CMV Columbus

Former names: Pacific Pearl, Ocean Village 1, Arcadia, Star Princess, Sitmar Fair Majesty

Specifications of CMV Columbus

Year of build1989  /  Age: 32
BuilderChantiers de l’Atlantique (Saint-Nazaire, STX France)
Building costUSD 210 million
Speed22 kn / 41 km/h / 25 mph
Length (LOA)245 m / 804 ft
Beam (width)32 m / 105 ft
Gross Tonnage63786 gt
Passengers1546 - 1855
Passengers-to-space ratio34
Decks with cabins7
Last Refurbishment2017, Alang-scrapped in 2021
Former namesPacific Pearl, Ocean Village 1, Arcadia, Star Princess, Sitmar Fair Majesty
Christened byAngela Rippon
OwnerEaglepower Shipping Ltd
OperatorSeajets Cruise Line (Seajets Ferries Greece)

CMV Columbus Review

Review of CMV Columbus

CMV Columbus cruise ship was launched in 1988 as "FairMajesty". As "Pacific Pearl", it was the smallest and oldest in the P&O Australia's fleet. The vessel was previously operated as part of Princess Cruises fleet under the name Star Princess (1989-1997). Pacific Pearl was last drydock refurbished in 2015 and transferred to CMV-Cruise Maritime Voyages in May 2017 as "MV Columbus".

In March 2016 was announced that CMV UK would increase its fleet's capacity by 25% (to 95,000 passengers in 2017) with the addition of Pacific Pearl (as Columbus). The former "Ocean Village 1" cruise ship was launched in 1989 and since then was operated by Princess Cruises. under the new name "MV Columbus", the passenger liner started its CMV service with year-round itineraries leaving from homeport Tilbury-London UK (maiden voyage June 9, 2017). The redesigned 1400-passenger CMV Columbus has 150 single cabins. It became fleet's flagship, joining the fleetmates Astoria (550-passenger), Astor (600-passenger), Marco Polo (800-passenger) and Magellan (1300-passenger). The adult-only Columbus offered 2 promo cruises in August 2017 for all age groups.

For CMV, the vessel (IMO number 8611398) was UK-flagged (MMSI 234890000) and registered in London. For SEAJETS, it was reflagged to Bahamas (MMSI 311000535). In April 2021, the 32-years-old boat was beached at Alang India for scrapping.

History - construction and ownership

SEAJETS Greece (Eaglepower Shipping Ltd/shipowner, 1989-founded) is a Cyprus-based shipping company that specializes in passenger and cargo ferry services exclusively in the Eastern Mediterranean (Aegean Sea). Seajets' fleet includes mainly fast-ferries (14x high-speed catamarans, max capacity 2100 passengers + 600 cars) plus 3x conventional Ro-Pax vessels (max capacity 1300 passengers + 400 cars). Seajets operates from homeports Piraeus-Athens, Lavrion and Crete (Heraklion and Rethymno) inter-connecting 26 Cyclades Islands (Crete including) with 260 connections.

The 1817-passenger cruise ship for P&O Australia debuted in December 2010. The vessel was re-designed specifically for the Australian budget cruising market. It continued a number of innovations represented by the sisterships Pacific Dawn (Ambassador Ambience since 2021) and Pacific Jewel (scrapped as "MS Karnika" in 2021) but also introduced few, like the swim-up bar. All cabins are with new HDTVs with satellite programming. Cabins' bedding was upgraded. Other amenities include handheld hairdryers, mini-fridges, electronic safe boxes.

CMV Columbus cruise ship

After its launch and christening in 1989, MS FairMajesty’s shipowner Sitmar was acquired by the P&O company and the ship was renamed "Star Princess". In 2003, the shipowner Carnival Corporation created the brand "Ocean Village Holidays" and the ship was renamed “Ocean Village”.

During drydock 2003 refit (done by Lloyd Werft, Bremerhaven Germany) before the transfer from P&O UK, the ship was upgraded with a larger Casino Lounge, a buffet restaurant, a steel arch (over Lido Deck 12, for acrobatic shows). Some crew cabins were transformed into passenger staterooms.

The Ocean Village 1 ship operated Caribbean cruises from Barbados and Mediterranean cruises from Palma de Mallorca, with Transatlantic repositioning crossings. The second member in the fleet was named Ocean Village 2 (Pacific Jewel / MS Karnika).

