British-based Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) has announced the acquisition of two more cruise ships to join its expanding ocean fleet.
The independently owned CMV Group will take delivery of P&O Australia’s Pacific Dawn and Pacific Aria in Singapore on 2 March and 2 May 2021 respectively, increasing CMV’s capacity to 9,000 berths and an increase in passenger capacity by 30 per cent in 2021.
The announcement comes shortly after P&O revealed it will farewell Pacific Dawn and Pacific Aria from its fleet in February and April 2021 respectively.
The new ship names will be unveiled later in December 2019 under CMV’s explorer theme.
Both vessels will be officially re-named by CMV in mid-2021 following dry docking in Singapore ,where some minor upgrades will be completed, and the ships’ livery updated.
The ships, which will increase CMV’s fleet size to eight, will then embark on maiden positioning voyages via the Suez Canal to Northern Europe.
CMV chief executive Christian Verhounig said: “The introduction of two more ships to the global ocean fleet is the next exciting chapter of our strategic growth objectives.
“This will enable us to service increasing market demand for our traditional brand of cruising, generated by our expanding international network of in-house sales offices and developing source markets.
“We have now acquired five cruise ships in just five years and are firmly on course in carrying 200,000 passengers in 2021.”
CMV’s group commercial director, Chris Coates, added: “As the CMV brand continues to evolve, the growing popularity of our traditional product, classic ships and destination-focused cruise programs has encouraged us to accelerate plans to add capacity to the two top European cruise markets in the UK and Germany, which represent 85 per cent of our business.
“These two fine cruise ships perfectly complement our existing fleet, providing trade partners and consumers alike with much needed extra capacity.
“For 2020, we expect close to 70 per cent of capacity to be sold by the year end, in line with expectations. This provides an ideal platform for the early introduction of new tonnage and opportunities for 2021.”
CMV Australia’s national sales manager, Darren Chigwidden, said: “We’re so excited to welcome these new vessels in joining our fleet.
“We look forward to discussing this soon with our trade partners at the upcoming inspections and events onboard as we welcome our newest ship, Vasco da Gama.
“Her arrival into Australian waters for the first time with CMV on Sunday marks our growth and commitment to the Australasian market.
“This growth has not only been in domestic cruising, but also in CMV’s international voyages with our small to mid-size ship offering.
“Having Pacific Dawn among our fleet is a great opportunity for our travel agents, who are key to our ongoing success, as they are already familiar with the unique selling points of the ship itself.”
The inaugural 2021 programs will go on sale via travel trade and CMV’s international sales offices and websites during the first quarter of 2020, with special 2021 launch incentives planned to encourage early bookings.