Essex-based cruise line goes into administration

Wed, 22 Jul 2020 | ADMINISTRATION

Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) has gone into administration after failing to find funding following the massive impact of COVID-19 on the industry. The company has appointed Paul Williams, Phil Dakin and Edward Bines from Duff & Phelps as joint administrators. CMV has ceased trading with immediate effect.

Essex-based CMV, which operated out of Tilbury, was founded in 2010 and has six ships in its fleet, including Marco Polo, Magellan and Columbus. The company employs around 4,000 staff, no details have been released about possible redundancies.

In November last year, CMV announced that it would be adding two new ships to its fleet from 2021. P&O Australia’s Pacific Dawn and Pacific Aria were due to join the company’s fleet on March 2 and May 2 2021 respectively.

CMV specialised in cruise packages and was known for utilising lesser-known British ports that were often overlooked by other lines. CEO Christian Verhounig said that the company had sold close to 90 per cent of its 2020 capacity, before COVID-19 halted operations in March, as well as almost 50 per cent of 2021 UK capacity.

Last month, the company said that it was holding talks to “improve its liquidity position” following the impact of COVID-19, with concerns that the company was desperately in need of funding.

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.”

Verhounig pointed out that the company was celebrating a record trading year and ten years in business but: “Despite this positive forward booking position, we could just not get the financing deal over the line in time to save this wonderful business.”

The company’s cruise packages are protected under ABTA, with some flight-inclusive packages protected under ATOL. CVA traded under ABTA number V9945 and ATOL number 4619 as South Quay Travel & Leisure Limited.

The company’s most recent accounts were made up to the year ending December 31 2018. The company reported turnover of £122.8 million, and gross profits of £1.8 million. At the time, CVA’s fixed assets were valued at £5.9 million.

For more about the impact of COVID-19 on sectors including travel, check out our exclusive insight on Coronavirus, Business and M&A.

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