Duff & Phelps to oversee Cruise & Maritime Voyages administration

27 July 2020 Consultancy.uk 2 min. read

Cruise & Maritime Voyages has collapsed into administration, ceasing trading with immediate effect across Europe and North America. The UK headquartered travel firm has seen its finances ravaged by the Covid-19 lockdown.

With the global outbreak of coronavirus, and the international lockdown ushered in to slow its spread, every aspect of the leisure sector has been battered by Covid-19-related headwinds. In the airline segment for example, a succession of companies have collapsed thanks to the grounding of most of their fleets, while numerous hotels have also succumbed to financial pressures, having been ordered to close their doors to new guests in the second quarter of 2020.

Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) is the latest victim of this trend, with the Essex based passenger shipping company having appointed administrators, citing the coronavirus lockdown as the primary cause. According to the firm’s Chief Executive Officer Christian Verhounig, 2019 had seen CMV celebrate a record trading year, and before the onset of Covid-19, the company had sold almost 90% of 2020 its cruise capacity, as well as around 50% for 2021. However the unprecedented global pandemic swiftly put paid to these bullish prospects.

Duff & Phelps to oversee Cruise & Maritime Voyages administration

The downward spiral began when Covid-19 struck earlier in 2020, forcing CMV to undertake a mammoth repatriation of crew, passengers and six ships from around the world. The firm managed to return the ships and passengers to their home ports in the UK, without a single reported Covid-19 case. Cruise operations were then suspended, meaning there are no passengers on board any CMV ships. The suspension was due to run from mid-March to the end of August, affecting over 50,000 British and international passengers, and greatly impacting the business.

The worsening situation has meant that CMV has had to appoint administrators from specialist advisory firm Duff & Phelps. Paul Williams, Phil Dakin and Edward Bines will now oversee the sale of CMV’s assets, as well as for sister companies South Quay Travel & Leisure, Independent Coach Travel, and Viceroy. The appointment has seen CMV cease trading with immediate effect, and put a stop to international sales offices in Australia, France, the US – along with via TransOcean Kreuzfahrten in Germany. It is likely that its UK employees will be made redundant, while employees in the wider group also face an uncertain future.

Duff & Phelps’ Williams, stated, “The travel, tourism and wider hospitality industry has been engulfed with a devastating and unprecedented global pandemic of seismic proportions impacting very hard on CMV’s once thriving cruise business compounded by last week’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advisory against cruise travel.”