The sale of Hebridean Spirit has not been enough to save Hebridean Cruises, and the company has now gone into administration.
This year’s programme of cruises on board the one surviving ship in the fleet – Hebridean Princess, which the Queen chartered for her 80th birthday holiday – will go ahead while the company seeks a buyer.
Spirit is unlikely to re-emerge as a cruise ship under new ownership – she is believed to have been sold for almost £5 million to a Middle Eastern buyer for conversion into a private yacht.
Speculation about a potential buyer for Hebridean Princess is leaning in the direction of Swan Hellenic, headed by former P&O boss Lord Sterling. Swan offered discount deals on board their ship Minerva to passengers whose cruises on Spirit were cancelled.
Although the 320-passenger Minerva is somewhat larger than the ships which Hebridean passengers are used to, there are hardly any opportunities to sail in luxury on small ships these days – unless you can afford your own mega-yacht.