Pacific Dawn and Pacific Aria Bought by CMV

Pacific Aria

Pacific Aria in her new livery for CMV, (Ex Holland American Line Ryndam)

Cruise & Maritime Voyages today confirmed it purchased the Pacific Dawn and Pacific Aria from Carnival Corporation.

A sales price for the 1994-built Pacific Aria, with capacity for 1,258 guests, and the 1991-built Pacific Dawn, with capacity for 2,020 guests, was not announced.

The ships will join the Pacific Eden, the Aria’s sister, at CMV, along with other ex-Carnival Corp. vessels the Columbus and the Magellan. 

CMV will take delivery of P&O Australia’s Pacific Dawn and Pacific Aria in Singapore on the March 2 and May 2, 2021, respectively, increasing lower bed fleet capacity to 9,000 berths and passenger capacity by 30 per cent in 2021.

Pacific Dawn

Pacific Dawn in her new livery (Ex Regal Princess – Princess cruise)

The duo will be officially re-named in summer 2021 following a drydocking, some minor upgrade and re-livery works in Singapore before embarking on CMV maiden positioning voyages via the Suez Canal to Northern Europe.

The Pacific Dawn will be deployed for the UK market year-round from Tilbury, while the Pacific Area will sail for the TransOcean brand targeting the German market, cruising alongside the Vasco da Gama (the former Pacific Eden) and replacing the 580 passenger Astor. She is being re-named Jules Verne and will be re-deployed to the French market in May 2021.

Christian Verhounig, CEO 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.”

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 per cent 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 per cent 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 summer 2021 with the focus very much on higher yield business.

Amsterdam Axed as a Cruise stop.

Cruise liners cancel trips to THIS popular destination due to new tourist tax

Cruises: Amsterdam trip change

Cruises: A new tourist tax in Amsterdam has meant cruise ships are changing their itineraries (Image: Getty)

CRUISES travelling through Amsterdam have been cancelled for passengers who book holidays with MSC Cruises or Cruise and Maritime Voyages due to a new tourist tax introduced in the city.

Cruise passengers looking for a trip to Amsterdam may find themselves short for choice thanks to a new tourist tax. The city has announced a €8 head tax per day for tourists arriving by cruise, affecting passengers who stay for 24 hours or less, or €16 for those staying more than 24 hours. This has resulted in a number of cruise liners removing Amsterdam from their itineraries choosing another Dutch city instead. Thousands of passengers travelling in 2019 and 2020 could find their trips drastically altered.

Earlier this year, MSC Cruises announced they will change their overnight calls from Amsterdam to Rotterdam.

Central Station in Amsterdam. photo credit Dave Jones

Gianluca Suprani, head of global port development and shore activities at MSC Cruises, warned Amsterdam could lose thousands of pounds of spending by the loss of passengers.

He told Seatrade Cruise: “We decided to pull our business in 2019 and as a result, Amsterdam city stands to lose between €50-100 per passenger in respect of potential spend.”

Cruise and Maritime Voyages has followed in their footsteps and announced their 2019 and 2020 port calls to Amsterdam will also now be at Rotterdam.

This means 37 of their cruises will make the move, with 30 Columbus ships and seven Magellan ships avoiding the city.

Costa Mediterranea in the Port of Amsterdam. photo credit Dave Jones

According to Seatrade Cruise, more than 50,000 passengers will be affected.

CMV CEO Christian Verhounig warned of the last minute changes for customers who will have already booked for 2019, advising 80 per cent had already been purchased.

“The local politicians have failed to acknowledge or understand that the cruise industry plans their budgets two to three years ahead and have been unwilling to look into a proper implementation schedule,” he warned.

“The late introduction of these new and un-phased charges are therefore not budgeted and simply cannot be absorbed.”

Passengers travelling with either cruise liner should check for any changes to their trips.

Cruise couple held over suitcase cocaine

The Marco Polo cruise ship

A British couple in their 70s have been arrested after cocaine was found in their cruise ship cabin.

Officers found 20-22lb (9-10kg) of the drug “ingeniously concealed” in false compartments in four suitcases, Portuguese police said.

The man and woman, aged 72 and 70, were held on suspicion of drug trafficking when the ship docked at Lisbon.

Operator Cruise and Maritime Voyages said it was “co-operating fully with officials”.

The Marco Polo ship had left Tilbury in Essex on 5 November and travelled to the West Indies and the Azores with 610 passengers and 294 crew on board.

The couple were arrested on 4 December following a tip-off from the UK National Crime Agency.

They appeared before a judge and will be held separately while a joint Portuguese and British investigation continues.

A spokesman for the operator said the firm “does not tolerate any criminal activity or anti-social behaviour onboard its ships”.