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PRINCESS DANAE (1955/16531grt/IMO 5282483, ex-BALTICA, STARLIGHT EXPRESS, ANAR, DANAE, THERISSOS EXPRESS, PORT MELBOURNE. Renamed LISBOA in 2013 by new owners Portuscalecruises), made her first call at Auckland, New Zealand for nearly twenty years when she sailed in from Rarotonga on the evening of 9 March 2010. 

She last visited Auckland on 5 February 1991 and prior to that, eight times between 31 August 1955 and 18 December 1971 in her original name PORT MELBOURNE.

She was built at Harland and Wolff's Belfast yards in 1955 as Port Line's fast cargo-liner PORT MELBOURNE for Port Line's express UK-Australia service.
PORT MELBOURNE and her sister ship PORT SYDNEY were both destined for conversion to car ferries in 1972 by their then Greek owner John Karras.
Both escaped conversion and were instead completely rebuilt as the upmarket cruiseships Danae and Daphne respectively, their owners Dalian cruises operating them on very expensive itineraries.

When this operation was wound up DAPHNE spent a brief period during 1978/9 under charter to Lauro Lines before being chartered and subsequently being purchased outright by Costa Cruises.

DANAE, while under refit caught fire suffering extensive damage following which her charred remains were sold.

A complete rebuild commenced which saw her emerge as the cruiseship BALTICA the name under which she sailed from 1994.

Subsequently renamed PRINCESS DANAE and sailing in the late 1990's under a Panamanian flag, her then new owners Arcalia Shipping were in fact based in Lisbon, Portugal.

Arcalia, now trade as Classic International Cruises and have since re-registered PRINCESS DANAE, the ship now flying the Portuguese flag. 

Scrapped at Aliaga in 2015.

NOTE: Thanks must go to Ian Boyle creator of the wonderful website www.simplonpc.co.uk for providing much of the information herein.
 9 March 2010. Photo by SeapixOnline.com/Trevor Coppock
 

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