A PAIR of avid cruise-goers have had to re-think their 40th wedding anniversary plans after their cruise trip was cancelled due to the company going bust.

Essex-based Cruise and Maritime Voyages, owned by South Quay Travel and Leisure Limited ceased training on July 20 after failing to get the funding it needed to stay afloat, resulting in all cruises being cancelled.

George Whatley, from Canvey, received an email from ABTA on Monday night explaining their trip for a UK cruise in July 2021 had been cancelled due to the company going into liquidation. Their trip would have been on the company’s brand new ship, Amy Louise.

The 79-year-old, told the Echo: “It was for our 40th wedding anniversary and I was going to arrange for the captain to renew our wedding vows.

“There were going to be a number of celebrations as I would be turning 80.

“We’ve gone through the process of trying to recover the deposits that we put down on the cruise. Because they are secured through ABTA, anyone who’s booked onto one of their cruises should be able to get their money back.”

Cruises worldwide had been cancelled or postponed since the pandemic hit but Mr Whatley was hoping that the “smoke would have cleared” by summer next year.

Mr Whatley, added: “The pandemic has hit the cruise industry very hard.

“We’ve been on cruises with them before and other cruise operators. For us it’s the perfect holiday as you don’t have to drive to the airport and queue up, and it’s basically five-star luxury for the whole of your holiday and they do look after you very well.

“It did come unexpected as we thought that by the time we were due to go the smoke would have cleared from the battlefield. We were very much looking forward to it.

“Obviously it’s taken its toll after having repatriated a number of people for cruises they had already booked – the loss must go into million.”

The company, which formed 10 years ago and had a fleet of six ships, had been forced to suspend all its sailings from March 13 until August 25, resulting in the cancellation of 50,000 holidays. Only last year CMV was celebrating a record trading year.

In a statement, CMV chief executive Christian Verhounig, said: “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 their disappointment.”