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Cruise ship with a colourful past arrives in city.

THIS is the Astor, the smallest ship to sail into Liverpool's cruise liner terminal this year.

The German-built leisure vessel arrived in the city this morning with 590 guests on board.

The Astor is a fraction of the size of some of the ships to visit Merseyside this season, including the 3,114-berth Crown Princess and the Queen Mary 2. Even so, she has a colourful history compared with some of the more illustrious liners.

Although she was named The Astor when she was built in 1987, she was renamed Feodor Dostoevsky when she was sold to a Soviet cruise company in 1988 and spent seven years cruising the Black Sea. She was also the target of Somali pirates in 2008 while sailing the Gulf of Oman and was only saved by a German frigate firing warning shots from its machine guns.

She is currently on a 15-day cruise out of Bremerhaven, Germany, taking in Belfast, Dublin and the Outer Hebrides.

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DAY TRIPPER: The MS Astor at Liverpool's cruise liner terminal this morning
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jun 29, 2011
Words:175
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