In March 2016 was announced that Pacific Pearl was sold and would be farewelled to CMV-Cruise and Maritime Voyages in 2017. A commercial arrangement was reached to transfer the vessel, as part of the CMV's ongoing fleet expansion and renewal program.

MS Pacific Pearl left P&O Australia in April 2017, after completing 294 cruises for the company. The older ship had to make room for P&O's newest additions, Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden, as well as Pacific Explorer (former Dawn Princess), which joined P&O AU in 2017. After the launch in December 2010, Pacific Pearl became New Zealand's first super-liner. The inaugural itinerary was an 8-night South Pacific itinerary from Auckland NZ.

On July 20, 2020, the CMV's parent company SQTL (South Quay Travel & Leisure Ltd) was placed into administration / filed for bankruptcy. The UK-based company traded as "Cruise and Maritime Voyages" (trademarked brand). In June, SQTL-CMV entered into emergency talks with potential investors and lenders. Unfortunately, the company's efforts to secure funding and stay afloat during the Coronavirus crisis failed.

All CMV cruise ships were placed on the secondhand market and open for sale. In October was planned the vessels to be auctioned via the London UK-based company CW Kellock & Co Ltd (Ship Auctioneers, Brokers and Valuers). Biddings (deadline in brackets) opened for Vasco Da Gama (Oct 8), Columbus (Oct 12), Astor (Oct 15), Magellan (Oct 19) and Marco Polo (Oct 22).

  • (October 8) The 27-year-old CMV Vasco Da Gama was sold to Mystic Invest (Portugal) for USD 10,187 million.
  • (October 12) The 31-year-old CMV Columbus was sold to Seajets Ferries Greece for USD 5,321 million.
  • (October 15) The 33-year-old CMV Astor was sold to an undisclosed buyer (sales price USD 1,71 million) who intends to resell it for scrap metal.
  • (October 19) The 35-year-old CMV Magellan was sold to Seajets Ferries Greece for USD 3,431 million.
  • (October 22) The 55-year-old CMV Marco Polo was sold to an undisclosed buyer/private investors (sales price USD 2,77 million) who first offered the vessel for charter (cruiser or hotel ship) but in December sold it for scrap metal to Alang Shipbreaking India.

On November 19, 2020, CMV Columbus left London-Tilbury en route to Gibraltar UK. On December 7-13, the vessel remained at anchorage off Valletta Malta waiting for orders. Since December 23, it remains anchored in Saronic Gulf, off Port Eleusis (West Attica, Greece).

CMV Columbus ship's AIS transmitted for the last time on April 12, 2021 (at 11:20 UTC) showing the vessel at anchorage near Alang. Renamed to just "COLUS", the boat was Comoros-flagged (MMSI 620817000).

Cruise itinerary program

CMV Columbus itinerary program was based on UK cruises leaving roundtrip from Tilbury-London. Among the visited destinations and cruises were short breaks to Europe, British Isles, Madeira and Canary Islands, Iberia (Atlantic ports of Spain and Portugal, with Gibraltar UK). Also roundtrip from UK (London) Columbus offered cruises to the Caribbean and South America, also visiting Havana Cuba. Columbus also operated roundtrips from Amsterdam Holland.

Decks and Cabins

Most CMV Columbus staterooms are 190 ft2 Oceanviews (total number 533). The total number of cabins is 775 (of which 36 Suites, 28 Deluxe Balcony rooms, 150 single cabins) in 23 categories. Of all cabins, only 8% are with a private balcony. The largest onboard accommodations are the Mini-Suites (370 ft2).

The boat has 13 decks, of which 11 passenger-accessible and 7 with cabins.

Shipboard dining options - Food and Drinks

The main dining room onboard CMV Columbus is called Waterfront Restaurant. In the center of the restaurant is the line's unique Chef's Table, which is set in an enclosed space that is surrounded by wine cabinets. Waterfront Restaurant serves traditional British and European cuisine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A couple of mealtime options are available for dinner, while breakfast and lunch are open-seating.

Three additional restaurants complement the main dining room. The free-dining Plantation Bistro serves buffet-style breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The Grill is a fish & meat restaurant. Fusion by Chef Michael Shaji is the signature Indian restaurant.

