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Woman 'sold everything' to pay for three-year cruise which got cancelled days before setting sail

Rhianna Benson

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| Last updated 

Woman 'sold everything' to pay for three-year cruise which got cancelled days before setting sail

Featured Image Credit: Life at Sea Cruises

A group of holiday-makers have been plunged into their worst nightmare after having a three-year cruise trip cancelled at the last minute following weeks of delays.

And one woman in particular has now lost a huge proportion of her life savings as a result, having sold her apartment, furniture, clothes, and TV.

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Life at Sea Cruises was scheduled to depart from Istanbul, Turkey, on 1 November, visiting all seven continents, as well as a staggering 135 countries and 375 ports over the duration of three years.

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According to CNN, excited passengers who signed up for the trip were initially informed of a delay to departure, which had been pushed back to 11 Nov.

This left some passengers feeling 'incredibly sad and incredibly betrayed', the publication reported.

The location of departure had also changed from Istanbul to Amsterdam, the Netherlands - leaving voyagers to rearrange their flights.

The trip was then pushed back a second time, to 17 November, before being delayed a THIRD time, to 30 November.

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The cruise was cancelled after three delays. Credit: Photo by Alonso Reyes on Unsplash
The cruise was cancelled after three delays. Credit: Photo by Alonso Reyes on Unsplash

But just 13 days before the big departure day finally arrived, after weeks of rearrangement, devastated passengers were finally informed that the once-in-a-lifetime cruise had been called off altogether.

Speaking to Insider, passenger Kimberly Arizzi - who sold a huge proportion of her possessions in order get onboard the cruise as part of her retirement - admitted: "I thought I had my life set up for the next few years."

She went on: "It's not only the furniture I lost, it was the boat-topia — the idea of being in a like minded-community, all doing something together for the first time ever."

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But why the cancellation? And why such short notice?

Passengers have been left devastated. Credit: Photo by Peter Hansen on Unsplash
Passengers have been left devastated. Credit: Photo by Peter Hansen on Unsplash

Well, those working on the vessel were in need of an extremely vital element... the ship itself.

Cruise line Miray International - owner of Life at Sea - had planned to carry travellers onboard their colossal MV Gemini ship.

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But upon taking bookings, they soon realised they'd need a much bigger vehicle, later setting their sights on buying the AIDAaura, which was set to be renamed the MV Lara, according to CNN.

The cruise firm initially promised customers that the sale of the ship was taking longer than expected, but on 16 November, it was revealed that another cruise company, Celestyal Cruises, had actually bought the ship.

The CEO of Life at Sea has resigned. Credit: Catherine Falls Commercial
The CEO of Life at Sea has resigned. Credit: Catherine Falls Commercial

After informing their guests by relaying the information in a 15-minute video, Life at Sea’s CEO Kendra Holmes resigned just days before the sale fell through.

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Vedat Ugurlu, the owner of Miray International, confirmed rumours at the time that the cruise was canceled because the company could not afford the ship.

The company have vowed, however, to refund those who signed up for the cruise.

The costs are understood to range from $29,999 a year for a standard interior cabin to $109,000 per year for a luxurious suite with a large balcony.

LADbible Group contacted Life at Sea Cruises for comment.

Topics: Money, Travel, US News, Home

Rhianna Benson
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