MV Columbus is the seventh cruise ship of Cruise & Maritime Voyages. She was built by Chantiers de l'Atlantique, at their shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France, and launched in 1988 as Sitmar FairMajesty. Originally ordered for Sitmar Cruises, she was sold and first entered service with Princess Cruises as Star Princess in 1989. From 1997 to 2003, she served in the P&O Cruises fleet as MV Arcadia. She was renamed Ocean Village in 2003... Read more
MV Columbus is the seventh cruise ship of Cruise & Maritime Voyages. She was built by Chantiers de l'Atlantique, at their shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France, and launched in 1988 as Sitmar FairMajesty. Originally ordered for Sitmar Cruises, she was sold and first entered service with Princess Cruises as Star Princess in 1989. From 1997 to 2003, she served in the P&O Cruises fleet as MV Arcadia. She was renamed Ocean Village in 2003 when the brand was established. Ocean Village was the sole cruise ship of the Ocean Village brand after the Ocean Village Two became the Pacific Jewel. In 2010 the Ocean Village brand ceased its operations and she was transferred to P&O Cruises Australia and renamed Pacific Pearl. She served in the P&O Cruises Australia fleet up until 2017 when she was sold to Cruise & Maritime Voyages and renamed MV Columbus.
Sitmar FairMajesty had been launched and named but was still being fitted out when Sitmar was taken over by P&O in 1988. She was subsequently renamed Star Princess when she commenced operating for P&O's Princess Cruises division in 1989. On 23 June 1995 at 01:42 The MV Star Princess struck Poundstone Rock in Favorite Channel while sailing the Lynn Canal from Skagway to Juneau Alaska. There were no injuries or deaths. Damage to the Star Princess was substantial. Repairs cost over $7 million and lost revenue was estimated at $20 million. The repaired MV Star Princess resumed her cruise schedule on 7 August 1995. In 1997 she was transferred to P&O's Southampton based UK fleet as a replacement for SS Canberra, which was scrapped that year. Appropriately, she was refitted for her new role at Harland and Wolff, the shipyard in Belfast that built Canberra.
She was renamed Arcadia, in honour of an earlier P&O liner of the same name that served the UK-Australia route, and a new Princess Cruises ship took the name Star Princess.
In 2003, P&O inaugurated its Ocean Village brand of cruises aimed at young people and families. Arcadia was renamed Ocean Village to undertake these cruises. She was repainted with a more colourful livery featuring a vivid purple, yellow and red swoosh on the bow as part of the refit. Modifications were also made to the public areas and accommodation. The work was carried out between 28 March and 17 April 2003 at Lloyd Werft Bremerhaven.
Ocean Village was the only ship in the Ocean Village fleet after 2009, a former brand of Carnival UK. It was aimed at mature cruisers who prefer casual informal cruising. The ship was sailing from Bridgetown, Barbados in the winter and from Palma de Mallorca, Spain in the summer.
Onboard features included a 3-storey atrium called Village Square incorporating shops, a performance space, coffee and cocktail bars. A 2-storey show lounge called the Marquee featured tribute acts and dance/show routines from the onboard cast. A second smaller lounge called Connexions was used for comedy and light entertainment, a traditional English Pub called the Oval with occasional sports shown on TV, a nightclub called Bayside, cinema called the Movie Drome, 2 swimming pools (Crystal and Riviera), 4 jacuzzis, a kids and teens-club, 2 Gyms, a sports net area and a health Spa. Food is provided in two buffet style restaurants Waterfront and Plantation (the latter of which is open 24hrs), and two waiter service restaurants called La Luna and the Bistro for which supplements were charged.
During the transformation from Arcadia to Ocean Village, a large steel arch was fitted over the lido deck, used for acrobatic shows, during which the ship has to be slowed to around 5 to 8 knots (9.3 to 14.8 km/h; 5.8 to 9.2 mph).
Ocean Village sailed on her final farewell voyage on 21 October, a 23-day cruise stopping at Cairo-Egypt (from Port Said), visiting the Suez Canal, Safaga, Egypt, Muscat, Oman, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Cochin, India, Langkawi, Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur (from Port Kelang, Malaysia) and finally stopping at Singapore where she entered dry dock to become Pacific Pearl, also marking the end of Ocean Village Cruise Line. There was the option for a 30-day cruise, a week in the Mediterranean and the final cruise itself, both the 23 or the 30 day cruises were adults only. The port call at Dubai was changed to Fujairah over security concerns. Passengers heading to Dubai took a free shuttle service, which was about a two-hour bus ride away from the port.
On 30 October 2008, Carnival Corporation & plc announced the closure of their Ocean Village brand. Coinciding with this both Ocean Village ships were to be transferred to the fleet of P&O Cruises Australia. Ocean Village joined the P&O Australia fleet as Pacific Pearl towards the end of 2010. Her first sailing as Pacific Pearl was on 22 December 2010.
On 3 March 2016, P&O Cruises Australia announced that the Pacific Pearl would be transferring out of the fleet in March 2017. Having completed 294 cruises for P&O, the Pacific Pearl has carried more than half a million passengers over five years. On 7 March 2016 it was announced that the ship will be transferred to Cruise & Maritime Voyages as the Columbus becoming its new flagship. The farewell voyage of the ship commenced in Auckland on 27 March 2017, spanning 16 days and docking at six ports before finally ending in Singapore on 12 April 2017. After departing Singapore, the Pacific Pearl sailed to Damen Shiprepair Schiedam in Rotterdam, The Netherlands and underwent dry dock to become Columbus. The Pacific Jewel has replaced her services out of New Zealand. In 2018 she underwent dry dock with Damen Shiprepair in Amsterdam.