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Swan Hellenic Cruises

Discussion in 'Other Cruise Lines' started by Neil, Jan 3, 2017.

  1. Neil

    Neil Deckhand

    It has been announced on a cruising news website that the cruise by the Swan Hellienic small cruise ship ' Minerva ' , which was due to depart today on a 15 day cruise to the Spanish Canary Islands, has been cancelled.

    The company, which is part of the UK ' All Leisure Group ' , is also reported today as having cancelled a cruise by their small 1988 built ' Voyages of Discovery ' cruise ship ' Voyager ' which in the past operated as a casino ship in Hong Kong waters !

    They also operate the deluxe Hebridean Cruises ship ' Hebridean Princess ', which cruises the scottish islands and the nearer parts of Europe, and as usual is laid up for the winter. She was converted from a scottish ferry !

    It had been reported that the parent company has said that it has been loosing money on the cruising side of their business.
    .
    03.01.2016 minerva.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2017
  2. Neil

    Neil Deckhand

    As was expected this company has gone out of business today.

    It is expected their cruise ship could be sold to another company although she is on a long term charter from her owners !
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2017
  3. haroldwilliams

    haroldwilliams Deckhand

    Neil, I was really sad to see this company go out of business, as it seems to have a history of well rounded service,with a emphasis on education. I don`t know if their ships will be taken over by Saga, but I assume you know more about that.
    I am still hoping that we will have an economy line that can do 4 to 7 day close in cruises in the U.S. east coast, and watch price supplies closely. There have been several new deluxe or luxury cruise lines, but because of the incidental expenses, they are expensive (in my opinion) for the single person, or even for a large family.
    What a shame to loose this cruise line that tried so hard to put an emphasis on price and comfort.
     
  4. Neil

    Neil Deckhand

    Hi Harold

    There seems to have been a lot of changes just before these two companies crashed !

    Their Travelsphere and singles holiday companies, which were also part of the ' All Leisure Group of companies ' was reported as sold to a canadian company but the original Chairman, Roger Allard, who was also Managing Director of these two companies is said to be remaining as MD !

    Their other group company that operated the Hebridean Cruises with the ship 'Hebridean Princess ', a small deluxe cruise ship which had in the past been chartered by our Queen, was sold to a company which is registered in the Bahamas last year with mostly the same Directors remaining !

    In their last year of trading the Directors were paid about £ 900,000 but the company only made a profit of £ 500,000 !
    These details I found on the UK Company House website !

    Some years ago the brother of this company chairman ran his own travel company and also went bust !

    As all the companies are ABTA registered the 300 passengers stranded abroard, when they went bust, get returned to the UK and ABTA pick up the tag !

    I would never consider booking with them !

    Picture of the small ' Hebridean Princess ' which was converted from a 1960's built Scottish ferry into a country house deluxe small cruise ship for just 50 passengers. Many of the crew wear kilts in the evenings and fares are fully inclusive ! lol
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    03.01.2016 hebrid..jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2017
  5. Neil

    Neil Deckhand

    Updated news on Thursday is that the Swan Hellenic Cruises is reported to have been sold to the Canadian company ' G Adventures ' who had also bought the Travelsphere company and their Solo holidays !

    It is not expected that the cruises will be restarted until 2018 which may be due to the ship operating under charter and her owners needing to know the new operators of her meets will all of their requirments !

    There may also be chartering fees owed !

    These problems with the Swan Hellenic Cruises operation are interesting as the company was bought back by Lord Sterling, from the Carnival Cruises group !

    While Chairman of P & O he had sold all the P & O cruising business to the Carnival group, which had included Swan Hellenic Cruises, so I wonder if he was still involved in this companies operation !

    In view of this company, and the groups financial problems, I would wait at least a year to see how the new owners manage things before even thinking of booking with them.

    I would also check who are the company directors !

    Another nice upmarket refitted small cruise ship is the ' Aegean Odyssey ' which is operated by ' Voyages of Antiquity ' and is operating some very interesting cruises ( Picture below ) !

    After several problems when she entered service, some years ago, she is now operating some very interesting cruises and getting 5 star reviews.
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    03.02.2017 ag 2.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2017
  6. Neil

    Neil Deckhand

    News in over the past weekend is that their other cruise ship ' Voyager ' which operated for the group's other cruising company ' Voyages of Discovery ' has been sold to mexican interests !

    It is reported that US $ 162, 000 was owed by the company to the Gulf Petrolium company and also there is reported to be money owing to the Sembawang dry-docks compnay in Singapore where the ' Voyager ' has been since January !

    The ' All Leisure Group ' company report for last year on the UK Company House website, which is available to the public to view free of charge , shows that the company Directors got paid a large amount but now there appears to have been a shortage of funds to pay creditors !

    Picture of a rusty looking ' Voyager ' attached which has previously operated as the Hong Kong casino ship ' Walruss '.

