Croisières Maritimes et Voyages (CMV) – Other Cruise News: New In 2020: The Sea Cloud Spirit – St Hilda Sea Adventures Expands
by Kevin Griffin
The latest announcement, following the demise of Pullmantur’s Croisières de France brand in 2017, is the establishment of another French cruising company, to be called Croisières Maritimes et Voyages. And around the same time Sea Cloud Cruises will introduce their third ship, the Sea Cloud Spirit. Elsewhere, St Hilda Sea Adventures in Scotland has now added a third ship to bring its fleet to three small ships.
THIS WEEK’S STORY
Croisières Maritimes et Voyages (CMV)
UK-based Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV), has announced a new brand and dedicated cruise ship for the French market and will open a sales office in Marseille.
The Astor, which has been serving the Australian and German cruise markets since 2013, will be renamed Jules Verne and re-deployed to the French market, where she will commence cruise operations as the Jules Verne, sailing from Le Havre in May 1 2021.
Operating year-round under the Croisières Maritimes et Voyages (CMV) brand from both Le Havre and Marseille, Jules Verne’s 2021-22 season will include eighteen sailings to Northern Europe, the Mediterranean & Black Sea, a Christmas & New Year Canaries cruise and a winter season concluding with a 123 night Round the World cruise sailing from Marseille on January 8, and returning to Le Havre on May 11, 2022.
The Jules Verne will be renamed at an overnight Gala Event in Le Havre on April 29, 2021 followed by a second such event in Marseille on May 16.
Jules Verne will target the adults-only market apart from selected three generation family cruises operating during the school holidays.
Chris Coates, 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 but with an affordable premium positioned product.”
The Jules Verne will carry 500 guests in 289 staterooms, including 42 de luxe suites, 28 singles and almost 70% of her accommodations will feature an ocean view. The suites will be named after famous Chapeaux.
The CMV Group have experience in serving the French cruise market having operated the 500-passenger Astoria under summer charter since 2016 to Paris-based Rivages du Monde. This arrangement concludes in September 2020.
CMV France will be headed by Clement Mousset. A dedicated CMV sales office close to the port in Marseille will open for business on January 2, 2020. Mousset will be supported by Cedric Rivoire-Perrochat as director of marketing & operations and sales team.
A new website with a booking engine facility will also be unveiled followed by an 80 page special edition launch brochure.
OTHER CRUISE NEWS
New In 2020: The Sea Cloud Spirit
The Sea Cloud Spirit is yet another milestone in the Hamburg-based shipping company’s story, which began forty years ago with the legendary Sea Cloud, joined in 2001 by the Sea Cloud II.
The flagship of Sea Cloud Cruises is based on the faithfully restored private yacht that the American multimillionaire Edward F Hutton had built for his wife Marjorie Merriweather Post in 1931 at the Germania shipyard in Kiel. Following a rich and varied history, the 361-foot four-masted barque has been used by Sea Cloud Cruises for its luxury cruises since 1979.
The Sea Cloud Spirit has been designed as a three-masted full-rigged ship. With more than 44,000 square feet, it is able to carry twice the sail area of the sail training ship Gorch Fock, for example. The tallest of the three masts is 187 feet high.
The newly built ship is equipped with two diesel-electric drives with a capacity of 1700 kW each. For Sea Cloud Cruises, it was a natural choice to operate all ships with low-sulphur marine diesel from the outset. “The use of heavy oil was never an option for us. We offer a sustainable experience that works in harmony with nature and the people whose countries we visit,” Schäfer says, explaining the concept of Sea Cloud’s sail-powered cruises.
The 453-foot three-master can accommodate up to 136 passengers and, like its two fleet mates, occupies a special niche within the expanding cruise market.
The Sea Cloud Spirit was launched in 2008 as the Sea Cloud Hussar. However, shortly before completion of the hull, the project was interrupted when the previous shipyard went bankrupt. After years of lying inactive, the project was finally revived and is being completed by the new Metalships shipyard and Partner Ship Design.
Commencing in August 2020, the new Sea Cloud Spirit will begin sailing the eastern Mediterranean, southern Spain, Morocco, the Canary Islands and cross the Atlantic to the Caribbean. Her first Transatlantic be in November from Gran Canaria to St Maarten
St Hilda Sea Adventures Expands
Scottish small ship cruises are now offered by St Hilda Sea Adventures, who in addition to providing small ship cruising offer wildlife holidays on the beautiful west coast of Scotland.
St Hilda’s cruises include breathtakingly beautiful islands, sea lochs and the mountains of the Inner and Outer Hebrides are truly unforgettable.
Two years ago, The Guardian chose St Hilda Sea Adventures as one of the ten best small ship cruises in the world.
The line runs three charter boats, St Hilda, Gemini Explorer and Seahorse II out of Dunstaffnage marina, three miles north of Oban.
St Hilda (maximum 6 passengers) is a traditional, former wooden tall ship. The St Hilda is a traditional, wooden 54-foot ketch. She is an ex-tall ship, built at St Monans in Fife in 1973 as a sail training vessel. The line began with this vessel in 2006.
Seahorse II (maximum 11 passengers) is a former Norwegian ferry, acquired as the line’s second vessel in 2018. She was built to the highest standard for navigating the Norwegian fjords and the high northern latitudes. Previously, she was also used for winter sailing by Britain’s Royal Navy.
Gemini Explorer (maximum 8 passengers) is a 70-foot ex-cruising lifeboat that was built in Bidford and based for many years in North Devon’s beautiful Clovelly as Lifeboat 70-003. She is the most recent addition to the St Hilda fleet, added just this year.
All three vessels have been lovingly converted to cruise the western islands of Scotland in comfort and style. Prices per night run from £160 to £260.
(Kevin Griffin is managing director of The Cruise People Ltd and a director of specialist cruise operator Culture Cruises Ltd, both of London, England. For further information concerning cruises mentioned in this article readers can visit his blog)