Athena cruises cancelled – advice for passengers
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Consumer Protection has issued advice to passengers booked on the cruise ship Athena that the cruise program scheduled for Australia this summer has been cancelled.
The cancellation was announced today by the administrators of Sydney-based company, Classic International Cruises Pty Ltd (CIC Australia), which went into voluntary administration last week.
The administrator Lawler Partners has been unable to secure a replacement ship after the Athena, which was due to depart Marseilles in France on Monday, was impounded by authorities due to a financial dispute.
More than 5,000 passengers throughout Australia have booked on 20 Athena cruises departing from Australian ports, most from Fremantle, up until April next year and it’s believed most passengers have paid deposits of 40%.
Commissioner for Consumer Protection Anne Driscoll said there are several avenues available to affected passengers to secure a refund.
- passengers who booked through a licensed travel agency should contact their agency first to determine whether the funds have been transferred to the cruise company;
- the Travel Compensation Fund which covers financial failure of travel agents is available to consumers as CIC Australia was a licensed travel agent so consumers can pursue a claim against the TCF. Information on TCF claims can be found at www.tcf.org.au;
- contact should also be made to the administrator Lawler Partners to register as a creditor by email CICAustralia@LawlerPartners.com.au and further information will be posted on their website www.lawlerpartners.com.au;
- customers with travel insurance should contact their insurer or travel agent to assess their eligibility to make an insurance claim; and
- passengers who paid by credit card should also contact their provider to inquire about a chargeback if other avenues are not available to them.
Further information on refund rights can be obtained from Consumer Protection on 1300 30 40 54 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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