Having been on one cruise already this year, I can't believe that it isn't long at all until my next! In March I will be stepping aboard Cruise & Maritime Voyages' Astoria for a three-night cruise. This will be my fourth cruise with the British-based cruise line, but at just 16,144 gross tonnes and carrying just 550-passengers, Astoria will be the smallest cruise ship which I have ever cruised on.
She will also be the oldest! Astoria was orginally launched in 1948, known then as Stockholm. The ship is famously known by many ship fans for sinking the ocean liner Andrea Doria. The two ships collided in the Atlantic Ocean in 1956. Now in her 69th year of service, Astoria is the oldest cruise ship curing the world's oceans.
Having cruised with Cruise & Maritime Voyages before and touring the ship a few years ago, when she was known as Azores, I have a little heads up as to what I can expect. I am however a little optimistic about cruising aboard such a small ship. I will only be spending three nights on board and visiting two of my favourites ports of calls, Amsterdam and Antwerp. I've been to both ports numerous times on my many mini cruises, so have fallen in love with them now and know both cities very well.
The main reason I booked this cruise was because Astoria is due to leave the Cruise & Maritime Voyages fleet in May 2017. It is not yet clear what might happen to the ship currently. So taking no chances, I wanted to cruise on board this classic ocean liner before it was too late!
I'm now counting down the days until I board Astoria and set sail with Cruise & Maritime Voyages once again! (I'll be cruising with them yet again in June 2017, on the maiden voyage of their new flagship, Columbus!)
Harry Cotterill set up his blog when he was just 16-years old, making him one of the youngest cruise bloggers in the world. In later years he became known across the world for his amazing talent of drawing cruise ships!