CMV (Cruise and Maritime Voyages)
Astoria Review and Specifications
Specifications of Astoria
|Year built||1948 / Age : 70|
|Builder||AB Götaverken (Gothenburg, Sweden)|
|Building cost||USD 150 million|
|Owner||Grand Circle Travel (Grand Circle Corporation)|
|Operator||CMV (Cruise and Maritime Voyages)|
|Speed||19 kn / 35 kph / 22 mph|
|Length (LOA)||160 m / 525 ft|
|Beam (width)||21 m / 69 ft|
|Gross Tonnage||16144 gt|
|Passengers||550 - 600|
|Decks with cabins||8|
|Former names||MS Stockholm, Volkerfreundschaft, Volker, Fridtjof Nansen, Italia I, Italia Prima, Valtur Prima, Caribe, Athena, MS Azores|
Review of Astoria
MV Azores was originally built as the Stockholm and launched for Swedish America Line on September 9, 1946. At the time she was the largest Swedish passenger ship, best known for a collision in 1956 which resulted in sinking of Andrea Doria ship.
NEWS: The shipowner Grand Circle Corporation announced that the cruise vessel leaves CMV's fleet in the end of 2018.
History - construction and ownership
The 16,144-ton, 556-passenger cruise ship Astoria was built in 1948 and is operated by Portuscale Cruises. The first name of the vessel was Stockholm and was constructed by Götaverken in Gothenburg for the Swedish America Line (SAL). The Portuguese cruise ship was in the fleet of Classic International Cruises, sailing under the name Athena until 2012 when it was acquired by Portuscale Cruises (2013).
Over time, the vessel sailed under many different names - Völkerfreundschaft, Volker, Fridtjof Nansen, Italia I, Italia Prima, Valtur Prima and Caribe and became famous as Stockholm because of its collision with Andrea Doria in 1956. The latter vessel sadly sank because it was seriously damaged. The collision of the two ships became one of the most notorious maritime disasters in history.
Stockholm (Azores), with her 525 feet (160.02 m) was at the time known to be the smallest passenger vessel sailing on the North Atlantic route. A curious fact about the cruise ship is that she was the largest passenger ship constructed in Sweden. In the beginning, Azores was planned to sail with 395 passengers, but the capacity was increased to 548 after a refit.
MV Azores entered service for CMV in 2015, under long-term charter from Portuscale Cruises (Portuguese cruise ship line), and is aimed at the English speaking cruise market. The vessel is “adult only” (child-free) for passengers 16-years plus. Cruise & Maritime Voyages announced that after its 2015 summer season, the cruise ship will be renamed to “Astoria”.
In July 2016, CMV announced that the ship leaves the fleet in 2018. Following the spring 2017 season for CMV (Tilbury roundtrips March 9 through April 27, 2017), the ship was chartered for 1 year by the French company Rivages du Monde.
All CMV 2017 bookings were “buy one get one free” cruise deals - if booked by the end of July 2016. On 2017 bookings made by August 31, 2016, were offered free or half-priced car parking at Port Tilbury, plus free cabin upgrades and up to GBP 1000 in onboard credit.
Cruise itinerary program
MV Astoria itinerary program is based on cruises departing from UK ports to European destinations, such as the Mediterranean, Iberia (Portugal and Spain), British Isles, Norwegian Fjords, Iceland. Departures are roundtrip from England (Hull and Tilbury-London).
- During its last CMV (2-month 2016) season, the ship operated on roundtrips from Bristol (Avonmouth), following the winter docking in Greece. On March 11, the ship sailed up to Avonmouth. On March 21 started a 7-night "Scottish Islands and Emerald Isle" itinerary. On March 28 started a 15-night itinerary "Azores, Madeira and Portugal", visiting Leixoes (Oporto), Lisbon, La Coruna and two Azores Islands.
CMV places a high priority on the comfort of its guests and Astoria offers a wide variety of well appointed, comfortable cabins which are graded according to size, facilities and position within the ship, and designed to suit all tastes and budgets. MV Astoria has a total number of 277 cabins (of which 9 Suites, 43 Balcony, 229 Oceanview, 49 Inside) in 17 grades. Each of the cabins is air conditioned and has private en-suite facilities, such as marble floored bathrooms with a bath and shower, ample wardrobe and storage space. The staterooms also have music channels and a TV for in-house movies and information channels, fridge with a mini bar, a hairdryer, and a personal safe. The owner’s presidential suite, junior and balcony suites and also have a jacuzzi and a seating area.
Shipboard dining options - Food and Drinks
The Olissipo Restaurant offers sumptuous meals served by Astoria's attentive restaurant staff. Dining is always a special event on board and passengers will experience high levels of gastronomic delight. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in the Olissipo or alternatively in the Lotus Buffet which also provides the choice to eat "al fresco" on the Pool Deck.
