CMV take Astor to Australia

//CMV take Astor to Australia

Astor1.jpgCruise & Maritime Voyages, the UK-based company which operates Marco Polo, and this year takes over the running of mv Discovery, is going Down Under.
The cruise line is to charter the 600-passenger Astor to operate twice-yearly voyages ocean voyages between Britain and Australia, and a season of cruises based in Fremantle, Western Australia.
Astor, currently catering for the German market and managed by the Munich-based Premicon, will be chartered to join the CMV fleet from November this year. Built in 1987, the ship was originally sold in Britain as a five-star “soft adventure” product.
Since then the vessel has had a number of refits, including a £14 million upgrade in 2010. There are 289 cabins, including 42 suites, and more than two-thirds of the accommodation has sea views. It has a three restaurants, a theatre, and a number of bars. If its profile (above) looks familiar, that may be because it’s a big sister to the ship now sailing as Quest for Adventure, and shortly to revert to the name Saga Pearl II.
Douglas Ward, editor of the Berlitz Guide to Cruising, describes Astor as “a good mix of traditional and modern styling, with restful decor that doesn’t jar the senses in any way,” adding: “There is an excellent amount of open deck and sunbathing space.”
CMV commercial director Chris Coates said today: “Astor is indeed a beautiful ocean-going vessel with a proud heritage and we are delighted that Astor will be part of our international development plans as we establish a strong presence on the Australasian cruise market.
“We believe that Astor will become a firm favourite alongside Marco Polo and Discovery and a perfect match for the mid-sized more traditional business model we have developed since CMV’s launch in 2009.
“Despite the continued growth of mega resort-style mass market vessels, the success and growing interest in CMV demonstrates that this niche sector has a significant role to play not only in the UK but also in the wider international English-speaking markets and global arena.”
Astor’s inaugural voyage in CMV colours will leave from Civitavecchia on November 5 for a 36-night sailing to Fremantle via the Suez Canal, Jordan, Oman, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Singapore and Bali. The ship will leave Fremantle on April 1, 2014, headed for Harwich, and travelling for 40 nights via Mauritius, South Africa, St Helena, Ascension, Cape Verde, the Canaries and Portugal.
A 35-night circumnavigation of Australia next February visits Kangaroo Island, Adelaide, Hobart and Port Arthur (Tasmania), Melbourne, Eden for Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, Bali, Lombok, Komodo Island, and Broome. A 24-night Far East Delights cruise in March 2014 calls at Singapore, Port Klang for Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi, Straits of Malacca, Phuket, Phi Phi Islands, Penang and Bali.
CMV is opening a dedicated sales office in Sydney, and will issue a brochure next month featuring Astor’s voyages through to 2015. Full details will also be available on Fares start at £2,399 for the inaugural 36-night southbound voyage.

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:39+00:00 6 February 2013|Cruise News|0 Comments

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

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