Windjammer -- Is it Over?
Fans of Windjammer have been waiting for the fiscally strapped line's luck to change after canceled cruises left passengers, ships and crewmembers stranded -- and the future of the company up in the air.
Well, the wait's not over yet. The Miami Herald reports today that a deal that could have saved the struggling line has fallen through -- and the potential savior is actually suing Windjammer and the family trust that owns the business, alleging they've negotiated with other investors on the sly.
Miami-based Jerry Ceder is the investor lashing out at Windjammer with a lawsuit. According to the Miami Herald, Ceder was part of a group seeking "controlling interest" in the cruise line. Ceder is alleging now that the company and the trust have violated an agreement "by negotiating with other parties for the financing or sale of an equity interest in Windjammer" -- after his group laid out $373,000 in advance to pay creditors, crews' wages, fuel costs and other expenses.
It's unclear whether any other investors have actually bitten, as spokespersons have yet to respond to requests for comment.
Meanwhile, Windjammer's shipping agency in Aruba has been supplying bottled water to crewmembers of the Polynesia. "They have food," employee Nancy Kock told the Miami Herald, "but not enough, I think."
What's next? The Miami Herald further reports that a group of former passengers and sailing enthusiasts are considering buying one or more of the company's ships. Former Windjammer captain Neil Carmichael is heading up a small group of investors, and tells the paper he is in talks with the U.K. lawyer who oversees the family trust -- and drawing up a business plan.
--by Melissa Baldwin, Managing Editor