In very sad news, Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) and its sister companies South Quay Travel & Leisure, Independent Coach Travel and Viceroy have entered into administration.
The cruise line has ceased trading entirely, including its international sales offices in Australia, France, the United States and TransOcean Kreuzfahrten in Germany.
The collapse of CMV and its sister companies is likely to result in the redundancy of UK employees and an uncertain future for those employees in the wider group, according to a statement issued by the cruise line.
As cruise operations are currently suspended, there are no passengers onboard any CMV ships.
When COVID-19 struck earlier this year, CMV managed to repatriate crew, passengers and six ships from around the world back to their home ports in the UK without one single reported case of the virus.
The suspension of CMV’s worldwide cruise program on 13 March 2020 through to 25 August 2020 has affected over 50,000 British and international passengers which, in turn, has greatly impacted the business.
Paul Williams, Phil Dakin and Edward Bines of Duff & Phelps have been appointed joint administrators of the companies.
“The travel, tourism and wider hospitality industry has been engulfed with a devastating and unprecedented global pandemic of seismic proportions impacting very hard on CMV’s once-thriving cruise business compounded by last week’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advisory against cruise travel,” Williams said.
“Unfortunately, despite the collective very best efforts and being very close to securing the long-term finance needed, CMV was unable to conclude the funding within the timescales required, which has led to the administration of the business.”
CMV chief executive Christian Verhounig said the companies’ directors “worked tirelessly” with the cruise line’s financial advisors, investment bankers, lawyers, and numerous private equity and hedge fund investors to try and secure the required funding.
“Only last year, CMV was celebrating a record trading year and our first decade in cruising, but the CMV journey has tragically been cut short by this unprecedented global pandemic,” he said.
“Prior to the onset of COVID-19, we had sold nearly 90 per cent of 2020 capacity and we had bullish prospects for the future having sold nearly 50 per cent of 2021 UK capacity.
“Despite this positive forward booking position, we could just not get the financing deal over the line in time to save this wonderful business.
“We are truly sorry to our loyal and hard-working shoreside staff and seafarers, travel trade partners and suppliers who have all patiently stood by us and to our valued passengers for the disappointment and further disruption to their cruising holiday plans.
“On behalf of the CMV family, directors and shareholders, I would like to thank everyone for their great support and sincerely apologise for these circumstances which are directly related to Covid-19 and beyond our control.”
Further details on how affected customers can make a claim can be found on CMV and TransOcean Kreuzfahrten’s local websites.