The company behind well-known cruise brands Swan Hellenic and Voyages of Discovery has ceased trading today, affecting around 13,000 customers booked on trips and some 400 holidaymakers currently abroad.

All Leisure Holidays Ltd collapsed this morning amid reports it had abruptly cancelled a number of cruise departures for "operational reasons" in recent days. All future cruises have now been cancelled with immediate effect.

If you booked a package with a cruise and a flight, you're protected by the Air Travel Organiser's Licence (ATOL) scheme, run by the Civil Aviation Authority. If you booked a cruise-only package, whether departing from the UK or overseas, you're protected by the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) scheme.

Here's what you need to know if you're affected.

I'm a customer currently overseas what will happen?

ABTA and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) say they are working to support and repatriate the 400 Swan Hellenic and Voyages of Discovery customers who are currently abroad.

  • If you booked a package with a cruise and a flight, the CAA says it's speaking to "accommodation providers" to ensure that there are no changes to your trip, so you can complete your cruise before returning. If you have scheduled return-flight tickets, these are likely to still be valid. Call the CAA telephone helpline on 0808 164 8810 for more info.
  • If you're on a cruise package that doesn't include a flight, ABTA says it will ensure you're repatriated to the UK. It says it will try to ensure you can continue the cruise but this will be confirmed on a case-by-case basis. Customers in need of help or assistance can call it on 020 3117 0553.

There's a chance you may be asked to pay again for accommodation or other elements of your trip. If you're forced to pay again for any element, MAKE SURE you keep a receipt showing the payment method. You may need this as evidence to claim a refund from ABTA or the CAA.

Martin Lewis
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My cruise hasn't departed what happens now?

All Swan Hellenic and Voyages of Discovery trips set to depart today or later have now been cancelled, but many will be able to get money back via the ABTA or ATOL schemes.

  • If you booked a package with a cruise and a flight, your flight may still be valid, so check with your airline. If so, you may have the option of using the flights, rebooking the rest of your holiday and claiming this back under the ATOL scheme but there are strict terms and a limit for this, so check the CAA site for full details. If your flights aren't valid, or they are but you don't want to use them, you can claim a refund:

    • If you booked directly through Swan Hellenic or Voyages of Discovery and paid with a credit card, the CAA says you should claim from your credit card company under its Section 75 scheme (for more on this protection, see our guide). However the CAA says if you're not able to do this, you can still claim from the ATOL scheme directly.
    • For all other bookings... If you paid directly via any other payment method, or if you booked via a travel agent, you should claim from the ATOL scheme.
  • If you're on a cruise package that doesn't include a flight, you can claim a refund via ABTA.

    • If you booked directly through Swan Hellenic or Voyages of Discovery, simply claim a refund from ABTA.

    • If you booked via a travel agent, your money is still protected under the ABTA scheme but ABTA says you should contact your travel agent so it can provide documentation to prove you paid for your holiday. ABTA will then process your claim.

How long will it take to get my money back?

The CAA and ABTA say they will process refunds as quickly as possible, but there's likely to be some delay as they process thousands of claims. The CAA says ATOL claims should take "no longer than several weeks".

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