Voyages to Antiquity will cease operations at the end of October, boss Jos Dewing has confirmed.
Earlier this year, Voyages was forced to cancel its summer 2019 programme when its sole ship, Aegean Odyssey, developed engine problems.
In a letter to partners, managing director Jobs Dewing said the line’s executive management team had been looking at “various alternative options to continue the company” after announcing last year it had chartered Aegean Odyssey to long-term partner Road Scholar from April 2020 for a three-year period.
Dewing, though, said the process had been “severely impacted” by the engine failure that beset the ship in April, forcing Voyages to cancel 10 summer sailings affecting around 3,500 passengers.
“While we are pleased to advise the ship has now been fully repaired and the final four cruises of the 2019 season will go ahead as scheduled, this serious issue has had an impact on the future plans for Voyages to Antiquity,” said Dewing.
“Repairing the ship has been the absolute priority for management and the focus of the company during this difficult period.
“It is therefore with regret we have taken the difficult decision to close Voyages to Antiquity at the end of October, at which point our office in Oxford will also close.”
Dewing added it would be “business as normal” until the end of October, with staff there to answer calls and support passengers still due to travel with the line this year.
“It has been a privilege to run the global operations of this fascinating cruise company, working with an amazing team in Oxford and overseas, a passionate crew and truly engaged partners,” Dewing told TTG.
“It’s very sad that it’s come to an end now. We have won some major awards in recent years and defined a very unique product offering.
“That said, all ships need succession plans and the long-term charter was absolutely the right thing for us to do.
“If a suitable replacement vessel had been available and we had not suffered a change of focus with the engine issue, things may have been different, but we can all look back and be proud of what was created during a challenging time in the industry – and that a single, small-ship line was able to thrive and deliver as we have for so many passengers.
“I am hugely grateful to staff, crew and partners who have been amazing, especially during what has been a very challenging year.”