A LUXURY cruise vessel often chartered by the Queen is changing hands in a seven-figure deal.
Hebridean Princess owner All Leisure Holidays is selling the ship and “certain related assets” for £2.9 million in cash to a new company, HP Shipping, from which it will lease the five-star ship back. HP Shipping will be wholly owned by a syndicate of private investors led by Roger Allard, the chairman of, and a substantial shareholder in, Aim-quoted All Leisure Group. The Hebridean Princess – a former car ferry – can carry 50 passengers and its cruises typically operate around the west coast of Scotland, occasionally visiting Northern Ireland, Norway and the Channel Islands. In 2006, the Queen chartered the vessel for her 80th birthday celebration cruise around the Hebrides. All Leisure said the deal will make the group “less asset intensive” while still retaining the business of the Hebridean Island Cruises division and the “positive cash flow it generates”.