September 25, 2001
Renaissance Cruises has halted all operations. The 10-ship cruise line (with eight contemporary 684-passenger and two yacht-like 114-passenger vessels) has filed “voluntary petitions for Chapter 11 reorganization.” The company is already disembarking all passengers-- regardless of what phase their cruise is in -- and booking them on flights home. Renaissance is also providing its onboard officers and crew with transportation home. In a statement Tuesday evening, Manfred Urpsrunger, Renaissance’s president and CEO, said: “In light of the severe, unexpected drop in leisure travel following the terrorist attacks on the United States and the immediate and adverse impact on the Company's late stage recapitalization efforts, we concluded that this was the only responsible action we could take to exit our business in an orderly fashion while preserving value for our investors. We want to thank our customers, travel agent partners and employees for their support over the last year, and assure them that we are taking the necessary steps to minimize the impact of this filing on them.” While Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing often means a company will continue operating under a reorganizational plan, in this case sources say this represents the final chapter of Renaissance’s financially (and otherwise) tempestuous history. Passengers who have booked future voyages should contact their travel agents for guidance. Those who paid with a credit card such as Visa, Mastercard and American Express, can apply for refunds via their issuers.