Astor departing Gothenburg for Copenhagen
Photographed on 1 June 2008.
Year Built/Last Refurbished: 1987/1996
Number of Cabins/Passengers: 295/650
Astor was built in 1987 for the Southafrican Marine Corporation (Safmarine) by Howaldtswerke Deutsche Werft AG in Kiel, Germany. Due to the political climate at the time she was transferred to the Marlan corporation and registered in Mauritius. She was initially operated by British Morgan Leisure under full charter for mainly British passengers.
The ship was put up for sale in 1988, purchased by Sovcomflot and placed under the management of the Black Sea Shipping Company. Her registration was transferred to Odessa and she was renamed MS Fedor Dostoevskiy. She was briefly chartered by Transocean Tours of Bremen before being placed under long term charter for the German Neckermann Seereisen group.
In 1991, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, management of the ships was transferred to Prestige Cruises of Monte Carlo - a joint venture of Sovcomflot and Costa Crociere - and was registered in Nassau in the Bahamas. In 1992 management changed again, this time to a new company named Fedor Dostoevskiy Ltd.
In December 1994, she was chartered by AquaMarin Cruises and her name was changed back to MS Astor. When AquaMarin Cruises went out of business in late 1996, Transocean Tours took over the ship under full charter for 10 years.
Picture added on 01 June 2008