SPIRIT OF OCEANUS at Vancouver. Photo and copyright Peter Knego 2003.
Things at Seattle-based niche market cruise line Cruise West seem to be in flux as the company offices have reportedly shut down, leaving just an outgoing message that states the line is not accepting reservations for future cruises. Cruise West cites it is restructuring under new ownership but will still be operating its two scheduled cruises that departed Portland and Seattle on Saturday, September 4.
MaritimeMatters received a message today from Tammy Hinshaw, a passenger on the line’s flagship, the 1991-built SPIRIT OF OCEANUS, currently in east Canadian waters, stating that passengers were being put ashore at St. John’s, Newfoundland, with no word yet on refunds or compensation.
Cruise Web site CruiseMates editor Paul Motter offers some interesting insight into passengers’ rights to compensation when a cruise line goes belly-up. Click Here for his interview with a top travel insurance provider.
In the interim, it has been confirmed by International Shipping Partners of Miami that the ship was sold to TN Cruise K/S, Denmark, who plan to charter the ship to another operator.
Follow Up: On September 17, 2010, Cruise West announced it has ceased operations effective September 18, 2010.