Cruise & Maritime Voyages
In 2009, after the failure of the German company Transocean Tours, the British company Cruise & Maritime Services International formed a new holding, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, more-over known as CMV Cruises. The first ship of the company was the Marco Polo, a ship that was built in 1964 for Black Sea Shipping Company of the Sovjet Union. In 2009, she was chartered by Transocean Tours and CMV took over the charter for five years after this line went into bankrupcy. Marco Polo was placed in the British market, sailing summercruises from several ports in the UK in Europe and in winter she called in at more exotic destinations because of the weather in Britain that is not really favorable throughout the colder months. Transocean Tours also stayed in business with Astor, though the company was bought by the German company Premicon AG.
Below, Ocean Countess is sailing the Northsea canal in front of IJmuiden in CMV colours. She was originally built for the hollywood MGM studio's, but the contracts were taken over by Cunard Line during the building process. She entered service as Cunard Countess in the mid 1970's and sadly burned in Greece during rebuilding in 2014 after her CMV charter had ended.
The fleet of CMV was extended with the charter of Ocean Countess in 2010, which was replaced by the former Island Princess from february 2013 onwards. At the time, she was named Discovery.
During 2013, CMV took over the management for Astor and also for the fleet of rivercruiseships, Belvedere, Bellefleur, Bellejour and Sans Soucy, all operated by Transocean Tours from the German management company Premicon AG. The name of Transocean Tours was retained by CMV, also because the company retained its German speaking clientele and was dedicated to the German market. This was a good way for CMV to extend its business into the middle of Europe.
Also in 2014, the oldest large passengership in the world, Athena, was chartered from Portuscale Cruises. This company took over the fleet of Classic International Cruises and its vintage liners, mainly for the chartermarket. Athena was re-named Azores by Portuscale and chartered from january 2015 onwards to CMV after a charter to a German company, Ambiente, was ended prematurely due to low bookings. Discovery left the CMV fleet to be broken up and Ocean Countess had also left the fleet and burned later in Greece while being rebuilt. All this happened after CMV ended the charters of those ships. In december of 2014, also the Astor was bought by CMV. She was already sailing Australian cruises under the CMV brand in northern wintertime. She continues sailing under the Transocean name in European summer for the German market.
From 2015 onwards, CMV started a quite remarkable period of extentions to the fleet. In the beginning of that year, a new flagship was brought into service after the former Holiday of Carnival Cruise Lines was bought, untill then sailing for Iberocruceros as Grand Holiday. With 46.000 tons, she was the largest ship that has ever sailed for CMV and she joined Marco Polo and Astoria, that is the new name for Azores, as Magellan bringing the CMV fleet up to four ships. She was also the first ship in the fleet that started sailing in the new colours and of course the most modern, some 20 years younger then Marco Polo. In the 2017 season, CMV again took delivery of a larger ship, the Columbus, the former Pacific Pearl as she comes over from P&O Australia. She was of course built in 1989 as Sitmar Fairmajesty and she now gained the title of flagship of the CMV fleet. The ship sails from Tilburg, England, dedicated to the British market. Columbus again became the most modern ship in the CMV fleet and with over 63.000 tons also the largest. In the same year as Columbus entered service, CMV withdrew from the rivercruises market to concentrate totally on ocean-cruising and the rivercruisers were sold to other lines.
In march of 2018, CMV again bough a new ship, the 1992-built Pacific Eden from P&O Australia. She had been built as Statendam for Holland America Line and her new name was announced as Vasco De Gama, continuing the explorers-theme within the fleet. The ship will be used for both the Australian and the European market, for the latter she will be branded under the Transocean name based out of Kiel and Bremerhaven. Her first cruise is a lenghty 46-day voyage from Singapore to Bremerhaven, departing Singapore at the 24th of april in 2019.
