Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) has announced the acquisition of two more cruise ships to join its expanding ocean fleet – increasing to eight cruise ships in 2021.
The independently owned CMV Group will take delivery of P&O Australia’s Pacific Dawn and Pacific Aria in Singapore on 2 March and 2 May 2021 respectively, increasing CMV’s capacity to 9,000 berths and an increase in passenger capacity by 30% in 2021.
The duo will be officially re-named in mid-2021, following dry docking in Singapore where some minor upgrades will be completed, and the ships’ livery updated. The vessels will then embark on maiden positioning voyages via the Suez Canal to Northern Europe.
Pacific Dawn (to be renamed) at 70,285grt, with 798 passenger cabins and carrying around 1,400 passengers, will be deployed to the UK market in late May 2021, bolstering much-needed capacity and cruising year-round alongside Columbus ex-London Tilbury.
Pacific Aria (to be renamed) at 55,819grt, with 630 passenger cabins and carrying around 1,100 passengers, will be deployed to the German market under the TransOcean Kreuzfahrten brand with a much-needed increase in capacity, cruising alongside Vasco da Gama and replacing the 580 passenger Astor. Astor is being re-named Jules Verne and will be re-deployed to the French market in May 2021.
CEO Christian Verhounig commented, “The introduction of two more ships to the global ocean fleet is the next exciting chapter of our strategic growth objectives. This will enable us to service increasing market demand for our traditional brand of cruising, generated by our expanding international network of in-house sales offices and developing source markets. We have now acquired five cruise ships in just five years and are firmly on course in carrying 200,000 passengers in 2021.”
The new ship names will be unveiled later in December 2019 under CMV’s explorer theme, providing a more traditional cruise experience that can access harder-to-reach ports.
Chris Coates, Group Commercial Director, added, “As the CMV brand continues to evolve, the growing popularity of our traditional product, classic ships and destination-focused cruise programs has encouraged us to accelerate plans to add capacity to the two top European cruise markets in the UK and Germany, which represent 85% of our business.
“These two fine cruise ships perfectly complement our existing fleet, providing trade partners and consumers alike with much needed extra capacity. For 2020, we expect close to 70% of capacity to be sold by the year end, in line with expectations. This provides an ideal platform for the early introduction of new tonnage and opportunities for 2021.”
CMV Australia’s Managing Director, Dean Brazier, welcomed the announcement. “Our newest ship, Vasco da Gama, will arrive to Australian shores for the first time with CMV this Sunday.
“As with Vasco da Gama, the two new ships joining our global fleet are a perfect example of the strong growth and strategic direction of Cruise & Maritime Voyages. They will enable us to meet the growing demand for travel aboard traditional, smaller vessels, as we have seen in Australasia.
“The growth of our global group is good news for all, providing more opportunities for new itineraries, and more options for Australians to book international cruises, for which we have seen a massive increase over the past year. Cruise & Maritime Voyages is really carving a niche as a cruise line offering traditional, quality cruising on small to mid-sized ships at a competitive price point.
“We look forward to building on our success in Australasia, and to introducing even more guests to what we believe is an exceptional and memorable travel offering.”
CMV Australia’s National Sales Manager, Darren Chigwidden, said, “We’re so excited to welcome these new vessels in joining our fleet. We look forward to discussing this soon with our trade partners at the upcoming inspections and events onboard as we welcome our newest ship, Vasco da Gama. Her arrival into Australian waters for the first time with CMV on Sunday marks our growth and commitment to the Australasian market.
“This growth has not only been in domestic cruising, but also in CMV’s international voyages with our small to mid-size ship offering. Having Pacific Dawn among our fleet is a great opportunity for our travel agents – who are key to our ongoing success – as they are already familiar with the unique selling points of the ship itself.
“Combined with Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ reputation for friendly, traditional service and value for money, we believe this presents a fantastic proposition for agents and their clients to venture to new destinations aboard vessels they already know and love.”
The inaugural 2021 programs will go on sale via travel trade and CMV’s international sales offices and websites during Q1-2020, with special 2021 launch incentives planned to encourage early bookings.
Source: Cruise & Maritime Voyages
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