I made my annual winter break to Madeira, one of my favourite islands, at the beginning of March this year. Our lodgings were at the fine Miramar Hotel overlooking the busy harbour at Funchal.
As is my want, I spent a considerable time around the harbour viewing the constant stream of visiting cruise ships which greatly boost the local economy.
Now I am sure that many of these cruise ships are palaces of luxury, good taste, great leisure facilities, fine food etc, but visually externally they are impressive only in their scale. Compared to the cruise liners of yesteryear, today’s cruise ships fall short in the beauty and elegance stakes – many indeed resemble floating apartment blocks fitted with engines. I am sure the designs owe much to economics and optimising revenue, but would it not be great if owners/naval architects also considered the external appearance and visual appeal of the ships they help create.
In the time I was in Funchal, the most elegant vessel I saw was the small Ro/Pax ferry Lobo Marinho which operates on a route between Funchal and Port Santo Island. She is a smart looking vessel maintained in excellent condition by her onboard teams.