(4:05 p.m. EDT) -- Cruise & Maritime Voyages has fallen into administration and ceased trading with immediate effect.
The British six-ship line -- with two more on the way -- has been in last-ditch talks with creditors for a number of weeks, but could not secure the necessary funding to stay afloat. It is the first major cruise line casualty as a result of the forced suspension of worldwide cruising, due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
All bookings that have not yet taken place are cancelled, a statement from the administrators
"We are sorry to inform you that South Quay Travel Limited ("SQTL") -- which traded under the name Cruise & Maritime Voyages -- was placed into administration on 20 July 2020," the statement reads.
"Paul Williams, Phil Dakin and Edward Bines of Duff & Phelps Ltd. were appointed Joint Administrators of SQTL. At present the Administrators are evaluating SQTL's financial position."
If you booked directly with SQTL, you should follow the advice below (and read What to do if your UK Cruise Travel Agent or Operator Goes Bust?)
Non-flight packages: If you booked a non-flight package holiday (e.g. a cruise without flights) through SQTL, these are protected by ABTA or by your credit or debit card issuer. You should visit www.abta.com/failures for further advice on how to claim.
Package holidays with flights included (UK Customers Only): If your booking included flights, you will need to contact the CAA as your booking is protected by the CAA's ATOL scheme. Further information and advice on how to claim is available on the ATOL website here: www.caa.co.uk/ATOL-protection/Make-an-ATOL-claim/Latest-ATOL-holder-failures/
As with most cruise lines, CMV has not been sailing since March at the start of the coronavirus pandemic and was not due to restart until the end of August.
The line operated six ships -- Magellan, Marco Polo, Columbus, Vasco da Gama, Astor and Astoria, the world's oldest cruise ship, dating from 1948.
It had two additional ships coming into the fleet, both former P&O Australia ships which were due to come into service next year. It is not clear what will happen to these vessels.
After P&O Cruises, CMV was, in terms of fleet numbers, the second largest cruise line catering for UK passengers.
It was also the cheapest, offering a range of offers including £99 cruises and buy-one, get-one free cruises, as well as popular theme cruises.
CMV also had operations in Germany, trading under the name TransOcean KreuzFahrten, and Australia.
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