CruiseWest Closes Its Doors

Sad news for loyal customers of small ship cruise line Cruise West: the line officially closed its operations this past weekend, on September 18, 2010.

The line, which had operated for nearly 64 years, had aggressively pursued financing options over the last year to maintain operations, but was unable to procure the necessary funds.  CruiseWest’s CEO and Managing Director Dick West is “…heartbroken that this family legacy has come to an end.”

With the exception of the September 22 Danube cruise, CruiseWest has cancelled all cruises in 2010 and beyond.   “It is with a heavy heart that we close our doors, knowing that guests, travel agents, and partners will not receive the personal attention that they have grown to expect from us,” said Dick West.

Their Galapagos partner, Canodros, operator of the Galapagos Explorer II, is working with CruiseWest to provide an alternate program to passengers who have already booked a cruise. Guests who have booked the Galapagos program for dates in 2011 – may contact the operator by e-mail – lmontalvo@canodros.com

For booked guests who have not yet traveled, Cruise West recommends the following steps:

  1. If third-party travel insurance was obtained, a claim should be placed immediately with the insurer.
  2. If payment was made by credit card, a claim should be placed immediately with the card issuer.
  3. If the payment was made by cash or check, and you have no travel insurance, and the cruise departs from a U.S. port, you may file a claim with Cruise Claims c/o Wells Fargo Disability Management, PO Box 1567, Abingdon, Virginia 24212; phone: 877-371-9700, extension 6059; faxed to: 276-6760152; or sent as an e-mail attachment to: dara.meade@wellsfargo.com.  The e-mail should specify the claim is for cruise fare reimbursement.
  4. If the payment was made by cash or check, and you have no travel insurance, and the cruise departs from a foreign, non-U.S. port you may file a claim with USTOA, visit their web site – www.ustoa.com.

CruiseWest recommends that their travel partners contact their clients and relay the information above regarding claims.

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