#DublinDebut – Cruise & Maritime Voyages newest flagship Columbus departed Dublin Port late last night and was followed by the arrival of predecessor Magellan in the early hours of this morning, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The maiden call of Columbus to the capital was part of 12-nights ‘Grand British Isles Discovery Cruise’ which continues with a visit today to the Isles of Scilly. The 63,000 gross tonnage flagship however made a first ever cruise earlier this month of a 3-nights ‘Amsterdam & Antwerp Break’.
This North Sea mini-cruise followed the Columbus christening ceremony by TV celebrity Angela Rippon at Tilbury, London Cruise Terminal. This is where the 1,400 passenger flagship will be based year-round from her new UK homeport following a previous career with P&O Cruises in Australia.
Across the UK last year, nearly 1.9 million people took a cruise and now with the arrival of Columbus the market is set to grow even further.
Speaking at the flagships’ naming ceremony in Tilbury, 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.”
Magellan’s return call to Dublin, cannot simply be ignored given the completion of two of five sold-out ‘home-ported’ cruises that embark Irish passengers directly in the capital. These cruises were a 9 nights ‘Fjordland Splendour’ and 12 nights ‘Fjords and Iceland.
This evening a new cruise departs Dublin, this time it’s an 11-night ‘Spain, Portugal and France Cruise’.
Due to the success of these cruises, CMV are to repeat the Dublin home-porting in 2018 but with an additional 11 cruises departing and returning to the capital.