Magellan of CMV Cruises sailed past Velsen Noord at the 30th of may 2016. When she was introduced by Carnival Cruise Lines in 1985 as Holiday, she was one of the largest cruiseships afloat, of course not counting the former oceanliners.
Although she is the most modern ship of CMV Cruises, as her fleetmate Marco Polo dates from 1964 and the other CMV ship Azores was built in 1946, Magellan is classic in her own right. Not a youngster herself, she was built as Carnival Cruise Line's second newbuilding Holiday and launched in 1983. Carnival had refined their own style at their first newbuild Tropicale that had been launched three years earlier, but now they started to push up the scale. Tropicale had been a 22.000 tonner and Holiday was just over 46.000 tons. Next to that, Holiday was to recieve also two slightly larger sisterships in the middle of the 1980's, Jubilee in 1986 and Celebration in 1987. When launched, Holiday was in fact the largest cruiseship that had been built untill then, and next to several classic oceanliners like Norway and Queen Elizabeth 2 one of the largest passengerships afloat. Several cruiseships closing in on Holiday's tonnage were built, but only one of them also passed the 40.000-ton marker. Among her main new competitors were HAPAG-Lloyd's Europa (33.819 tons) of 1981 and Royal Caribbean's Song Of America (37.584 tons) of 1982. Sitmar's Fairsky (38.876 tons) and Princess Cruises first Royal Princess (44.348 tons) both introduced in 1984 came close, but even those did not meet the tonnage-measurement of the new Carnival ship. I firmly state that Holiday was the Oasis Of The Seas of the begining of the 1980's, dwarfing competition. Although that now seems very far-fetched. there is a lot of truth in that statement.
Magellan seen closing in at the Velsen ferry at the northsea canal passage from Amsterdam to IJmuiden at the 5th of june 2015. Sadly, the ferry spoiled my ideal photo moment.
Holiday as the leadship of her three-strong class was also the first cruiseship that was an evolution in design of her forerunner, Tropicale, and a base for the still larger upcoming Fantasy-class. The class she was a part of also was the first class of three that was ever built especially for the cruise-industry. She thus was the ship that started true modern-day cruising, where more large ships in larger classes are the standard. Everybody that still can say that what is now CMV's Magellan is not one of the most important cruiseships in cruising history, is missing an important part of that history.
Although she was such a step forward, she relied on a classic lay-out. Her cabins did not have balconies, with the exception of a few suites at her highest deck. All cabins were also in the lower hull, with the public rooms above, something that was only swiched at the Royal Princess. Her lifeboats were located high up at the open promenadedeck. She had no glass-sliding roof over the pool, no atrium and with two main dining rooms and no speciality restaurants, she was clearly not the modern ship we see nowadays. There were a few lounges, a pianobar, a large theater up front, lido-restaurant and casino, but the wide range of choices we now have was also still not there. But then this is not what passengers expected in those days, even not with Carnival. She was 'the' modern giant, but still a cruiseship as they had been built from the late 1960's onwards. Because the interiour design was also the basis for the eight-ship Fantasy-class, that was built between 1988 and 1998, Carnival still introduced ships with an 'old' lay-out in a time when other lines already followed the Royal Princess style, with sea-view cabins with private balconies at the top-decks and the public rooms below. When the last ship of the Fantasy-Class, Paradise, was introduced in december 1998, she was thus already outdated by competition.
Strangely, the Carnival trademark winged funnel (based on the funnels of the Norway), wasn't replaced when the ship came over to Iberocruceros. Now, as a CMV ship, she still retains it. Other ships that Carnival replaced all have lost the trademark funnel.
About building, Holiday was born in Denmark at the Aalborg Vaerft at Aalborg as yardnumber 246. She was launched traditionally at the 10th of december 1983 and sailed her first trials in january. Her total tonnage-measurement was 46.052, she had a lenght of 221,57 meters and a width of 28.17 meters. On her nine decks, the ship had room for 1794 passengers in 726 cabins and those were taken care of by 600 crewmembers. Two seven-cylinder diesel engines of Sulzer design drove the ship through the seas at a speed of around 22 knots. When she as introduced, the ship flew the flag of Panama but this was altered to the Bahamas in the year 2000, when she was registered at Nassau.
Holiday was delivered to Carnival Cruise Line at the thirth of june 1985 and sailed for Miami from Aalborg departing the 22nd of june. In Miami, the ship was named by Lin Arison, the wife of Ted Arison, the late Chairman and founder of Carnival Cruise Line. She was also the one that christened Carnival's first ship Mardi Gras in 1972 and in november 2013, Lin Arison was again asked to be godmother to the Carnival Sunshine, the updated version of the Carnival Destiny. From Miami, Holiday sailed her first cruise in the Caribbean departing the 13th of july 1985.
