The move follows All Leisure Group’s announcement last month that it intended to seek a listing of its shares on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange.
The new joint venture will allow Swan Hellenic to return to cruising in 2008, at least one year earlier than anticipated.
Explorer II, formerly Minerva, will be refurbished and reintroduced as a Swan Hellenic branded ship in May 2008, complementing All Leisure Group’s existing portfolio of Voyages of Discovery and Discover Egypt.
Swan Hellenic will also add new destinations, including Antarctica.
All Leisure Group chairman Roger Allard said, “I am pleased Lord Sterling has decided to entrust Swan Hellenic to our Group and he will continue as chairman.
This offers us an ideal opportunity to re-unite Swan Hellenic with Minerva, a combination that has an excellent past history in the UK cruising market.”