Swans safe for another 8 years

//Swans safe for another 8 years

minerva_small.jpgThere have been a couple of hiccups along the way, but Swan Hellenic has been an institution in British cruising for almost 60 years. Its loyal passengers will be delighted to hear that its future should be secure until at least 2021.
The company was launched by the Swan family in 1954, with the colourful Sir Mortimer Wheeler (whose BBC television appearances were in black and white) as a figurehead. It was taken over by P&O in 1983 and later absorbed into the Carnival Corporation, but was threatened with closure almost six years ago.
Rescued by former P&O chairman Lord Sterling, it is now part of the All Leisure Group, who also operate Voyages of Discovery and Hebridean Island Cruises.
All Leisure reported on its 2012 performance this week, blaming the Costa Concordia tragedy, the Euro crisis and political events such as unrest in Egypt for driving profits below £1 million, compared with £5.7 million in 2011.
Minerva (above) , the ship operating under the Swan Hellenic brand, was given a substantial upgrade 12 months ago, including the construction of a new observation lounge and the addition of extra balcony cabins – which bring in higher fares.
All Leisure confirmed in its annual report that the lease of the ship has been extended until 2021. Swans who may have been concerned about the future of their favourite vessel can breathe easily.
Chairman Roger Allard believes the future for his cruise operations is promising. Voyager, introduced to the Voyages of Discovery brand in December, had sold 83 per cent of its capacity even before it was christened by TV presenter Miranda Krestovnikoff. The ship is commanding fares 20 per cent higher than those achieved by its predecessor, Discovery, which next week begins a new career as part of a joint venture with Cruise & Maritime Voyages.
Roger will no doubt be keeping his fingers crossed that The Queen will want to charter Hebridean Princess for a summer holiday in 2013. She celebrated her 80th birthday on the ship in 2006, and returned for a two-week family holiday in the summer of 2010.

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:38+00:00 19 February 2013|Cruise News|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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