(via ITV News)
Cruise company All Leisure Holidays has stopped trading with immediate effect, leaving hundreds of holidaymakers stranded at their destinations.
Customers of Voyages of Discovery and Swan Hellenic, both part of the All Leisure Holidays group, are affected.
The company has approximately 7,000 bookings for future holidays which have now been cancelled.
However, as the company was part of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL scheme, customers with ATOL protected holiday bookings will be able to claim a full refund for their trip.
Around 400 customers are currently overseas, with most able to use the scheduled airline tickets included as part of their booking to return to the UK.
The CAA has made arrangements to bring the small number of remaining passengers back to the UK at no extra cost.
Andy Cohen, Head of ATOL at the CAA, said: “We understand this will be concerning news for anyone who has booked to travel with the company.
“We are arranging for people currently overseas to get back home to the UK at no extra cost - meaning no-one will be left stranded abroad.
“So while this situation is very disappointing for the customers affected, it is also a timely reminder of the importance of remembering to check for ATOL protection when booking holidays.
"By making sure you receive an ATOL certificate when you book, you have peace of mind you will not lose your money or have to make your own way home - even if your travel company stops trading.”
A dedicated helpline has also been set up: It is 0808 164 8810