Question mark hangs over Christmas cruise after Ambassador cancels festive sailing

By Linsey McNeill
19/12/2022
Home » Question mark hangs over Christmas cruise after Ambassador cancels festive sailing

Ambassador Cruise Line cancelled a three-day Festive Market Getaway cruise just as it was about to depart from London Tilbury yesterday.

It told the 1,400 passengers onboard that there was an issue with the lifeboat station on Ambience and it would not be able to complete any repairs or post-repair tests in time to operate the cruise.

In a statement issued to Travel Gossip this morning, Ambassador said: “It is too early to say whether any future itineraries will be impacted as a result of the works.

“However, we would like to reassure all guests whose cruise might be affected that our priority will be to advise them directly and as soon as we can of any developments.

“We will provide further updates as appropriate.”

Its next sailing is due to depart from Tilbury for the Canary Islands on 21 December.

Ambassador, which launched earlier this year from the ashes of the failed Cruise and Maritime Voyages (CMV), said the fault with the lifeboat station was identified following annual maintenance works conducted by its specialist technicians.

Guests, which included at least one travel agent, were invited to remain on the ship overnight ‘to enjoy dinner and evening entertainment’ before disembarking this morning.

Ambassador added: “We have communicated transfer and compensation options to our guests, and any additional concerns they might have will be dealt with by Ambassador on a case-by-case basis in the days to come. “

Influential Youtuber ‘Emma Cruises’ was one of the guests onboard. She tweeted to her 20k followers: “I’m on a cruise, WHICH THEY’VE JUST CANCELLED and we have to get off in the morning!! What on earth.”

She added: “This is a first,” before promising to post a video on her popular Youtube channel.

Compensation options for cancelled cruise

Option one: Guests can transfer their cruise reservation and monies paid to any published sailing of up to 15 nights duration departing from 5 January 2023 onwards and receive a 50% discount on the best available fare. Any residue ticket monies will be either refunded or held as an onboard credit.

Option Two: Guests can cancel their cruise with a full refund, including port parking, the Victoria coach service and one of its pre-paid drink packages or special packages, if applicable, and also receive a 25% future cruise discount on any published sailing of up to 15 nights duration.

For sailings of 16 nights duration or more including its Grand Round the World Cruise, guests receive a 10% discount.

All guests will be contacted by email within five working days and asked to confirm their preference. They have been asked not to call reservations or guest services as they will be unable to help until all emails have been sent to all guests.

These offers are subject to availability and booking conditions and are valid until Wednesday 3 February 2023.

If Ambassador does not hear from guests or receive their instructions by the deadline, option two will automatically apply.

How old is Ambience?

Built in 1991, Ambience was originally part of the Princess Cruises’ fleet before sailing as Pacific Dawn for P&O Cruises Australia. It had been due to join CMV before its collapse in 2020.

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