Swan Hellenic bought by Lord Sterling

Mar 19, 2007
Author: P&S

A lifeline has been thrown to niche market cruise ship operator Swan Hellenic with the news that Lord Sterling, the former chairman of The Peninsular & Orient Steam Navigation Company, better known as P&O, and life president of P&O Cruises, has reached agreement with Carnival plc to acquire the assets of Swan Hellenic.

The purchase agreement includes all trademarks and marketing database, meaning that the new owner will have access to records of previous clients loyal to Swan Hellenic, a single ship cruise operator catering to a distinct British clientele and operating cruises along a ‘discovery cruise’ theme.

The agreement follows close on Carnival’s decision to close down the Swan Hellenic operation and transfer its single ship, MINERVA II to Carnival’s Princess Cruises as from 1 April.

MINERVA II of Swan Hellenic, which is being transferred by Carnival plc to Princess Cruises as from 1 April 2007. Picture Terry Hutson

Lord Sterling is quoted as saying "Swan is a British institution and I have been thinking about trying to save it for some time. I have been inundated with people talking to me and urging me to do something. I cannot make any promises about how quickly we can start operating, because we need to find a suitable ship that is of the highest standard, but we will move as fast as we can."

He said it was his desire that Swan Hellenic would continue making voyages throughout the same regions as covered previously by the line but would add new areas of interest.

“We are keenly aware of and grateful for the long-standing loyalty of so many Swan passengers and renowned guest speakers, and we look forward to renewing acquaintances in the not too distant future. We shall continue the culture and ethos with which this distinguished British brand is associated throughout the cruising world."

Now the big question facing interested parties is which ship will the ‘new’ Swan Hellenic manage to acquire.


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