CMV Columbus cruise ship (Pacific Pearl)

Follows the complete list of CMV Columbus restaurants and food bars.

  • The Waterfront Restaurant is the main dining room which operates with open-seating and a la carte menus (“Your Choice Dining”) for breakfast and lunch and offers a 4-course dinner menu. Part of the Waterfront Restaurant is the Wine Room. It serves the CMV line’s “Chef’s Table” dinner package.
  • Plantation Restaurant (with its own bar) is the Lido buffet restaurant.
  • The Luna room is an Asian-cuisine specialty restaurant annex (cover charges PP apply).
  • Salt Grill is a specialty restaurant (surcharges PP) run by celebrity chef Luke Mangan.
  • The Cafe Bar serves the pool area with light snacks and drinks.
  • Hemmingway’s Bar (portside lobby bar serving the foyer).
  • Raffles Bar serving specialty cocktails.
  • The Connexions Bar serves the two open-air Promenade deck areas.
  • Captain’s Club is an English pub bar with a nice selection of local and international beers.

Shipboard entertainment options - Fun and Sport

During the day, CMV Columbus cruise ship passengers can spend time in the Trumps & Aces bridge and card room, Crafter's Studio and the stylish library. The expansive 2-tiered Palladium Show Lounge is ship's main entertainment hub for the evenings. There is also Captain’s Club, Dome Observatory and Nightclub.

Jade Wellness Centre features a day spa, thermal suite, hair & beauty salon plus a fully-equipped gym. The ship is also home to a pair of heated swimming pools, a hot tub, and an outdoor movie screen. The 3-deck central atrium offers retail opportunities. There is also an internet cafe, shore excursions desk, guest services desk, cruise sales desk, photo & video gallery.


Follows the complete list of CMV Columbus lounges, clubs and other entertainment venues for kids, teens, and adults.

  • The Palladium Show Lounge is a 2-deck high theatre hosting large-scale show productions in the evenings with live music, magic and comedy performances by guest entertainers. The Palladium Bar serves the theatre and the foyer area.
  • The Dome – an indoor observation lounge.
  • Wellness Centre includes Thermal Suite (Sauna, Steam Rooms); Day Spa consisting of massage rooms (for reflexology, acupuncture, facials, scrubs), plus a couples massage room (with shower and 1 whirlpool).
  • Fitness Center consisting of a 2-leveled Gym (with modern equipment, has no windows) and a separate Aerobics Room (for Yoga and Pilates classes /at a surcharge). Personal trainers for Fitness, Pilates and Yoga classes can be provided.
  • Hair & Beauty Salon offers hair cutting-styling-coloring, manicure-pedicure, waxing, teeth whitening, botox, barber services.
  • Internet Center (inside Hemmingway’s) has 7 PC stations.
  • Photo & Video Gallery; Art Gallery.
  • The Taverner’s Pub & Casino offers off-shore gambling on roulette/blackjack tables and poker machines, and complimentary casino gaming lessons for beginners.
  • Tax & Duty-Free Shops / Shopping Galleria; PANDORA shop (luxury jewelry boutique).
  • The Oasis retreat, served by Oasis Bar (adults-only outdoor relaxation area).
  • Trumps & Aces club (kids 3-6 yo); Crafters Studio club (kids 7-10 yo).
  • V8 Simulators room has high-speed car racing simulators.

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MV Columbus was launched in 1988 as Sitmar FairMajesty. Initially ordered for Sitmar Cruises, in 1989 it was sold and entered service for Princess Cruises as Star Princess. From 1997 to 2003, the vessel (as MV Arcadia) was operated by P&O Cruises UK. In 2003 Arcadia was renamed to "Ocean Village", the sole cruise ship of Ocean Village brand, and later transferred to P&O Cruises Australia as "Pacific Pearl".

In 1997 (as P&O Arcadia), vessel’s flag-state/registry was changed from Monrovia (Liberia) to London (UK). In November 2010, the vessel was drydock refurbished in Singapore (at Sembawang Shipyards) and renamed “Pacific Pearl”. The inaugural voyage started on December 22.

On March 3, 2016, P&O Australia announced that in March 2017 Pacific Pearl leaves the fleet, having completed 294 voyages for P&O, and carrying more than 500,000 passengers over a period of 5 years. On March 7, 2016, was announced that in June 2017 the ship will be transferred to CMV, renamed "MV Columbus" and becoming the fleet's new flagship.

