World cruise that promised a journey covering over 3 years and 210,000 kilometers suddenly canceled
A highly anticipated world cruise that was set to cover 210,000 kilometers, 375 ports, and 135 countries over a three-year period has been abruptly canceled with less than two weeks’ notice, leaving passengers and crew members in a state of uncertainty and disappointment.
The initial departure date from Istanbul on November 1 was rescheduled to depart from Amsterdam on November 30. However, on November 16, passengers were informed of the decisive cancellation of the cruise, bringing an abrupt end to their plans for an extraordinary maritime adventure.
The cost of the travel packages was a substantial $115,500 per person, significantly higher than the average annual expenditure of a household in the United States. Some crew members had even sold their properties in anticipation of the unique voyage being their retirement option on the high seas. The cancellation left them in financial and logistical limbo, with no home to return to and their plans for the next three years in disarray.
The general consensus among affected passengers is one of sadness, anger, and a profound sense of loss. One crew member expressed feeling pride and bravery in embarking on the once-in-a-lifetime journey, but now finds it difficult to trust anyone or anything moving forward.
The cruise company, Life at Sea Cruises, has promised to issue refunds in monthly installments starting in mid-December and extending until the end of February. Additionally, the company is offering to cover flights and accommodation for travelers already in Istanbul until December 1, and has pledged to refund their money.
The cancellation of the cruise has raised questions and contradictions regarding the forward plans of Life at Sea’s parent company, Miray Cruises. Despite CEO Kendra Holmes announcing the postponement of the trip until May 2024, former Life at Sea Cruises owner Vedat Ugurlu admitted that the company was unable to afford the purchase of a large ship due to lack of investor support.
Ultimately, the sudden cancellation of the ambitious world cruise has left passengers and crew members in a state of uncertainty and financial loss, as they find themselves grappling with the aftermath of a significant investment and property sale for a cruise that never sailed.