After nearly a month of departure delays, Life at Sea’s intended passengers are saying farewell to the years-long cruise that never set sail.
Life at Sea Cruises announced the cancellation of its ambitious three-year cruise around the world, citing an inability to secure a suitable ship and a sudden withdrawal of investor support, per CNN.
Image Credit: Finnbarr Webster | Getty Images. AIDAaura.
The news comes after weeks of silence from the company, which promised a trip of a lifetime departing from Istanbul on November 1. Shortly before that date came, the departure was pushed to November 11 from Amsterdam in the Netherlands, then to November 30 from Amsterdam, before being called off altogether on November 17.
The cost of joining the cruise in one of the 111 cabins ran up to hundreds of thousands of dollars — a price many deemed worthy of the unique experience.
Life at Sea’s would-be passengers upended their lives to join the voyage; some even sold their homes ahead of the expedition. Keri Witman, founder and president of digital marketing firm Clever Lucy, was one of them. Entrepreneur spoke with Witman about her plans to work remotely on board — and potentially extend her journey past the three-year mark — in September.
Entrepreneur has reached out to Witman for comment.
Ultimately, Life at Sea admitted that the delays and relocations were due to its failure to purchase the AIDAaura from AIDA Cruises, per CNN. The lack of a vessel and financial backbone unraveled the company’s plans, and their ensuing legal troubles only compounded the issue.
Life at Sea Cruises has pledged to return the funds through a series of monthly installments, a process that will stretch into late February. In the interim, the company has offered assistance with accommodation and flights for the passengers stuck in Istanbul.
Former Life at Sea Cruises CEO Kendra Holmes, who had resigned days prior to the cancellation, hinted at a new possibility with a different cruise line, though skepticism remains high given recent disappointments.