All Leisure Group has ceased trading with immediate effect, following the cancellation of Swan Hellenic and Voyages of Discovery cruises over the New Year period.
The lines currently have 400 people abroad who will be repatriated by the The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA); 13,000 future bookings have been cancelled.
All customers will be able to make claims to the CAA for full refunds.
Andy Cohen, head of Atol at the CAA, said:“We understand this will be concerning news for anyone who had booked to travel with either of these two cruise operators. However, the Atol scheme exists for exactly this kind of situation and we are making immediate arrangements so that all Atol-protected customers can claim full refunds as soon as possible.
“We are also arranging for a small number of people currently overseas to return home at no extra cost, meaning that no-one will be left stranded abroad. So, while this situation is very disappointing for the customers affected, it serves as a timely reminder of the importance of looking for Atol protection while booking holidays. Making sure customers receive an Atol certificate will give them peace of mind.”
Hebridean Island Cruises was sold to a consortium of trade buyers before Christmas, while two of the group’s other brands, Just You and Travelsphere, have been sold G Adventures.
Speaking to Travel Weekly, Roger Allard, the company’s chairman, said: “I am personally very sad and I apologise to everyone affected, but you can’t keep putting more and more money into a bottomless hole when it’s not working and you can’t control things that are thwarting your efforts.”
Founder of G Adventures Bruce Poon Tip said: “Travelsphere and Just You are both leaders in their fields and we are all really excited that they have become part of the G Adventures family.We are now able to offer an even wider range of escorted tours right across the world and to suit all age ranges.
“We will be working hard to ensure that the loyal customers of Just You and Travelsphere continue to enjoy the award-winning tours that both brands organise.The future looks exceptionally bright and we look forward to expanding the range of tours for both Just You and Travelsphere.”