Luxury ship the Astor will be based in Fremantle for the next three summers from December when it will operate an initial 15 cruise season including a circumnavigation of Australia.
Built in Germany in 1987, the 620-passenger ship underwent an $18.6 million refurbishment in 2010 and has four restaurants, five lounges, two swimming pools and two whirlpools and a sports deck with volleyball court, a half court for tennis, a jogging track and golf facilities. A shopping arcade has a jewellery shop, a perfumery and a wellness centre with a hairdressers and beauty treatments. Seventy per cent of cabins have ocean views and owner Cruise & Maritime Voyages will offer early bird discounts from next week when travellers will be able to book through agents or a new website.
Highlights of the inaugural season include the circumnavigation which departs Fremantle on January 28 with calls at Kangaroo Island, Adelaide, Hobart, Port Arthur, Melbourne, Eden (Canberra), Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, Lombok, Komodo Island and Broome. The 24-night Far East Delights cruise is a roundtrip voyage that departs Fremantle on March 4, 2014 and visits Singapore, Port Klang (Kuala Lumpur), Langkawi, the Straits of Malacca, Phuket, Phi Phi Island, Penang and Bali. On April 1, 2014, the Astor will leave Fremantle to cruise around Africa before arriving in England on May 11.