After operating as a family business since 1947, Cruise West finally closed its doors after a summer-long struggle for survival. With the exception of its October 22 Danube cruise, which is operated by Lüftner Cruises, all Cruise West operations have now finished. And like the Danube operation, Canodrus, Cruise West’s Galapagos partner, says it will come up with alternatives for 2011 and Cruise West clients should contact them directly.
Down under, meanwhile, Orion Expedition Cruises is offering between 20% and 50% off various departures as a gesture towards Cruise West passengers who have definite future bookings but have been disappointed by the withdrawal of Spirit of Oceanus.
The latter ship’s new owners are TN Cruise K/S of Denmark, who have taken delivery at Freeport, Bahamas. This deal was put together by International Shipping Partners of Miami, who already operate sister ship Constellation II for Travel Dynamics, and manage a number of other small-to-medium-size cruise ships for Clipper Group, also of Denmark.
Passengers who have been stranded by Cruise West’s demise have been advised to claim against their travel insurers or their credit card companies first. For people who paid by cash or cheque, for departures from US ports Cruise West maintained a Federal Maritime Commission bond with Wells Fargo Disability Management in Abingdon, Virginia, and for departures from non-US ports a $1 million bond with the US Tour Operators Association in New York, which will only pay out pro rata over the total number and amount of claims received.
If you are affected, full details of what to do are given at the former cruise line’s web site at www.cruisewest.com
No clients of The Cruise People, Ltd. are effected.