MAGELLAN A New British Explorer Of The Oceans

MAGELLAN a new British explorer of the oceans

By Peter Newall

All images copyright Peter Newall.


The British-based Cruise & Maritime Voyages celebrated the arrival of its new 46,053gt, 1,250-capacity, flagship MAGELLAN at a glittering event held aboard the ship on March 12 at the London Cruise Terminal, Tilbury. She was named by the well-known TV and radio personality Gloria Hunniford. The Gala Launch Dinner was followed by a spectacular firework display mid-Thames during which time the river was closed to traffic for fifteen minutes.

Gloria Hunniford


The thirty-year-old MAGELLAN started life in 1985 as Carnival Cruise Lines’ HOLIDAY and was one of the most significant ships in Carnival’s history. Built at the Danish shipyard Aalborg Værft her design influenced the next ten Carnival cruise ships. These features included a double-deck-high show lounge, twin dining rooms either side of the main galley, a single promenade linking the main public rooms and all the public spaces above the passenger accommodation, apart from fourteen balcony suites on the boat deck. She was designed for world-wide cruises with particular emphasis on 17-day and 7-day cruises. Although her cruising speed is now 15-16 knots she achieved 22 knots on her trials.

In 2010 HOLIDAY was transferred to the Carnival Corporation’s Spanish subsidiary Iberocrucero and was renamed GRAND HOLIDAY. She underwent a major refurbishment for her new role. Out went the Joe Farcus trademark interiors and in came a stylish design which has transformed the ship from a vessel designed to appeal to middle-Americans to a sophisticated European cruise ship. Earlier this year she was sold to Global Maritime Group Inc. and renamed MAGELLAN.

MAGELLAN, courtesy CMV
MAGELLAN, courtesy CMV

MAGELLAN has eight passenger decks and the single-deck Main Reception Lobby is situated on Deck 5 just forward of amidships. It is shaped to guide passengers to the two main stairwells and at its centre is a light sculpture which illuminates the glazed ceiling giving an impression of a much larger space. It also sets the tone for MAGELLAN’s modern and stylish interiors.


The real delight about the ship is not only the décor but also the amount of space and ease of passenger flow. Here are the main public rooms on Deck 9 which are linked by The Mall, a promenade which runs along most of the starboard side of the ship.

The Mall


The Captain’s Club with its sweeping, curved dance floor.
The Captain’s Club with its sweeping, curved dance floor.
Sinatra’s Lounge Bar with its comfortable tub chairs.
Sinatra’s Lounge Bar with its comfortable tub chairs.
The 1960s-look Scott’s Nightclub.
The 1960s-look Scott’s Nightclub.
Magellan Main Show Lounge
Magellan Main Show Lounge

At the forward end is the two-deck-high, 793-capacity Magellan Main Show Lounge with its enormous stage.

The two main restaurants are on Deck 8 and both have large windows and a raised centre section so that all diners can enjoy sea views.

Waldorf Restaurant
Waldorf Restaurant

The 514-seater Waldorf Restaurant is aft of the main galley.

Kensington Restaurant
Kensington Restaurant

The smaller 344-seater Kensington Restaurant, forward of the main galley, has an unusual athwart ship arch with rectangular light recesses.

Hamptons port_Magellan_PeterNewall

Hamtons Star_Magellan_PeterNewall

Forward of the Kensington Restaurant are the two quirkily-designed Hampton’s Lounge Bars. The one on the portside has a wall of wine bottles whilst the starboard side bar has a faux-bookcase wall.


The cabins are tastefully fitted out and even the inside ones are quite large.

Apart from the trademark gull wing funnel the only reminders of the ship’s Carnival past can be found on the aft stairwell landings. These are a series of glazed ceramic panels by Helen Webber who is a well-known San Francisco artist. They mainly depict American holiday destinations such as California and the Mississippi River. A reclining mermaid can be found on the Deck 9 landing for the Jade Wellness Centre which was originally the Farcus-inspired Blue Lagoon Lounge.

Webber_Magellan_PeterNewall panel

The main pool areas are on Deck 10 with a main pool amidships and a circular pool aft. Between the two pools is the Raffles Bistro.

Main Pool_Magellan_PeterNewall


The amount of deck space is amazing for a ship of this size and almost all of it is Burmese teak!


First impressions of MAGELLAN have been very positive and it is hoped that she will become as popular as her classic CMV running mates ASTOR, MARCO POLO and AZORES. See for more details.

Peter Newall

Peter Newall

A well-known shipping writer, cruise journalist and cruise ship lecturer,
Peter Newall is a former British Airways executive who has, in the past 57
years, visited and travelled on many famous ships.  As well as numerous
articles he has written nine highly acclaimed books including the
definitive histories of Union-Castle, Orient and Cunard Line.  He also owns
the Newall Dunn Collection, the extensive collection of historic merchant
shipping images.
Peter Newall