
Foto Perestrellos image from the Luís Miguel Correia collection

OSLOFJORD in Madeira

Another view of the Dutch-built motor ship OSLOFJORD of 1949 taken by Foto Figueiras in Funchal, Madeira in the 1950s.
In December 1969 she was chartered with an option to purchase by Costa Armatori, Genova and renamed FULVIA. Repainted white with the traditional Costa yellow and blue-green funnel, the FULVIA operated 10-day summer cruises from Genoa to Madeira and the Canary Islands.
She was lost on one of those cruises on 19 July 1970 while at sea sailing from Funchal to Tenerife. An engine room fire broke out and the ship sunk off Selvagens Islands. Her passengers and crew were rescued by the Paquet flagship ANCERVILLE. Her lifeboats and tenders were towed to Funchal and spent years ashore at the Eastern end of Pontinha pier.
Foto Figueiras photograph - Luís Miguel Correia collection

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

OSLOFJORD at Funchal

The Norwegian America Line passenger liner and cruise ship OSLOFJORD (1949-1970) was a frequent visitor to Madeira while on cruises.
This handsome ship was the early prototype of today's SAGA CRUISES near sisters SAGA ROSE (ex-SAGAFJORD) and SAGA RUBY (ex-VISTAFJORD) as the first of four passenger ships built to the order of NAL after WW2.
She was followed by the BERGENSFJORD of 1956, and then the SAGAFJORD in 1965 and the VISTAFJORD in 1973.
Photograph by Foto Figueiras (Luís Miguel Correia collection)

Saturday, January 03, 2009


The beautiful motor yacht STELLA POLARIS photographed in the Port of Funchal, Madeira island, while cruising in her original ownership by Bergenske, the famous Bergen Line.
Purpose built in Sweden in 1927, the STELLA POLARIS was designed in the same style as her older fleet mate METEOR built in 1904 for HAPAG and sold to the Norwegians after WW1.
Foto Figueiras photograph (Funchal) from the Luís Miguel Correia collection

VENUS in Funchal, Madeira

Another Dixon post card with the reference NO. MDR.36.
The caption on the rear of the card reads "M.S. "Venus" in Port, Funchal, Madeira. Natural Colour Photograph.
VENUS can be seen in her best angle with her elegant, well balanced profile.
Arthur J. Dixon colour post card from the Luís Miguel Correia collection

VENUS in Funchal, Madeira

Some of the best post cards ever published in Madeira were produced by J. Arthur Dixon in the 1950s and 1960s, including five post cards of ships. In this card, with reference MDR 21, the Bergen Line m.s. VENUS can be seen clearly at anchor dressed overall.
Although VENUS was a very beautiful ship in the best traditional Scandinavian design with two funnels, the fore funnel being a dummy, she was not exactly a very good sea boat. Rough passages of the Biscay in and out of Madeira provided her with the unique nickname of VOMITING VENUS...
Arthur J. Dixon colour post card from the Luís Miguel Correia collection

Bergen Line's VENUS

Another view of the VENUS in Madeira. Photograph published by Foto Perestrellos.
In the fifties and sixties Foto Perestrellos had its office at Avenida Arriaga and those post card size photographs were always printed and available for purchase. As a boy I did buy many photos at PTE 1$50, the equivalent of €0,75. Over the years the cost of those post cards increased and in later years photos were no longer available in print for immediate delivery. We had to select the required images from an album. Photos turned more expensive while quality decreased a little.
Foto Perestrellos photograph (Madeira) from the Luís Miguel Correia collection

VENUS in Funchal, Madeira

The famous Bergen Line passenger liner and cruise ship VENUS at anchor in Madeira.
VENUS was of the utmost importance for the development of regular cruising to Madeira after WW2. From 1947 up to 1968 the VENUS cruised extensively between Southampton or Plymouth to Funchal, Madeira on off North Sea season weekly cruises bringing hundreds of tourist to the island. Most passengers traveled on a cruise and stay basis and were transferred by tender directly from the ship at anchor to the Reid's Hotel. When she was withdrawn and sold for scrap in 1968 the service was continued by Fred. Olsen Lines with the then new BLACK WATCH and BLACK PRINCE sisters also on a seasonal service operated between September and early May until 1986. A third ship, the BLENHEIM, was introduced in 1970.
Foto Figueiras (Funchal) photograph from the Luís Miguel Correia collection