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Cruise: Major UK cruise firm closes its doors amid ‘devastating’ pandemic

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The coronavirus pandemic has decimated the travel and tourism sector with countries across the world imposing international travel bans or restrictions to help halt the spread of the virus. Cruise companies have been hit especially hard with the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) even extending their “no-sail order” last week. The UK’s Foreign Office (FCO) is also advising against cruise ship travel “at this time”.

The company had sales offices in Australia, France and the US which have all been closed.

It also had TransOcean Tours in Germany which have also been closed.

Administrators Duff & Phelps said that the move was “likely to result in the redundancy of the UK employees and an uncertain future for those employees in the wider group.”

Paul Williams, joint administrator at Duff & Phelps said: “The travel, tourism and wider hospitality industry has been engulfed with a devastating and unprecedented global pandemic of seismic proportions impacting very hard on CMV’s once thriving cruise business compounded by last week’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advisory against cruise travel.”

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He added: “Unfortunately, despite the collective very best efforts and being very close to securing the long-term finance needed, CMV was unable to conclude the funding within the timescales required which has led to the administration of the business.”

CMV’s chief executive Christian Verhounig, explained that before the pandemic hit, CMV was looking forward to a positive year.

He 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 percent of 2020 capacity and we had bullish prospects for the future having sold nearly 50 percent of 2021 UK capacity.”

However, he explained, the company could not get the help it needed “in time”.

“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.”

CMV is not the only UK-based holiday to go bust due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Holiday firm Fleetway Travel went bust this month after 45 years in a devastating blow for the travel and tourism sector.

There were approximately 6,500 affected ATOL-protected bookings that needed to be refunded.



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