Monaco Government Tourist and Convention Office
7 Upper Grosvenor Street
London W1K 2LX
Tel : +44 (0)207 491 4264
Fax : +44 (0)207 408 2487
Capacity 650 pers
Crew 300 pers
Taille 176.50 m
MS Astor is a cruise ship owned by the Germany-based Premicon, under charter to the Germany-based Transocean Tours. She was built in 1987 under the name Astor by Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW), Kiel in West Germany for the Mauritius-based Marlan Corporation, although originally ordered by the South African Safmarine as a combined ocean liner/cruise ship for the Southampton- Cape Town service. In 1988 the ship was sold to the Soviet Union-based Black Sea Shipping Company and renamed MS Feodor Dostoevskiy, but spent her time under charter to various West German cruise lines. In 1995 she reverted to the name Astor. Since 1996 she has been under charter to Transocean Tours
On 28 November 2008, an attempted pirate attack on the Astor in the Gulf of Oman was prevented by the German frigate Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
Immediately following delivery on 14 January 1987, the Astor set on her maiden voyage from Hamburg to Genoa and from there further to South America. After this she was used for cruising on the Caribbean and to other destinations around the world. She was registered in Mauritius while in Marlan Corpotation service.
On 3 October 1988 Marlan Corporation sold the Astor to the Soviet Union-based Black Sea Shipping Company. Renamed Feodor Dostoevskiy and re-registered to the Soviet Union, the ship was chartered to the West German Transocean Tours in December 1988. She stayed in Transocean Tours service until March 1990, when she was chartered to Neckermann Seereisein. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Feodor Dostoevskiy's ownership was transferred to Fedor Dostoevskiy Shipping Co., a Bahamas-based company, and reregistered to the Bahamas. Apart from the change of flag, this had no effect in her operations.
Following the end of the Feodor Dostoevskiy's charter to Neckermann Seereisen, she was chartered to Aquamarin in December 1995 and reverted back to the name Astor. In 1996 the ship was sold to Astor Shipping Co., and again chartered to Transocean Tours. At some point prior to 2008 her owners changed to the Germany-based Premicon, but she continues under charter to Transocean. According to a company statement, Transocean Tours are planning to retain the Astor in their fleet at least until 2013.
On 28 November 2008, the German Navy reportedly prevented Somalian pirate speedboats from attacking the Astor. She was sailing in the Gulf of Oman en route from Sharm-al-Sheikh in Egypt to Dubai, when the German Brandenburg-class frigate Mecklenburg-Vorpommern detected pirate speedboats apparently attempting to attack the Astor. The Mecklenburg-Vorpommern entered the path of the oncoming speedboats while they were still some three miles from the Astor. Warning bursts of machine gun fire were used to ward off the threat without those on the cruise ship becoming aware of the situation.
Externally the 1987 Astor was designed to be identical to the 1981 Astor, but approximately 12 metres (39 ft) longer. Due to the similar design the ships were distinguishable only due to the additional windows below the first lifeboat on the 1987 Astor. Both Astors were designed with a sharply raked bow, a relatively low, terraced superstructure and a large, square funnel.
In Marlan Corporation service the Astor was initially painted with a white hull and superstructure, a red decorative stripe deparating the hull and superstructure, and red/blue funnel with a large white cross painted on it alongside the letters ML. This was later altered so that the decorative stripe was extended to cover the entire lowest supersruture deck, while the funnel was painted white with red stripes. As Feodor Dostoevskiy the decorative stripe on the hull reverted to the same form as in the original livery, while the funnel was painted white with blue exhaust pipes and a wide red stripe with the hammer and sickle emblem on it.
In Transocean Tours service the ship received a livery with a narrower light/dark blue decorative stripe on the hull, a white funnel with blue exhaust pipes, a thin light/dark blue stripe with Transocean Tours' large T logo in the middle.
As with the exterior, the interior layout and decorations of the 1987 Astor were very similar to the 1981 Astor, down to the bathroom fittings. However, the 1987 ship was designed with a larger number of suites, improved crew quarters, an added casino and added conference facilities.
Like the 1981 ship, the 1987 Astor was furnished in traditional style using large amounts of dark wood, with many of the public rooms having high ceilings. The author Douglas Ward described the ship as having "a certain degree of style, comfort and elegance".