Australia, here we come

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The sea route to Australia will be revived in a couple of months’ time when Astor sets out on a 36-night voyage to Perth – arriving in plenty of time for the first Test Match of the winter series.
The 600-passenger ship has been chartered by Cruise & Maritime Voyages for the journey. It will undertake a season of cruises from Fremantle before leaving in April to return to Harwich.
It is visiting Dover today, giving CMV – who also operate Marco Polo and Discovery – an opportunity to show it off to UK media and travel agents.
Fares for that November 5 voyage start from £1,999 (including gratuities), but less conveniently for cricket fans thinking of launching a Barmy Navy to join the Barmy Army of travelling supporters, it will depart from the Italian port of Civitavecchia.
If another company gets its way – and raises the finance – it might not be too long before Astor has some company for voyages Down Under which were once part of the staple diet for P&O and others, taking thousands of “£10 Poms” to start a new life.
Project Orient is hoping to build two ships carrying 1,600 passengers each to ply the route on a regular basis. The plan’s backers have recruited a number of UK cruise industry experts, including former Fred Olsen director Nigel Lingard, who forecasts the first ship could be in operation in 2016 if money can be raised by this winter.
“We are currently talking to potential investors in the Middle East,” he said, adding that the ships’ routes between the UK and Australia could be adapted to call at any home port linked with funding.
Orient’s schedule calls for 25-day voyages to Sydney, with fares from around £2,000. The route could be eastbound via the Suez Canal, or westbound via Panama.
The ships will have a variety of restaurants, a lecture theatre and cinema, and a shopping mall with pop-up stores changing each week.
The company says it has chosen to build rather than charter existing vessels because advances in technology have made new ships faster and up to 43 per cent more fuel-efficient.

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:30+00:00 18 September 2013|Cruise News, Cruise Ships|1 Comment

About the Author:

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

One Comment

  1. Liz downey 26 October 2013 at 12:41 am - Reply

    This is fantastic news, about time someone hopefully is going ahead with this, with the long history of emigration to Australia there are people from all over Europe that would love to visit relatives that settled there, but don’t like flying . Pensioners who have resources and time will certainly welcome this, I have been waiting for this for years and cannot wait and will hopefully one of the first to book my trip return to oz from uk.

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