Ambassadors has stopped making its monthly payments on the loans secured by the Empress of the North, which has been sailing in Alaska.

The ship's last sailing departed on Saturday, after which it will likely be handed over to the Department of Transportation's Maritime Division.

The announcement was made by Ambassadors CEO Joe Ueberroth during the company's second-quarter earnings call with analysts, but very little else was said about the fate of the rest of the company's Majestic America Line brand.

In April, Ambassadors said it was putting Majestic, its U.S. river and coastal cruising business, on the block.

Ueberroth said the company was still unprepared to reveal the scope of the sale, the possible number of transactions or whether the sale process will even be successful. Ueberroth did say that the company wanted to fully divest Majestic sometime during the third quarter.

During the call, analysts appeared to be losing patience with Ambassadors because of a lack of information about the Majestic sale and the company's financial outlook following the sale. In assessing Ambassadors' balance sheet, at least one analyst suggested it might be financially beneficial to liquidate following the Majestic sale.

"Job No. 1 is to get through the sale of Majestic," Ambassadors CFO Blake Barnett said in response. "At this point, that's the single and best way we're going to get shareholder value."

In addition to Majestic, Ambassadors owns yachting line Windstar; a marine division specializing in worldwide marina and boatyard planning, construction and operation; and a travel and events division.

Ueberroth estimated that revenue for the three remaining divisions would be approximately $211 million in 2009.

Ambassadors' stock price fell to $2.55 after Wednesday's conference call, down from $7.48 at the start of the second quarter. One year ago, Ambassadors was trading at around $26.

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