British cruise line Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) has today become the first victim of the coronavirus pandemic and entered administration.
The Essex based operator specialised on providing traditional style cruises holidays from UK ports with a fleet of six ships, Astor, Columbus, Magellan, Marco Polo, Vasco da Gama, and Astoria – the oldest passenger liner which was built in 1948.
In the past weeks the cruise line has been in talks with investors in a desperate bid to stay afloat. Hopes for a restart to the UK cruising industry were dealt a blow when the UK Foreign Office extended in travel advice advising UK citizens against cruise ship travel at this time, after previously urging over 70’s to avoid them.
Commenting, Chief executive of CMV Christian Verhounig, said: “The directors have all worked tirelessly with CMV’s financial advisors, 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. Prior to the onset of Covid-19, we had sold nearly 90% of 2020 capacity and we had bullish prospects for the future having sold nearly 50% 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.”