Ambassador chief quashes rumours of financial problems after line axed two cruises

Ambience ship
By Linsey McNeill
Home » Ambassador chief quashes rumours of financial problems after line axed two cruises

Ambassador CEO Christian Verhounig has posted a message on his personal but public Facebook page insisting the cruise line isn’t in financial difficulty.

The message, addressed to clients and crew, attempted to explain why the cruise line has cancelled two cruises over Christmas.

Its Festive Market Getaway cruise was suddenly cancelled after guests had already boarded, and the cruise line later confirmed its Christmas and New Year cruise to the Canary islands had also been axed.

After apologising to affected guests, Christian explained in his message that the cruises had been cancelled due to ‘unscheduled but necessary works that need to be carried out’.

He added: “As a business, we have never been anything less than transparent, and we will continue to be so in the interests of our valued guests and employees.

“The recent changes to our operation were made for safety reasons only, and not, as some have speculated online, due to the financial position of Ambassador.

“I want to reassure you that we are a financially robust business with trust arrangements in place and full insurance cover for incidents of this kind designed to ensure that all our guests are and will remain fully protected.”

He said the cruises had been cancelled due to a hairline crack on a bracket holding one of the lifeboats in position, which could have led to potential issues in the future.

“While these cracks are relatively straightforward to repair it needs certain preparations to be able to access the steel structure, including the lowering of all lifeboats and the removal of the steel wires holding them – something best done in a ship repair dock with sufficient access by crane.

“As such, we had to take the difficult decision to relocate the vessel to the next available and accessible ship repair yard, which is the Lloyd Werft Shipyard in Bremerhaven, Germany.

“Throughout her time in Bremerhaven, the lifeboat-related repairs, as well as additional works on key focus areas, will be carried out in order to ensure the vessel’s fully operational return to Tilbury in readiness for our Cuba and Treasures of the Caribbean itinerary on 5th January,” he added.

Stopping short of confirming the next cruise will definitely go ahead, Christian added: “We will continue to update you on our progress.”

The CEO added: “As well as offering our sincere and heartfelt apologies to all guests affected by these recent developments, I would also like to take this opportunity to apologise to the team – from those in the UK, who have been outstanding in coming together at such short notice to do their very best at this difficult time, to the staff and crew onboard, who have been so looking forward to hosting our guests over Christmas and into the New Year as they showcase the amazing Ambience product and show the spirit and camaraderie they share with those that sail with us, cruise on cruise.

“On a personal note, I am sad that we had no option but to withdraw these itineraries, a sentiment shared by my colleagues in the Ambassador management team. Events like these never happen at a good time, but technical issues and challenges are unfortunately part of a cruise company’s day-to-day life – and we, at Ambassador, will never compromise on the safety of our guests or crew, however low the risk.”

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