What was once one of Australia’s most admired cruise ships Pacific Pearl said farewell to the P&O Cruises Australia fleet in April 2017, after more than five years’ service, and carrying more than half a million passengers on 294 separate cruises.
She made her final voyage to Singapore for her three month transformation into Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) Columbus.
She has had an illustrious history 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 June 2017.
Cruise & Maritime Voyages greeted their new flagship Columbus into their fleet on June 8th 2017, at a dazzling naming ceremony at the London Cruise Terminal in Tilbury. The 64,000 tonnes ship will carry up to 1400 guests (adults only) and will be voyaging year round from London – Tilbury.
The Godmother to Columbus, who named the ship at the ceremony, is TV personality Angela Rippon CBE. During the ceremony which was held in the spectacular Palladium show lounge, she expressed to charmed onlookers of the media, travel trade and VIP’s:
“I look forward to offering Columbus the same respect as my own godchildren.”
Chris Coates, Commercial Director at CMV said “When we introduced Magellan to our fleet just over two years ago, I suggested that it would be a game changer for us. Indeed it has been, and now we begin a new chapter as we proudly introduce our new flagship, Columbus, enabling us to respond to growing customer demand for traditional style cruising on board mid-sized cruise ships. The arrival of Columbus means we are on course to carry 100,000 passengers in 2018 cruising from the UK, which is 10% of the market.”
The three month transformation saw the children’s club converted into a lounge, library, card room and craft studio.
Columbus also has a Dome Observatory, wooden promenades, a classic British-themed pub and casino and three restaurants plus two cafes.
Amenities also comprise two heated swimming pools and large open decks with an open-air screen, plus a wellness centre and gym
Columbus set sail from Tilbury yes Sunday 11th June, on her maiden three night cruise to Amsterdam and Antwerp. In magnificent sunshine, a brass band and confetti cannons bid her bon voyage!