The UK company that operates 600-passenger Astor, has announced a new ship will join its fleet in 2015.

Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) revealed 550-passenger Azores has been chartered from Portuscale Cruises on a long-term basis. She will be used to replace 700-passenger Discovery as the line’s second cruise vessel to operate from the UK.

The adults-only (over 16) ship will be based year-round out of Bristol Avonmouth, where she will sail eight to 30-night itineraries.

Her first sailing with Cruise & Maritime Voyages will depart on 26 January for 30 nights. It will travel to Portugal, the Leeward Islands, the Caribbean and Windward Islands before returning to England.

Commercial director Chris Coates said the ship is an excellent upgrade to the Cruise & Maritime Voyages fleet.

“We are confident that Azores will prove to be a ‘real winner’ with our dedicated growing number of loyal customers and will also attract new clients seeking smaller ship alternatives and regional ex-UK no fly cruise options,” he said.

Portuscale Cruises spent US$150 million to completely rebuild the ship in 1994. She has eight passenger decks with 277 cabins.

There’s also a main show lounge onboard along with an auditorium, nightclub, casino, two dining venues plus a selection of bars and lounges.