Future still uncertain for Swan Hellenic and Voyages of Discovery cruise operations

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© John Honeywell 2017

As the business world rubbed the sleep from its eyes and returned to work today after the extended Christmas and New Year break, more details began to emerge about the future of the All Leisure Group – owners of Swan Hellenic and Voyages of Discovery.

It was disclosed that Hebridean Island Cruises was sold last month to a company headed by All Leisure chairman Roger Allard. Also involved in the new venture are Hebridean managing director Ken Charleson, and a number of executives from elsewhere in the travel industry.

The Hebridean Princess has a Royal Warrant, having been chartered twice by The Queen for her summer holidays. Just over a year ago the 50-passenger ship was sold for £2.9 million to a group of investors – headed by Allard – and is leased back to the cruise company in an eight-year agreement.

G Adventures, an adventure travel company based in Toronto, Canada, has bought the Travelsphere and Just You brands from ALG. Originally known as Gap Adventures, G was founded in 1990 by entrepreneur Bruce Poon Tip after he returned from a backpacking trip to Asia.

As well as group holidays in Africa, Australia, central and South America, G operates Polar region cruises on board the 120-passenger ship Expedition. But a spokeswoman for the company confirmed that neither Swan Hellenic nor Voyages of Discovery had been included in their purchase.

Minerva should have left Marseille today on a cruise to the Canary Islands. Voyager was scheduled to begin a south-east Asia cruise from Malaysia tomorrow.

Passengers who had booked on the cruises were told on Friday that their holidays had been cancelled. They are still waiting to hear about refunds and the companies’ future plans. The “operational reasons” cited on the company websites as the reason for the cancellations are beginning to look more like “inoperational reasons.” Phone calls and emails to executives at All Leisure headquarters in Market Harborough continue to go unanswered.

Crew on the two ships have not yet been informed what the future holds.

© John Honeywell 2017

By | 2017-01-03T19:17:20+00:00 3 January 2017|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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