Passengers of BC-based One Ocean Expeditions were left stranded in Argentina last week, after the financially-troubled company cancelled an Antarctica cruise at the last minute.
According to reports by the CBC and Vancouver Sun, the cancellation took place suddenly last Thursday (Oct. 31), stranding approximately 140 passengers who were set to board the RCGS Resolute on an Antarctica sailing that was to depart today (Nov. 4) from Ushuaia, Argentina. The ship, which remains docked in Buenos Aires, was arrested in Nunavut in May for $100,000 owed to a Nova Scotia-based company and was arrested again in Halifax last month, according to a CBC report; the report also detailed multiple instances of employees owed thousands of dollars in wages and passengers who made deposits of between $13,000 and $30,000, who have tried to contact the company regarding their upcoming cruises to no avail.
The cancellation follows a string of incidents for One Ocean Expeditions: in August 2018, the company’s ship Akademik Ioffe was damaged after running aground in the Arctic while this past summer, two more ships were suddenly recalled by their Russian owners.
A post to One Ocean Expeditions’ Facebook page by the company’s Managing Director Andrew Prossin last week acknowledged that the cruise line is facing an “extremely challenging period." No mention of the latest cancellation is mentioned in the statement.
“The sudden withdrawal of two of our three vessels earlier this year by their Russian owners caused a series of complex circumstances that our team is working to address,” read the statement. “The withdrawal of these ships was an unexpected and destabilizing event and the violation of our contract remains the subject of ongoing legal action. While this process proceeds, we have worked hard to maintain operations and service at the standard of excellence for which we have been proud of for many years. Unfortunately, the difficult reality is that in recent months, we have fallen short of these high expectations we have set for ourselves as a leader in the expedition cruise industry. As a result of the contract breach we suffered earlier this year, our company is now in a difficult period of restructuring.
“We deeply regret the inconvenience caused to passengers and our long-standing partners and we remain focused on doing everything possible to move our company forward,” Prossin’s statement concluded.
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