Voyages of Discovery (previously Discovery World Cruises) was created in 2003 by cruise veteran Gerry Herrod -- a well-known figure in the cruise world who formerly served as chairman of Orient Lines, Ocean Line Cruises and Pearl Cruises. The line seeks to serve a "soft adventure" niche for travellers who not only crave adventure but also love the comforts and amenities of traditional cruising aboard a classic ship. Herrod began the new enterprise after Orient Lines and its ship, Marco Polo, was sold to Norwegian Cruise Lines. (Editor's note: Marco Polo is now operated by Cruise & Maritime Voyages).
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The cruise line is owned by U.K.-based All Leisure Group, which is also the holding company of Swan Hellenic and Discover Egypt, the chairman of which is Roger Allard. In early 2009, All Leisure acquired Hebridean Island Cruises. In December 2012, it acquired Voyager, which replaced its previous ship Discovery, which went to Cruise & Maritime Voyages.
Top Voyages of Discovery Ships
Scott's Lounge: a classic piano bar serving cocktails into the evening
Lookout Lounge: providing panoramic views from the front of the ship.
A new terrace: with all-weather awning added to the Veranda Restaurant to allow guests to dine al fresco style.
Digital media players: allowing guests in all cabins to access and view a large selection of films, classical concerts and documentaries.
Voyager attracts a well-travelled, slightly older-then-average group who care more about interesting destinations and educational talks than lavish facilities. On our 2007 Antarctic cruise, which a spokeswoman for the line said was typical of winter cruises, more than a third of the passengers were British, a third were from the U.S. or Canada, 20 percent were Australian or New Zealanders, and five percent were part of a Japanese tour group. She added that summer cruises tended to be about 60 percent Brits with the remaining balance Anglophones from other hemispheres. According to the cruise line, 30 to 40 percent of passengers aboard are likely to have sailed with the line before.
Voyages of Discovery Fleet
Editor's note: In January 2017, Voyage of Discovery's parent company All Leisure Holdings Ltd., went into administration and all future cruise bookings were cancelled. At time of writing it is unclear what will happen to Voyager.
The company's sole ship, Voyager, joined the fleet in December, 2012.
The former Alexander von Humboldt went through a multimillion pound refurbishment, which included major technical upgrades as well as more balcony cabins (30 in total), before being christened in Portsmouth on December 4, 2012.
The 15,721-ton, 540-passenger Voyager, like the ship it replaced, Discovery, is able to access remote, out-of-the-way ports essential for the Voyages of Discovery destination-led cruise offering. The line has also introduced an explorer theme to the whole ship. It has 270 cabins, 87 per cent of which are outside cabins. Open seating is available for dining in two restaurants, plus an intimate prebookable specialty restaurant, The Explorer Club.
The ship was built in 1990 and previous owners were (in reverse order): Club Cruise, Casino ship (based Hong Kong) and Cunard.
Exotic destinations, distinguished lecturers and interesting shore excursions are the great strength for Voyages of Discovery.
Voyages of Discovery features a range of exotic winter fly-cruise destinations including The Falklands, South Georgia (including the Chilean Fjords), South Africa, Indian Ocean, India, the Persian Gulf and South America (November to April), while operating ex-U.K. cruises from Harwich and Portsmouth to the Baltic, Scandinavia, Norwegian Fjords, Iceland and Greenland during the Summer (May to September) and fly-cruises to the Mediterranean, Black Sea and Red Sea in the autumn (September to November). Itineraries range from eight days to more than 100 days aboard the Grand Voyage of Discovery. Tours always include free stays in cosmopolitan first and last ports as well as excellent lecturers onboard.