Jump to content

Ambassador Cruise Lines "Ambience" (Ex-CMV)


Recommended Posts

 

Former Cruise &Maritime Voyages (CMV) bosses have reunited to launch Ambassador Cruise Line, a UK-based operator aimed at the over 50s market which plans to start sailing with one ship in April 2022. Ambassador’s management team includes chief executive Christian Verhounig, chief commercial officer Christopher Coates, chief information officer Gary Hides and chief financial officer Simon Weeks, who have all previously worked together at CMV before the line went into administration.

 

Ambassador will operate cruises on, formerly known as Pacific Dawn, P&O's Australia ship, which was set to become CMV’s flagship under the name Amy Johnson. The 1,400-passenger ship’ maiden voyage will be a “short-break cruise” out of Tilbury to Hamburg, Germany, starting on April 6 next year.

 

The ship’s debut full-year programme, running from April 2022 until May 2023, will include 33 sailings, calling at 88 ports across the Baltics, Greenland, the Arctic and Iceland.

 

(Images P&O Australia/CMV, Text: TrvaleWeekly)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It wasn't surprising to see the CMV management team behind this.  I see the articles all refer to Chair of the Board and his experience in the cruise industry.  Given what happened with CMV, perhaps his name isn't as contentious as any of those ex-CMV people fronting this company?  I was lucky to get my money back and I know others haven't. Seeing the CMV names involved, it could harm any goodwill towards this new cruise line.

 

I had my first two cruises with them booked before the pandemic, so now with all their older classic ships gone I never got to experience them and I'm not sure this ship holds much appeal for me. 

 

I wonder if they will buy up some of the ex_HAL vessels that Seajets bought, or even the ex-PO Oceana?  Presumably she'd be quite popular with the UK market now that P&O has the likes of the Britannia and Iona?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

35 minutes ago, ovccruiser said:

I guess if it is aimed at the over 50's, the waterslide and water park will go 😄

Hmmmm, really 🤔😂

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Whilst I appreciate the sensitivities around the CMV liquidation, personally I welcome this. As a long-time P&O cruiser who only cruises on small ships, my choice with them is now pretty restricted. Fred Olsen are a good alternative but it is difficult to get a decent solo price with them. Consequently, I am hoping that this 'new' line will be competition for Fred.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since the press releases hint at expansion, I would think the ex-Oceana would be the best fit for a fleet mate.

The ideal sister Karnika was rushed to the breakers as was the similar Columbus.

The less disparate a cruise lines ships, the simpler to market. This was one of CMV’s issues and also a factor in HAL disposing of so many of their smaller ships which offered a radically different experience to the rest of their current fleet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, foodsvcmgr said:

Since the press releases hint at expansion, I would think the ex-Oceana would be the best fit for a fleet mate.

The ideal sister Karnika was rushed to the breakers as was the similar Columbus.

The less disparate a cruise lines ships, the simpler to market. This was one of CMV’s issues and also a factor in HAL disposing of so many of their smaller ships which offered a radically different experience to the rest of their current fleet.

Completely agree about Karnika and Columbus. A tragedy that they went to the breakers so soon. Also agree that P&O's old Oceana or one of her Sun Class sisters would be a good fit for Ambassador based on their first vessel.

I understand what you mean about consistency across the fleet but think it can be useful to have a variety of different ships. The only reason I still sail with P&O is because they have Aurora and Arcadia, which are different to the larger ships in the fleet. Once they have gone, I will no longer be a P&O passenger...

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

57 minutes ago, richard_london said:

 

 

And they have an entry on Google Maps, which takes you to the old CMV offices in Purfleet.

 

Well that's where the customer database with all our personal details is!

The first thing Christian Verhounig (CMV CEO and Ambassador) was to but the datbase.

 

Personally i welcome a budget line to fill the CMV gap. I have found the experience similar to Olsen's , but considerably cheaper! (They are also rather like the old Thomson cruises).

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wonder if the former CMV Directors have arranged to pay the debts of their old company yet before forming the new cruise line?

No, I thought not.

Please excuse the sarcasm but if you knew people who had suffered badly following CMV’s demise, you would understand.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

The list of cruises for 2022 is very much like those that CMV used to do so they are attractive itineraries. 

 

But the way CMV carried on selling cruises right up until they went under was terrible and what happened when it went into administration was awful.  Seeing the same names back involved in cruising seemingly without repurcussions isn't necessarily a good look for a new company.  

