Passengers of a three-year cruise that was set to depart on Thursday (30 November) said they have been left with nowhere to go after the trip was cancelled at the last minute.
The cruise, hosted by Life at Sea, would have seen guests visiting 135 countries and 375 ports across three years aboard the ship, paying between $29,999 (£23,755) per month and $109,000 (£86,310) per year for the once-in-a-lifetime experience.
But, just two weeks before it was scheduled to set sail, the whole thing was called off due to lack of ship availability.
The voyage was originally going to take place on the MV Gemini ship, but Life at Sea had reportedly set its sights on a larger boat, former AIDA Cruises ship AIDAaura. However, it was announced earlier this month that another company had acquired the vessel.
Before its eventual cancellation, the cruise had been riddled with scheduling problems, being postponed a number of times in the lead up to departure.
It was initially scheduled to depart from Instanbul, Turkey on 1 November but was postponed until 11 November with a relocation from Turkey to Amsterdam.
Then, the company pushed the date back again to 30 November, before cancelling it altogether.
According to an ABC News report, on 17 November, guests were informed that the voyage had been cancelled via a 15-minute video from the former CEO of Life at Sea, Kendra Holmes.
She had reportedly resigned from the post a few days earlier.
Passengers who had sold their homes, shipped their belongings and travelled to Turkey have been left stranded with nowhere to return home to after the sudden and unexpected cancellation.
Speaking to CNN, one passenger said: “There’s a whole lot of people right now with nowhere to go, and some need their refund to even plan a place to go. It’s not good right now.”
One man, who'd spent $85,000 (£67,330) on the cruise, sold his Florida home in order to travel with his wife.
“We both wanted to see the world, and this seemed like a cheap way to do this,” he said.
Now, the couple are planning to stay in Istanbul until they get a refund. “We’re at a complete loss as to what to do or where to go without having our money."
Life at Sea is promising to provide a full refund to all passengers, with payments being made in monthly instalments between December and February.
The company has also offered to pay for hotel accommodation for guests who had already travelled to Istanbul until 1 December and will reimburse travel expenses to their chosen destinations.
Life at Sea and its parent company Miray International have been contacted for comment.Featured Image Credit: Miray International