Transocean Tours Turistik dates from 1954, when it was set up by D. Oltmann as a travelcompany, at that moment without a cruise-department. Their involvement with cruising started in 1967, when they became the West-German agents for the Baltic Shipping Company. This was one of the main Sovjet state fleets and although the Cold War was at its height during the 1960's, the western market had always been very important for the Sovjet-based cruiseliners. Transocean started to sell cruises aboard the Sovjet ships Alexandr Pushkin and Estonia. In 1972, Transocean started sailing under their own name, using the Estonia in their first years after a complete rebuilding had took place at Marseille, to bring her up to more modern standards. The ship had been built in 1960 and needed a refreshment before she could be placed in German cruiseservice. In the 1970's, Transocean also started to offer cruises on the rivers of Europe, again using Sovjet ships from Baltic Shipping Company and Black Sea Shipping Company. between 1979 and 1981, also Alexandr Pushkin was chartered for cruising under the Transocean Tours name, although the ships kept sailing in their Sovjet colours.
Alexandr Pushkin, below seen as Marco Polo in the IJmuiden locks at the 1st of april 2013, was one of the first ships used by Transocean Tours.
In 1991, the Sovjet Union collapsed and the company also started to charter ships from other lines and a few years later, the ships were painted in the colours of Transocean Tours itself, with a blue line on the hulls and the blue 'T'-with-a-tail on the funnel. The first ship Transocean chartered from a company outside the Sovjet Union was the Calypso, that was also the first one to recieve the housecolours of Transocean Tours in 1994. She was followed by the Sagafjord in 1996, when Cunard Line started to restructure their fleet. For Transocean, this ship was renamed Gripsholm, a name formerly used by the ships of the Svenska Amerika Linjen. The name was chosen, because originally it was planned to use the former Gripsholm for Transocean, then sailing for Regency Cruises under the name Regent Sea. Because of the failure of Regency Cruises, the deal collapsed and another ship had to be chartered under the same name, because of marketing issues. This was sadly only for one year, after she was severely damaged by fire she was chartered to Saga Cruises, who were able to use her untill 2009, when the ship was scrapped.
Untill the beginning of the new millennium, Transocean only had chartered ships which were built in the 1960's, but in 2001 a more modern ship was added to the fleet for a ten year charter. This was the Astor, a ship that was built in 1987. Between 1988 and 1990, this ship had already been part of the Transocean fleet, but then still under the name Fedor Dostoevskiy when she was still owned by the Black Sea Shipping Company. In 2002, Astor's slightly older sistership followed, named Astoria in Transocean service. Those ships got their names from John Jacob Astor, a famous US industrialist who perished aboard Titanic in 1912. Both ships became the best known units in the Transocean fleet, that was again extended with the Arielle, that was chartered from Louis Cruise Lines between 2006 and 2008. In 2008, she was replaced by one of the first ships that had sailed for Transocean, the former Alexandr Pushkin and now named Marco Polo.
In september 2010, Transocean Tours had to file for bankrupcy, but the name was later bought by South Key Travel & Leisure, continuing cruising on the Astor under the Transocean name. This company also owns CMV Cruises and in the end of 2014, the Astor was actually bought by CMV, after this company had taken over the management of the ship from Global Maritime Group. Transocean Tours now is used as a marketingname for CMV Cruises, working the German market.
Several of the other ships that have sailed for Transocean Tours that are placed elswhere at this site are listed below
Alexandr Pushkin / Marco Polo (several years) is placed as Marco Polo under BLASCO
Gripsholm (1996) is placed as Saga Rose under Saga Cruises
The Calypso (1998-2000) is placed under Thomson Cruises
Astoria (2002-2010) is placed as Saga Pearl II under Saga Cruises
Arielle (2006-2008) is placed under Royal Caribbean Cruise Line