Cruise & Maritime Voyages announced it signed a three-year charter of the 620-passenger Astor in February 2013. The ship will sail northbound and southbound itineraries between the U.K. and Australia beginning in November 2013, as well as a round-Australia itinerary and an Australia-Asia-Australia sailing.
Here's what Cruise & Maritime Voyages has confirmed about its latest addition, Astor:
Astor was originally launched on the British market in 1987 as a soft-adventure ship before being bought by the German river cruising conglomerate, Premicon Group as the sole ocean-going vessel in the company's fleet. The ship's most recent refurbishment was a £14 million upgrade in 2010.
Cruise & Maritime expects Astor to be slightly higher-end than the current ships in its fleet, Marco Polo and mv Discovery -- a ship which the line has chartered from British cruise outfit Voyages of Discovery. The ship has 289 cabins, 70 percent of them with an ocean view, but only three cabins with balconies. The eight decks onboard consist of seven traditional wooden decks and a sports deck with a wrap-around jogging track and wellness centre with heated indoor pool. Public rooms onboard include: the Astor theatre main show lounge, Captain’s Club, Ubersee Club & Hanse Bar, the Sun Terrace, a poolside bar, card room, library, and internet café.
In terms of dining, Astor's Waldorf Restaurant will have an open sitting for breakfast and lunch and two fixed dinner sittings. The Club Bistro will be the ship's informal dining venue, and two additional dining rooms -- the Romantic and Toscana Dining Rooms -- will be used for themed dining and other special occasions.
Fitness and spa options include one outdoor and one heated, indoor swimming pool, a wellness centre with a salon, massage studio, sauna, and two whirlpools, and a sport deck. In addition to the jogging track the sport deck has a volleyball court, half tennis court, mini golf range, big board chess and yoga area, a fitness centre and a medical centre.