The Better Business Bureau (BBB)
has an alert on its site about river cruise operator Tom
Harper River Journeys stating that “according to information in BBB files, this
business is no longer in business.”
Travel Weekly received a tip on
Friday that phone calls to Tom Harper River Journeys weren’t being answered and
that the recording on the Tom Harper reservation line said that the offices
were closed during regular business hours. And now, several river cruise
lines for which Tom Harper had sold inventory, including Haimark Travel,
CroisiEurope and Zambezi Queen, said that Tom Harper canceled its bookings with
them last week.
Additionally, Tom Harper earlier
this month sent a letter to passengers who had booked a May sailing on the
54-passenger Lord of the Glens vessel in Scotland, informing them that their
trip had been canceled.
“We failed not only you, but also
missed an important deadline in our contractual obligation with the owner of
the ship in Scotland,” Tom Harper CEO Bret Gordon wrote in the May 8 letter,
which has been obtained by Travel Weekly.
Newton, Mass.-based Tom Harper
River Journeys was founded in 2013 by Gordon, a former Vantage Deluxe World
Travel executive. It was established as a company that sells river cruise
inventory on ships throughout Europe, Asia and Africa.
Travel Weekly called the Tom
Harper main line repeatedly on Friday and Monday and got the same response,
that the offices are closed.
Calls to Gordon to get more
details about the company’s current situation have not been returned. An email
to Joe Luchison, vice president of marketing for Tom Harper, bounced back, and
a call to Luchison has also not been returned. There has also been no response
from Tom Harper’s customer service line and email.
In the meantime, information from
a source close to the company said that the entire staff at the company was
let go last week.
Shakeup at Amras Cruises
In addition to running Tom Harper,
Gordon last year had been tapped to head up Amras Cruises, the newly
established U.S. distribution arm for Munich-based Amras Cruises Worldwide.
Last fall, Amras made a splash when it linked up with Celebrity Cruises to create
combined ocean and river cruise packages.
But as of last week, Gordon is no
longer involved with Amras, according to Rudi Joham, president at Amras Cruises
Amras is in the process of setting
up its own company-run office in Chicago that will take over sales, marketing
and operations for Amras Cruises in the U.S. It is business as usual, said
Joham, and Gordon’s departure and the restructuring of the sales office will
not impact any current or future bookings, he said.