Agent stops selling cruises by expedition specialist
Published on Friday, November 1, 2019
Polar region specialist agent, Swoop Antarctica, has stopped selling all future trips with adventure cruise operator One Ocean Expeditions.
In a statement on Friday it said the decision was taken following the abrupt cancellation of a One Ocean Expedition cruise to the Antarctic.
The RCGS Resolute, which can carry up to 146 passengers, was due to leave on November 6 from Ushuaia, Argentina, on a 16-day cruise of the island of South Georgia and was due to carry a number of Swoop Antarctica customers.
Although there are no notices on its website, One Ocean Expeditions issued a statement on its Facebook page last week saying it has experienced an ‘extremely challenging’ few months after the sudden withdrawal of two of its three ships by their Russian owners.
It said this ‘violation of contract’ had forced the company to carry out a restructure and added that it ‘deeply regrets’ the inconvenience caused to customers and long-standing partners and asked them to be patient.
Current and past employees of the cruise company have told the Guardian newspaper they have not been paid for months and that the cruise line also owes some contractors tens of thousands of pounds.
Alex Mudd, commercial director of Swoop Antarctica, said: “The decision of One Ocean Expeditions to abruptly cancel the departure of RCGS Resolute has left a number of our customers unable to enjoy their much-anticipated adventure holiday. Both they – and we – are hugely disappointed by this cancellation.
“As a responsible tour operator, we felt we had no option but to immediately stop the sale of all future trips with One Ocean Expeditions and protect our reputation in the market.
“We are clearly concerned with the sudden and abrupt cancellation of the trip from Ushuaia and its implications for future trips scheduled with One Ocean Expeditions.
“Our first priority is always the welfare of our customers. Therefore, we are working with One Ocean Expeditions to understand what happened and ensure those affected by the cancellation of their cruise are able to seek reimbursement.”
Swoop Antarctica is strongly urging affected customers to approach their travel insurers to seek full reimbursement for any losses.
“We are working with One Ocean Expeditions to provide as much reassurance as we can to those worried by today’s announcement,” added Mudd.
But it said customers booked onto future cruises with One Ocean Expeditions cannot, at this stage, claim the cost of their trips back through their insurance as no further cruises have been cancelled.