Astoria (formerly Azores) is a welcome addition to the Cruise & Maritime Voyages fleet. This adult-only small-size ship boasts a traditional-style exterior and a stunning Murano glass atrium that leads up to the main Calypso Deck. Astoria sets sail with 550 passengers on board her eight passenger decks; home to 227 stylish cabins and a range of restaurants, bars, sports and leisure facilities.
Days at sea are your chance to unwind and make the most of the on-board amenities. Relax by the pool or indulge in a hot-stone massage in the Wellness Centre. Listen to a visiting guest lecturer or get creative with a jewellery making class. Lose yourself in a book in the library or shape up in the well-equipped fitness centre. Days in port take you to the heart of destinations inaccessible by many of today's super-liners; bringing you closer to famous sights, elegant water-side towns, and the local culture.
There are both formal and casual dining options on board Astoria. The two-sectioned Olissipo Restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner with culinary delights and fine wines served to your table. The casual-style Lotus Buffet is open throughout the day serving light bites, salads and international cuisine to savour in the open-air.
Astoria has a bar to match your every mood. Elphior Bar is close at hand for refreshments as you chill-out in the sunshine on the Pool Deck. Sip cocktails to your favourite tunes in the chic environs of Sirenes Bar. Savour a quiet drink and chat with new-found friends in Aelos Bar or the chic Captain's Club.
The entertainment on Astoria suits all tastes. Calypso Show Lounge hosts nightly shows with speciality acts, singers and comedians. Settle down with popcorn and a film in the cinema or test your luck at the slot machines in Circe's Casino. End your evening in style with a romantic stroll around the Promenade Deck or join the night owls in the Muses Night Club.
Day 1: Poole, UK
Arrive at Poole, where you will board Cruise and Maritime’s Astoria and sail onwards to Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Day 3: Belfast, Northern Ireland
Belfast, capital of Northern Ireland, enjoys a wonderful setting of high hills, sea lough and river valley. Its name originated from the Gaelic ‘Beal Feirste’ meaning ‘mouth of the sandy fjord’. Founded in the 17th century, the city prospered becoming one of the world’s leading industrial names, and was home to Harland and Wolff – the shipbuilders who built the ill-fated Titanic. Despite its more recent political troubles, Belfast has emerged as a vibrant, alluring destination. Amidst its beautiful Victorian buildings you can shop in stylish boutiques, sip a Guinness in one its charming old pubs or take a scenic stroll in Barnett Demesne park. The centrepiece is the City Hall, completed in 1906, with its domed roof and grand Italian marble staircase. Other points of interest on the city include Belfast Cathedral, which has the largest Celtic Cross in Ireland plus Celtic themed mosaics and stained glass, Belfast Castle, sitting on the slopes of Cave Hill, and Belfast Zoo.
Day 4: Stornoway, Outer Hebrides
The ports town of Stornoway sits proudly on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. Step ashore and pay a visit to 18th-century Lews Castle baronial mansion and the adjoining Lews Castle Museum and Archive. Stop by the art gallery, shops, and cafe-bar at An Lanntair Arts Centre. Watch wool-spinning and weaving demonstrations and explore the history of the famous Harris Tweed at Lewis Loom Centre. Venture out to the west coast of the isle to view the famous Standing Stones of Callanish.
Day 5: Tobermory, Isle of Mull
Tobermory is located on the northern coast of the Isle of Mull; situated in the Inner Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland. Visit Mull Museum and see the various artefacts that document Mull’s history. Pay a visit to Mull Aquarium and see the displays of sea creatures. Take a guided tour of the Tobermory Distillery to explore the whisky-making process and sample the end product. Enjoy the changing exhibitions and artworks at the An Tobar Arts Centre. Alternatively, drive for approximately 40 minutes and uncover the history of the MacLean clan and their chiefs in the 13th century keep: Duart Castle.
Day 6-7: Fort William, Scotland
As the second largest settlement in the Highlands of Scotland, Fort William lies near the head of Loch Linnhe. Stroll along the beautiful sandy beaches at the Silver Sands of Morar and take a trip into the town surrounded by picturesque mountains. Climb to the top of Britain’s largest mountain, Ben Nevis, to enjoy breath-taking views of Fort William, or descend to discover the oldest distillery in Scotland and taste the finest whiskey nestled at the foot of the moutain. Then take a trip up to The Great Glen Way and Glen Nevis – you might even recognise some locations from Mel Gibson’s Braveheart movie.
Day 8: Greenock, Scotland
Located on the River Clyde close to Glasgow, Scotland's largest city, Greenock began as a fishing harbour and later became a major centre for shipbuilding. The town's maritime history is celebrated at the Custom House Museum and stained glass art can be seen in McLean Museum and Art Gallery. The town is home to the world's first Burn's Club, dedicated to poet, Robert Burns. His love, Mary Campbell, died in the town and is buried in Greenock Cemetery.
Day 9: Dublin, Ireland
Experience the vibrant culture and famous Irish 'craic' in the Republic of Ireland’s capital city — Dublin. Pay a visit to the country's largest church - St Patrick's Cathedral - as well as Dublin Castle, National Museum of Ireland, and Irish Museum of Modern Art. Explore the gardens and elegant squares of Trinity College and sample a glass of the country's favourite drink on a tour of Guinness Storehouse at St James's Gate Brewery. Wander the famous streets of the Temple Bar district and enjoy delicious food, live music and traditional ales.
Day 10: St Mary's, Isles of Scilly
St Mary's is the largest island in the Isles of Scilly, an archipelago off south west England's Cornish coastline. This island is home to the Isles of Scilly Airport and serves as gateway to the rest of the islands via the inter-island boats from St Mary's Quay. In the island's main centre of Hugh Town you can visit the fascinating Isles of Scilly Museum and the many artist’s studios and art galleries. Venture over the hill from Hugh Town to Old Town overlooking Old Town Bay, where you'll find the picturesque Old Town Church and a few galleries, cafes, and a pub. Follow the Nature Trail from the heart of St Mary's to visit the Holy Vale Vineyard & Winery and sample locally-produced wines. Learn about St Mary's and St Agnes' history of flower farming at Scented Narcissi and maybe order a box to be delivered to your home after your cruise.
Day 11: Poole, UK
The cruise comes to an end in Poole, where you disembark and make your way home.