UK’s All Leisure Group buys ALEXANDER VON HUMBOLDT

Nov 18, 2009
Author: Terry Hutson

UK-based All Leisure Group has announced the acquisition of the cruise ship ALEXANDER VON HUMBOLDT (15,396-gt, built 1990). The cruise ship was previously operated by Phoenix Reisen on charter from Dutch owners.

All Leisure Group, the holding company for All Leisure Holidays owns the tour operators Voyages of Discovery, Swan Hellenic, Hebridean Island Cruises and Discover Egypt.

Voyages of Discovery, Swan Hellenic and Hebridean provide destination-led cruises to a number of countries, including southern Africa and focuses on the market for mature passengers. Discover Egypt offers package holidays to Egypt, including cruises and excursions on the River Nile.

Among other acquisitions, Voyages of Discovery, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of All Leisure Group that owns and operates the cruise ship DISCOVERY, added a second ship, EXPLORER II in November 2007 which was subsequently renamed MINERVA in March 2008.

On Monday (16 November) the group announced it has been successful in acquiring the ALEXANDER VON HUMBOLDT at an auction and would be putting the 1990-built ship, with 250 passenger cabins for 500 lower berths, through an extensive technical upgrade, bringing the total cost of the ship to around £20 million.

“This will be met from the Group’s existing cash resources,” said All Leisure in a statement.

The plan is to have the refurbished cruise ship ready from the northern summer of 2011 when she will join Discovery, Minerva and Hebridean Princess in the All Leisure fleet, making this one of the larger British-owned cruise ship operators.

The directors of the Group said they anticipate the acquisition will enhance earnings in financial year 2010/11.

“We have been particularly patient and prudent in deploying our cash resources in order to meet with our strict investment criteria, but I believe that the wait has been worthwhile,” said executive chairman Roger Allard.

“Our latest acquisition fits perfectly with both the profile of our fleet and our destination-led product offering, especially given the high numbers of outside cabins. Most importantly, we believe that this asset has been acquired at a cost that is highly commercial. This acquisition underpins the confidence that we have in the potential of our destination-led small ship niche cruise offering.”



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