Following the announcement on 7 March 2018 that Cruise & Maritime Voyages had acquired Pacific Eden from P&O Australia, they invited all their valued Columbus Club members and Trade Partners to participate in naming her.
Following the ‘explorer’ theme of the CMV fleet, the choices were Pytheas, Vasco da Gama, Henry Hudson and Amerigo Vespucci, and on 20 March CMV announced that Pacific Eden will be re-named Vasco da Gama after the famous Portuguese explorer and navigator.
When voting closed at 17.30 Christian Verhounig, CEO and Chairman said, ‘We are grateful to all those Columbus Club members and Trade Partners who took the time and trouble to vote. From the thousands received, the winner is Vasco da Gama with 46% of the total vote.’
Pacific Eden is a replacement for the much smaller Astor. The replacement ship will be more than double the size but will still offer a traditional cruise experience, along with the line’s Columbus, Magellan, Marco Polo and the chartered Astoria.
The new ship will be deployed and dedicated to both the German and Australasian cruise markets. During the northern summer (May-October) the ship will operate under CMV’s German brand, Transocean Kreuzfahrten homeporting from both Bremerhaven and Kiel and during the Australian summer season (December-March) from Fremantle (Perth) and Adelaide, offering a more traditional scenic cruise experience.
During a short period in dock, the livery will be changed and the ship will be re-branded before she makes her inaugural voyage to Northern Europe in 2019.
Vasco da Gama’s maiden voyage will depart from Singapore on Wednesday 24 April 2019 on a 46-night journey visiting South East Asia; the Indian subcontinent; Egypt; Jordan; transiting the Suez Canal; Israel; and classical highlights of the Mediterranean before arriving in London Tilbury, Amsterdam and Bremerhaven. Details of Vasco da Gama’s maiden voyage are scheduled to be released in May.
During the northern summer she will operate for CMV’s German arm TransOcean, sailing from Bremerhaven and Kiel, and during the Australian summer season, she will sail from Fremantle and Adelaide. CMV’s UK, North American and other offices will also be marketing the voyages between Europe and the Antipodes and the wider Australian season.
The ship was launched in 1994 as Holland America Line’s Statendam. Her stay with P&O Australia will be less than three and a half years, although she will be returning to Australia every year after her delivery to CMV.