Small-ship line Voyages to Antiquity is set to close at the end of October following its decision to cancel 10 2019 departures when its sole vessel suffered engine trouble this year.

A statement issued to the trade on Monday (September 9), seen by Travel Weekly, revealed that the line’s executive management team had been “looking at various alternative options to continue the company” since 2018.

However, the line’s Aegean Odyssey ship suffered engine failure in April which had “a serious impact on the future plans” and forced Voyages to Antiquity to cancel 10 departures, affecting up to 3,500 passengers.

The ship has operated for nearly five decades.

More: Engine trouble wipes out Voyages to Antiquity summer season cruises

In the statement, the line’s managing director, Jos Dewing, said: “It is therefore with regret, we have taken the decision to close Voyages to Antiquity at the end of October 2019.”

He added that staff would continue to take calls and support passengers sailing with the Oxford-based line on its final four departures of the 2019 season.

It is not known how many staff the line employs in the UK.

Agents and customers affected after October 31 have been asked to contact the line’s US office or email

Dewing added: “We would like to thank you for your support over what has been a very successful decade for Voyages to Antiquity.

“We have staff ready to answer questions over the coming months and once again thank you for your understanding at this difficult time.”

Azamara managing director Richard Twynam tweeted: “This is such a shame and shows how hard the commercial world can be sometimes.”

But Dewing responded: “This is a technical rather than commercial situation sadly but the sentiment is appreciated. VTA was a strong and secure business but an engine situation on a single ship is a big problem.”

Voyages to Antiquity signed a charter agreement with Road Scholar to allow the tour operator use of Aegean Odyssey from 2020 to 2023.