One Ocean Expeditions (OOE) has confirmed that the Russian authorities have cancelled the charters of two dedicated icebreaking expedition cruise ships.
OOE said that it had chartered the ‘Akademik Ioffe’ and ‘Akademik Sergey Vavilov’ exclusively from 2011and 2012, respectively onward with OOE holding long term renewal options every year since.
The vessels are owned by Russian government entities.
“In recent days OOE was informed that the owners of the ‘loffe’ and ‘Vavilov’ have suddenly and unexpectedly withdrawn the vessels from passenger service. Their decision comes as a complete surprise to OOE and is out of our control. The withdrawal of the vessels for the 2019-20 season is a breach of the owners’ contract with OOE and is now the subject of legal action,” explained OOE’s Catherine Lawton.
OOE has undertaken to openly and proactively communicate the full account of what has transpired with our clients, agents, partners and field team, the company said in a statement.
“OOE proudly launched our newest vessel, ‘RCGS Resolute’, in 2018, and we have had an overwhelmingly positive response. ‘RCGS Resolute’ is superior in both ice class (1AS), passenger facilities and comfort for Polar expedition cruising and beyond.
“We are working with our agents and clients on an urgent basis to find alternatives for planned travel in the short-term, and ‘RCGS Resolute’ will play a key role in those arrangements. For those passengers unable to re-book we are working closely with agents and clients to arrange refunds.
“OOE thanks our clients, agents, and partners for their patience and understanding as our team works through the present setback as expeditiously as possible. At the same time, we remain focused on the future. OOE is actively advancing a fleet renewal plan and we look forward to announcing further details in the weeks and months ahead,” Lawtonadded.