The ship is scheduled for delivery to CMV in Singapore in early April 2019, followed by a short docking period to include livery change, re-brand and some preparatory works before it repositions to Northern Europe via the Suez on an inaugural voyage.
The new ship will be deployed and dedicated to both the German and Australasian cruise markets. During the northern summer (May-October) the ship will operate under CMV’s German brand, TransOcean Kreuzfahrten, homeporting from both Bremerhaven and Kiel, and during the Australian summer season (December-March) from Fremantle (Perth) and Adelaide, offering a more traditional scenic cruise experience.
CMV’s UK, North American and wider global markets will also be marketing the voyages between Europe and the Antipodes and the wider Australian season.
Continuing the explorer theme, four distinguished explorers have been shortlisted for the ship’s new name and the travel trade and Columbus Club Members will be invited to cast their vote. The shortlist includes Vasco da Gama, Pytheas, Henry Hudson and Amerigo Vespucci.
The selected name is to be announced March 20.
The 55,820gt ship was originally launched in 1994 by Holland America Line as Statendam. It will carry 1,150 passengers in 630 cabins, including 100 solo rooms and 149 balcony suites and cabins, for an 80% ocean-view ratio).
'This stylish traditional vessel is ideally suited to our business model and is in very good shape following a multimillion-dollar refurbishment in 2016,' CMV CEO and chairman Christian Verhounig said. 'As part of our mid-term growth plans, the ship will provide the requirement level of extra capacity needed in Australia and Germany as we continue to grow our international business.'
Chris Coates, group commercial director, added: 'Pacific Eden is an excellent addition to our fleet and the strategic development of the group’s presence in the German and Australian markets will increase overall capacity to just below 150,000 ocean cruise passengers in 2019.'
The summer 2019 Germany-based program for the new ship will go on sale after the Easter holidays in mid-April, with the release of a special launch edition brochure. The Australian summer 2019/20 season will be released during late 2018.
Dean Brazier, managing director of CMV Australia, said Astor has been an 'enormously successful and very popular cruise product in Australia and the new ship will significantly broaden our distribution base and raise our profile, and the capacity increase will help to service growing demand.'
Klaus Ebner, head of marketing and sales at TransOcean Kreuzfahrten, welcomed the chance to significantly increase capacity with 'this fine new ship and her wide range of facilities.'
The new addition will operate alongside CMV’s flagship, Columbus (1,400 passengers), Magellan (1,300 passengers), Marco Polo (800 passengers), Astor (600 passengers) and Astoria (550 passengers).