Cruise Critic Members Mourn the Loss of Beloved British Cruise Lines Swan Hellenic and Voyages of Discovery

January 6, 2017
Voyager

(2:10 p.m. GMT) -- Cruise Critic members have been sharing memories -- and bemoaning the collapse -- of much-loved British cruise lines Swan Hellenic and Voyages of Discovery.

The lines' parent company All Leisure Holidays went into liquidation on Wednesday, leaving 400 passengers about to depart on cruises on Swan Hellenic's Minerva and Voyages of Discovery's Voyager with no cruise.

In addition, the collapse leaves a further 7,000 passengers -- who were booked to travel with the two brands -- also with no cruise.

Member comments not only reflect the disappointment at the loss of Voyages of Discovery's 540-passenger Voyager and 352-passenger Minerva, but they reveal fond memories of passengers' past voyages on the two British cruise ships.  

Here's what Cruise Critic members have to say.

OlsSalt wrote on Cruise Critic's members' boards: "I discovered VOD looking for a way to get to Tristan de Cuhna after Michael Palin shared this was his most challenging remote destination on the planet - I had to go, and it looked like VOD was one of the very few ways to get there. I missed that cruise, but saw another one upcoming that was equally tantalizing - poking around the Indian Ocean and its islands. Then there was another great one that went to Brunei, Burma and Aqaba. Then another to the haunting Solvestky Islands in Russia's White Sea. Meanwhile I was just looking at an Atlantic Azores jaunt, but alas now VOS is no more. My world has shrunk considerably with this news."

OlsSalt later shared fond memories of visiting the Philippines and getting to witness the ship's crew reunite with family members once docked. "You reminded me I forgot to include the Philippine Islands - on one of their perhaps maiden stops in their homeland island - where we were able to see their happy families waiting and buy at the dockside my most favorite tee-shirt of all celebrating that "Grand Voyage" spectacular with the flags from each country visited. The tour to Corrigador Island and viewing the Bataan peninsula across Manilla Bay remains a powerful memory."

Another member, Parapara, also wrote on the Cruise Critic boards: "I have been following this thread from its inception as we have had cruises on both ships. The two cruises on Minerva were fantastic. Amazing itineraries and wonderful shore excursions included. The two cruises on the old Discovery were also good but the last one was just before she was sold and she really was past her use by date. It is sad to think that these two shipping lines might be no more. They offered something that is missing from the big ships and their more bland itineraries. I hope Minerva (seeing she was being leased) may be able to continue in a similar way to what she has been."

Nathan Thomas wrote on Facebook: "Very sad news as Voyages of Discovery was out first cruise and over 25 cruises later that first cruise was still an amazing adventure to the Pyramids and the Holy Land."

While Mary Robinson shared her concerns for the two ships' crew members on Facebook: "We have been on several cruises with Voyages of Discovery and are very worried about the effect this will have on the smiling, friendly and helpful members of the ships' crews."

All Leisure was a member of ABTA and all passengers will be financially protected. Passengers should visit the ABTA website in order to find out how to make a claim.

It is not clear yet what will happen to the two ships, however it is understood that Voyager is for sale, but Minerva was leased and is not All Leisure's to sell.

Have you been affected by the collapse of All Leisure or perhaps you have fond memories of travelling onboard Voyager or Minerva? Share your experiences with us below or on the Cruise Critic members' boards.

--by Kerry Spencer, Editor, U.K.

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