To celebrate the arrival of Magellan into the port of Tilbury, Cruise & Maritime Voyages invited me to the launch event and naming ceremony for their largest ship to date. Accompanying me was Harry Cotterill, from CruiseCotterill.com.
At 46,052 GT, Magellan is Cruise & Maritime Voyages brand new flagship. Capable of accommodating 1,250 guests, Magellan is large and spacious, yet still retains the intimate quality the British cruise line is known for.
My journey began at the London Eye, admittedly an unusual starting point to be joining a ship. A special service had been provided by MBNA Thames Clippers, which would transport our group along the River Thames in comfort from the heart of Central London to Tilbury. If travelling direct, the journey would take an impressive 35 minutes, however we stopped along the route to pick up more guests.
With 13 fast and frequent vessels, sailing between Putney and Greenwich, the Thames Clippers are a great way to explore London on water, escaping the manic crowds and congestion of the Tube and roads. Travelling by river also offered a unique chance to see some of London’s most famous landmarks, including Tower Bridge, the Shard and the O2 Arena. As the high speed vessel approached Magellan, the ship looked impressive and majestic.
Entering the London Cruise Terminal, it was clear to see that the terminal is very dated compared to most modern cruise terminal’s in existence today, but the grandeur and elegance of the building’s former past shone through, and it felt as if you’d stepped back in time and was about to join an ocean liner from the early 1900’s. Check in was smooth and simple and within five minutes of arriving, I was making my way along the gangway.
Once on board, Myself and Harry went straight to our cabin, #5109, which was a Standard Plus Twin category. First impressions of the room were excellent. Spacious and modern, the cabin far exceeded expectations, and was a welcome change from the small, compact staterooms of today’s modern, mega ships.
After exploring our own cabin in closer detail, we noticed a few loose and broken fittings, but the general cleanliness and decor was pleasing. We later went to visit some of the various other cabin categories that were open for viewing. All rooms are similarly furnished and even the smaller rooms, were large in comparison to most modern ships.
After checking out the various accommodation types, we explored the diverse range of venues on board. Our cabin was on the same deck as the lobby area, so we began our tour there. The space features a striking central seating area, plus the reception, excursion, and future cruise desks.
For a small ship, compared to today’s standards, Magellan is very spacious and feels a lot larger than she looks. Comprising of 12 decks, with 9 passenger decks, the majority of Magellan’s venues start on Deck 8.
The vast openness of the Art Gallery makes it an eerie looking space. With the photo gallery looking directly down above this area, and the Show Lounge adjacent, the prime position of this venue is seriously underused.
Hampton’s Lounge Bar is located outside the entrance to the Kensington Restaurant and is close to the Magellan Show Lounge. The proximity to these two main venues, makes Hampton’s the perfect place for a pre-dinner drink or pre-show cocktail. The lounge is also a great place to unwind during the day with plenty of seating and large, bay windows.
The contemporary Captain’s Club lounge, on Deck 9, hosts wonderful musicians and entertainers. The shimmering LED ceiling lights, which seamlessly change colours, make this lively venue the place to be on an evening.
The Mall is a long promenade which runs from the Captains Club, right along to the Jade Spa situated at the aft of Magellan. Along the walkway, several bars and amenities can be found, including the casino and internet cafe. If your’re feeling lucky, then the spacious Casino Royale, situated close to the Captain’s Club, features a variety of slot machines and card tables. Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ Magellan features an extensive internet cafe, located along the Mall walkway. Featuring multiple desktop computers, the internet cafe gives guests the chance to stay connected while at sea. Several Wi-Fi hotspots can also be found throughout the ship.
Inspired by the legendary singer, Sinatra’s Lounge Bar, is a glitzy venue serving great drinks, and home to classic music acts. Scott’s Nightclub is a popular venue to dance the night away. With quirky seating and modern decor, the nightclub is certainly one of the hottest venues on the ship!
The large Jade Spa, located at the aft end of deck 9 is a haven for beauty treatments and ultimate relaxation! An extensive hair salon is perfect for those final preparations for the glamorous formal nights on board. Several rooms offering various massages and treatments are available.
With a grand, stately home feel, the intimate Livingstone Library, complete with mock-fireplace, is the perfect place to sit back and relax, reading one of the many displayed books. The Nansen Card & Bridge Room, is a dedicated room for playing card games as well as various board games, including chess. The venue can also be used for various art and craft sessions.
Magellan has lots of deck space for soaking up the sun. The ship has two large pools and three whirlpools, which can be found on Decks 10 and 12. Deck 10 features the two main pools, and two lido whirlpools. A large whirlpool is located on Deck 12, within close proximity to the spacious sun terrace. Multiple bars are situated around the pool areas, including the Eros Bar, Lido Bar and the Neptune Bar, which overlooks the aft of the ship.
The spectacular two-deck-high Magellan Show Lounge, which can seat 793 guests, is capable of high quality production shows unlike any other ship in the CMV fleet. The large oval stage, enables ample space for singers and dancers to perform together. A high-quality movie projector, also makes it possible for feature-length films to be shown.
The naming ceremony for Magellan took place at 4pm in the Magellan Show Lounge. Hosted by cruise director, Richard Sykes, executive members of the Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ company were introduced, including CEO & Chairman Christian Verhounig; Commercial Director, Chris Coates; and Mike Hall, Head of Marketing. Several members of the shore-side and on board crew were also introduced. After various speeches, and the ships blessing, it was time for the ship’s godmother, Gloria Hunniford, to re-name the vessel, Magellan, by unveiling a plaque.
After the unveiling, we were treated to a magical performance by Latin American dancers Luke Miller and Laura Robinson, who are winners of the under 21 Champions of Tomorrow and Stars of the Future tiles. The sensational operatic singer, Yvonne Howard and pianist Juliet Edwards also performed.
The large, spacious Raffles Bistro, is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, serving a wide selection of hot and cold food. Individual food counters make it easy to find the exact food you desire, whether that’s soup and a bread roll, a traditional Sunday roast, or a selection of tempting desserts. Magellan‘s buffet also features a pizzeria and a specialty counter featuring themed dishes, such as Indian and Italian.
After the naming ceremony, it was nearly time for the gala dinner in the Kensington and Waldorf Restaurants. We were dining in the elegant Kensington Restaurant.
To begin our meal, a Salmon Amuse Bouche was served. To start, I chose the Cream of Tomato Soup, which was served with garlic croutons. After a tasty starter, our waiter brought out a Raspberry Sorbet, which was drenched in Champagne. This was a delicious palate cleanser in between courses and the chucks of raspberry mixed into the sorbet gave it a great fruity taste. For the main course, I chose the Roast Vermont Turkey Breast, which was served with Roast Potatoes, Onion and Sage Stuffing, Vegetables, Gravy and Cranberry Sauce. Our waiter amusingly said “Merry Christmas” when he served it! After a delicious meal, the waiters performed the famous Baked Alaska Parade, before giving us all a mouth-watering slice of it!