(2 p.m. BST) -- Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) has revealed that another new ship is likely to join its fleet, as early as 2020, aimed at the UK market -- marking three ships in three years for the line.
Speaking at a gala event held for new ship Vasco da Gama in Tilbury yesterday, Christian Verhounig, CMV's CEO and chairman, said: “I know this might seem like we are teasing you with Vasco da Gama leaving for Germany tomorrow, but we will have a new ship for the UK very soon, possibly by 2020."
Vasco da Gama debuted in April 2019 and is visiting the UK only briefly before sailing for the line's sister brand, TransOcean, throughout the summer from Bremerhaven, Germany.
Vasco da Gama previously sailed for Carnival Corporation under its P&O Cruises Australia brand as Pacific Eden, though the line has not yet revealed which ship they are looking to purchase to further grow the fleet.
Held on the 75th anniversary of D-Day, Chris Coates, the line's commercial director, paid tribute to veterans and those who lost their lives during the Normandy Landings in 1944, before adding: "It is a privilege and pleasure to be here in Tilbury again, marking a remarkable new journey for CMV."
Coates said that the line's continued growth is testimony to the popularity of small to mid-sized ships in the UK, bucking the trend of megaships that are regularly debuted by the larger cruise lines.
Verhounig also took the opportunity to reassure guests at the event that the line's Columbus ship will sail again soon following a technical problem that forced the line to cancel a sailing last week. The 1,400-passenger ship hit a "foreign object" on leaving Amsterdam last Friday and was forced to return to port for further investigations.
"I would like to take the opportunity to assure our customers that we did everything in our power to make the experience as comfortable as possible for passengers that were onboard the sailing.
Vasco da Gama departs London Tilbury today (June 7) for Amsterdam before sailing for TransOcean on June 10.
The ship will return to the Southern Hemisphere on a 50-night voyage from Amsterdam to Auckland on October 8, where it will then spend the season sailing out of Australia, New Zealand, Bali and Singapore.