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Transocean Tours is a German cruise line that operates three ocean-going cruise ships in the German and British markets and five river cruise ships in Germany. The company was formed in 1954 and first began operating cruises in 1972, using ships chartered from the Soviet Union-based Baltic Shipping Company.
Transocean Tours Turistik was formed in West Germany in 1954. In 1967 the company became the West German agents of the Soviet Union-based Baltic Shipping Company, marketing cruises on the MS Alexandr Pushkin and MS Estonia. In 1972 Transocean Tours chartered the Estonia for full-time German market cruising. She was subsequently followed by several ships, including river cruise ships, chartered from both the Baltic Shipping Company and the Black Sea Shipping Company. Until the 1990s the chartered ships retained their Soviet funnel colours even when in Transocean service. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union the company begun chartering ships from other companies, starting with MS Calypso in 1994. At the same ships in Transocean service started to be painted in the company's white/blue livery.
Between 1997 and 2001, the company fleet consisted of just two ships, the ocean-going cruise ship MS Astor and the river cruise ship RMS Moldavia. In 2001, the river cruise ship MS Ukraina re-joined the fleet, followed by the Astor's near-sister MS Astoria in 2002. Another river cruise ship joined the fleet in 2005, while MS Arielle was chartened in 2006 for British-market cruising. In 2008 the Arielle was replaced by MS Marco Polo.
In 2008, Transocean Tours stated the charter of the Astoria would be terminated in 2009, and that the company are looking for another ship to replace her. At present (as of July 2009) the liner is in the Coaling Island port of Gibraltar. On 4 September 2010, Transocean Tours announced that the Germany-based line will be going through a restructuring. This restructuring is also known in the U.S. as Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.
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