Cruise and Maritime Voyages welcomed their new flagship Columbus into their fleet last Thursday, at a glittering naming ceremony at the London Cruise Terminal in Tilbury.
The 64,000 tonnes ship will carry up to 1400 people and will be cruising year round from London – Tilbury. The cruise industry saw nearly 1.9 million people sail from a UK port last year and now with the arrival of Columbus, a new cruise ship for Britain, this is set to grow even further.
The Godmother to Columbus, who named the ship at the ceremony, is TV personality Angela Rippon CBE. Whilst naming the ship, within the splendid Palladium show lounge, she told a delighted audience of the media, travel trade and VIP customers “I look forward to offering Columbus the same respect as my own godchildren.” Angela reminded the audience that Columbus discovered the New World of America on the 12th October 1492. “12th October is my birthday” she said.
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.”
Mr Coates also announced that “Thanks to the support of our travel trade partners, we have sold over 95% of our 2017 Columbus cruise programme and an incredible 40% of 2018 capacity. Our Buy One Get One Free deals offer the best possible value and our customers recognise that it pays to book early.”
Columbus set sail from the London Cruise Terminal at Tilbury yesterday, Sunday 11th June, on her maiden three night cruise to Amsterdam and Antwerp. In glorious sunshine, a brass band and confetti cannons bid her bon voyage! The season continues with cruises to the Norwegian Fjords, British Isles, Iceland, Baltic Cities, Canary Islands & Madeira, Scottish Highlights & Faroes, Spain, Portugal, France & Gibraltar and a spectacular 46 night voyage to Cuba, Central America & the Caribbean.