(11:45 p.m.) -- The silence is broken. After remaining tight-lipped amid recent canceled cruises and an ensuing media storm, Windjammer Barefoot Cruises released a statement late today addressing its financial difficulties and its future.
According to the statement, the 60-year-old line intends to resume cruises in the Caribbean and Costa Rica -- though voyages scheduled for the weeks of October 14 and 21 will definitely not sail. Otherwise, the statement, entitled "Windjammer's Heart is Still Beating -- Better Sailing Ahead," is pretty vague. Here's what we know so far:
Displaced passengers can be rescheduled on future cruises, though at this point we don't have specific details, terms or conditions.
"Critical payments" were made Friday to shipboard staff and "immediate debt obligations" will be handled shortly.
A communications plan is being developed to update future customers on the status of their cruises; the Windjammer Web site is expected to be back up "shortly" -- and should offer advisories on upcoming sailings.
Essential crew and staff are working to continue "vital operations" on all ships in the Windjammer fleet.
Danny Walsh, the grandson of founder Captain Burke, is quoted as saying: "We are actively working with several investor groups on a viable plan to continue the Windjammer tradition."
We'll continue to report new information as we receive it, so check back often.