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Astoria Review

3.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
64 reviews
3 Awards
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Editor Rating
Jayne Clark
Cruise Critic Contributor

The world's oldest cruise ship, leased by UK-based Cruise & Maritime Voyages since 2015, will retire from the line's fleet at the end of 2020, CMV announced at the end of the first of three January 2020 sailings on Mexico's Sea of Cortez. That will disappoint many maritime history buffs, given the vessel's notorious past. Christened the Stockholm when it set sail in 1948, the transatlantic cruiser will forever be linked to its role in one of the worst maritime disasters: the sinking of the Andrea Doria. The two ships collided on a fog-shrouded night in 1956, killing 51.

Later stints as a pleasure cruiser for East German Communist Party stalwarts in the 1960s, a temporary home for refugees in Sweden in the 1980s and the target of a pirate attack off the Somali coast in 2008 add to its colourful lore. The vessel was gutted and refurbished in 1994 and has changed little since. Still, it will be missed for amenities that are rare on modern cruise ships, such as a full wraparound promenade deck, solid brass railings, distinctive double portholes in the dining room, and bathtubs and bidets in every cabin.

The Astoria has primarily sailed from homeports in Britain, which is where it will be based during the remainder of 2020. Across the pond, it made news in January 2020, as the first cruise ship to embark on Sea of Cortez cruises from Puerto Penasco near the Arizona–Mexico border.


Oldest ship afloat boasts flourishes like Murano glass lighting, Carrara marble floors


Age is showing; to be pulled from Cruise & Maritime Voyages' fleet at the end of 2020

Bottom Line

A small- to medium-size ship with some big-ship amenities and unparalleled history


Passengers : 550
Crew : 270
Passenger to Crew : 2.04:1
Launched : 1948
Shore Excursions : 0


Included with your cruise fare:

  • Meals in the dining room or buffet, plus afternoon tea and late-night snacks
  • Self-service coffee and tea in the buffet
  • Entertainment, including live shows and movies in the auditorium
  • Daytime onboard activities, including free use of gym
  • Captain's welcome and farewell cocktail parties (cruises of six nights or more)

Not included with your cruise fare:

  • Gratuities (£7 (about $10) per person, per day)
  • Alcoholic beverages and bottled water
  • Wi-Fi
  • Spa treatments
  • Optional Chef's Table and steakhouse dining
  • Room service (with the exception of continental breakfast)
  • Shore excursions
  • Photos by ship's photographers

Fellow Passengers

The Astoria is a ship for grown-ups. Passenger ages skew 55 and older. (Passengers under 16 years old aren't allowed and juveniles over that age must be accompanied by an adult.) For the most part, Astoria's passengers are drive-to-port customers. The ship's remaining CMV voyages depart from and return to Poole and Hull. Unless booked by a large non-English-speaking group, the ship's language is English.

Astoria Dress Code

Daytime: Country club casual, with comfortable shoes for shore excursions is recommended, though in reality, most anything goes.

Evening: Mostly casual -- even in the main dining room, though passengers who don't care to change from extremely casual daywear might feel more comfortable eating in the buffet. Most men put on a jacket for the two "formal" nights, and women kick it up a notch in dressiness, but no need to pack a gown, tux or tiara.

Not permitted: Men in shorts in the dining room.

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Astoria Cruiser Reviews

Ignore the whinging reviews. Choose carefully and this ship deserves 5-stars.

Anybody who does the most basic of research should KNOW what they can expect of the Astoria. This is a 'travel experience' and all the better for i!... Read More
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10+ Cruises

Age 60s

A lovely cruise experience

The treatments were very average, and we probably would not bother again if we cruise on Astoria in the future.... Read More
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6-10 Cruises

Age 60s

Happy ship

Looking forward to our next Astoria cruise.... Read More
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6-10 Cruises

Age 70s

Our Astoria Experience

ASTORIA, THE SHIP: Astoria is the world's oldest active oceangoing passenger ship and was originally built and launched as MS Stockholm in 1948.... Read More
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Allan Hayes

6-10 Cruises

Age 60s

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