Firm to close its Southampton office

Daily Echo: Swan Hellenic's Minerva Swan Hellenic's Minerva

An historic link is set to be broken with Southampton at the end of the month when a long-standing cruise firm quits the city.

Swan Hellenic is set to close its city centre office, spelling an end to links to the city dating back to the 1950s, the Daily Echo can reveal.

Thirteen posts will go, with four staff transferring to offices in Market Harborough in Leicestershire which are owned by parent company All Leisure Group (ALG), a cruise and escorted tour specialist.

A company spokesman said: “This will mean that all operations, planning and product development for Swan Hellenic and Voyages of Discovery will be run from one office.

“The company has undergone consultations with 13 affected employees and the proposed closure is part of the integration process following ALG’s acquisition of its tour operating businesses Travelsphere and Just You.

“There won’t be a presence in Southampton after the move.”

The firm began in the 1950s as Swan’s Tours travel agency, operated by a father and son, WF Swan and RK Swan, after they were asked to organise a tour for visitors interested in the antiquities of Greece. The archaeologist Sir Mortimer Wheeler was employed as guest lecturer.

P&O bought the firm in 1983 and it became part of the Carnival Group, the world’s biggest cruise company, whose UK base is in Southampton.

In 2007 the Swan Hellenic brand and other assets including domain names, customer databases, marketing material and memorabilia were acquired by former P&O chairman Lord Sterling. Cruises started up again in 2008.

Since 2011 the firm has based its 12,500 ton, 394-berth Minerva in Portsmouth rather than Southampton.

Comments (12)

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1:42pm Thu 19 Dec 13

loosehead says...

so watch your so called friends as Liverpool have seen they'll stab you in the back.
An established company from Southampton now operates it's ships from Portsmouth the same city posters on here were fighting for over BAE's decision yet Portsmouth kept it a bit quiet on how they'd manage to acquire this company from our city didn't they?
so watch your so called friends as Liverpool have seen they'll stab you in the back. An established company from Southampton now operates it's ships from Portsmouth the same city posters on here were fighting for over BAE's decision yet Portsmouth kept it a bit quiet on how they'd manage to acquire this company from our city didn't they? loosehead
  • Score: -9

2:53pm Thu 19 Dec 13

southy says...

loosehead wrote:
so watch your so called friends as Liverpool have seen they'll stab you in the back.
An established company from Southampton now operates it's ships from Portsmouth the same city posters on here were fighting for over BAE's decision yet Portsmouth kept it a bit quiet on how they'd manage to acquire this company from our city didn't they?
Its case of greed Loose no company as any loyalty to its workers or to the location town city etc.
[quote][p][bold]loosehead[/bold] wrote: so watch your so called friends as Liverpool have seen they'll stab you in the back. An established company from Southampton now operates it's ships from Portsmouth the same city posters on here were fighting for over BAE's decision yet Portsmouth kept it a bit quiet on how they'd manage to acquire this company from our city didn't they?[/p][/quote]Its case of greed Loose no company as any loyalty to its workers or to the location town city etc. southy
  • Score: -8

3:07pm Thu 19 Dec 13

jackois says...

Bit of a blow for the council I think, as most of their planning seems to revolve around Cruise lines and the docks...
Bit of a blow for the council I think, as most of their planning seems to revolve around Cruise lines and the docks... jackois
  • Score: 0

4:38pm Thu 19 Dec 13

in search of the truth says...

I wonder who will go next ?
I wonder who will go next ? in search of the truth
  • Score: -1

5:00pm Thu 19 Dec 13

Lone Ranger. says...

jackois wrote:
Bit of a blow for the council I think, as most of their planning seems to revolve around Cruise lines and the docks...
I think you will find that the business has been running from Portsmouth since 2010/11 ......
[quote][p][bold]jackois[/bold] wrote: Bit of a blow for the council I think, as most of their planning seems to revolve around Cruise lines and the docks...[/p][/quote]I think you will find that the business has been running from Portsmouth since 2010/11 ...... Lone Ranger.
  • Score: 4

5:11pm Thu 19 Dec 13

Linesman says...

loosehead wrote:
so watch your so called friends as Liverpool have seen they'll stab you in the back.
An established company from Southampton now operates it's ships from Portsmouth the same city posters on here were fighting for over BAE's decision yet Portsmouth kept it a bit quiet on how they'd manage to acquire this company from our city didn't they?
Portsmouth did not acquire the company, the company decided to move to Portsmouth. It was a commercial decision.

