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Notice for ExpeditionTrips clients affected by One Ocean Expeditions trip cancellations and restructuring

Notice for ExpeditionTrips clients affected by One Ocean Expeditions trip cancellations and restructuring

Jan 2020

Dear Clients,

On the heels of the recent unexpected and last-minute cancellations of One Ocean Expeditions’ 2019 Antarctica voyages (November 6, November 21, December 1, December 21, and January 17), we have consistently been trying to contact One Ocean Expeditions’ Managing Director, Andrew Prossin, in pursuit of answers about remuneration options for our affected travelers.

Please know how extremely frustrating it is for us not to be able to provide you more information than what we have already passed along so far. We completely understand that the loss of the investment travelers have made in these trips has them justifiably upset, and we wish we were able to furnish more detail. However, our calls to One Ocean Expeditions (OOE) go unanswered, our emails are ignored, and we (along with countless other folks who have booked future trips with OOE) are currently in the dark about reparation options outside of Mr. Prossin’s vague and isolated communications about “restructuring”, which we have shared as they have been received.

At the time that you booked your trip, there was no way to predict this outcome or the circumstances we’re now encountering with One Ocean Expeditions. Hopefully it goes without saying that we would never have booked our valued clients with OOE if we didn’t have confidence that the company would operate their scheduled trips, as they have done successfully since 2007.

As a third-party travel agency with a comprehensive portfolio of Antarctic and Arctic small-ship cruises from dozens of different operators, ExpeditionTrips does not own ships or operate trips. Thus, we are neither responsible for nor able to provide refunds for the canceled voyages since, under the binding terms of booking, we remit cruise fare funds directly to One Ocean Expeditions. Generally speaking, travel agencies are a “pass-through” for client payments to the trip operator(s), and then later receive a small commission percentage when the trip departs/returns. Since the money for these canceled voyages has passed directly to One Ocean Expeditions already, and we are not the party responsible for operating (or canceling) the trip (as clearly stated in the Terms of Use on our website), it should also be noted that we ourselves are owed future commission payments by One Ocean Expeditions for trips we have booked with them.

To guard against rare but tragic circumstances like this one, we always recommend that our clients purchase travel insurance. This counsel is provided in numerous documents that we send throughout the planning process, including the Trip Confirmation, the courtesy travel protection quote that we provide (to U.S. Residents), all invoices for Deposit and Final Payment(s), our Final Documents email, and under both the Mandatory Insurance and Payment & Cancellation Policies of all trip pages on our website. If you have not already, please do contact your travel insurance company to start a Claims process.

We know that our empathy is not much consolation at this point, but this awful situation is unprecedented in our 20-year history at ExpeditionTrips; we, too, are being challenged with how exactly to proceed until more is known from One Ocean Expeditions about specific remuneration that will be made available to their canceled passengers. Their latest advisory states: “We are pleased to advise you that we have signed a partnership agreement with a qualified, reputable operator. Under this agreement we will be able to provide a range of alternatives for clients who have been affected by our difficulties. You can expect the details of this arrangement in the early weeks of 2020.”

We will continue to share information as it is received.

Kindly,
The Crew at ExpeditionTrips