Two of Australia’s favourite ships are joining the burgeoning fleet of Cruise & Maritime Voyages in 2021, giving the line eight vessels and 9,000 berths.

P&O Australia’s Pacific Dawn and Pacific Aria will be handed over in Singapore on 2 March and 2 May 2021 respectively, when they will be upgraded and renamed.

The vessels will then embark on maiden positioning voyages via the Suez Canal to Northern Europe.

Pacific Dawn will be deployed to the UK market in late May 2021,  cruising year-round alongside Columbus from London’s Tilbury.

Pacific Aria will sail the German market under the TransOcean Kreuzfahrten brand  alongside Vasco da Gama and replacing the 580 passenger Astor. 

Astor is being re-named Jules Verne and will be re-deployed to the French market in May 2021.

CEO Christian Verhounig commented: “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.”

The new ship names will be unveiled later in December 2019 under CMV’s explorer theme, providing a more traditional cruise experience that can access harder-to-reach ports.

CMV Australia’s Managing Director, Dean Brazier, welcomed the announcement. “Our newest ship, Vasco da Gama, will arrive to Australian shores for the first time with CMV this Sunday.

“As with Vasco da Gama, the two new ships joining our global fleet are a perfect example of the strong growth and strategic direction of Cruise & Maritime Voyages. They will enable us to meet the growing demand for travel aboard traditional, smaller vessels, as we have seen in Australasia.

“The growth of our global group is good news for all, providing more opportunities for new itineraries, and more options for Australians to book international cruises, for which we have seen a massive increase over the past year. Cruise & Maritime Voyages is really carving a niche as a cruise line offering traditional, quality cruising on small to mid-sized ships at a competitive price point.”

The inaugural 2021 programs will go on sale via travel trade and CMV’s international sales offices and websites during the first quarter of 2020, with special 2021 launch incentives planned to encourage early bookings.