Edited by richard_london
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is interesting reading the blurb on the reincarnated CMV cruise line (now called Ambassador) website where there is no reference to being ABTA members (or with an application pending).

I presume anyone who books through a Travel Agent would be protected by the TA’s own ABTA membership.

Ambassador apparently have their own insurance which presumably (if they remain solvent) protects direct bookings. Were they to fold, however, where does that leave those booking direct?

Based in Purfleet I guess they are even using CMV’s old premises.

Doubtless many people who are oblivious to the background will book the attractive looking itineraries.

Along with many friends we will not be amongst them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/15/2021 at 9:19 AM, PrincessPete said:

It is interesting reading the blurb on the reincarnated CMV cruise line (now called Ambassador) website where there is no reference to being ABTA members (or with an application pending).

I presume anyone who books through a Travel Agent would be protected by the TA’s own ABTA membership.

Ambassador apparently have their own insurance which presumably (if they remain solvent) protects direct bookings. Were they to fold, however, where does that leave those booking direct?

Based in Purfleet I guess they are even using CMV’s old premises.

Doubtless many people who are oblivious to the background will book the attractive looking itineraries.

Along with many friends we will not be amongst them.

I can understand your feelings given your experience of CMV.  I don't know how cast iron a guarantee it is but they say their insurance is compliant with the Travel Package and Linked arrangements legislation of 2018. They also say on the website that customers' payments will be held in an independent Trust Fund and only passed to the company when the cruise departs.

I've seen an interview online with, I think, Travel Weekly, where he said they will be making an application to ABTA. Time will tell.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Britboys said:

 They also say on the website that customers' payments will be held in an independent Trust Fund and only passed to the company when the cruise departs.

I've seen an interview online with, I think, Travel Weekly, where he said they will be making an application to ABTA. Time will tell.

 

What has been set up is an alternative to ABTA membership, so should be ok without that.  There is a legal obligation for them to protect passenger's money and the insurance provided by abta membership is one way that can be done.  It does apparently cost a lot to become a member of abta.  what I do not know is if it is a standard fee (presumably related in some way to the size of the business), or if abta make an assessment of the risk and then set a fee accordingly.

Edited by tring
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, tring said:

 

What has been set up is an alternative to ABTA membership, so should be ok without that.  There is a legal obligation for them to protect passenger's money and the insurance provided by abta membership is one way that can be done.  It does apparently cost a lot to become a member of abta.  what I do not know is if it is a standard fee (presumably related in some way to the size of the business), or if abta make an assessment of the risk and then set a fee accordingly.

 

Just to say, we always pay with credit card for everything anyway, so would be protected.  That is always advisable of course.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
16 hours ago, Britboys said:

Ambassador opened bookings today. Very reasonable prices. I booked a short Christmas Markets cruise for next year.

Me too and the gala dinner/show the night before - did this several times on Magellan and enjoyed it and having the ship pretty much to myself the next day prior to everyone boarding for the cruise

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/13/2021 at 1:12 PM, London-Calling said:

 

Former Cruise &Maritime Voyages (CMV) bosses have reunited to launch Ambassador Cruise Line, a UK-based operator aimed at the over 50s market which plans to start sailing with one ship in April 2022. Ambassador’s management team includes chief executive Christian Verhounig, chief commercial officer Christopher Coates, chief information officer Gary Hides and chief financial officer Simon Weeks, who have all previously worked together at CMV before the line went into administration.

 

Ambassador will operate cruises on, formerly known as Pacific Dawn, P&O's Australia ship, which was set to become CMV’s flagship under the name Amy Johnson. The 1,400-passenger ship’ maiden voyage will be a “short-break cruise” out of Tilbury to Hamburg, Germany, starting on April 6 next year.

 

The ship’s debut full-year programme, running from April 2022 until May 2023, will include 33 sailings, calling at 88 ports across the Baltics, Greenland, the Arctic and Iceland.

 

(Images P&O Australia/CMV, Text: TrvaleWeekly)

Is there a way to change the name of this or start an Ambassador one?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi teabear and all, I did email Cruise Critic a couple of weeks ago and ask if they were going to start a new forum for the Ambassador cruise line, but heard nothing. I’ve sent a further email today.

Hoping the sarcasm (as in previous posts on my part on this subject) will be excused, but there is an argument for keeping it under this forum heading anyway:

• Ambassador is CMV in all but name, run by the same people who ran CMV and left ££millions of debt and have now set up quite legally (but morally?) a near identical company. CMV’s boss even bought their databases from the Liquidators when they went bust. I am sure you already know he is now Ambasssdor’s boss!

