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.