Travelscope Ceases Operations; Van Gogh Cruises Affected
Update, 26 December 2007, 2 p.m. EST: Per a message posted on Monday, December 24, Travelscope has not made any major progress in its efforts to begin to operate again. The Web site says that "the position regarding departures on or after Thursday 3 January 2008 remain uncertain." Beyond Van Gogh's world cruise, which we reported would proceed as planned, developments may not be significant before the New Year. We'll provide updates as often as they occur.
(December 24) -- Thanks to a deal with the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), the three-month world cruise departing 4 January 2008 aboard Van Gogh -- ailing Travelscope's primary ship -- seems set to sail as scheduled, according to travelweekly.co.uk. However, all other sailings on or after 3 January 2008 remain uncertain, according to the cruise operator's Web site.
A spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.
Travelscope announced on Friday it would suspend sales and cancel trips. Menzies Corporate Restructuring, a group that specializes in turning around troubled businesses, has leapt to the rescue. However, Clark told travelweekly.co.uk today that a solution may come too late, partly due to the Christmas holidays. "There are certain parties interested in parts of the business," Clark told travelweekly.co.uk, "but most are coming back to us in the New Year. We are ready, willing and able -- my fear is that the public will not wait."
We'll keep you posted. In the meantime, affected guests who wish to speak to a representative should call 0844 412 9644, keeping in mind that its offices will be closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, reopening on Thursday 27 December.
--by Melissa Baldwin, Managing Editor, and Carolyn Spencer Brown, Editor in Chief