Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) is to launch a dedicated cruise ship and product for the French market, with a new brand and a new sales office in Marseille.
‘Astor’, which has been serving both the Australian and German cruise markets with complementary summer programmes since being acquired by CMV in 2013, will be re-deployed to the French market commencing cruise operations in Le Havre on 1st May, 2021.
To meet growing demand in the German market under the Group’s TransOcean Kreuzfahrten brand, she will be replaced by a larger vessel with details to be announced shortly.
‘Astor’ will be re-named ‘Jules Verne’ in 2021 operating year-round under the banner Croisières Maritimes et Voyages (CMV) from both Le Havre and Marseille.
Her maiden 2021-22 French season will include a programme of 18 sailings to Northern Europe, the Mediterranean & Black Sea, a Christmas & New Year Canaries cruise and the winter season concluding with a 123 night world cruise sailing from Marseille on 8th January and returning to Le Havre on 11th May, 2022.
‘Jules Verne’ will be exclusively dedicated to the French-speaking premium cruise market. She will target the adult-only market apart from selected three-generation family cruises operating during the school holidays.
Currently operating in the German market, she will operate a farewell summer 2020 and winter 2021 season with a 127 night world cruise returning to Hamburg on 14th April, 2021. She will then operate a farewell nine-night voyage before undergoing some minor refurbishment and re-livery work ready for the new French season.
Chris Coates, CMV Group Commercial Director commented at the Paris media launch; “We are delighted to be entering the French market with ‘Jules Verne’ and firmly believe that there is a real gap in the market to exploit between the larger mega-resort ship operators and niche luxury cruise lines with an affordable premium positioned product.
“We are confident that ‘Jules Verne’ and our new French product will prove to be a big hit in France and other French-speaking markets and under the leadership and expertise of Clement Mousset, we have assembled a highly experienced management and sales team ready to launch the programme in the New Year.”
At 21,000 gt ‘Jules Verne’ will carry 500 pax accommodated in 289 staterooms, including 42 de-luxe suites, 28 singles for the growing solo’s market and a ratio of almost 70% of accommodation with an ocean view. All the public lounges and decks will follow a French theme and all the suites will be named after famous Chateaux.
Clement Mousset, Director Générale of CMV France, added, “The ship is in great condition and a truly perfect fit for the French market. She is aimed at discerning guests looking for a more intimate, premium positioned, boutique ‘modern vintage’ style cruising experience seeking new friendships with like-minded passengers eager to broaden their cultural horizons, enrich their time on board and explore great and exciting new places not always accessible to larger ships. Exciting times ahead!”
The CMV Group have much experience in serving the French cruise market having operated the 500 pax ‘Astoria’ under summer charter since 2016, to the Paris based cruise and tour operator, Rivages du Monde.
This arrangement concludes in September, 2020.
A dedicated and refurbished new CMV sales office in Marseille, located close to the port will open on 2nd January, 2020. A brand-new website with a booking engine facility will also be unveiled followed by an 80-page special edition launch brochure.