Shipboard entertainment options - Fun and Sport
Astoria offers traditional maritime experience in comfortable surroundings. Discover a wide range of cosy lounges and stylish leisure facilities. On sea days passengers may join a craft session, listen to one of CMV informative guest speakers, work off a few pounds in the gym or relax with a good book. The Calypso Show Lounge is the evening spot for cabaret performances, a show of song and dance or guest acts. For the night owls, there is dancing in the Night Club. For something more mellow, listen to your favourite melodies in ship's Sirenes Bar, try your luck in the Circe's Casino or make up a table for a round of cards in the Card Room. Other Lounges & Bars include: Astoria Lounge, Captain’s Club (live music) and Aeolos Bar. Astoria also has a Beauty Salon, Sauna, Fitness Centre, swimming pool, Internet & Library, Auditorium (conference room), Chapel, boutique, and photo shop.
- MV Astoria cruise ship was launched on September 9, 1946. The vessel was built for the Swedish America Line as "ms Stockholm" - at the time the largest passenger ship ever built in Sweden. As Stockholm, the ship was best known for the collision with SS Andrea Doria in 1956. The accident resulted in sinking of the latter - just 5 years after its launch.
- In 2015, the Cruise and Maritime line introduced mv Astoria to its fleet. The ship is operated under charter from Portuscale Cruises, on a long term basis, replacing ms Discovery as the fleet’s second UK cruise departure ship along with ms Marco Polo. As chartered cruise vessel, all the ship's management services and crewing are handled directly by CMV.
- The Astoria ship is dedicated to the English speaking market and positioned as "adults only" (16 years plus).
- The ship's 1994 drydock refit and refurbishment cost around USD 150 million.
- In March 2016, after its drydock refurbishment in Piraeus Greece, the ship started a new itinerary program with round-trip cruises out of Bristol England to ports in Iberia (Spain and Portugal) and also to UK ports (on British Isles itineraries).
The following table shows the ship's last cruise for CMV UK. The 14 nights / 15 days itinerary (themed "Land of the Northern Lights") was roundtrip from England. Prices started from USD 1860 pp (double occupancy).
|17 Oct||Departing from Portsmouth, England|
|18 Oct 13:00 - 19:00||IJmuiden, Holland|
|20 Oct 09:00 - 15:00||Bergen, Norway|
|21 Oct 08:00 - 16:00||Andalsnes, Norway|
|23 Oct 10:00 - 19:00||Tromso, Norway|
|24 Oct 09:00 - 19:00||Honningsvag, Mageroya Island, Norway|
|25 Oct 07:00 - 02:00||Alta, Norway|
|28 Oct 07:00 - 13:00||Alesund, Norway|
|29 Oct 09:00 - 15:00||Stavanger, Norway|
|31 Oct||Arriving in Portsmouth, England|
Astoria - user reviews and comments
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Other CMV cruise ships
The below listed Astoria cruise prices on itineraries are only indicative and Per Person (in US dollars, based on double occupancy). These are the cheapest Cruise and Maritime Voyages fares on the ship’s lowest category cabins available for booking. Cruise fares typically change with departure dates approaching, last minute deals, discounts, promotions, independent travel agency offers.
|Date||Cruise Name||Departure Port||Price from|
|2019 Mar 07||3 days, round-trip Springtime Break & River Seine Experience||Poole|
|2019 Mar 10||13 days, round-trip Iceland & Northern Lights||Poole|
|2019 Mar 23||11 days, round-trip British Isles Discovery||Poole|
|2019 Apr 03||10 days, round-trip Scottish Highlands, Islands & Lochs||Poole|
|2019 Apr 13||9 days, round-trip Fjordland Splendour||Poole|
|2019 Apr 22||11 days, round-trip Hidden Baltic Treasures & Kiel Canal||Poole|
|2019 Aug 28||2 days, round-trip Rouen & River Seine Experience||Portsmouth|
|2019 Aug 30||11 days, round-trip Weekend Summer Mini Cruise & British Isles Discovery||Portsmouth|
|2019 Aug 30||2 days, one-way from Portsmouth to Hull||Portsmouth|
|2019 Sep 01||11 days, round-trip British Isles Discovery||Hull|
|2019 Sep 10||10 days, one-way from Portsmouth to Hull||Portsmouth|
|2019 Sep 12||8 days, round-trip Fjordland Splendour||Hull|
|2019 Sep 20||14 days, round-trip Baltic Cities & St Petersburg||Hull|
|2019 Oct 04||8 days, round-trip Autumn Fjordland||Hull|
|2019 Oct 12||13 days, round-trip Norway & Land of the Northern Lights||Hull|
|2019 Oct 25||11 days, round-trip Iceland & Land of the Northern Lights||Hull|