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Holiday firm, cruise ships, iconic brands, cease trading first casualty of 2017: Swan Hellenic, Voyages of Discovery, All Leisure Holidays and two cruise ships Minerva and Voyager call in administrators

MV Minerva
CAA HELPLINE FOR
'ALL LEISURE HOLIDAYS IN ADMINISTRATION'
FOR CUSTOMERS CURRENTLY ABROAD:
0808 164 8810


Hundreds of cruise passengers are to be flown home under a CAA bond  and thousands more will get refunds after their holiday firm All Leisure Holidays ceased trading and called in administrators.

The company operated two cruise ships, the MV Minerva and the MV Voyager, under the Swan Hellenic and Voyages of Discovery cruise brands. Some people may remember that MV Minerva was briefly renamed the MV Saga Pearl, before the relaunched Swan Hellenic brand was dusted down. 

Meanwhile the Voyages of Discovery brand operated
a single cruise ship, MV Voyager, she joined the fleet in December, 2012.

The former Alexander von Humboldt went through an expensive  multimillion pound refurbishment, which included major technical upgrades as well as more balcony cabins (30 in total), before being christened in Portsmouth on December 4, 2012.

The 15,721-ton, 540-passenger MV Voyager, like the ship it replaced, Discovery, accessed remote, out-of-the-way ports essential for the Voyages of Discovery destination-led cruise offering.

The line also introduced an explorer theme to the whole ship.  270 cabins, 87 per cent of which are outside cabins. Open seating is available for dining in two restaurants, plus an intimate prebooked specialty restaurant, The Explorer Club.

The ship was built in 1990 and previous owners were (in reverse order): Club Cruise, Casino ship (based Hong Kong) and Cunard.

Julian Bray Aviation expert comments: Travel Weekly Magazine had previously reported the cash-strapped group sold off a number of other divisions, as a measure to strengthen its finances. The travel trade although reporting initial 2017 bookings are up, are now finding that advanced deposits paid over in UK sterling are not sufficient to cover pre-brexit agreed forward bulk room booking contracts, the  UK's vote to leave the EU affected the value of the UK £ as the weaker pound, in-resort day-to-day spending is approximately 15% more expensive for tourists, and aviation contracts usually calculated in US$ are also now more expensive to service. Overhead, publicity/marketing costs and on site resort financing costs have also risen as majority of services are sourced from outside the UK 

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) confirmed that under bonding arrangements Leisure Holidays' customers overseas would be repatriated at no extra cost under the ATOL protection scheme.

ATOL also guarantees that some 7,000 future bookings will be covered and fully refunded.   The firm operated two cruise ships, the Minerva and the Voyager, under the Swan Hellenic and Voyages of Discovery cruise brands.

Following administrators being appointed, the "majority" of staff were declared redundant.

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