When it was situated in Southampton, a large percentage of its workforce came from Portsmouth, and when it moved to Portsmouth, the roles were reversed and those living in Southampton commuted to Portsmouth. To the best of my knowledge, no jobs were lost.

I imagine that Portsmouth is a more attractive proposition for a cruise ship the size of Minerva as there are more places of tourist interest in that city.
[quote][p][bold]loosehead[/bold] wrote: so watch your so called friends as Liverpool have seen they'll stab you in the back. An established company from Southampton now operates it's ships from Portsmouth the same city posters on here were fighting for over BAE's decision yet Portsmouth kept it a bit quiet on how they'd manage to acquire this company from our city didn't they?[/p][/quote]Portsmouth did not acquire the company, the company decided to move to Portsmouth. It was a commercial decision. When it was situated in Southampton, a large percentage of its workforce came from Portsmouth, and when it moved to Portsmouth, the roles were reversed and those living in Southampton commuted to Portsmouth. To the best of my knowledge, no jobs were lost. I imagine that Portsmouth is a more attractive proposition for a cruise ship the size of Minerva as there are more places of tourist interest in that city. Linesman
  • Score: 6

5:58pm Thu 19 Dec 13

03alpe01 says...

jackois wrote:
Bit of a blow for the council I think, as most of their planning seems to revolve around Cruise lines and the docks...
and flats. and student flats. and shops. and restaurants
[quote][p][bold]jackois[/bold] wrote: Bit of a blow for the council I think, as most of their planning seems to revolve around Cruise lines and the docks...[/p][/quote]and flats. and student flats. and shops. and restaurants 03alpe01
  • Score: 4

5:59pm Thu 19 Dec 13

loosehead says...

Linesman wrote:
loosehead wrote:
so watch your so called friends as Liverpool have seen they'll stab you in the back.
An established company from Southampton now operates it's ships from Portsmouth the same city posters on here were fighting for over BAE's decision yet Portsmouth kept it a bit quiet on how they'd manage to acquire this company from our city didn't they?
Portsmouth did not acquire the company, the company decided to move to Portsmouth. It was a commercial decision.

When it was situated in Southampton, a large percentage of its workforce came from Portsmouth, and when it moved to Portsmouth, the roles were reversed and those living in Southampton commuted to Portsmouth. To the best of my knowledge, no jobs were lost.

I imagine that Portsmouth is a more attractive proposition for a cruise ship the size of Minerva as there are more places of tourist interest in that city.
so it had nothing to do with the cruise ship terminal Portsmouth built?
Portsmouth have been actively trying to attract cruise companies
[quote][p][bold]Linesman[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]loosehead[/bold] wrote: so watch your so called friends as Liverpool have seen they'll stab you in the back. An established company from Southampton now operates it's ships from Portsmouth the same city posters on here were fighting for over BAE's decision yet Portsmouth kept it a bit quiet on how they'd manage to acquire this company from our city didn't they?[/p][/quote]Portsmouth did not acquire the company, the company decided to move to Portsmouth. It was a commercial decision. When it was situated in Southampton, a large percentage of its workforce came from Portsmouth, and when it moved to Portsmouth, the roles were reversed and those living in Southampton commuted to Portsmouth. To the best of my knowledge, no jobs were lost. I imagine that Portsmouth is a more attractive proposition for a cruise ship the size of Minerva as there are more places of tourist interest in that city.[/p][/quote]so it had nothing to do with the cruise ship terminal Portsmouth built? Portsmouth have been actively trying to attract cruise companies loosehead
  • Score: 0

8:03pm Thu 19 Dec 13

willygetaway says...

Southampton is one of the most costly places for ship to moor up. It no wonder that shipping companies go else where. I know this is a fact, i have worked at sea all my working life.
i love mooring in my home port but i really get the chance these days because of the cost.
Southampton is one of the most costly places for ship to moor up. It no wonder that shipping companies go else where. I know this is a fact, i have worked at sea all my working life. i love mooring in my home port but i really get the chance these days because of the cost. willygetaway
  • Score: 1

8:17pm Thu 19 Dec 13

in search of the truth says...