Homeported in London-Tilbury, CMV Columbus targeted the adult-only (16-yo +) cruising market. Still, in August 2017 the ship operated two school holiday cruises for all age groups. Early booking deals on CMV Columbus offered special discount prices plus 25% single supplement promo on booking the ship's 150 single occupancy cabins. Group booking deals provided additional discounts. The addition of the ship in 2017 increased CMV UK's capacity by 1/4 (up to 125,000 passengers) adding ~95,000 new customers per year. CMV Columbus was operated as an adults-only cruise ship, with only selected itineraries themed for all age groups.

CMV Columbus cruise ship (Pacific Pearl)

The vessel entered drydock in Rotterdam in May 2017 for a 3-week refit. An amount of modification and refurbishment works previously took place during the transfer of the ship from Singapore. The refurbishment of the former P&O Cruises Pacific Pearl ship saw the kids and teen areas converted in order to suit the more mature passengers onboard. The 1,400-passenger Columbus gained a new livery with the painting of hull and superstructure. Technical aspects comprised maintenance of the main engines, thrusters, and generators as well as polishing of the propellers. Numerous pipelines and valves were maintained and modified or renewed. The work also included maintenance of tenders, lifeboats, and davits in addition to repair and cleaning of ship’s tanks.

On June 5, 2017, the ship arrived in Tilbury-London from Rotterdam, where was drydock refurbished by DSR (Damen Shiprepair Rotterdam). On June 8, 2017, was vessel's christening ceremony held at homeport Tilbury. The ship's godmother is Angela May Rippon - British TV journalist, newsreader, and presenter. On June 11 started the ship's Inaugural season with departing from UK roundtrip cruises.

Fun fact is that this CMV ship had a namesake - the 2010-launched "CMA CGM Columba". The vessel is among the world's largest container ships (capacity 11,388 containers) and operated by CMA-CGM Line.

Ship's relocation itinerary (16 days in length) was scheduled for March 27 (2017) leaving from Auckland NZ to Singapore (Southeast Asia). The last cruise for P&O Australia was the 4-day roundtrip from Auckland to Russell, Bay Of Islands NZ (March 23 to 27, see below).

CMV Columbus refurbishment 2017 review

During the ship's 3-week drydock refurbishment (May 13 -June 5, 2017, done in Rotterdam Holland at DSR / Damen shipyard) the Pacific Pearl vessel was transformed into the New Columbus. The list of modification works and changes done to the ship before entering the CMV's fleet, included:

  • Repainting was done to the hull and superstructure. New livery and the new shipowner's (CMV) logos and markings were added.
  • Redesigned were the existing youth areas / converted to adult facilities. This added the new "Columbus Lounge" (Observation Lounge & Library/aft on deck 14) and the new "Trumps & Aces" (kids area/aft on deck 11).
  • Most of Pacific Pearl's other venues were renamed, redesigned and extensively refurbished.

Columbus was CMV's first vessel to offer "Whittard of Chelsea" (UK brand) specialty tea and chocolate beverages, plus gift collections on sale at the onboard shop.

Technical maintenance works included main diesel engines, ship's propulsion units (thrusters, generators, and propellers were polished), pipelines and valves (some were modified or renewed), tender boats, lifeboats, davits (crane devices), fuel and water tanks (repair and cleaning).

CMV Columbus cruise itineraries 2020-2021 (CANCELED)

For 2020-2021, CMV scheduled a total of 69 voyages for the ship Columbus. Following the COVID-related suspension of voyages (since March 2020), the ship's itinerary program was scheduled for the period October 4, 2020, through November 9, 2021.

Most planned for 2020-2021 voyages were offered as roundtrips from both London-Tilbury and alternatively from Rotterdam. Among the scheduled and canceled CMV Columbus cruises were the following itineraries:

  • 15 days "Canary Islands Madeira"
  • 12 days "Hidden Baltic Treasures"
  • 19 days "Grand Canary Islands, Madeira Morocco"
  • 5 days "German Christmas Markets Antwerp"
  • 17 days "Christmas New Year Canaries Madeira"
  • 3 days "Spring Break to Rotterdam Antwerp"
  • 13 days "Grand British Isles Discovery"