Cruise & Maritime Voyages has ceased trading with immediate effect, becoming the latest casualty of the slowdown in travel prompted by the global Covid-19 outbreak.

Administrators Duff & Phelps were appointed to wind up the company earlier.

Sister companies South Quay Travel & Leisure, Independent Coach Travel and Viceroy will also close, along with international sales offices in Australia, France, the United States and TransOcean Kreuzfahrten in Germany.

Administration is likely to result in the redundancy of the UK employees and an uncertain future for those employees in the wider group.

As cruise operations are currently suspended there are no passengers onboard any CMV ships.

Paul Williams, joint administrator for Duff & Phelps, 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 Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ once thriving cruise business compounded by last week’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office advisory against cruise travel.”

When Covid-19 struck earlier this year CMV managed to repatriate crew, passengers and six ships from around the world back to their home ports in the UK without one single reported Covid-19 case.

The suspension of ‘s worldwide cruise programme on March 13th through to August 25th has affected over 50,000 British and international passengers greatly impacting the business.

Christian Verhounig, chief executive of the company, stated: “The directors have all worked tirelessly with CMV’s financial advisors, investment bankers, lawyers, and numerous private equity and hedge fund investors to try and secure the funding required to enable CMV to weather the storm.

“Only last year CMV was celebrating a record trading year and our first decade in cruising but the CMV journey has tragically been cut short by this unprecedented global pandemic.

“Prior to the onset of Covid-19, we had sold nearly 90 per cent of 2020 capacity and we had bullish prospects for the future having sold nearly 50 per cent of 2021 UK capacity.

“Despite this positive forward booking position, we could just not get the financing deal over the line in time to save this wonderful business.

“We are truly sorry to our loyal and hard-working shoreside staff and seafarers, travel trade partners and suppliers who have all patiently stood by us and to our valued passengers for the disappointment and further disruption to their cruising holiday plans.”

Further details on how affected customers can make a claim can be found on Cruise & Maritime Voyages and TransOcean Kreuzfahrten local websites.