    15.03.2017 Voyager.jpg
     
  7. haroldwilliams

    haroldwilliams Deckhand

    Thanks Neil for the news on the Voyager. I am hoping that the ship can find a good home, mainly because there is a need for that size ship, for some people. I`m of the opinion there are lots of folks that would enjoy going to the smaller, less known ports, or to areas once served by other cruise ships, but forgotten. It must be hard for a small ship company to compete with larger more established cruise lines.
    I`ll be watching to see what transpires.
    Thanks again
     
  8. Neil

    Neil Deckhand

    Hi Harold -

    I agree about the smaller cruise ships as all these massive things that are built now I call a floating theme park with a hotel. They are not cruise ships but floating holiday parks !

    We are lucky in the UK that CMV Cruises have been buying up some of the older smaller cruise ships and maintain them in excellent condition with yearly dry-dock visits.

    All are classed as three star and their 46,052 grt ' Magellan ' , which carries about 1,350 passengers, and has 100 single cabins available, was built for Carnival group in 1985 and having been bought by CMV Cruises about two years ago is now on a 120 night round the world cruise from the UK port of Tilbury with some extended port calls included.

    They have just aquired the present P & O Australian cruises 65,000 grt ship ' Pacific Pearl ' which is due for overall at Singapore before joining their Uk based fleet in May 2017.

    She will be renamed ' Columbus ' , carry about 1,600 passengers and will have 150 single cabins available at only a 25% supplement. She is to operate their 121 night around the world cruise from the UK for this company in January 2018.

    What is not known by many is that although this company advertises in the UK as ' British style of Cruising ', the ships are mainly Greek owned ! lol

    The company also owns and operates the 1986 built 21,000grt 600 passenger ' Astor ' on both UK and Australian cruises, the 1965 built 22,080 grt 800 passenger ' Marco Polo ' on UK cruises and under charter from her Portugese owners they operate the 1948 built 16,144 grt 550 passenger ' Astoria ' on both the French and UK markets so a great fleet of classic cruise ships which can visit a lot of the smaller ports which are not visited by the floating ' Theme Parks ' !

    Picture of the ' Magellan ' below -

    . 22.03.2017 magellan hk 1.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2017
  9. Neil

    Neil Deckhand

    New name in today for the ex ' Voyager ' is ' Vidanta Alegria '.

    At present she remains registered in the Bahamas,
     
  10. Neil

    Neil Deckhand

    Moving off from Singapore on Friday, 29th September 2017, was the ex ' Voyager ' !

    She head through the Straits of Malacca at 13.5 knots so it is looking as if all the financial problems with regard to this ship have been settled and her new Mexican owners could now be operating her.

    She is heading to the Oman port of Salalaha so will be monitering her movements and see if she does head to Mexico where her new owners are based or if she is to be operated in a different area.

    No new pictures as yet.
    .
     
  11. Neil

    Neil Deckhand

    After being laid up at a German shipyard in Bremerhaven for the past seven months the ' Minerva ' moved out the port on Thursday 28th September 2017.

    According to a restricted trade website I use all her safety certificates have been updated and she has been sold !

    Her new owners are shown as ' Evante International Trading of Athens ' and her managers are ' Sete Yacht Management ' of Greece !

    No news on her future use at present but she is sailing under her usual name and having passed through the English Channel and also crossed the Bay of Biscay tonight she was heading into the Mediteranean Sea at about 14.5 knots and shown as heading to the Greek port of Elefsis which does have ship repair facilites so it will be interesting to see if she retains her present interior deluxe country house style !

    Picture shows her during a previous visit to the Scottish port of Leith !
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    28.09.2017 MINERVA.jpg vious visit to the Scottish
    .
     
  12. haroldwilliams

    haroldwilliams Deckhand

    Thanks Neil for the news on Voyager.I guess we will just wait and see.Another interest was the neo classica and who her new owners will be.Cruise Industry News did not say, but I hope you were right in saying she will be in the Bahamas area.On my last cruise on the Divina I met a crew member from Goa who said he knew the Melody had been sitting sideways for a long time and hoped it would not sink at the dock.
    harold williams
     
  13. Neil

    Neil Deckhand

    Hi Harold

    Bahamas Cruise Line are said to have aquired the ' NeoClassica ' but not checked on her movements or when they take her over.

    If it is them then they do two day cruises between Florida and the Bahamas but may be different ports to their present ship which has been chartered for US goverment use in St Thomas as a hotel ship !

    It was during the monsoon that the ' Melody ' sunk to the harbour floor where she still rests.

    The amount of rain hitting her caused her to tip one way and as a side door was opened so water rushed in and that was it ! glug glug glug ! lol

    As nothing has been done with her for over 12 months I would expect she will now finish up being broken up at Alang if they can get her in a stable condition and then tow her there.

    The newly aquired casino ship ' Lucky 7 ' has been aground off the beaches at Goa now for about seven weeks having sailed along the coast against the Port Captain's advise this year at monsoon time !

    She is reported as now having cracks in her hull so may not operate !

    Picture of her below -
    .
    02.10.2017 casino-vessel-lucky7.jpg
     
  14. haroldwilliams

    haroldwilliams Deckhand

    Thanks Neil for all the news updates. Apparently the Lucky 7 was not so lucky. Neither was The Disney ship yesterday that backed into the concrete piling at Nassau with` Goofy driving`. I must have known that the Melody sank as you had told me but I was hoping it was only partially sunk. Now I can watch and hope the neoClassica has better fortune.
    Thanks again.
    harold williams