All Leisure Holidays Ltd and Cruise & Maritime Voyages pen deal

All Leisure Holidays Ltd and Cruise & Maritime Voyages pen deal

A new long-term partnership between two established cruise companies is announced today, delivering an exciting great value cruise experience from February 2013.

All Leisure Holidays Ltd has joined forces with Cruise & Maritime Voyages to offer cruises in Northern Europe, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. All Leisure Holidays’ 700 passenger ship Discovery, which currently operates under the Voyages of Discovery banner, will now be operated by Cruise & Maritime Voyages under the CMV brand from February 2013, following a scheduled extensive dry-dock and refurbishment.

This joint venture will allow passengers to sail on the much-loved, classic ship, Discovery, with the renowned on board experience of Cruise & Maritime Voyages, whilst offering a range of UK regional departures and a selection of Mediterranean fly cruises.

All Leisure Holidays Ltd, led by Roger Allard, is renowned for its entrepreneurial approach to business and has continued to challenge the market with developments, partnerships and acquisitions to grow its penetration of the over 55 British travel sector.

The partnership with Cruise & Maritime Voyages, who have established a much admired cruise brand since their launch in 2009 with a programme capacity of around 45,000 passengers, adds to the growing collection of diverse travel experiences from the All Leisure Holidays Ltd portfolio.

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Roger Allard, Executive Chairman, All Leisure Holidays Ltd explains:

“Continuing to evolve and innovate the way we do business is a key mantra for All Leisure Holidays Ltd. The opportunity to work in partnership with the established and much-respected Cruise & Maritime Voyages is a great route to increase the audiences we appeal to and deliver something new to the cruise sector. Within the All Leisure Holidays Ltd business we now have a great value cruise brand to bolster the existing discovery and luxury options already on offer. We look forward to welcoming new and existing passengers on board Discovery, which will premier its refurbishment and refresh when the first passengers join its inaugural sailing as part of the Cruise & Maritime Voyages fleet in February 2013.”

Chris Coates, Commercial Director, Cruise & Maritime Voyages commented:
“We are delighted to have concluded a long term joint venture deal with highly respected All Leisure Holidays Ltd and firmly believe that the introduction of Discovery into the CMV fleet in 2013 alongside our popular flagship, Marco Polo will consolidate our position in the traditional ‘smaller ship’ British cruise market sector.  We have enjoyed three highly successful summer seasons operating Ocean Countess from regional ports around the British Isles and now look forward to operating the upgraded Discovery and establishing her as a great value cruise brand. Our booked passengers will be transferred to Discovery with around 80% of our scheduled ex-UK regional cruise programme largely unaffected”

The joint venture on Discovery will offer regional departures and a small-ship traditional cruising experience to a UK-focused audience, with departures from ports of call across the country including Liverpool, Harwich, Hull, Bristol and the Port of Tyne as well as fly cruises from destinations in Spain, Italy, Greece and Turkey.

Focused on offering a small ship cruise experience at great value, mini one-night cruises will start from just £69 per person, with a five night cruise costing from £409 per person.

Longer cruises from five to 18 nights are available and a two-week cruise costs from £1,129 per person – less than £87 per night – including all meals and entertainment, and from a convenient departure point. Itineraries and destinations on offer include Natural Wonders & Wildlife (Orkney, Faroe Islands and Iceland) Baltic Symphony (Estonia, Denmark and Russia) and Cradle of Civilization (Egypt, Turkey and Israel).

The on board experience will be provided by Cruise & Maritime Voyages, featuring a friendly yet attentive service for which Discovery has always been known, but with different entertainment options including production shows, comedians and speciality acts as well as guest speakers.

Both All Leisure Holidays and Cruise & Maritime Voyages will sell this new product with both teams able to offer expert advice to all customers. Travel Agent bookings for Discovery will be made with Cruise & Maritime Voyages.

Voyages of Discovery this week also started the 100 day countdown to the launch of their new ship, Voyager, which sets sail from Portsmouth for its inaugural cruise on 4th December 2012 following an extensive refurbishment. Voyager will continue to be marketed and sold through the trade under the award winning Voyages of Discovery brand, and will maintain unique itineraries and the discovery cruising ethos that enables passengers to explore and learn about different destinations and their cultures and history.

Key additions to Voyager during the refurbishment include the introduction of an explorer theme across the whole ship, a new piano bar – Scott’s Lounge, a new speciality restaurant, a ‘look-out’ lounge and an al fresco dining terrace with all-weather awning. Voyager will offer a choice of 270 cabins, almost 90% of which are outside cabins and 30 of which have balconies.