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Wither Cruise West?

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Spirit of Oceanus

Cruise West announced on Tuesday that it had new owners and stopped taking reservations for future cruises.   Very little information has been forthcoming, other than an assurance that several cruises scheduled for the remainder of September and early October will sail as scheduled.  65 employees have been laid off.

Cruise West’s website now carries a simple notice, shedding very little additional light on the situation:

“Cruise West, a global leader in small-ship explorations, today   announced that they continue to work towards a restructuring of the company and its operations.  The first move in this restructuring is the termination of the Spirit of Oceanus’ Voyage of the Great Explorers.   Additional assets may be sold and other steps are being pursued towards a restructure.   As part of this process, Cruise West has suspended accepting any new bookings.”

Undoubtedly, this comes as a blow to many individuals – the 65 employees who have lost their jobs, the remaining employees whose jobs may be in jeopardy, and the prospective cruisers who planned, or perhaps simply dreamt, of sailing with Cruise West in the future.

I’m not effected in any direct way by this situation, and yet I find myself saddened by it.  I read with great interest the announcement of the Voyages of the Great Explorers, wanderlust kicking in as I worked my through the extensive description.  An epic world cruise, the trip began in March of this year and was to last until February 2011, a total of 335 days.  Time and circumstances didn’t permit, but….oh, if they did!

Passengers were disembarking in St. John’s, Newfoundland earlier this week at the end of this particular leg of the journey.  For some, this was as they planned.  For those who were in port to sail on the next leg of the trip, if there were any, disappointment must be keen.  But for those who signed on for the full cruise, there must be anger, disappointment, bewilderment, and a sense of loss for an adventure only half fulfilled.

I would have loved to have been one of those intrepid few who were willing to set sail for almost a year and see the world.  I liked knowing that maybe one day I could do something similar.  It’s a shame that such a wonderful experience couldn’t be brought to a more fitting conclusion.

Technorati Tags: Cruise line, Cruise West, Spirit of Oceanus, World Cruise

Legendary Journeys

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Seven Seas Voyager

Regent Seven Seas Cruises is offering some remarkable savings on segments of its 2011 World Cruise on Seven Seas Voyager.  Dubbed “Legendary Journeys”, these sailings offer remarkable ports of call for those with the necessary time and resources.

Guests will enjoy 2-for-1 cruise fares plus additional bonus savings of up to $3000 per person, in addition to the all-inclusive amenities always offered by Regent:

  • FREE Roundtrip Air
  • FREE Ground Transfers between airport and ship
  • FREE Unlimited Shore Excursions
  • FREE beverages including fine wines, beer and premium spirits, soft drinks, bottled water, specialty coffees and tea served throughout the ship
  • FREE in-suite mini-bar replenished daily with soft drinks, beer and bottled water
  • FREE 24-hour room service and no additional charge for specialty restaurants
  • FREE Pre-Paid Gratuities

Regent is also offering Business Class upgrades on international flights for $1499 per person each way.

Five World Cruise segments are included in the promotion:

San Francisco to Auckland, January 14, 2011, for 25 nights;

Sydney to Beijing, February 23, 2011, 25 nights;

Beijing to Bangkok, March 20, 2011, 20 nights;

Bangkok to Dubai, April 9, 2011, 25 nights;

Dubai to Rome, May 4, 2011, 20 nights.

With cruise fares starting at $12, 999 per person, these cruises will be available to a relative handful of people, but their appeal, I think, is far more universal.  Which fan of cruising doesn’t dream of the day when he or she can wander the world by ship, stopping in one exotic port after the other, unconstrained by time or money?

These cruises are aspirational.  Certainly not this year, probably not next year either, but one day I’d love to board a ship for a world cruise, slipping away from port, intent on seeing the world before I catch sight of home again.

Technorati Tags: cruise fare savings, Cruise line, Regent Seven Seas, Seven Seas Voyager, World Cruise