Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) has gone into administration after failing to find funding.
The Essex-based company operated out of Tilbury with six ships including Marco Polo, Magellan and Columbus. It was known as an ex-UK specialist utilising often-overlooked British ports.
In November, it was announced that it was to add two new ships to its fleet for 2021, P&O Australia’s Pacific Dawn and Pacific Aria – due to join the fleet on March 2 and May 2, 2021 respectively. The move would have increased CMV’s capacity by 30 per cent.
According to chief executive Christian Verhounig, the line had sold nearly 90 per cent of 2020 capacity prior to lockdown, and nearly 50 per cent of 2021 UK capacity. However, in June, the line said it was in talks to “improve its liquidity position” due to the impact of coronavirus.
Verhounig said: “The directors have all worked tirelessly with CMV’s financial advisers, investment bankers, lawyers, and numerous private equity and hedge fund investors to try and secure the funding required to enable CMV to weather the storm.
“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.
“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.”
The company, which traded under ABTA number V9945 and Atol number 4619 as South Quay Travel & Leisure Limited appointed Paul Williams, Phil Dakin and Edward Bines of Duff & Phelps Ltd as Joint Administrators. The company’s website currently reads:
“We are sorry to inform you that South Quay Travel Limited (“SQTL”) – which traded under the name Cruise & Maritime Voyages – was placed into administration on 20 July 2020. Paul Williams, Phil Dakin and Edward Bines of Duff & Phelps Ltd were appointed joint administrators of SQTL. At present the administrators are evaluating SQTL’s financial position.
“The information below sets out specific advice for customers who booked in the UK. This advice varies depending on which holiday and travel arrangements you have booked and how you paid.
“SQTL sold mainly cruise packages which are protected by ABTA. They also sold a small number of flight-inclusive packages which are protected by the CAA’s ATOL scheme. Please be aware that all bookings that have not taken place are cancelled.”
What to do if you booked directly
If you booked a non-flight package holiday (eg a cruise without flights) through SQTL these are protected by ABTA or by your credit or debit card issuer. You should visit abta.com/failures for further advice on how to claim.
Package holidays with flights included (UK Customers Only)
If your booking included flights, you will need to contact the CAA as your booking is protected by the CAA’s Atol scheme. Further information and advice on how to claim is available on the Atol website here: caa.co.uk/ATOL-protection/Make-an-ATOL-claim/Latest-ATOL-holder-failures