The ship had a very steady carreer for her owners untill in the beginning of the new millennium, when Carnival had also introduced more modern ships to keep up with growing competition from other lines.
At the end of august of 2005, disaster was at the horizon. Around the Bahamas, a hurricane with the name Katrina started and when the storm hit the United States close to New Orleans, the damage was immense. Katrina was the thirth largest hurricane in the history of the USA and also the costliest. Next to that, 1833 people lost their lives. As she originated from the area where Carnival is close connected to, the company decided to take Holiday out of normal cruiseservice and charter her to the Federal Emergency Management Authority (FEMA) as a temporary housing vessel for 150 people in the region that was hardest hit, docking in Mobile. Next to that, the ship also provided aid to those who needed it most. Next to Holiday, Carnival also chartered two Fantasy class ships, Sensation and Ecstasy to the FEMA to house victims from Galveston, but those ships were never used as such because the idea was turned down by the people that were to be helped. Mostly because they stated that they did not want to move again or were leery to be out on a ship in the floodwaters. FEMA later used those two ships for the housing of emergencyworkers and their families.
Holiday ended her service for FEMA in november of 2005 and recieved an update during a three week drydock period. Exactly four years later, in november of 2009, Holiday left the fleet of Carnival Cruise Line in total after 24 years of service. She now was replaced within te Spanish fleet of Iberocruceros, part of the Carnival Corporation. For this company, the ship was renamed Grand Holiday for the Spanish market, starting her first cruise as such at may 10th, 2010. Normally, the iconic winged Carnival funnel is replaced when a ship departs the fleet, but strangely, Grand Holiday kept hers. It was only painted over in the new colours of Iberocruceros. During the winter Olympic games in Russia in 2014, the ship was used as a hotelvessel in Port Sochi Imeretinskiy, before returning back to the Spanish fleet. In that same year, the company Orizonia (Carnivals partner in Iberocruceros) declared itself bankrupt and Grand Holiday now was the only ship left in the fleet, now completely owned by Carnival. When Carnival decided that the dockingspace of Iberocruceros in Barcelona would be reserved for the new Costa flagship Costa Diadema, it was clear that Iberocruceros was ending and Grand Holiday was sold to British based Global Maritime Group, the owners of CMV Cruises, as their new flagship. For them, she recieved the name Magellan.
The name Magellan comes from Fernao de Magalhaes, a Portugese explorer known to the ones outside Portugal as Ferdinand Magellan. He lived between 1480 and 1521 and he was the first explorer who'se expedition circumnavigated the Earth between 1519 and 1522. He did not live to see home again, as he was killed during the battle of Mactan at the Filippines in 1521 during the way home. In the years following the new millennium and in the wake of the intruduction of The World, there were plans to built a ship alike under the name Magellan, but then much bigger. Aboard, people were able to buy appartments and live actually at sea. This ship was never built and The World keeps sailing the oceans as the only appartmentship ever built. But now, the world has a new Magellan though, hoping that name will now once an for all circumnavigate the Earth and complete what her namegiver started.
At march the 12th, 2015, the new Magellan was named at Tilbury Docks, London by Gloria Hunniford, a TV-and radio personality from England. Following the Gala Launch Dinner was a great fireworks-display. For this, the mighty Thames river was closed for traffic for about fifteen minutes.
The ships interiours as a Carnival ship were originally designed by Joe Farcus, house-designer of the Carnival Corporation retiring only this year. He is known for busy decor, lots of glitter and neon and of course the shiny floors. When the ship moved over to Iberocruceros, this was scaled down to give a more quiet tone and now as a CMV Cruises ship that is even more refined. The reception lobby, although only one deck, has a mirrored roof and a large, illuminated sculpture in the middle, giving the idea that the space is much bigger making it almost look like and atrium. At the starboard side of the ship at deck 9, there is a large spacy inside promenade connecting the main public rooms and throughout the ship, her modern interiours give her a very roomy style. For CMV, the ship is a huge step forward from the other ships and it has to be seen how the company can now continue its growth.
Shortly after her official introduction, at the 16th of may she arrived at the Damen Shiprepair yard at Amsterdam where she was docked for five weeks to recieve again a major update. Somewhat strange that this was done two months after her introduction. For two weeks during may, she
was in drydock and her hull, rudder and propellers were cleaned. Furthermore, the pipesystem of the ship was renewed, her lifeboats serviced and stabiliser fins checked. In the beginning of june, the ship went back to Tilbury from whereher first renewed cruise started towards, well, Amsterdam.
In february and march of 2019, Magellan will be branded under the name of Cruceros Maritimos Vacacionales especially for the Mexican market. For 2020, the company predicts a longer winterseason under this new brand,. The ship will sail week-long cruises from Acapulco under the only 'domestic' Mexican brand. CMV is not new to specialized markets, as they also sail with the Astor in Germany under the banner of Transocean Tours and have a history in Australia with the Astoria.