The accompanying blurb from the two TA’s who sent me the brochure comment on the new company being debt free – indeed, but CMV and their suppliers, Banks etc?

• working in the same offices.

• not that any confirmation is needed that it is essentially a reincarnated CMV, but the two TA’s both offered 5% off to previous CMV loyal customers!

It leaves a very bad taste in my mouth (We did not lose any money ourselves through CMV’s demise but know of people who did).

I did receive a copy of the brochure yesterday and agree the prices seem quite reasonable (could they charge any more for a 31 year old ship?). 

I also note that there is no freedom dining option which was not unexpected as the ship only has one large restaurant, so I guess it would not be practical - as was the case on CMV.

I am sure many people will book with the “new” company. We will not be amongst them.

Kind regards Peter

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/25/2021 at 6:10 PM, PrincessPete said:

Hi teabear and all, I did email Cruise Critic a couple of weeks ago and ask if they were going to start a new forum for the Ambassador cruise line, but heard nothing. I’ve sent a further email today.

Hoping the sarcasm (as in previous posts on my part on this subject) will be excused, but there is an argument for keeping it under this forum heading anyway:

• Ambassador is CMV in all but name, run by the same people who ran CMV and left ££millions of debt and have now set up quite legally (but morally?) a near identical company. CMV’s boss even bought their databases from the Liquidators when they went bust. I am sure you already know he is now Ambasssdor’s boss!

The accompanying blurb from the two TA’s who sent me the brochure comment on the new company being debt free – indeed, but CMV and their suppliers, Banks etc?

• working in the same offices.

• not that any confirmation is needed that it is essentially a reincarnated CMV, but the two TA’s both offered 5% off to previous CMV loyal customers!

It leaves a very bad taste in my mouth (We did not lose any money ourselves through CMV’s demise but know of people who did).

I did receive a copy of the brochure yesterday and agree the prices seem quite reasonable (could they charge any more for a 31 year old ship?). 

I also note that there is no freedom dining option which was not unexpected as the ship only has one large restaurant, so I guess it would not be practical - as was the case on CMV.

I am sure many people will book with the “new” company. We will not be amongst them.

Kind regards Peter

Do you know how CMV went into liquidation, was it voluntary or forced by a creditor? If the latter, than the old boss of CMV has clean hands. Reading the net, it would appear they tried to refinance without success. I think you are being a little harsh on the boss. of Ambassador.

People who run a business, and I am one of them, do not go out of their way to go into liquidation to fleece their creditors.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I fully respect your opinion ovccruiser and, indeed, cannot claim to know the ins and outs of CMV's liquidation.
I also accept your comment that people running businesses do not deliberately go into liquidation to fleece their customers (doubtless some have used that tactic before but I'm absolutely not suggesting that was the case here).
I think the issue was they were unable to get funding, having already taken several massive multi-million pound loans in the preceding few months.
As I said, the point that really does go against the grain is the CEO of a company that had just gone into liquidation being able to buy the database and office equipment of that company, clearly with the intention of restarting in the future.

Knowing people who have lost jobs and money due to CMV folding, it is somewhat upsetting to see those in the top echelons of the old company now with their new jobs and with financing for a "new" cruise line, albeit obviously it being the old one reincarnated.
We therefore may not agree on this matter but I hope you will accept this as a reasoned argument against your posting and we will agree to differ.
With best wishes. Peter

Link to comment
Share on other sites

PrincessPete, unfortunately in business it seems to be a fact of life. In my past self employment, we supplied a large amount of product to a contractor who went bankrupt, started up again with the same name but with a year date after, bought all the goods from the receiver for a song and completed their contract. I lost over £25000 on that and could do nothing about it. I am not sure if the laws have changed since then, but it was rather galling.

 

All the best, Geoff

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have received the email and the mailing a couple of days ago.  The mailing surprised me as I was sure they had stated they would not mail unless I opted in which I didn't.

 

We are fully booked for 2022 so not in the market.   The prices seemed reasonable but I do have the same reservations about what happened at the end of CMV.  To me it was the selling of cruises for periods of time that you knew were never in anyones dreams going to sail.  Not months ahead or weeks but days.   The other lines had cancelled for the months ahead but CMV kept on trying to sell cruises.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Received my new brochure From Ambassador yesterday. Very nicely laid out. They have obviously taken their target demographic into account and ensured there is no tiny small print that needs a magnifying glass! 😀

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Thank You for 25 Years - Click for Fun Stuff!
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...