Cruise & Maritime Voyages enters administration

Cruise & Maritime Voyages enters administration
Cruise & Maritime Voyages
Vasco da Gama was one of six ships in the CMV fleet

UK-based operator Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) entered administration on 20 July 2020 and ceased trading with immediate effect, citing financial issues caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The operator’s international sales offices in Australia, France, Germany and the USA have also closed.

CMV, which celebrated 10 years of operations in 2019, had a fleet of six small ships – Astor, Columbus, Magellan, Marco Polo, Vasco da Gama, and Astoria – and specialised in itineraries from UK ports. The company was scheduled to expand its fleet in 2021 by taking delivery of former P&O Australia ships Pacific Dawn and Pacific Aria. It also had plans to redeploy Astor to the French market next year, where she was to be renamed Jules Verne and sail under new brand, Croisières Maritimes et Voyages.

However, the Covid-19 pandemic forced cruise operators worldwide to halt sailings in March. The company has since tried to secure a loan from Barclays Bank and has been in discussions with multiple potential lenders and investors.

“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,” said chief executive Christian Verhounig in a statement. “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.”

Duff & Phelps has been appointed as administrator of CMV and sister companies South Quay Travel & Leisure, Independent Coach Travel (Wholesaling) and Viceroy.

“We are truly sorry to our loyal and hardworking 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,” said Verhounig. “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.”

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Rebecca Gibson
By Rebecca Gibson
21 July 2020

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