Cruise & Maritime Voyages offers ex-UK itineraries on four adults-only vintage ships, cruises to and from Australia and round-Australia cruises as well as Baltic and Northern Europe cruises. It also offers river cruises on a handful of European river cruise ships.
The line is very much aimed at the budget-conscious traveller and you'd be hard-placed to find a cruise line which offers cheaper sailings in the UK.
There are four ships in the fleet, two of which are based in Tilbury, in Essex; a third from Bristol; and a fourth operates around Australia.
The "newest" is the 30-year-old Magellan, which joined the fleet in March 2015 as the flagship. Previously owned by Costa Crociere by the name of Grand Holiday, the 1,250-passenger vessel is the largest in the fleet. It was built in 1985 and refitted in 2010. It is adults-only
The 22,000-ton, 820-passenger Marco Polo, which was built in 1965, is also adults-only. It will be well-known to anyone with a passing interest in cruise ships. Marco Polo -- which has previously sailed for Orient Lines -- began operating for Cruise & Maritime Voyages in January 2010. Marco Polo does a decent job of catering to the single traveller. It has 12 single cabins (two inside and 10 oceanview cabins).
The 550-passenger Azores was originally built as a trans-Atlantic ship in 1948 named Stockholm. CMV spent a considerable sum refurbishing the ship, which will start sailing from Bristol in 2015 to the Caribbean. The adults-only ship is in an Art Deco style. Eighty-five per cent of its 277 cabins have an ocean view and it too is adults-only.
CMV signed a three-year charter of the 620-passenger Astor in February 2013. The ship started sailing northbound and southbound itineraries between the UK and Australia in November 2013, following the collapse of Classic International Cruises, which previously operated the route. Astor offers a round-Australia itinerary and an Australia-Asia-Australia sailing. In January 2014, the line expanded further in an agreement with Astor's owners, Premicon AG, operating the ship year-round, sailing Northern Europe itineraries from German ports during the summer. Astor is the only non-adults-only ship in the fleet and accepts children onboard from six months, but has no children's facilities.
The four additional ships making up the remainder of the agreement are the river cruise ships Belvedere, Bellefleur, Bellejour and Sans Souci, which range in capacity from 80 to 176 passengers and sail the Rhine, Main, Danube, Mosel, Neckar, Elbe, Oder, Havel, Rhône and Saône Rivers.
Cruise & Maritime Voyages prides itself on offering entertainment and enrichment programmes that are created specifically for a more mature British cruise passenger, so expect plenty of revues, pub quizzes and Bridge sessions onboard. Enrichment comes in the form of guest speakers such as destination experts and maritime historians.
The evening shows feature accomplished dancers and singers, but don't expect the flashy fare that you find on many of today's new ships. There are also classical duos dotted about the ships, and cabaret-style performers onboard.
Onboard currency is sterling.