Voyages to Antiquity’s boss says he “cannot rule out” the specialist one-ship line being “reborn” under another operator in the future.
Last week, the line announced it would cease operations next month after a difficult year in which its 350-passenger Aegean Odyssey vessel suffered engine trouble, which caused 10 cruises to be cancelled.
Ten staff working at the line’s headquarters in Oxford will lose their jobs when the line closes on October 31. In June, an initial six staff were made redundant.
However, managing director Jos Dewing believes there is a chance that Voyages to Antiquity could be taken over by another operator and confirmed that there had been interest from potential buyers – but stopped short of revealing their identities.
“The reality is what it is with the staff that we had, but Voyages to Antiquity is a fantastic name in a very popular niche.
“I cannot rule out being reborn with another operator. There is interest in Voyages to Antiquity as a brand.”
Aegean Odyssey will be operated by non-profit tour operator Road Scholar for three years from 2020.
Although Dewing admitted he was unsure what would happen to the 47-year-old vessel when the charter agreement came to an end, he said the ship had “plenty more years of service” left.
“[Aegean Odyssey] has had a lot of money spent on her,” Dewing added. “[The ship] is immaculate – it is quite amazing.”
Explaining the impact of taking the ship out of service this year, Dewing said: “Our intention was to find a second ship to replace Aegean Odyssey from 2020.
“We are only a small management time and the engine trouble to our whole focus off looking for a new ship.
“Aegean Odyssey is back in service now and the ship is doing great, but time has taken its toll. A replacement ship was not there, and we have taken the decision to close Voyages to Antiquity.”
Dewing revealed around 3,200 passengers were booked on this summer’s 10 cancelled cruises, of which approximately 2,000 were British.
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