UPDATE (January 4, 2017, 12:19 GMT) -- All Leisure Holidays Group -- the owner of both Swan Hellenic and Voyages of Discovery -- has ceased trading as of today. A statement from ABTA confirmed that all future cruise bookings have been cancelled, affecting some 13,000 passengers. We will update this story as we get more information.
(10:45 a.m. GMT) -- Swan Hellenic and Voyages of Discovery -- both owned by British-based All Leisure Holidays Group -- have cancelled their first itineraries of 2017, with both lines citing "operational reasons" for the cancellations.
Swan Hellenic's 15-day Gateway to Atlantic Isles' voyage onboard the 352-passenger Minerva was supposed to depart Marseille today, January 3. The voyage has been cancelled, with the line posting the following statement on its website: "Due to operational reasons, Swan Hellenic regrets to inform its passengers that the Gateway to Atlantic Isles cruise due to start in Marseille, France on 3rd January 2017 has been cancelled. Swan Hellenic apologises to all of its passengers who were due to sail on this cruise."
Meanwhile, Voyages of Discovery's 15-day Riches of the Orient itinerary onboard Voyager, which was scheduled to depart Port Kelang in Malaysia on January 4, has also been cancelled with the line posting a similar statement on its website. The statement reads: "Due to operational reasons, Voyages of Discovery regrets to inform its passengers that the Riches of the Orient cruise due to start in Malaysia on 4th January 2017 has been cancelled. Voyages of Discovery apologises to all of its passengers who were due to sail on this cruise."
According to Voyages of Discovery's website, the sailing onboard the 540-passenger ship was sold out.
Cruise Critic was first made aware of the cancelled itineraries on December 31, 2016, via the members' boards, with tring writing: "Both of these companies have cancelled cruise starting this week (4th Jan and 3rd Jan). As they are both run by the All Leisure Group I am wondering if it is a company problem. Does anyone know anything about it.
"We are due to fly out to Hong Kong on 1st Feb to board Voyager for four weeks. We have also booked a post cruise stay in Sri Lanka independently, so worry is setting in........At least we paid part of the bill by Credit card."
Another member, Aquarelle, who is booked on a later cruise onboard Minerva responded: "I'm booked on Minerva, sailing Jan 17 from Tenerife, and it too is cancelled. I will receive the letter next week on next steps and options. My friend from the UK was booked on a Jan 4 sailing on Voyager for 4 weeks, and she received her letter that the her cruise is cancelled. It appears that January cruises are cancelled, but no reason why."
It is understood that head office personnel from Sea Chefs -- the German-based company that employ Voyager's crew -- are flying out to board the ship in Malaysia and hold talks with crew members, although this is yet to be confirmed by the cruise line or parent company.
All Leisure Holidays Group also own Hebridean Island Cruises, Travelsphere and Just You.
Cruise Critic has contacted the cruise lines for a statement and will update this page when more details become available.
--by Kerry Spencer, Editor, U.K.