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Cruise West, with its origins in Alaska more than 60 years ago, ceased operations on Sept. 18. Recently, the company had been seeking investment, sale of assets or sale of the company itself. Its flagship, Spirit of Oceanus, sold in mid-September, but the sale was not enough to save the company.“I have never given up hope that we might be able to find a way to survive by working with the various interested parties. I am absolutely heartbroken that this family legacy has come to an end,” said chairman and managing director Dick West. “We have done absolutely everything to maintain operations but, with limited resources and the current tight financial market, we simply cannot continue.”The Sept. 22 Danube Cruise was the final cruise operated by the line. West said that the company’s Galapagos partner, Canodros, is working on an alternate program for guests already booked on the Galapagos program. Agents should contact the operator directly at [email protected].American Safari Cruises and parent company InnerSea Discoveries are offering special rates for displaced guests, honoring Cruise West fares for guests throughout 2010 and offering a 25 percent savings for winter/spring 2011 Mexico’s Sea of Cortez departures, $300 savings for American Safari 2011 Inside Passage cruises and $150 off for InnerSea Discoveries Alaska sailings. A dedicated phone line has been set up for passengers booked on Cruise West at 877-405-9490.
Tips for Passengers1. With third-party travel insurance, a claim should be placed immediately with the insurer.2. With credit card payment, a claim should be placed immediately with the card issuer.3. With payment by cash or check, without travel insurance, when the cruise departs from a U.S. port, claims should be filed with Cruise Claims c/o Wells Fargo Disability Management, PO Box 1567, Abingdon, VA 24212; phone: 877-371-9700 x 6059; faxed to: 276-676-0152; or sent as an e-mail attachment to: [email protected]. 4. With payment by cash or check, without travel insurance, when the cruise departs from a non-U.S. port, claims should be filed with USTOA at USTOA.com.