From 2019 onwards, the company also taps also into another market outside of the European and Australian, when they open a local branch under the name of Cruceros Maritimos Vacacionales in Mexico. This branch will be totally dedicated to the Mexican market and for this, Magellan will be used. It is a cautious step for CMV, who are very eager to grow into other markets. For the new branch, Magellan will be based in Acapulco. When successfull, the company really turns into a world-wide operation.
The company Transocean Tours was founded in 1954 in germany by D. Oltman as a travelcompany, still without a cruise-department. This started in 1967 when they became the West-German agents for the ships of the Baltic Shiiping Company from the Sovjet-Union. As such, Transocean started to sell cruises aboard two of their ships, Alexandr Pushkin and Estonia. From 1972 onwards, Estonia started to sail under the Transocean name and as such she was their first cruiseship. Between 1979 and 1981, also Alexandr Pushkin started to sail for Transocean in charter, although both ships kept sailing in their Sovjet livery.
Certainly the most well-known ship to ever sail for Transocean was Astor, here seen in Transocean colours between the pierheads of IJmuiden at the 23rd of may in 2012.
In 1991, the Sovjet Union collapsed and the company also started to charter ships from other lines and a few years later, the ships were painted in the colours of Transocean Tours itself, with a blue line on the hulls and the blue 'T'-with-a-tail on the funnel. The first ship Transocean chartered from a company outside the Sovjet Union was the Calypso, that was also the first one to recieve the housecolours of Transocean Tours in 1994. She was followed by the Sagafjord in 1996, when Cunard Line started to restructure their fleet. For Transocean, this ship was renamed Gripsholm, a name formerly used by the ships of the Svenska Amerika Linjen. The name was chosen, because originally it was planned to use the former Gripsholm for Transocean, then sailing for Regency Cruises under the name Regent Sea. Because of the failure of Regency Cruises, the deal collapsed and another ship had to be chartered under the same name, because of marketing issues. This was sadly only for one year, after she was severely damaged by fire she was chartered to Saga Cruises, who were able to use her untill 2009, when the ship was scrapped.
Marco Polo, here seen in the IJmuiden locks at the 1st of april in 2013, was one of the first ships used for Transocean Tours, with their involvement starting as early as 1967. She then was still named Alexandr Pushkin.
Untill the beginning of the new millennium, Transocean only had chartered ships which were built in the 1960's, but in 2001 a more modern ship was added to the fleet for a ten year charter. This was the Astor, a ship that was built in 1987. Between 1988 and 1990, this ship had already been part of the Transocean fleet, but then still under the name Fedor Dostoevskiy when she was still owned by the Black Sea Shipping Company. In 2002, Astor's slightly older sistership followed, named Astoria in Transocean service. Those ships got their names from John Jacob Astor, a famous US industrialist who perished aboard Titanic in 1912. Both ships became the best known units in the Transocean fleet, that was again extended with the Arielle, that was chartered from Louis Cruise Lines between 2006 and 2008. In 2008, she was replaced by one of the first ships that had sailed for Transocean, the former Alexandr Pushkin and now named Marco Polo.
In september 2010, Transocean Tours had to file for bankrupcy, but the name was later bought by South Key Travel & Leisure, continuing cruising on the Astor under the Transocean name. This company also owns CMV Cruises and in the end of 2014, the Astor was actually bought by CMV, after this company had taken over the management of the ship from Global Maritime Group. Transocean Tours now is used as a marketingname for CMV Cruises, working the German market.
Several other ships that have sailed for CMV have been placed elsewhere on the site
Ocean Countess (2010-2012) is placed under Cunard Line
Discovery (2013-2014) is placed under Princess Cruises
Also under the Transocean Tours name, a number of ships on this website have sailed before the company was taken over by CMV.
Alexandr Pushkin / Marco Polo (several years) is placed as Marco Polo under CMV
Gripsholm (1996) is placed as Saga Rose under Saga Cruises
The Calypso (1998-2000) is placed under Thomson Cruises
Astoria (2002-2010) is placed as Saga Pearl II under Saga Cruises
Arielle (2006-2008) is placed under Royal Caribbean Cruise Line