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CMV forced into administration


Travel Weekly reporters


Cruise & Maritime Voyages entered administration on Monday evening after failing to secure additional funding. The Essex-based cruise line ceased


trading with immediate effect, as did its international sales offices in Australia, France, the US and Germany. There were no passengers


overseas, but the suspension of its programme as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic affected 50,000 customers with future bookings. Ex-UK cruise specialist CMV


operated six ships, while a seventh, Amy Johnson, was due to join the fleet in 2021. In June, the line confirmed talks with a range of financial institutions


to “improve its liquidity position” during the Covid-enforced shutdown of cruising and said it was confident of reaching an agreement. It reported record trading in 2019,


and before the pandemic had sold almost 90% of its 2020 capacity, and 50% of 2021 UK capacity. Chief executive Christian


Verhounig said: “The directors have all worked tirelessly with CMV’s financial advisors, investment bankers, lawyers and numerous private equity and hedge fund investors to try and secure the funding required to enable CMV to weather the storm. The CMV journey has tragically been cut short by this unprecedented global pandemic. “Despite this positive forward


booking position, we just could not get the financing deal over the line in


Swan Hellenic to sail again as an expedition line


Lucy Huxley


British-born discovery cruise brand Swan Hellenic is being resurrected as a cultural expedition line. A new company, with offices in


Cyprus, Monaco and the UK, has acquired the Swan Hellenic brand and database from its previous owner, G Adventures, for an undisclosed sum. It is building two “elegant”


76-cabin ships in Finland, each with capacity for 152 guests and 120 staff. Swan Hellenic, a brand founded in 1950, will be targeted at travellers


6 23 JULY 2020


with “inquisitive minds who want to discover incredible destinations”. Its first ship will be launched in


London in November 2021, before setting sail for Antarctica. The second will launch in April 2022 in St Petersburg, from where it will head to the British Isles and Iceland, before sailing to the Arctic in summer 2022. After their polar seasons, both


ships will sail worldwide, including to New Zealand, Brazil, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines. General manager John Warner


is also managing director of Russian


CMV ship Magellan


for the disappointment and further disruption to their cruising plans.” Duff & Phelps has been appointed


administrator. It said UK staff were likely to be made redundant and employees of the wider group faced an “uncertain future”. Agents paid tribute to CMV. Paul Hardwick, head of


commercial at Fred Olsen Travel, said the collapse affected 180 forward bookings across the group’s shops and its GoCruise franchises. “To lose CMV is awful for our


industry – very sad news,” he said. Phil Nuttall, chief executive of


time to save this wonderful business. “We are truly sorry to our loyal


and hardworking shoreside staff and seafarers, travel trade partners and suppliers who have all patiently stood by us, and to our valued passengers


the Travel Village Group, said CMV’s demise was “really upsetting” and a “massive shame”, while James Cole, founder and managing director of cruise agency Panache Cruises, said: “It’s a sad day for the cruise industry.”


A rendering of a Swan Hellenic new-build ship


river cruise business Vodohod, which recently began selling through UK travel agents. He said the new line was “British in heritage and pioneering spirit, but international in outlook”. He added: “Who wouldn’t want to


bring back an iconic brand like Swan Hellenic and put a modern twist on it? Seventy years on from Swan Hellenic’s discovery cruise beginnings, the British-born expedition cruise line is back. Its core values remain unchanged, as does the brand’s passion for exploratory cruising.”


Warner said current FCO advice


against ocean cruising had prevented a launch “a little bit earlier” but said: “We need a long lead-in time so people can re-establish their interest.” He said he expected the brand to


be “primarily a trade-play” and urged agents to register interest. “If we find blue-chip partners,


they will become ambassadors for us,” added Warner, who stressed Vodohod remained a separate, standalone company. Agents can register at swanhellenic.com/partners.


travelweekly.co.uk


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