Cruise & Maritime Voyages will raise UK capacity by 25% to 95,000 passengers in 2017 with the addition of P&O Cruises Australia vessel Pacific Pearl. The former Ocean Village cruise ship was launched in 1989 and since then operated by Princess Cruises.
The ship, which has been part of P&O Cruises Australia since 2010, will start year round operations from Tilbury from 9 June 2017 under the name Columbus.
The 1,400-passenger vessel has 150 single cabins. Columbus will become the flagship of CMV fleet alongside 550-passenger Astoria, 600-passenger Astor, 800-passenger Marco Polo and 1,300-passenger Magellan.
Adult-only mv Columbus will run 2 sailings in August 2017 for all age groups.
The CMV 2017 summer programme goes on sale online on March 31. A preview brochure will be released on April 7.
Special introductory prices with early booking deals will be offered plus a 25% single supplement promotion for the 150 single cabins. Group deals providing free places, further savings and other benefits, will also be available.
Christian Verhounig, CMV chief executive and chairman, said:
“The strategic development of the group’s presence in the UK and wider international markets will increase our overall capacity to 125,000 passengers in 2017.
Chris Coates, commercial director, added:
“The introduction of Columbus and her past association and popularity with the British cruise market spanning 13 years, will increase 2017 UK bed night capacity by 25% to 95,000 passengers.
“Having already sold over 85% of capacity for 2016 and with 17,000 people turning 50 every week in the UK, we remain confident that Columbus will satisfy the growing demand for our product.”