MS Magellan

The MS Magellan is one of the oldest cruise ships we know. The ship, which went into service in 1985, is currently sailing for the British cruise line Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) and their German subsidiary TransOcean cruises. It was built for the Carnival Cruise Line and was originally named Carnival Holiday.

Magellan - chimney with a carnival look

Magellan - chimney with a carnival look

Carnival used the ship until 2010. After that, it was transferred to the then Spanish group company Iberocruceros passed on. There it got the name Large Holiday. After the Iberocruceros brand was discontinued, CMV took over the ship in 2015. After a thorough overhaul, it has been operating under the name "MS Magellan" since then.

Magellan in front of the Cruise Center Hamburg Altona

Magellan in front of the Cruise Center Hamburg Altona

The Magellan Experience

MS Magellan is consistently marketed in Germany by TransOcean Kreuzfahrten. The “Magellan Experience” is presented to those interested as a mixture of lifestyle, luxury and joie de vivre.

At first glance, the more than 30-year-old cruise ship looks a bit out of date. The open lifeboats installed at a lofty height on deck 10 are striking. Unthinkable for today's new buildings!

Magellan - Open Lifeboats

Magellan - Open Lifeboats

Inside the ship, passengers are confronted with unusually steep and high steps. However, there are enough elevators on board. The stairs are therefore not really a problem. Sometimes the ship looks a bit angled and every now and then the height level on a deck is inconsistent. In such cases, there are stumbling blocks that are always warned about. Regardless of this, the MS Magellan is in perfect condition. This is not surprising; in 2016 she completed a routine shipyard layover in Amsterdam.

Magellan staircase Magellan - wall decoration in the stairwell Magellan - cabin aisle

It is noteworthy that the standard cabins are on the lower decks. In contrast, the restaurants, the two-story theater and the other public areas were placed on the upper decks 8 to 12. Newer ships are constructed according to different, contemporary criteria.


We begin our tour of the ship with the cabins out of habit. The deck plans show 712 cabins and 14 suites. The Standard cabins lie on decks 4 through 7. The three Suite categories (Royal, De Luxe and Junior) were installed on the 11th deck above the bridge.

The standard cabins are divided into a total of 12 classes (“Single” to “Premium Twin”). Apart from the suites, the Magellan has no balcony cabins. The large number of inside cabins is remarkable. At the beginning of the 1980s, probably nobody could have imagined that 30 years later the balcony quota for cruise ships would regularly be 80 percent and more. The single cabins offered to single travelers deserve special mention. For that matter, CMV has an extremely fair pricing policy. We cannot see the suites area; the “noble cabins are all fully booked.

We see four different double cabins: In none of these cabins should the passengers feel cramped. The sanitary cell is small. Nevertheless, in our opinion, the shower offers enough space. However, guests have to do without an armchair or a small sofa. If you want an armchair, go to one of the lounges or bars. There is sufficient storage space in cupboards and chests of drawers. The cloakroom for a two-week trip can be conveniently stored in the cabin.

Magellan - inside cabin 6141

Magellan - inside cabin 6141

The styling and decor of the cabins appear sober, almost sterile. The shipping company defines the equipment as "unobtrusive and discreet". The basic equipment of the cabins is as follows: dark carpeting, wall applications with wood tones and built-in cupboards with the same color scheme, indirect lighting, reading lamps on the beds and a cosmetic or desk. It all looks practical and tidy; however, the equipment lacks that certain “kick”.

Magellan - Outside Cabin 6087 Magellan - Outside Cabin 6087 Magellan - Outside Cabin 6167 Magellan - inside cabin 6153 Magellan Cabin 6087 Magellan - Outside Cabin 6167

A number of the cabins have extra beds. These duvets are attached to the walls and not recessed into the walls or ceilings. The protruding beds therefore seem a little strange.

Magellan - Upper bed in cabin 6087

Magellan upper bed in cabin 6087

Special cabins are reserved for guests with restricted mobility. They are significantly larger than comparable two-person cabins. Of course, massive handrails in the sanitary rooms were thought of.

