The vessel arrived in Rotterdam last Saturday.Following the makeover the ship sails to London Tilbury in early June for her naming ceremony and launch party on June 8, before commencing a summer season of ex-UK no fly cruises.
Chris Coates, CMV’s commercial director, who visited the ship this week in Rotterdam said, 'After over a year of meticulous planning this impressive traditional cruise liner is coming back home to British waters where she was once adored by many passengers and proved a firm favourite with the UK cruise market.'
Columbus was built by Chantiers de l'Atlantique and launched in 1988 as Sitmar FairMajesty. Originally ordered for Sitmar Cruises the vessel first entered service
with Princess Cruises as Star Princess in 1989. From 1997 to 2003, she sailed with P&O Cruises as Arcadia and renamed Ocean Village in 2003.After Ocean Village ceased operations, the vessel was renamed Pacific Pearl under P&O Cruises Australia fleet, where she sailed until earlier this year.
A lot of the refurbishment and modification works have already taken place during her ballast voyage from Singapore.
These ongoing works include re-livery and painting of the ship’s hull and superstructure and the adaptation of the existing child and teenage areas which are bring converted to suit CMV’s more mature market.
They include a maritime themed Columbus Observation Lounge affording aft ocean views, Trumps & Aces, a spacious Card and Bridge room, a Ship’s Library with a traditional country house style feel and a Crafter’s studio too.
The casino has been scaled down and renamed Captain’s Club & Casino while the previously named Captain’s Lounge has been renamed Taverner’s Pub offering a selection of popular draught beers and ales plus 15 other beers and a wide selection of wines and spirits.
After the initial days of welcome onboard events in Tilbury, Columbus will embark on a three night cruise 11 June, to Amsterdam and Antwerp, followed by a six nights voyage June 14 to the Norwegian Fjords.
Columbus joins the CMV fleet that includes Magellan, Marco Polo, Astor and Astoria taking CMV’s lower bed ocean fleet capacity to almost 5,000 berths.