Marseille has inherited two out of age cruiseships that should go to a museum or more logically to scrapping. They no longer meet the requirements of international conventions on the protection of passengers and crews, and on the protection of the environment (SOLAS and MARPOL Conventions of the International Maritime Organization). In 2011, the average age of passenger ships to be withdrawn from operation was 36 years.
The Athena was built in 1948, she is 64 years old now. She was the subject of a Robin des Bois’s press release on July 25, 2012 (See Alert in the Arctic ). Robin des Bois repeats that the journey of this ship to the Arctic presents considerable risks. Her immobilization in Marseille due to unpaid bills if proof that the Portuguese shipowner does not have the means to properly maintain his ships, or even to pay his crews. Athena, under the name Stockholm, collided with the Italian cruise ship, Andrea Doria, off New York in July 1956 (see photos and records in the press release “Alert in the Arctic”).
Princess Danae, was originally a reefer that was built in 1955 and named Port- Melbourne. She was converted to a passenger ship in the mid 70s. This year she has been sailing between Peru, the Philippines, and Northern Europe. However, her last cruise presented serious risks of loss of lives at sea and for the environment in the Mediterranean.
The Athena and the Princess Danae belong to a Portuguese shipowner and they sail under Portugese flag. Therefore, these two cruise vessels prove that the European Union does not give a good example in controlling cruise ships. It also shows that the disaster of the Costa Concordia has not been followed by a hunt down of rogue shipowners.
The Arion, a third ship belonging to the same owner (Classic International Cruises) has been seized for the same reasons as the Athena and the Princess Danae, in the port of Kotor in Montenegro.