Magellan - Disabled Accessible Inside Cabin 6153

Magellan - Disabled Accessible Inside Cabin 6153

Food and drink on board


The dinner will be served in two restaurants on deck 8. The restaurants are called Kensington (amidships) and Waldorf (aft). The central kitchen area is located between the two classically and elegantly furnished dining rooms. In the evening, meals are held in two sessions with a fixed seating arrangement. Free seating is available for breakfast or a five-course lunch.

Magellan - Waldorf Restaurant Magellan - Waldorf Restaurant

Lunch at Kensington Restaurant offers us a wide variety of dishes. The meals are visually well presented, they taste excellent and the service is also good. - We cannot complain about the seating comfort in the Kensington. Lately we got the impression on newer ships that the design of the seating furniture is at the expense of comfort.

Magellan - Waldorf Restaurant Magellan - Waldorf Restaurant

Guests who prefer something less formal can take their meals in the buffet restaurant Raffle's Bistro on deck 10. If the region and the weather permit, the meals can also be enjoyed outside on the pool deck behind. From the arrangement of the stations at Raffles it can be concluded that there is hardly any stagnation in the selection of the dishes.

Magellan - Raffles Bistro Magellan - Raffles Bistro Magellan - Raffles Bistro


The number of bars and lounges is limited in view of the number of passengers. In front of the Kensington Restaurant on deck 8, the wooden décor extends across the entire width of the ship Hampton's Lounge Bar. It's the perfect place for a drink before or after dinner.

Magellan's - Hampton's Bar Magellan's - Hampton's Bar Magellan's - Hampton's Bar

One deck above is that Captain's Club. It is one of the central locations for entertainment on board the MS Magellan. The equipment and furniture no longer look contemporary. We can't remember the last time we saw upholstered furniture and tables like in the Captain's Club on a cruise ship.

Magellan - Captain's Club Magellan - Captain's Club Magellan - Captain's Club

That follows the Captain's Club Board casino and the Mall. There lie the Taverner's Pub and the Sinatra's lounge bar.

The traditionally designed Taverner's Pub was replaced with the previous one during the last stay in the shipyard Scott's Nightclub set up. We think this pub is the ideal place to watch British sporting events on one of the many TV monitors or to enjoy one of the karaoke evenings that are so typical of English ships.

Magellan's - Taverner's Pub Magellan's - Taverner's Pub Magellan's - Taverner's Pub

The chic, stylish Sinatra's Lounge is also attractive. A grand piano suggests that Sinatra's offers live music and entertainment.

Magellan - Sinatra's Lounge Bar Magellan - Sinatra's Lounge Bar Magellan - Sinatra's Lounge Bar

They are on the pool deck (deck 10) Eros bar and the Lido Bar. Both are pure good weather bars. Especially in Caribbean or Mediterranean regions, we could well imagine an evening in the "Lido Bar".

Magellan's - Eros Bar

Magellan's - Eros Bar

The highest bar on board the ship is the one on the 11th deck Neptune Observation Bar.

And one more thing: the Magellan is a British ship. It goes without saying that the passengers daily Afternoon Tea and Late night snacks are offered. Incidentally, tea and coffee from 6:00am to 22:00pm are included.

Beverage prices

As expected, the menu and bar menus offer a wide selection. The price level of the drinks is nowhere near as high as we have had to accept in recent years, especially on US cruise ships. The carafe of wine costs £ 5 (6 euros). A Mai Tai cocktail is priced at £ 3,10 and an Irish coffee is £ 3,65. A half-liter “Guinness” or “Speckled Hen” glass costs under £ 2,75. Pil drinkers are offered Bitburger on tap.

Magellan - Taverner's Pub - Prices

Magellan - Taverner's Pub - Prices

Sport & Wellness

The restricted sports offer is limited to the two on deck 10 Polish and the little one Gym on the 11th deck. The gym equipment is state-of-the-art and strength athletes also get their money's worth. The offer is enough for us.

