Cruise West restructuring, but says company hasn't been sold

By Johanna Jainchill

In a turnaround, Cruise West said via an outgoing phone message that it has not been sold. 

On Wednesday afternoon, the cruise line changed the outgoing message on its "emergency contact" line. On Wednesday morning, Cruise West indicated that the company was under new ownership.

The message now says, "Cruise West has not been sold. However, management is in the process of restructuring the company. As part of this process, we have suspended all new bookings and our reservations center is temporarily closed."

Beginning yesterday, the same message said, "We are in the process of restructuring the company with new owners. As part of this process we have suspended all new bookings and our reservations center is temporarily closed."

The message still says that the departures this Saturday of two of its ships, the Spirit of Endeavor from Seattle and Spirit of '98 from Portland, "will operate as planned."

Reached by phone at his home, Dietmar Wertanzl, who resigned as president and CEO on Aug. 30, said he did not know what was happening at Cruise West, but said that the line had been "looking for refinancing and restructuring."

Wertanzl said that he had resigned after a little over two years at the helm because it was "time to move on."

"The company is privately owned, and with new owners coming in, there would be management changes," he said.

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