Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) will enter the French market with a fully French-speaking product on a year-round basis as the company will turn the Astor into the Jules Verne and operate it under the Croisières Maritimes and Voyages banner in 2021.
The ship will sail cruises to Northern Europe, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea and already has a world cruise set for 2022.
Apart from the world cruise, average cruise lengths will be around 12 days on the 550-guest ship, according to company executives.
The 1987-built ship will sail from Le Havre and Marseille starting in spring of 2021, taking over a key position in the market as there is no current contemporary cruise brand in France.
Ponant offers a current French product, but in the ultra-luxury and expedition space.
Previously, Croisières de France offered a mainstream product to the French market but was eventually shut down by Pullmantur.
Based in the UK, CMV operates in the British market with the Cruise & Maritime Voyages brand, which also has a presence in Australia. It also operates the Transocean brand, which is positioned in the German budget market.
Other initiatives include a seasonal program sailing from Sonora, Mexico, to the Mexican Riviera.