Magellan pool Magellan - pool zone Magellan's Gym Magellan's Gym Magellan - Sun Deck with the Zen Garden Magellan - Sun Deck with the Zen Garden

The jade spa is located aft on deck 9. A comparison with the monstrous wellness facilities of modern large ships is inappropriate. The Magellan's wellness oasis offers facial and body treatments, various massage methods, Ayurveda, steam baths, jacuzzi, sauna offers, mud wraps and much more. Hair styling as well as hand and foot care round off the program.

Magellan-Jade Spa Magellan - Jade Spa - passage to the massage rooms

Magellan-Jade Spa Magellan-Jade Spa

Incidentally, the spa prices of the MS Magellan differ pleasantly from those charged on popular German and international cruise ships.


The center of entertainment on board is the two-story Magellan's Show Lounge. This on-board theater extends over two decks and offers a total of 659 seats. The furnishings with rows of seats and tables for placing drinks are reminiscent of the variety shows of the 1980s. The distance between the rows of seats is respectable; even tall men sit comfortably and relaxed in the theater.

Magellan - Main Show Lounge - stage Magellan - Main Show Lounge

Magellan - Main Show Lounge Magellan - Main Show Lounge

The entertainment offer is varied. MS Magellan is a British ship after all. Trivia quizzes, lecturers' readings and much more are offered daily. Bookworms use the small stylish ones Livingstone Library.

Magellan's - Livingstone Library

Magellan's - Livingstone Library

The one following the Captain's Club Casino offers games of chance at tables and machines.

Magellan's Casino Magellan's Casino Magellan's Casino

A British ship without Card Room is not a ship. Bridge tournaments are held regularly in the Magellan's large card room. The tables covered with green felt look professional. In our opinion, only the chairs upholstered in a striking red disturb the overall picture a little.

Magellan - Nansen Card & Bridge Room

Magellan - Nansen Card & Bridge Room

Those who rely on the Internet on board will find the little one next to the casino Internet Café to disposal. The workplaces are well protected against the curious glances of third parties.

Magellan - Internet Cafe

Magellan - Internet Cafe

The appealing ones too Stores let's not forget. They offer fashion, cosmetics and alcoholic beverages as well as everyday items.

Information on MS Magellan

Commissioning 1985
Size: Length 222 meters; Width 28 meters
measurement 46.052 GT
Passenger decks 9 decks
Machine 2 diesel engines,
Speed 16,5 knots
Shipyard Aalborg Skibsvaerft A / S
Completely modernized  2010
Staterooms 726 including 14 suites
passengers 1.250 with double occupancy
Manning More than 650 persons
Flagge Bahamas
home port Nassau
Board language English
Currency on board Pound Sterling



In general, the manageable ships of the CMV guarantee conventional cruise experiences as they did 20 or 30 years ago. The MS Magellan is not a family ship. There are no childcare facilities. Instead, the MS Magellan is a sophisticated ship for sophisticated travel to selected destinations. 

"No Fly Cruises" have been part of the Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) business model for more than seven years. With increasing success, these offers appeal to passengers who are afraid of flying or who want to avoid the stress or costs associated with flying. The No Fly Cruise program also includes more distant destinations like the Caribbean.

The loyal CMV clientele enjoys the generous amount of space in the public areas, the meticulous cleanliness on board the ship, the delicious food, the committed crew and the "reasonable" price level for drinks and services.

Magellan-Sun Deck

Magellan-Sun Deck

MS Magellan is owned by the cruise brand belonging to CMV in Germany TransOcean marketed. German-speaking employees are on board for special trips aimed at German audiences. Of course there are menus in German. MS Magellan is recommended to "crusaders" for whom ships with a kissable mouth or to feel good are too big or too impersonal.

Note: cruiseturtlevisited MS Magellan on the occasion of her visit in December 2016 in Hamburg.

(Karl Beyer - Update April 2018)