Cruise and Maritime Voyages

Cruise and Maritime Voyages

Fodor’s Expert Review

Cruise StyleMainstream
Ship SizeMidsize

UK-based Cruise and Maritime Voyages specializes in adults-only cruises for travelers over 60 who seek a low-key, traditional British experience. Two refurbished 800-passenger ships, Marco Polo and Discovery, offer classic cruising itineraries from 2-night mini-excursions to 44-night cruises and are designed to maximize time in ports of call. With departure from six UK cities, afternoon tea service, an English-speaking staff, and pounds sterling as onboard currency, the cruise line attracts a predominantly unpretentious, British crowd.Read More

Founded in 2009, the cruise line has already carried more than 80,000 passengers and built its reputation with an emphasis on child-free cruising for older travelers, friendly service, good value, and a traditional British ambience. While the very popular flagship Marco Polo has a strong following among novice and seasoned travelers who prefer a “ship of character,” the older but extensively refurbished Ocean Countess lures many first-timers for its excellent value, modern amenities, and regional itineraries.

Attentive service and an exceptionally friendly staff maintain a convivial atmosphere among passengers and crew. With a high ratio of repeat guests, Cruise and Maritime’s fleet consistently garners positive reviews by offering a full cruising experience on well-equipped, reliable ocean liners without the flash and commercialism of much larger ships. At this writing, the intimate 700-passenger Discovery was scheduled to join the Cruise and Maritime Voyages fleet in February 2013, under charter in association with the widely respected All Leisure Holidays.

Top Reasons to Cruise

No Kids.The child-free Marco Polo and Discovery are suitable for couples and individuals ages 60 and over.
UK Itineraries.Regional sailings depart from London, Tillbury, Hull, Newcastle, Leith, Greenock, Liverpool, Plymouth, and Falmouth, with embarkation points in Dublin and Amsterdam.
Cultural Cruises.Cultural itineraries range from 2-night themed minicruises to 44-night durations to the Amazon and Orinoco River.
British Atmosphere.Traditional British flair and flavor are showcased, with pound sterling as onboard currency, a primarily British crew, West End-style entertainment, and afternoon tea.
Value Pricing.Popular value packages offer all-inclusive fares for accommodation, food, entertainment, and port taxes.

Is This Line Right for You?

Choose this Line If
Don’t Choose this Line If
You are a mature traveler (60+ years of age) and desire a low-key, “home away from home” traditional British cruise.
You are able to set sail from one of six different UK ports.
You prioritize good value for money and friendly, attentive service.
You are traveling with young children and need programs for kids or teenagers.
You seek activities found on newer, larger ships or desire luxurious cabins and serious gastronomy.
You have special mobility needs; since ships are older, they are less accommodating for travelers with disabilities.

What to Expect on Board

Fitness & Recreation

Cruise and Maritime’s fleet does not aim for haute cuisine; rather, it provides well-prepared meals that lean toward basic ingredients incorporated into traditional and international-themed menus.

Breakfast is open seating, with a limited à la carte option, or buffet-style with an egg and omelet station, fruits, cereals, pastries, yogurt, and juice. Lunch is also open seating with a menu of hot and cold dishes, sandwiches, and a salad bar. Dinner offers multicourse full-service or buffet meals. A wide variety of appetizers, soups, salads, meat and vegetarian entrées, breads, and desserts keep passengers satisfied. There are daily fish specials and more bold flavors on theme nights. The occasional lack of proper temperature control can be an issue. Late-night snacks and special occasions such as the Captain’s Welcome and Farewell dinners aim to please the most demanding cruiser. There’s also a traditional afternoon tea service that faithfully includes homemade sandwiches, scones, creams, and cakes, not to mention tea. Drinks, wine, and spirits are available throughout the day at additional cost. Complimentary tea and coffee are available from 6 am to 10 pm.


From cabaret to blues concerts, classical recitals to specialty acts, all cruises showcase nightly entertainment geared to please an older audience.

Bands, singers, actors, and comedians from primarily British show business perform on both ships. This can mean anything from 1960s-style Beatles renditions to big-band orchestras, rock-and-roll nights, choreographed theater performances, magicians, comedians, and dance troupes. Nightly quizzes and games are popular in the cozy lounges and piano bars, as well as cinemas and casinos.

Fitness & Recreation

Both the Marco Polo and Discovery provide a wide range of comfortable and stylish leisure facilities.

Walks on the large teak promenades are popular, but other activities tend to be low-key. Reading and card and board games are popular pastimes, but ships also have state-of-the-art wellness centers for beauty treatments and massages, well-stocked libraries, and Internet stations. Ships have heated outdoor swimming pools, whirlpools and saunas, and fitness and exercise rooms outfitted with modern cardio and weight-resistance machines. A newly added guest lecture program features informative talks by experts on diverse subjects such as maritime history, gardening, criminology, and broadcasting; likewise, there are classes on such topics as meditation and stretching, ballroom dancing, choral singing, and arts and crafts like calligraphy and decorative card making.

Key cruising tips

Prices for some cruises include deals for early booking or last-minute travel. Check online or call for up-to-the-minute availability.
Although ships use a cashless system on board for extra expenses (credit cards accepted), any charges incurred the morning of disembarkation must be paid in cash in pound sterling.
Passengers who do not check in 30 minutes prior to departure are considered no-shows.
You’ll need a European two-pin adaptor to use your dual-voltage appliances on board, and they are not available on board.
You can surprise a cruiser with a birthday or anniversary bouquet in the cabin on the day of embarkation (order these at least one week prior to the cruise).

Your Shipmates

Expect an older crowd on all CMV cruises, with the minimum age in the mid-50s. Most activities, dinners, entertainment, and accommodations are tailored for mature passengers. While the staff and entertainers are a multicultural blend of British and international citizens, the cruise line attracts primarily British travelers since all points of departure are located in the United Kingdom. As CMV garners more attention in the industry for its traditional cruising flavor on relatively small ships, its itineraries are attracting non-British cruise goers, including Dutch, Irish, North Americans, and Australians.

Dress Code

Ships have traditional formal, informal, and casual nights. On most evenings, informal attire applies, making ties optional (but not jackets) for men. On casual evenings, passengers can choose what they want to wear. On formal nights, black tie or dinner jackets are suggested for men, cocktail dresses for women. Typical 6- to 15-night cruises have two formal evenings; with longer sailings, expect around 3 to 5 formal nights. Casual nights occur on evenings in port or during special events such as deck parties. The traditional dining rooms require more elegant attire, while casual and comfortable clothing may be worn throughout the day.

Junior Cruisers

These cruises are for adults only, but children 16 and over are allowed to sail with an older adult, though there are no dedicated facilities or programs for them.


Service is widely considered to be good or excellent, and the ships have a strong following of repeat customers. Ship crews, specifically captains, cabin staff, stewards, cruise directors, and waitstaff provide friendly, polite attention and personalized service throughout the day and night. Quality performers and knowledgeable guides receive high marks. Cruise director, Richard Sykes, remains an industry celebrity for his consistent commitment to harnessing a broad spectrum of musical talent and providing exceptional entertainment programming. Well-organized itinerary coordinators manage punctual sail times and problem-free embarkation and disembarkation in ports.


To make it convenient for passengers, an automatic tipping charge of £5 per person per night is added to onboard customer accounts (£4 per person per night for cruises lasting more than 16 days). At the end of the cruise, passengers can adjust the charged amount to reflect personal satisfaction levels.

Past Passengers

At this writing, Cruise and Maritime has no loyalty program for repeat passengers.

0845/430–0274 in the UK

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