With just a month to go before it’s 2016 summer season goes on sale, Cruise and Maritime Voyages has announced that it will be entering the French cruise market for the summer months next year.

The French company, Rivages du Monde, will be chartering the 16,000 ton Azores from CMV for a series of sailings as far afield as Greenland and the Adriatic. The famous ship- well known to many as the former Stockholm of 1948- will sail from a variety of ports on the French mainland, including Bordeaux, Dunkirk, Le Havre and Marseilles, as well as the Belgian port of Ostend.

Prior to the lucrative French charter, the 550 passenger ship will be renamed as Astoria, after which she will embark on a two month series of cruises from the United Kingdom.

The renamed Astoria will make her initial sailing for Rivages du Monde on May 11th. The company is a Paris-based operator specialising in cruising and in depth touring adventures.

This announcement is certainly good news to anyone that appreciates the concept of classic cruising on an intimate, laid back style of ship where personalised service is complemented by the ability to sail into smaller, more exclusive harbours that are too logistically challenging for the newer, larger vessels now in service.

As ever, stay tuned.

MV Azores, seen in her Athena livery in 2010, is going French in 2016

MV Azores, seen in her Athena livery in 2010, is going French in 2016


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