Roger Allard, executive chairman, All Leisure Holidays has outlined a multi-million pound investment programme designed to develop the three discovery cruising brands - Swan Hellenic, Voyages of Discovery and Hebridean Island Cruises.
The investment will see each small ship discovery cruising brand developed and extended over the next 12 months, with a view to expanding each brand’s offering to customers and extending the number of itineraries available.
Swan Hellenic announced the major refurbishment of their highly popular mv Minerva as part of a long term strategy to see her sail into the next era.
The refurbishment comes as a response to customer feedback and a request to increase the space of the interior and exterior public areas without compromising comfort and enjoyment.
Six cabins will be removed to free up additional space, giving the refurbished ship a total of 181 cabins – all with new en suite facilities.
Of these, 32 cabins will have balconies added, bringing the number of balcony suites up to 44.
mv Minerva will retain her current 350 passenger level and renowned country house style and ambience.
Included in this refurbishment will be a significant technical upgrade to improve the ship’s efficiency, maneuverability, comfort and environmental performance.
Voyages of Discovery
Voyages of Discovery will see the introduction of new ship mv Voyager to the brand portfolio.
Previously named Alexander von Humboldt, mv Voyager will complement mv Discovery as an enhancement of the brand’s discovery cruising ethos, but will operate with fewer passengers and larger cabins.
Even more intimate than mv Discovery, the ship accommodates 550 passengers and boasts a modern hotel feel to its cabins, of which 86 per cent are outside.
Expanding the Voyages of Discovery brand with the introduction of a second ship will give customers more choice and flexibility in itineraries.
Voyages of Discovery also announced significant refurbishment and dry dock plans for mv Discovery during winter 2012/13, with upgrades being made to the teak decking, expansion of public areas, cabin improvements, updated furnishing and developments to dining areas.
Hebridean Island Cruises
Hebridean Island Cruises enjoyed a highly successful 2011 with mv Hebridean Princess, and to further grow the brand and increase the product offering has launched a dedicated Hebridean Rivers 2012 programme
Offering the same values as mv Hebridean Princess and the former mv Hebridean Spirit, Hebridean’s, Royal Crown will sail on the Rhine in spring and the Danube in autumn 2012, on a seven night itinerary basis.
Roger Allard, executive chairman, All Leisure Group commented: “We are delighted to introduce our exciting three new brand announcements.
“Our research shows that demand for cruising amongst our target audience has increased over the past few years and in order to continue to meet and exceed customer expectations, we have expanded our fleet as a direct result of specific customer feedback.
“We aim to be proactive in what is a challenging time for the economy and travel industry as a whole and see 2012 being an exciting year for All Leisure Holidays and our three discovery cruising brands.”