CMV Australia is confident The Astor's "unique" offering fills a gap in Australia's cruise market, as it reported a good reaction from the trade to news the ship will homeport at Fremantle.
The cruise line yesterday confirmed the 620-passenger ship will be based in the Western Australian port for three summer seasons, commencing in December this year.
It is CMV's first foray outside of Europe since the fledgling cruise line started operating in 2009. Since then, it has carried more than 120,000 passengers with its fleet which consists of the 800-passenger Marco Polo and the 700-passenger Discovery. The Astor is the most recent addition to the fleet.
Sales and marketing manager, Vilma Rovedatti, told Travel Today that the firm had selected Fremantle as The Astor's homeport because it has a "proven track record" with a well-established cruise market.
"The port is also very accessible and opens up Asia nicely," she added.
The Astor's size is expected to be a major selling point, with the 620-passenger ship is able to access ports currently unavailable to larger cruise vessels.
In addition, its smaller size creates a different atmosphere on board which Rovedatti believes will appeal to many cruisers.
"A lot of the ships are bigger ships at the moment which is great, but there are those passengers that do prefer the intimacy, the attention to detail and the one-on-one interactions with the crew," she said.
The ship was refurbished in 2010, and Rovedatti is confident its "unique" on board product will set it apart from competitors.
"It definitely has its place in this market," she insisted.
CMV's Sydney office is in the process of being set up with five staff already in place.
Rovedatti revealed that discussions have already commenced with a number of distribution outlets which include wholesale companies, cruise specialists and retail agents.
"They're all very interested in the product and a ready to start working on it," she said.
The ship will be "Aussified" ahead of its Australian deployment, with adaptations to include the food and onboard product along with targeted itineraries such as an Australia Day cruise.
A website, www.cmvaustralia.com.au, will go live next week.