Cruise Line Focus

Cruise Line Focus: Cruise & Maritime Voyages

Cruise & Maritime Voyages is a British cruise company that targets the UK cruise market primarily, offering fly-cruise holiday packages aboard classic cruise ships.

CMV-Astor

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As a result, its five-ship fleet is made up entirely of second-hand ships, some of which (such as the 1948 built ‘Astroria’ and 1965-built Marco Polo) are former ocean liners.

The cruise line attracts a niche passenger demographic, with its guests almost entirely made up of retired well-to-do British couples and friends.

The cruise line has no children’s programs or facilities and is therefore not a good option for young families.

CMV-Sinatras

Cruise & Maritime Voyages main show lounge, Sinatra’s.

Cruise & Maritime Voyages on-board experience

CMV is great for those looking for a cruise experience that is as ‘classic’ as it gets, taking us back to the golden age of cruising in the 60s and 70s when taking a cruise was about seeing new places and meeting new people.

Reflecting this, the on-board entertainment focuses on light live music and pub quizzes at night, with bridge sessions and revues during the day, and lectures aimed at educating guests about the destinations visited.

“We believe our smaller more intimate ships offer a leisurely and traditional home from home country house style of cruising with the emphasis very much on personal service and going that extra mile,” the cruise lines says about itself.

CMV-Marco-Polo

Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ classic ship Marco Polo.

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Cruise & Maritime Voyages fleet history

The real appeal of Cruise & Maritime Voyages lies in its history, not so much the history of the cruise line itself (it was launched in 2010), but the history of the ships that it operates.

By offering a pared-down, very traditional ‘old world’ cruise experience for a mature market, it has given a new lease on life to a handful of cruise ships that have otherwise become outdated in the modern cruise fleet.

It’s new flagship Magellan, for example, is the former Carnival Holiday, and although she now sails in CMV’s blue livery, her whale-fin funnel is a charming reminder of her ‘party ship’ youth.

Similarly, the cruise line’s former flagship, Marco Polo, which still sails for the line, started out life as one of the grandest ocean liners ever launched by the Soviet Union.

Astoria is the 1948-built ocean liner that collided with Andria Doria in 1956, resulting in the dramatic sinking of that ship just a few miles from New York.

Then there is the great ‘little’ ship Astor. I say little, but at 20,000 gross tons and 176m in length she was a sizeable cruise liner when launched in 1987.

Astor-cruise-ship

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She was ordered by the South African shipping line Safmarine for ocean liner/cruise ship service on the Southampton-Cape Town run, but the company abandoned passenger shipping before she was launched.

Luckily for us, she passed through a succession of owners before landing with Global Maritime Group, who have chartered her to CMV for the next three years. She continues to regularly sail between the UK and South Africa.

Lastly, Columbus, the former Pacific Pearl, which was launched in 1989 and sailed more than 290 cruises for P&O Australia alone before being acquired by CMV.

CMV-Marco-Polo-pooldeck

The main pool deck aboard Marco Polo.

Cruise & Maritime Voyages cruise destinations

Cruise & Maritime Voyages sails to all corners of the globe, from roundtrip cruises focusing on the British Isles, to cruises to Australia, via Cape Town, aboard Astor, which was initially built for this purpose.

Then there are the Amazon and West Indies cruises, the Central America itineraries, and the cruises around North America and Canada.

CMV literally cruises everywhere, even to Dubai. Its most popular cruise itineraries, however, are the British Isles, Norwegian Fjords, Northern Lights and Baltic Cities & Russia.

The majority of its cruise itineraries start out in the UK, sailing from 11 different ports of call.

CMV-Astor-deckchairs

Types of passengers on a Cruise & Maritime Voyages ship

The vast majority of CMV passengers are British, as this is the only market in which the cruise line markets. Although not set in stone through official policy like Saga Cruises, its ships are adults-only and designed for passengers in their 50s and 60s.

Cruise ships in the Cruise & Maritime Voyages fleet:

Astor

Astoria

Columbus

Magellan

Marco Polo

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