loosehead wrote:
so watch your so called friends as Liverpool have seen they'll stab you in the back.
An established company from Southampton now operates it's ships from Portsmouth the same city posters on here were fighting for over BAE's decision yet Portsmouth kept it a bit quiet on how they'd manage to acquire this company from our city didn't they?
Now that you've lost one " Cruise Wars " with the port of Liverpool, are you going to start another with Portsmouth.
For heavens sake shipping lines will go to any port that gives them a better deal or can't you understand simple economics ( what's best for the profits
( in the hands of the shareholders ) usually dictates any decision made in the end ) , loyalty to a particular port doesn't come into the equation.
[quote][p][bold]loosehead[/bold] wrote: so watch your so called friends as Liverpool have seen they'll stab you in the back. An established company from Southampton now operates it's ships from Portsmouth the same city posters on here were fighting for over BAE's decision yet Portsmouth kept it a bit quiet on how they'd manage to acquire this company from our city didn't they?[/p][/quote]Now that you've lost one " Cruise Wars " with the port of Liverpool, are you going to start another with Portsmouth. For heavens sake shipping lines will go to any port that gives them a better deal or can't you understand simple economics ( what's best for the profits ( in the hands of the shareholders ) usually dictates any decision made in the end ) , loyalty to a particular port doesn't come into the equation. in search of the truth
  • Score: 5

9:10pm Thu 19 Dec 13

loosehead says...

in search of the truth wrote:
loosehead wrote:
so watch your so called friends as Liverpool have seen they'll stab you in the back.
An established company from Southampton now operates it's ships from Portsmouth the same city posters on here were fighting for over BAE's decision yet Portsmouth kept it a bit quiet on how they'd manage to acquire this company from our city didn't they?
Now that you've lost one " Cruise Wars " with the port of Liverpool, are you going to start another with Portsmouth.
For heavens sake shipping lines will go to any port that gives them a better deal or can't you understand simple economics ( what's best for the profits
( in the hands of the shareholders ) usually dictates any decision made in the end ) , loyalty to a particular port doesn't come into the equation.
As I know your a scouser are you really forgetting that Portsmouth backed your bid for getting start & finish cruise ships instead of just turnaround until Portsmouth built it's own terminal? they then joined the alliance who were against the way you got the grant for your facility even though they had said they'd back you?
In Search Of The truth all Southampton & the other ports wanted was a level playing field & the way your council went about getting a grant from our Government & the EU wasn't above board was it?
now we could have kicked off about the grant you received for dredging whilst we dredge our river with private money but we didn't as that is exactly what the reason was when you applied for it.
Cruise companies will use this to cut their bills so neither port will end up a winner & Portsmouth stuck by you got you wrapped up in a war against the others & us in particular whilst they were after the small & medium ranged ships that your terminal could have happily catered for.
I know what your saying is true so why are the likes of Liverpool & Portsmouth playing right into the Cruise companies hands?
Set a fixed mooring price across the UK then it would be an even plane wouldn't it?
[quote][p][bold]in search of the truth[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]loosehead[/bold] wrote: so watch your so called friends as Liverpool have seen they'll stab you in the back. An established company from Southampton now operates it's ships from Portsmouth the same city posters on here were fighting for over BAE's decision yet Portsmouth kept it a bit quiet on how they'd manage to acquire this company from our city didn't they?[/p][/quote]Now that you've lost one " Cruise Wars " with the port of Liverpool, are you going to start another with Portsmouth. For heavens sake shipping lines will go to any port that gives them a better deal or can't you understand simple economics ( what's best for the profits ( in the hands of the shareholders ) usually dictates any decision made in the end ) , loyalty to a particular port doesn't come into the equation.[/p][/quote]As I know your a scouser are you really forgetting that Portsmouth backed your bid for getting start & finish cruise ships instead of just turnaround until Portsmouth built it's own terminal? they then joined the alliance who were against the way you got the grant for your facility even though they had said they'd back you? In Search Of The truth all Southampton & the other ports wanted was a level playing field & the way your council went about getting a grant from our Government & the EU wasn't above board was it? now we could have kicked off about the grant you received for dredging whilst we dredge our river with private money but we didn't as that is exactly what the reason was when you applied for it. Cruise companies will use this to cut their bills so neither port will end up a winner & Portsmouth stuck by you got you wrapped up in a war against the others & us in particular whilst they were after the small & medium ranged ships that your terminal could have happily catered for. I know what your saying is true so why are the likes of Liverpool & Portsmouth playing right into the Cruise companies hands? Set a fixed mooring price across the UK then it would be an even plane wouldn't it? loosehead
  • Score: -7

7:33pm Fri 20 Dec 13

georgetheseventh says...

Isnt it strange, this story has NOTHING to do with Liverpool, and yet its mentioned right from the first blog.
GET A LIFE you poops and then just get on with it.
Isnt it strange, this story has NOTHING to do with Liverpool, and yet its mentioned right from the first blog. GET A LIFE you poops and then just get on with it. georgetheseventh
  • Score: 1

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