ASTOR’s near sister SAGA PEARL II (ex ASTOR of 1981) and CMV’s MARCO POLO (right) in a somewhat prescient pairing at Belfast in April 2012. Photo and copyright Peter Knego.
Cruise and Maritime Voyages (CMV), operator of the classic 800-passenger MARCO POLO (ex ALEXANDR PUSHKIN) and co-operator (in tandem with Voyages of Discovery) of the 700-passenger DISCOVERY (ex ISLAND PRINCESS ) will be expanding with a three year seasonal charter of the 20,606 gt MV ASTOR. The 600-passenger vessel will embark on twice-yearly voyages between the UK, South Africa and Australia, in addition to summer cruises from Australia. The ship will be based in Fremantle commencing December 12, 2013.
With seven passenger decks, indoor and outdoor pools, jogging track and spa, ASTOR was built in 1987 as a five star luxury cruise ship and was most recently upgraded in 2010 at a cost of $22 million. She is also marketed for summer cruising in the German market by Munich-based Premicon.CMV.
For an idea what cruising with CMV is like, click here for the first of four Sea Treks blogs about MARCO POLO’s Maritime Heritage Cruise in April of 2012.