Cruise West notified the Federal Maritime Commission on Friday that it is canceling all cruises that were scheduled to begin this Saturday, Sept. 18, and on all dates that follow, with one exception.
Cruise West said its Sept. 22 Danube River sailing in Europe will proceed as scheduled.
The line told the FMC that it would complete cruises of the Spirit of '98 and Spirit of Endeavour that are already under way and are scheduled to end in Portland and Seattle on Sept. 18.
The FMC said that until Friday's announcement, Cruise West had intended to complete its 2010 schedule. That intention did not include Cruise West's world cruise, which was cut short in Newfoundland earlier this month.
The Spirit of Oceanus, the vessel that was being used for Cruise West's world voyage, was sold to a group of Danish investors last week.
Karen Gregory, secretary of the FMC, told Travel Weekly that Cruise West’s performance bond would protect any passengers on canceled cruises that were scheduled to depart from U.S. ports, up to a total of $15 million.
Gregory said that amount "exceeds the fares and deposits that will need to be refunded for canceled cruises."
These bonds do not, however, provide reimbursement for payments for air travel, shore-side hotel expenses or other expenses that do not constitute water transportation or its related services, the FMC said.
The FMC also said that "third-party insurers and credit card issuers may provide speedier reimbursement to passengers than the claims process established for bonds issued under FMC regulations."
The FMC suggested that passengers who paid for transportation by credit card should immediately contact their credit card issuer, and for those who purchased any third-party travel insurance that they should also immediately contact their insurer to claim reimbursement under their insurance policy, if it covers such cancellations.
Information on who to contact and the legal requirements for the surety bonds are at www.fmc.gov.
This report was updated on Friday to add that Cruise West's Sept. 22 Danube River sailing would proceed as planned.