MV Astor – Past and Present

MV Astor (II)

ex Fedor Dostyevskiy, Astor

© Brian Fisher

© Brian Fisher (Felixstowe, July 1988)

Steel twin screw motor vessel built by Howaldtswerke Deutsche Werft ,Germany (Yard no 218) in 1986 for South African Marine Corporation (Safmarine). 

Technical Data

  • Length: 176.50m (579.0 ft) (overall)
  • Breadth of Hull: 22.61m (74.1 ft) (extreme)
  • Draught: 6.10m (20.0 ft) (maximum)
  • Tonnage: 20,159 gross (1986), 20,606 gross (1988), 7,637 net, 3,950 deadweight
  • Engines: Four x 8-cylinder Sulzer SRG 6ZAL40 diesels
  • Power: 15,400 kw
  • Speed: 21 knots
  • Capacity: 656 passengers
  • Call Sign: C6JR3
  • IMO Number: 8506373
  • Registry: Port Louise/Mauritius, Odessa/USSR, Germany, Nassau/Bahamas
  • Sister Vessel: Saga Pearl II

Current Location

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Please note that the AIS ship position data may be over an hour old and a specific vessels position will only be displayed if its within range of the MarineTraffic system. The ship position data featured on this page is intended for information purposes only and is no way related to the safety of navigation at sea. All the AIS ship position data featured on this page is provided by and we are therefore not responsible for its content or its accuracy.


1985: Ordered, by South African Marine Corporation, Kapstaden, South Africa for Durban – Southampton route, because machinery installation of 1984 acquired ASTOR not of sufficient power for maintenance of liner service.

January 21st 1986: Keel laid.

June 24th 1986: Launched , by floating out of dry dock.

January 1986: While under construction plan for liner service abandoned and she was sold on completion, to Marlan Corporation, Port Louis, Mauritius.

© Frank Heine

© Frank Heine (Kiel 07/10/1986)

January 14th 1987: Delivered .

January 14th 1987: Maiden cruise from Hamburg via Genoa and then to South America, followed by cruising in the Caribbean.

© Frank Heine

© Frank Heine (Hamburg, 31/01/1987)

© Joerg Seyler

© Joerg Seyler (Hamburg, 02/1987)

1988: Transferred to Fedor Dostoevskiy Shipping Co, Nassau, Bahamas.

© Simonwp

© Simonwp (Felixstowe, 01/08/1988)

October 3rd 1988: Sold to Black Sea Shipping Co, Odessa, Soviet Union. Renamed FEDOR DOSTOEVSKIY.

© Frank Heine

© Frank Heine (Bremerhaven, 00.12.1989)

December 23rd 1988: Chartered to Transocean and made her first cruise from Genoa.

March 1990: Chartered to Neckermann Seereisen for four years.

1991: Transferred to Fedor Dostoevskiy Shipping Co, Nassau, Bahamas.

© “Seadevil”  © Marc Piché

© “Seadevil” (Bremerhavenm, 1995) (left) and © Marc Piché (27/08/1995)(right)

December 1st 1995: Renamed ASTOR. Chartered to Aquamarin for cruising.

16/05/2005 @ Dover © Nigel Thornton  16/05/2005 @ Dover © Nigel Thornton

16/05/2005 @ Dover © Nigel Thornton

© Nigel Thornton (Dover, 16/05/2005)


 © N Thornton   © N Thornton

 © N Thornton   © N Thornton

 © N Thornton   © N Thornton

 © N Thornton   © N Thornton

 © N Thornton   © N Thornton

 © N Thornton   © N Thornton

 © N Thornton   © N Thornton

 © N Thornton   © N Thornton

 © N Thornton   © N Thornton

 © N Thornton   © N Thornton

 © N Thornton

1996: Registered to Astor Shipping Co, Nassau, Bahamas and chartered to Transocean Tours, Bremen, Germany.

May 15th 2009: Ran aground in Copenhagen. She was refloated later with only minor damage.

© John Wilson   © John Wilson

© John Wilson   © John Wilson

© John Wilson (Feb 2014)

November 2013: 2014: Charter: Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV), Dartford, United Kingdom

December 17th 2014: Registered Owner; Passion Shipping & Investment. Manager; Global Cruise Lines Ltd.


© Aleksi Lindström

2015: Operator; Transocean Tours GmbH, Bremen, Germany

September 5th 2019: Collided with the quayside in Nantes. There were no reported injuries, but damage consisted of a hole of 20 m² on port quarter.



September 6th 2019: To Saint-Nazaire for urgent repairs.

September 9th 2020:

Five former Cruise & Maritime Voyages ships have been put up for sale at auction following the demise of Britain’s largest independent cruise line in July.

The ships put up for auction are VASCO DA GAMA, COLUMBUS, ASTOR, MAGELLAN and MARCO POLO. The ships are currently laid up in London Tilbury and Bristol Avonmouth. ASTORIA is not part of the auction as plans were already in place for when she was due to leave the fleet in October 2020.

Deadlines of between October 8 and 22 have been set for bids to be lodged with the broker CW Kellock & Co. Each vessel will be sold separate, although no indication of values have been disclosed.

VASCO DA GAMA – Bid deadline: Midday Thursday 8th October 2020

COLUMBUS – Bid deadline: Midday Monday 12th October 2020

MAGELLAN – Bid deadline: Midday Monday 19th October 2020

ASTOR – Bid deadline: Midday Thursday 15th October 2020

MARCO POLO – Bid deadline: Midday Thursday 22nd October 2020

Cruise Capital

All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions found. All items included in this article are subject to © copyright. We would like to take this opportunity of thanking: Brian Fisher, “Seadevil” (, Frank Heine, Aleksi Lindström, Marc Piché, Joerg Seyler, Simonwp and John Wilson for their assistance in compiling this feature.

 Article © Nigel Thornton and Ray Goodfellow (Dover Ferry Photos Group)


  1. I was very interested in the history of the Astor. If I am correct was she not originally owned our chartered by Morgan Leisure based in Colchester. I ask as I produced a credit card for the maiden voyage for passenger use, and went to Southampton as she docked cant think what year. At the time the travel industry were going on board for a pre cruise meal etc.

    I do recall when I went to the Colchester office they were taking on crew.

    1. Hi David,
      Thanks for taking time to comment.

      In 1986 she was sold by Safmarine because her intended employment was to be in a liner service. This plan was abandoned as her machinery had insufficient power.
      Consequently Morgan Leisure, Colchester were employed as marketing agent for her as a cruise vessel.In Germany marketing was done by a subsidiary Globus Kreuzfahrten GmbH. Morgan and Globus having financial connection with Safmarine.

      Nigel Thornton

  2. Great photos Nigel.
    I was one of the singers on the Maiden voyage-have the minted coin given to the first passengers. We picked up the ship in Hamburg and then sailed firstly to Amsterdam.
    The entertainers on board the maiden cruise were. Lyn Paul, Frankie Vaughan, Eve Graham. I also remember Pete Murray and Eileen Akins also giving talks to passengers.
    All great people and some great memories.

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